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Paraguayan Spanish 101: Slang, Phrases, & More

- Hey, what are some words in Paraguayan Spanish?

-----You mean Guaraní?

-uhm I don’t think so, they speak Spanish in Paraguay, right?

-----Uhhh… Good question.

Did you know that in the history of Paraguay, the relationships between natives and the Spanish have been relatively good since the beginning!?

It’s said that right off the bat the Spanish started learning the native languages so they could better connect with the locals.

This reflects the current environment found in Paraguay, because currently many of those words, mainly of Guaraní origin, are in the everyday speech!

So get ready, to go on a linguistic adventure, we both came for Spanish, but we are going to leave knowing a little bit of Guaraní! ¡Vamos!

Summary of The Paraguayan Dialect

Amongst many others on this list, these are the top 3 Paraguayan words you should know!

  • Tranquilopa - All is good

  • Nandi vera - It’s okay

  • Vamosna - Let’s go please

There are a ton of Paraguayan phrases that don’t even look like Spanish. Take a look for yourself:

  • Ha upéi? - What’s up?

  • De gua’u nomás - It’s a joke

  • ¡Nákever! - It has nothing to do with that

Isn’t that nuts!? But don’t worry too much, always remember no matter how scary a dialect looks, it’s never that different.

If you listened to a Paraguayan podcast once a day for a month you would acquire all of this slang easily. Now let’s jump into the full list! Good luck!

Paraguayan Vocabulary/Slang

paraguayan animated people standing infront of the paraguayan flag with big words that say "Paraguayan Vocabulary"

Chera’a - Friend 👭

This is a word taken from the Guaraní language which means friend. For example:

¿Cómo vas chera’a?

(How are you doing, friend?)

Tereré - The national drink 🧉

Tereré is a drink that’s made from cold yerba mate, and juice.

Yacaré - Lover 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Just like we say the word lover in the sentence He was her lover, they use the word Yacaré in Paraguay. For example:

José es el yacaré de Julia

(José is the lover of Julia)

Ñoño - A big beer 🍻

This word, as weird as it looks, is used in many countries to mean a vast variety of things. However, in Paraguay, it’s simply a big bottle of beer. For example:

Quisiera dos ñoños y dos hamburguesas

(I would like two big bottles of beer and two hamburgers)

Japiro todo - Screw everything 🤦‍♂️

If you are really frustrated with life in general this might be the appropriate phrase for you. Japiro todo basically means F*** everything! For example:

Yo hice todo, yo me quedé después de clase, estudié lo más posible, y ahora esto? ¡Japiro todo!

(I did my it all, I stayed after class, I studied as much as possible, and now this? F*** Everything!!)

Guapo/a - Hard worker 👷‍♂️

The word Guapo is handsome in standard Spanish, angry in the Dominican Republic, and here in Paraguay, it means Hardworking. For example:

Tu primo trabajó hasta la madrugada ayer - Sí él es guapo

(Your cousin worked into the morning yesterday - Yeah he’s a hard worker)

Tranquilopa - All is good 👌

This word comes from the Standard Spanish word Tranquilo, and the Guaraní word Pa - meaning all. So it’s like in other countries that say Todo bien - meaning All good’. For example:

¿Cómo andas Emilio? - Tranquilopa

(How are you Emilio? - All is good)

Nandi vera - It’s okay 👍

This phrase means It’s okay and is used just as such. For example:

Lo siento por arruinar tus zapatos… - Nandi vera

(I am sorry for ruining your shoes… - It’s okay)

Chúrro pileta - A showoff 🤴

This slang can be used to describe somebody who flaunts their money, or shows off their body, muscles, etc. Basically it’s just a showoff. For example:

Mira ese chúrro pileta, podría tener todo el dinero en el mundo y aún no lo hablaría

(Look at that showoff, he could have all of the money in the world and I still wouldn’t talk to him)

Vamosna - Let’s go please 👏

This word is made up of two parts, Vamos - meaning Let’s go in Standard Spanish, and Na meaning Please in The Guaraní Language. Example:

