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Question:

Are there any video recordings of Native South Americans, (Andeans), pronouncing "Quinoa"? - to hopefully preserve some of the cultural history behind Quinoa?


According to Wikipedia on Quinoa:

Quinoa was first domesticated by Andean peoples around 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. It has been an important staple in the Andean cultures where the plant is indigenous but relatively obscure in the rest of the world. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to it as chisaya mama or "mother of all grains"

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  • The word derives from Quechua (Cuzco-Collao) kiwña; it's pronounced the way it's spelled, and I doubt there are any recordings from real speakers of the word online. – user6726 Jun 12 '16 at 17:40
  • @user6726 What do you mean, pronounced the way it's spelt? Is it /kiwɲa/? – Angelos Jun 12 '16 at 20:55
  • Yes, if you use IPA. – user6726 Jun 12 '16 at 22:09
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    @user6726 everything is online somewhere! – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 13 '16 at 0:13
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    Just wondering: Why would the pronunciation of a word in one language "resolve a pronunciation debate once and for all" in another, completely unrelated language? From what we know about loanword phonology, the argument "they pronounce it like so-and-so, and we'd better try to speak like them" is only a very weak one. – Schmuddi Jun 17 '16 at 8:13
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Here's a video on youtube of an inhabitant of Cusco, Peru, talking about quinoa.

Although the speaker does not say what their language is, I think it's fair to assume their pronunciation reflects the local Quechua pronunciation. You'll note they pronounce 'quinoa' with three syllables s something like: [ˈkinəˌwa:].

The first video also notes the two syllable pronunciation:

Of course there's no reason why everyone should be trying to say it the same as in Quechua!

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    Actually, it's more likely that this is Spanish. Accent is regularly on the penult in Cuzco Quechua and [o] only exists as a lower allophone of /u/ next to a uvular. – user6726 Jun 13 '16 at 1:14
  • Thanks @user6726! I guess I took a punt counting on that video being correct. – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 13 '16 at 11:51
  • Please go ahead and modify the link @elikakohen. – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 16 '16 at 1:19
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I realized that the simplest thing to do is look for the Quinoa wiki entry -- in Quechua. They give < kinuwa, kinwa, kiwina, kiwna > to which one should add < kiwña > from Cusihuaman's dictionary. So there are no wrong pronunciations, it seems.

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