To follow-up on my Re-learning Spanish post, here are some of the uniquely Paraguayan expressions and manners of speech that I’ve caught onto during my travels.
- “Nderasore!” A Guaraní word that’s used a lot like “No way!” or “Shoot!” (and stronger variations thereof) in English. The literal meaning of the word in Guaraní is ‘maggot’.
- “…verdad.” This is the equivalent of when English speakers say ‘right’ or ‘right?’ at the end of their sentences. Also equivalent to the Canadian “eh” used at the end of sentences.
- “no mas” I’m not sure if this expression is used a lot in other Spanish-speaking countries, but it’s very frequently used here. Or maybe I’m just getting ordered around a lot. The expression translates to something like “just” combined with some kind of order like: just go ahead, just sit down, just eat.
- “impressionante!” This is a popular expression for talking about things that are exceptionally notable or surprising. For example, “La cantidad de carne que comen los Paraguayos es impressionante!” /”The amount of meat that Paraguayans eat is impressive (or amazing)!”
- “guapo/guapa” These words mean handsome (the male and female variant) generally in the Spanish-speaking world, but in Paraguay they particularly signify a person who is hard-working, since that’s considered a very attractive quality. When I tell people I’m working in the Chaco I get a lot of “Que guapa!” Not because working in the Chaco is going to make me pretty, but because only a hard-working kind of girl would go to the Chaco.
- “mira un poco” Literally means “look a little”, but translates more like “look here”.
- “super” Everything is super. Super cool, super neat, super good.
- “re-” This prefix is added to words to give them extra emphasis. For example, “¡re-spectacular!” is “really spectacular!”
Posted in: Language