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Guarani language

Guaraní (gwah-rah-'nee) [gwara'ni] is a language spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and northwestern Brazil. It belongs to the Tupi-Guarani[?] language family.

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.

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 (hoe-pah-'rah) [xopa'ra].



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