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Paraguay is officially bilingual with Spanish and Guaraní which is a legacy of colonial times when the Spaniards were a small minority and were obliged to learn Guaraní to communicate with the indigenous people. 40% of the population speaks only Guaraní, 48% is bilingual and about 7% only speaks Spanish. Therefore the Guarani language is spoken by approximately 90% of the population. Both Spanish and Guarani have adopted characteristics of each other, both in pronunciation and in sentence structure.

There are several other indigenous languages spoken in Paraguay, including Lengua, Nivaclé and Aché. Here are some examples of the Guarani language:

Water - y
Meat - soó
Woman - kuñá
Mountain - sero
Name - héra
How are you? - Mba'ecchapa?
Where are you from? - Moõguápa nde?
Where do you live? - Moõpa reiko

The Spanish of the La Plata countries, including Paraguay, clearly differs from the rest of Latin America in some aspects. Most notable is the use of the pronoun "vos" instead of "tú" for "you", and the pronunciation of the "Ll" (e.g. Llanos) as "zh" instead of "y".


Bernhardson, W. / Argentina, Uruguay & Paraguay
Lonely Planet

Kleinpenning, J. / Paraguay
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info