There’s nothing like drinking something nice cold beverage on a hot day, right? Ahhhhhhhh. Water, tereré, juice, beer, whatever your hydration of choice is, just make sure it’s cold. Better yet, make sure it’s “ho’ysã porã.” That’s Guarani for “nice and cold.” This is one of those Guaraní words where the “y” is really a “u” sound. It is pronounced “ho” (home) “y” (consume) “sã” (salami) “po” (police) “rã” (ramen noodles, or Ramada) with an emphasis on the last syllable of each word. You might remember “porã” means beautiful. A cold drink on a hot (or “ haku “) day in Paraguay really is a thing of beauty.

A glass of beer on a table

“Ho’ysã porã” is not just limited to beverages though. An air conditioned room can be “ho’ysã porã” as can be a cool fall day (they’re coming, I swear). As we pass from fall into winter the days will turn from “ho’ysã porã” to “ro´y,” or cold in Guarani. This is another instance in which the “y” sounds like a “u.” That´s “ro” (Rome) “y” (Uma) with an emphasis on the last syllable, kind of like you´ve been punched in the gut… “ro-UUU!” While it is not correct to say you are feeling “ho’ysã,” you can say you are “ro´y” (that would be “che ro´y”). Be sure to enjoy the nice, cool “ho’ysã porã” days of fall before we get to the “ro´y” days of winter!

The “y” as a “u” sound in Guarani can be quite tricky to master. Here is the best tip I have come across for English speakers: open your mouth as if you were going to make an “eeeee” (Easter) sound but make a “uuuu” sound instead. If you are interested in the ins and outs of Guarani pronunciation I suggest checking out the Lets Talk Guaranime blog and podcast.