Spanish in Paraguay Posted by on Mar 19, 2009 in Spanish Culture, Spanish Vocabulary

Paraguay has two official languages: Spanish and Guaraní. According to statistics, around 37% of Paraguayans speak only Guaraní, 50% speak Spanish and Guaraní, 7% speak only Spanish and 6% speak other indigenous languages. Here we have some very common words and expressions in Guaraní and their translation to Spanish.

Ahániri – no
Ama – lluvia
Aña – diablo
Ao – ropa
Ára – día
Hu – color negro
Japu – mentira
Karai – hombre, señor; persona
Ke – sueño
Kuña – mujer
Kuñataí – señorita
Kyhyhe – miedo
Mba’emo – ¿Por qué?
Mba’e tekópa – ¿Cómo estás?
Mbo’e – enseñar
Mbo’eha – escuela
Mbo’ehára – profesor
Mbo’epý – alumno
Mena – marido, esposo
Menará – novio
Moroti – blanco
Ndu – golpe, ruido
Ñandejara – Dios, Nuestro Señor

Paraguay also has specific Spanish vocabulary:

Achuchar – to shiver
Amarretismo – “tightwadness”
Apolar – to sleep
Asuntar – to think about something
Bagayero – smuggler
Bagre – an ugly woman (a bagre is a kind of fish)
Bailongo – a group of friends who get together regularly
Cachila – a very old car
Canillita – a street vendor
Chocho – happy, glad
Derrochón – a big spender
Desbole – chaos, mess
Engambelar – to deceive someone
Fané – tired, worn out
Fiaca – hombre
Garufa – party

Now, let’s go to the fun part. Below we have two videos: one is a medley of Paraguayan songs sung by Brazilian group Grupo Tradição. Then you have Perla, who has lived in Brazil for more than 40years and has the strongest woman’s voice I have ever heard. She sings mostly traditional Paraguayan songs in Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani. Hope you like them!

See you next time!

Grupo Tradição


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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.


  1. Jeffery Amelung:

    Wow nice content you got there, it was a very cool subject you got there about rv.