A to Z challenge · Bloggers · languages

G is for … Guaraní

Blogging from A to Z

Theme: Languages of the World


Guaraní  belongs to the Tupi-Guaraní family of South America. It is spoken by 4.6 million people in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil. These languages are spoken by people who inhabit a vast area in the Amazon forest in Brazilian states and Paraguay in the south, and from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Andes of Bolivia and Peru in the west. Despite their geographical spread, the differences between the languages is relatively small, making it possible for the Portuguese Jesuits to develop a língua geral ‘common language’ which could be understood by everyone. The history and meaning of the name Guarani is a subject of dispute due to lack of historical records. Prior to the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, the Guarani people referred to themselves as Aba ‘men’. The term Guaraní was originally applied by early Jesuit missionaries to refer to natives who had accepted conversion to Christianity.

Fascinating facts about Paraguay

Paraguay is a landlocked country in central South America. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de Sudamérica (“Heart of South America”). The official name of Paraguay is the Republic of Paraguay.

Paraguay got independence from Spain on May 14, 1811. This day is celebrated with a lot of festivities every year.

The Itaipu Dam built across the Parana River is the 2nd largest hydroelectric power plant on the planet. Since 2012 the Three Gorges Dam in China is the largest. The Itaipu Dam is situated on the border with Brazil; the dam is owned by both countries.

Tereré or Tererê (of Guaraní origin) is an infusion of yerba mate  similar to mate but prepared with cold water and ice rather than with hot, and in a slightly larger vessel. It is Paraguay’s national drink.

Most homes in Paraguay have no doorbells. Instead, you are expected to announce your arrival by clapping your hands.

Paraguay’s flag is the only national flag in the world to have different emblems on the obverse (front) and reverse (back). The front of the Paraguay flag has the country’s state coat of arms on it, and the back has the country’s Treasury Seal.

There is a failed Nazi village in the middle of Paraguay with only two old Germans left.

Thanks for reading 🙂