The fossil of an ancient four-legged whale, similar to this one shown here found in Pakistan, was discovered on the coast of Peru. (Photo by James St. John via Flickr)

Quechua Translation: Ancient Four-Legged Whale found in Peru

April 17, 2019 By Jacquelyn Kovarik

RUNASIMIPI: Quechua, an Andean language, is the most commonly spoken Indigenous language in the Americas, with thousands of speakers. Quechua is not actually called “Quechua” by speakers of the language. They call it “Runasimi” — which means “idoma de la gente” or “language of the people.”

The news below was translated from Spanish and English into Quechua by Jacquelyn Kovarik. She translated it for the capstone for her independent study project with Dr. Odi Gonzales, the director of the NYU Quechua Language Studies program while completing her dual Masters in Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Visit our Quechua page to see more translations and stories related to the Quechua language.

The news originally came out April 5, 2019.


Tawa Chakiyuq Ñawpa Ballenata Tarisqaku Perúpi

Paleontólogokunas huk hatun challwaq ch’akisqa tullunkunata tarisqaku, ballena sutiyuqta, Perupi, Media Luna aqopampaneqpi. Chay tawa chakiyuq uywas kan ñawpa ballena, tawa chunka kimsayuq millión watayuq. Chay paleontólogokuna tarisqaku chay tullukunata aqo ukhupi. Ñawpaqpi, chay aqopanpa kasqa mamaqocha, ichaqa kunan kapun huk kilometro mamaqochamanta. Jueves p’unchaypi, huk reportajepi Current Biology revistapi, investigadorkuna niranku: “Ñuqayku niyku chay tawa chakiyuq uywa kan hanp’atuhina caballohina chakiyuq, wayt’ayta, puriyta ima atiran,” nispa. Iskay waranqa chunka hukniyuq watapi, chay equipo internacional paleontólogokuna aqopampata hasp’iyta qallarisqaku; paykuna chay uywata sutiyaranku “Peregocetus pacificus” nispa, chay nin “puriq challwa, Pacífico mamaqochapi rikhuriq ballena,” nispa.



Ancient Four-Legged Whale found in Peru

Paleontologists found the fossil of an ancient four-legged whale on the coast of Peru near Playas Media Luna. The 43-million-year-old whale was found in marine sediments around half a mile inland from the Pacific coast. In a report released on Thursday in Current Biology, researchers believe the animal with four legs, webbed feet and hooves was able to swim and walk on land. The international team of paleontologists excavated the site in 2011 and named the specimen Peregocetus pacificus, which means “traveling whale that reached the Pacific.”



Antigua ballena de cuatro patas encontrada en Perú

Paleontólogos encontraron el fósil de una ballena cuadrúpeda antiquísima en la costa del Perú, cerca a las Playas Media Luna. La ballena, de 43 millones de años de antigüedad, fue encontrada en los sedimentos marinos, media milla de la costa pacífica. En una reportaje que salió el 4 de abril en la revista Current Biology, los investigadores dicen que el animal con cuatro extremidades, de pies palmipedos, y cascos, tenía la capacidad de nadar y de caminar en la tierra. El equipo internacional de paleontólogos excavó el sitio en 2011 y le puso el nombre Peregocetus pacificus, que significa “ballena caminante que llegó al Pacífico.”   

About Jacquelyn Kovarik

Jacquelyn is currently a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellow at New York University, where she is studying Quechua and pursuing a masters degree in Latin American Studies and Journalism. Her research focuses on contemporary social change in Bolivia and Peru, with an emphasis on transitional justice and initiatives for well-being and resilience in Andean communities. In 2016 she filmed and produced a documentary about families fighting for reconciliation in a post-dictatorship Bolivian society.