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|This language has its own Wikipedia project. See the Quechua edition.|
Quechua, sometimes written Quichua or Ketchua, is a language spoken by people in the South American nations of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile. It was also the language of the ancient Inca empire. There are about 8 million people who speak Quechua.
It is the most spoken Native American language in South America. It is the most widely spoken Amerindian language. A quarter of the people in Peru speak Quechua. People that speak Quechua as their first language are called Quechua Indians by the Spanish speaking cultures. The Quechua refer to themselves as Runa, "the people". They call the language "Runa Simi".
Quechua is known for only having 3 vowel sounds: a, i, and u.
The Quechua language has given names to many places in Peru, including the Ancash Region. Anqash is the Quechua word for blue, and it is thought that the name refers to the blue skies of Ancash.