Niñas vamosna, no quiero llegar tarde

(Girls let’s go please, I don’t want to arrive late)

Chake - Watch out! 😱

Normally you would say "¡ojo!" or "¡aguas!" to warn people to "watch out." but in Paraguay, they say "¡Chake!" - For example:

¡Chake! Ese hombre allí está texteando y manejando a la vez

(Watch out! That man is texting and driving)

Unique Paraguayan Expressions

paraguayan animated people standing infront of the paraguayan flag with big words that say "Paraguayan expressions"

Quitar una foto - Take a picture 📸

Normally in Spanish, the phrase would be Tomar una foto - however, in Paraguay, they use the word Quitar, which also means take or take off. For example:

Quédate allí voy a quitar una foto

(Stay there I am going to take a picture)

¡Nákever! - It has nothing to do with that 🙅‍♀️

This phrase comes from the much more common Nada que ver which means “Nothing to do with..” and it means the same thing, it’s just written and pronounced as one word. Ex:

Vos querés que te compre el almuerzo, por eso me dices eso - ¡Nákever!

(You want me to buy you lunch, that’s why you said that to me - That has nothing to do with it!)

Ha upéi? - What’s up? 🙋

The first time I spoke with a Paraguayan, I asked her about Paraguayan slang, she told me more or less that it’s barely Spanish, and that the way they say hello is Ha upéi. I was hella confused.

However - this is what makes Paraguayan Spanish so beautiful. Ex:

Ey María ¿Ha upéi? - Tranquilopa

(Hey María what’s up? - All is good)

De gua’u nomás - It’s a joke 😅

Gua’u means Joke in Guaraní, so this sentence means Of joke nothing more. For example:

Eey no te preocupes por el dinero fue de gua’u nomás

(Hey don’t worry about the money, it was just a joke)

Qué pokovi sos - That’s not yours 🤨

This is a common expression that’s used to communicate that “What you are touching right now does not belong to you”. For example:

Por favor no lo toques… qué pokovi sos

(Please don’t touch it… how daring you are)

Se armó un guarara - It was a whole thing’ 🙄

This phrase means that a situation became intensified, confusing, and incomprehensible. For example:

La mujer me pidió mi licencia de conducir, después me dijo para bajar el carro, se armó un guarara y me arrestaron.

(The woman asked for my license, and after she told me to get out of the car, a whole situation arose and they arrested me)

The Use of Voseo In Paraguayan Spanish

Similar to many other countries, Paraguayan Spanish utilizes "Vos" instead of "Tú" when addressing their family or friends.

If you're unfamiliar with Voseo and its usage, I recommend reading this article where I provide a detailed explanation of Voseo.

To provide you with a quick overview, Voseo comes with its own set of conjugations. However, it only applies to certain tenses, so there's no need to worry too much.

For instance, in the present tense, to conjugate a verb for Vos, you remove the "R" from the verb, place an accent mark on the last vowel, and add an "S" at the end.

For example: Escribir - R = Escribi + ´ + S = Escribís | Vos escribís = You write |

a chart showing how  to use the Voseo of Paraguay

If you want to understand all of the conjugations for Vos check out that article and you’ll learn all you need to know in 5 minutes!

Conclusion: Paraguayan Spanish Slang 101

As you can see, Paraguayan Spanish is incredibly unique, from the slang to the expressions used to the utilization of Vos instead of Tú.

Learning Paraguayan Spanish for me felt the most like learning a new language out of all of the dialects that I have studied.

The reason is that it is. Paraguayans have lived in harmony with the original indigenous peoples, and since the beginning have learned words and phrases of their languages.

This is clear when you look at their everyday speech. European descendants speaking indigenous languages, now that ain’t something you hear every day, pretty beautiful.

If you want to get a free lesson with a tutor, click here and Italki will give you a free $10 credit when you schedule your first lesson within 48 hours!

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you want to learn about other Spanish Dialects check out this series Spanish Dialect Breakdowns - where I go over the dialect of every Spanish-speaking!

It was fun discussing this with you,

¡Hasta luego! - Ben


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