Minority language learning in Cusco, Peru
I recently found The Brink of Something Else, the personal blog of Aussie traveller Camden Luxford, who is currently living in Cusco, Peru. Among other things, she’s transcribed a series of interviews with expatriates around the world, from Japan to Morocco to Kosovo. The blog is a fascinating read for anyone who’s interested in picking up and moving away (or if you’re already on the road).
Having already gotten a pretty good grasp on Spanish, Camden decided to attempt the second official language of Peru, Quechua. Variants of the language are spoken throughout the Andean regions of South America. I’d imagine it would be pretty difficult to find Quechua classes outside of South America, but this post tells us that it’s not so easy to find them there, either, even when a majority of the indigenous people speak it. Sure, you could pay the overblown tourist prices, but most people who have been proper expats are very loathe to do this. Check out the post to see how many avenues she’s tried so far.
She’s also written a great post on Matador about language learning plateaus and how to move on past them. This post is specifically about Spanish, but all the hints are worthwhile for all language learners, at pretty much every level. Apparently Camden’s plateaus happen a lot higher than mine (she flattened out while being able to conduct business meetings in her second language, while I’m happy if I can direct a taxi to my apartment), but she’s still very humble about her achievements.
I’m going to subscribe to the blog mostly for travel reasons, but here’s hoping she writes some more about language learning, too.