Languages of Paraguay

Portuguese language Spanish language Sanapaná language
Languages of Paraguay
OfficialSpanish, Guaraní
ImmigrantPortuguese, German
SignedParaguayan Sign Language

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

Spanish and Guaraní

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 exclusively speak Guaraní.[2][3]

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.

Indigenous languages

About 50,000 Paraguayans speak an indigenous language besides Guaraní:[4]

Besides Spanish, Guaraní and all other previous languages, Portuguese, Plautdietsch, Standard German and Italian are spoken as well.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Paraguay - Constitution, Article 140 About Languages". International Constitutional Law Project. Retrieved 2007-12-03. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (see translator's note)
  2. ^ The Guaraní Language of Paraguay is Making a Comeback
  3. ^ a b Paraguayan Guaraní, Ethnologue
  4. ^ Languages of Paraguay, Ethnologue