Languages of Paraguay

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Languages of Paraguay
Official languages Spanish, Guaraní
Main immigrant languages Portuguese, German
Sign languages Paraguayan Sign Language

The Republic of Paraguay is a mostly bilingual country, where both Spanish, an Indo-European language, and Guaraní, an indigenous language of the Tupian family, have official status.[1]

Spanish and Guaraní[edit]

A government sign in Asunción, bilingual in Guaraní and Spanish

Spanish is spoken by about 87% of the population, while Guaraní is spoken by more than 90%, with about 4,650,000 speakers. 52% of rural Paraguayans are bilingual in Guaraní.[2]

Guaraní is the only indigenous language of the Americas whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people. This is an anomaly in the Americas where language shift towards European colonial languages (in this case, the other official language of Spanish) has otherwise been a nearly universal cultural and identity marker of mestizos (people of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry), and also of culturally assimilated, upwardly-mobile Amerindian people.

Other languages[edit]

About 50,000 Paraguayans speak an indigenous language besides Guaraní:[3]

Besides Spanish, Guaraní and all other previous languages, Portuguese, Plautdietsch, Standard German and Italian are spoken as well.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paraguay - Constitution, Article 140 About Languages". International Constitutional Law Project. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  (see translator's note)
  2. ^ a b Paraguayan Guaraní, Ethnologue
  3. ^ Languages of Paraguay, Ethnologue