Monday, February 23, 2009

Jopara Guazu

On a recent day trip to buy blenders and computer accessories, my friend exclaimed ¨That was so cool Pooja!¨ ¨What?¨I responded. ¨In that last store, you had a conversation with a woman about Portuguese!¨ The saleswoman had spoken entirely in Portuguese, while I had spoken Portanhol, a combination of Spanish and Portuguese. Living near Brazil and being accustomed to speaking more than one language on a daily basis, it did not even strike me as unusual that I had negotiated the prices and technical specs of hard-drives in another language. My friend continued, ¨Most volunteers have to learn to speak two languages (Spanish and Guaraní), but you are speaking three!¨ The Paraguayans call their two-language combination Jopara, meaning mixture, but I speak Jopara Guazu (English, Spanish, Guaraní, and Portuguese = big mixture)!

The Mecca of Chuchiness

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