Dictionary of the Common Language of Peru Called Quechua, Also in the Spanish Language


Vocabulario enla Lengua general del Peru llamada Quichua, y enla lengua Española (Dictionary of the common language of Peru called Quechua, also in the Spanish language) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1604. The book is a comprehensive dictionary, running to more than 400 pages, of words in Quechua, the predominant language spoken by the Inca people of South America. Words in Quechua, expressed phonetically in the Latin alphabet, are listed in alphabetical order, with their Spanish equivalents. An overview of Quechua grammar appears at the end of the book. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part of a collection of 39 first editions in the National Library of Peru, produced at the press between 1584 and 1619. The collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013. In Latin, Spanish, and several Amerindian languages, these books are an important part of the record of the encounter between two worlds: the Amerindian civilization of the Incas and the European culture represented by the Spanish conquistadors. They are important sources for the study of the dissemination of ideas in the Spanish Empire, including the evangelization process and the diffusion of Catholicism on the one hand and the debate over the indigenous peoples and their condition as human beings on the other. Several of the books provide insights into the political, cultural, and social organization of the vanquished Inca civilization, as well as a record of the Quechua and Aymara languages spoken by the Incas.


Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Antonio Ricardo, Lima, Peru

Title in Original Language

Vocabvlario enla Lengva general del Perv llamada Quichua, y enla lengua Eʃpañola

Type of Item

Physical Description

540 pages ; 14 centimeters

Last updated: January 18, 2018