I grew up in North America. People spoke many languages there. Now, I study them. I am a linguist. I want to know how languages change. I want to know how they connect us to the people around us.

One day, I had an idea. What if I could discover a new language? I know. It sounds crazy. Yet, it’s possible.

Languages don’t stay the same. Over time, they change. Sometimes a new language is created. It’s not like any other language. I wanted to look for a new language in Peru, in South America.

In an area called Puno, people speak two local languages. They speak Quechua and Aymara.

Learn a little Quechua or Aymara.

Try these useful words and phrases.


Imanaylla kashanki?

(i-ma-naa-ya ka-shan-kee)





How are you?

The city of Puno is near Lake Titicaca. It’s the largest lake in the Andes Mountains.

Living the High Life

I wondered if these two languages might have mixed together. Maybe they made something new. To find out, I packed my notebooks and my audio recorder. I went to Puno.

Puno is high up in the mountains. When I got there, being so high up made me feel sick. I felt dizzy. I had a headache. So, I drank a tea made from coca leaves. Soon, I felt better.

Being high in the sky also means the sunlight is stronger. You can easily get a sunburn. Here, people never go out without their sun hats. I made sure to always wear mine.

coca tea

Mountains loom over this market.








I am good.