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Language Academy of Ecuador

Founded in Quito in 1874, this academy has benefited from the contribution of scholars such as Piedad Larrea Borja, author of “The Way Women Speak in Quito” and “Some Quixotisms in Ecuadorian Speech” and Galo René Pérez, creator of a sober and elegant style reflected, for example, in his autobiography “Water that Flows Down the River”. He was Undersecretary of Education, Secretary General of the Governing Council, Chairman of the House of Ecuadorian Culture and Director of the Ecuadorian Language Academy. His short, profound essays are some of the best of Ecuadorian literature.


“The Speech of Ecuador. Dictionary of Ecuadorianisms” (3 volumes), as written by Carlos Joaquin Cordova, was published in October 2008 by the Ecuadorian House of Culture.

Some examples are:

Jaba: basket-shaped container generally used for storing beer.
Nanay: categorical denial of existence.
Ananay: ornament.
Carishina: ineptitude in housework.
Yapa: extra amount.
Catzo: beetle.
Quinde: hummingbird.
Chulla (male): man from Quito; term reserved for people notable for their speed, cunning, good humor and elegance in dress.
Chulla (female): woman of dubious reputation.
Chulla (neutral) indicates the presence of a single element when two or more are expected, e.g. saltar en chulla pata (jump on one leg).
Ruco: old or asleep.
Guango: braid of hair.
Milico (offensive): member of any of the Armed Forces of Ecuador.
Pupo (Quichua): navel.
Turro: bland, ridiculous or useless.

And for tourists who want to visit Ecuador and be familiar with local expressions, you can read this bilingual dictionary: Ecuadorian Dictionary.

(Versión en español: /?page_id=115241)