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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Paraguay: the heart of South America
    2017-July-10  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

Landlocked Paraguay is a South American country bordered by Argentina (south and southwest), Bolivia (northwest and north) and Brazil (northeast and east). It is divided north to south by the Paraguay River; its central location has earned it the nickname “The Heart of South America.”

One of Paraguay’s official languages is Spanish, but the other — the native tongue of the Guarani people — is spoken by the majority of the population. Roughly half of rural dwellers are monolingual, speaking Guarani alone.

English has borrowed a small number of Guarani words, mainly for such animals as the jaguar, piranha, and tapir. The names of Paraguay and nearby Uruguay, as well as of the drug Ipecac and the acai berry, also come from Guarani. And the fruit called guarana shares a root (meaning “people”) with the name of the tribe and its language.

The Guarani lived in the area for over a thousand years before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century. While Catholicism and the Spanish language and culture were introduced, Paraguay was never central to Spain’s colonial empire. After independence in 1811, the country was increasingly isolated. A disastrous war in the 1860s, along with disease, caused the loss of 60 to 70 percent of Paraguay’s population. The country also lost one quarter of its territory to neighboring Argentina and Brazil.

After further oppression through most of the 20th century, the country emerged in 1989 as a unitary presidential constitutional republic. Today, its population of around 6.5 million is concentrated mainly in the southeast, nearly a third living around the capital city of Asunción.

Paraguay is part of Mercosur (based on the Spanish and Portuguese words meaning the “Southern Common Market”), a regional economic collaborative which includes Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, along with other associate and observer countries totaling nine more.

Tourists to Paraguay today enjoy historic architecture (including old Spanish mission churches), archaeological sites, and immense natural areas.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. a big cat

2. Spanish for “conquerors”

3. use of power in a cruel way

4. buildings meant for teaching native peoples about Christianity

5. causing great destruction

6. a vicious fish

7. people who live in the countryside

8. speaking only one language

9. common source

10. cooperative organization

 

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