I am sure that most of you are quite experienced in learning new languages. Have you tried to learn Aymara?
Together with Maria Constanza, we started a cycle of one month classes (4 hours per week) having Victoria Argani as our Yatishiri (teacher). She is currently a teacher at a primary school and now she leads our classes. We are close to 20 adult students and we are the only two foreigners!
We started our classes last week and the experience is really challenging because Aymara is completely new to us. Listening Aymara for the first time, it was like listening Chinese or Japanese or any other language in which you understand nothing! Being Bolivian all the other students, the teacher explains Aymara by using a few words that are related with the normal usage here in Bolivia. We get nothing!
Plurinational flag of Bolivia – Unity in diversity
We realised about the importance that Aymara is gaining in the Andes now. The Aymara is official in Bolivia and is spoken by more than 2 million people. It is also important in Argentina, Chile and Peru. The language is becoming more important with the use of radio, TV and computers. Then, people are familiar with speaking a language that is quite old!
We spent the first 2 hours of our class to understand the ways used to pronounce it, and about the 26 consonants, 3 vowels and about the way to extend pronunciation. What I found interesting was using brother and sister (when you are addressing someone) and also the strong link that it has with the Pachamama (mother earth).
If you want to learn basic elements of Aymara, please go to:
http://www.ilcanet.org/ciberaymara/ [web page on Aymara]
You will enjoy it!
Jikinsikama Jilata (until we meet again!)