Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Guaraní language
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Guaraní language


Guaraní (gwah-rah-'nee) [gwara'ni] (local name: avañe'ẽ) is a language spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and southwestern Brazil. It belongs to the Tupi-Guarani language subfamily.

It is estimated that there are approximately six million Guaraní speakers worldwide.

Guaraní became a written language relatively recently. (date?) using a largely phonetic orthography.

Table of contents
1 Guaraní in Paraguay
2 History
3 See also
4 External Links

Guaraní in Paraguay

Guaraní is, alongside Spanish, one of the official languages of Paraguay. Thus, for example, Paraguay's constitution is bilingual, and its state-produced textbooks are typically half in Spanish and half in Guaraní. This policy seems to suggest that the two languages are "separate but equal".

Nonetheless, the two languages have a very complicated relationship. In practice, almost nobody in Paraguay speaks "pure Spanish" or "pure Guaraní". The more educated, more urban, and more European-descended population tends to speak Argentine-influenced Spanish with short phrases of Guaraní thrown in, while the less educated, more rural, and more native population tends to speak a Guaraní with significant vocabulary-borrowing from Spanish. This latter mix is known as Jopará (joe-pah-'rah) [dZopa"4a]

Speakers of Guaraní who are not fluent in any other language have markedly limited opportunities for education and employment. There are very, very few speakers of Guaraní outside of South America. Those few that exist are either scholars, missionaries, or agents of the Peace Corps.


The reason why Guarani subsisted with enough vigor to be officialized was that the Jesuits elected it as the language to preach Catholicism to the Indians. Guarani was the language of the autonomous Jesuit-governed Reducciones.

See also

Lingua Geral

External Links