ASUNCION – Paraguay’s Guarani Language Academy published on Monday the first official grammar of the indigenous language, a move that academy president Carlos Ferreira described to EFE as another step toward the implementation of bilingualism.
The government secretary for language policy, Ladislaa Alcaraz, was present for the formal presentation of the grammar at the congressional library in Asuncion, hailing the publication as “a historic event that marks a milestone in the normalization of the use of Guarani in public administration.”
She noted that the 2010 language law established that all printed government documents would have to be translated into Guarani once an official alphabet and grammar were published.
The alphabet was completed in 2015 and with the completion of the grammar, Paraguay is now officially bilingual, Alcaraz said.
The product of nearly three years of work, the grammar brings together all of the relevant materials going back to 1640, Ferreira said.
The Paraguayan Constitution recognizes both Spanish and Guarani as official languages and citizens have a legal right to have access to public information in both idioms.
Paraguay’s most recent language census, taken in 1992, showed that 90 percent of the population were competent in both Spanish and Guarani.