Spanish and Guarani are the two official languages of the Republic of Paraguay, making it a bilingual nation. Nearly 87% of the country’s population speaks Spanish as either a first or second language. Spanish is an Indo-European language in the Romance branch.

Guarani is an indigenous language of the Tupian family which, along with Spanish, enjoys the status of an official language of Paraguay. The Guarani language is spoken by about 4,650,000 people, which translates to over 90% of the people of Paraguay. 52% of the Guarani speakers in rural areas are monolingual. Guarani also has a significant number of non-indigenous speakers, which is a rare phenomenon in the countries and regions where European colonial languages dominate the linguistic landscape. There is a large number of Spanish-Guarani bilingual speakers in Paraguay, which is why there are many expressions used in the country which tend to mix the two languages.

Indigenous and minority languages spoken in Paraguay by about 50,000 speakers include: Ache, Ayoreo, Chamacoco, Iyo’wujwa (Chorote), Kaskiha, Lengua, Maka, Nivacle, Pai Tavytera, Sanapana, Toba Qom, and Maskoy. Some of these languages, such as Maskoy, are at the brink of extinction due to the extremely low number of people who speak the languages.

Some of the foreign languages spoken by the people in Paraguay include Portuguese, Italian, German, and Plautdietsch. These languages were primarily brought in by immigrants into the country. Moreover, the deaf community of Paraguay communicates using the Paraguayan Sign Language, which is the deaf sign language of the country. The Paraguayan Sign Language is not intelligible with neighboring languages nor with American Sign Language.


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