Santiago Gualapuro Gualapuro Has Created The World's First Kichwa-English Dictionary

October 31, 2019

Santiago Gualapuro Gualapuro Has Created The World's First Kichwa-English Dictionary

The Kichwa-English Shimiyu Kamu Dictionary

OSU Ph.D. student, Santiago Gualapuro Gualapuro, has published the very first Kichwa-English dictionary in the world. 

The goal of the dictionary is to empower Kichwa speakers and free the language from its dependence on Spanish. Prior to Gualapuro's work, Kichwa speakers had to learn Spanish in order to study any other world languages. This was due to a lack of widespread knowledge about Kichwa. Gualapuro hopes that his dictionary will promote further linguistic and philological research of indigenous communities in Ecuador.

Gualapuro, originally from Ecuador and a native speaker of Kichwa, began developing the project while working in Canada. He enlisted the help of members within the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta to assist with the technical challenges as the project progressed. On Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, he presented the completed 278 paged dictionary in Quito, Ecuador at the University San Francisco of Quito. The launch was celebrated at the university with music and dancing. 

Ecuatorian dancers at the launch of Gualapuro's dictionary

Gualapuro Presenting his Dictionary

Gualapuro and his dictionary have become a media sensation in Ecuador. A variety of news outlets have featured the story on their websites and Agencia EFE has uploaded an interview with Gualapuro on their YouTube page. To view these stories, please refer to the links below.

Agencia EFE's interview with Gualapuro (YouTube)

El Comercio

El Telegrafo

La Hora

El Norte

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Photographs provided courtesy of University San Francisco of Quito. Photographer: Karla Aguirre.