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Paraguayans communicate in code at Copa
Published : 08 Jul 2011 20:00:14
Portuguese and Spanish-speaking media at the Copa America are having a hard time trying to crack the code as they report on Paraguay.
Brazil's Group B rivals take on the auriverde on Saturday in Cordoba, but most media, and likewise any spies from the Brazilian camp, will come away from Paraguay's training sessions none the wiser if they rely on pitchside banter.
That's because some 80 percent of Paraguayans speak the local ethnic language Guarani as their mother tongue, as opposed to Spanish.
Black, white, mixed race, rich or poor, the Paraguayans happily communicate in the tongue which is incomprehensible for those from around the continent who only speak Spanish or Portuguese.
They make a bit of an exception for coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino and his assistants, who are Argentinians and who only have a basic grasp of the vocabulary being used by the squad on the pitch.
Sometimes the players resort to simpler methods - a Tarzan-like shriek can mean a striker is headed for the penalty area and wants the ball played through into his path.
Or else a simple "aime" (I am ready) for signalling one is about to make a pass or ready to receive one.
The vocabulary is rich, but bears no resemblance whatsoever to Spanish footballing parlance.
"Peyopike" refers to closing an opponent down while "yajake" essentially means "let's get going, come on", when an attack is in the offing.
To counter would-be ball hoggers, the cry is "eme'e" - pass.
In the face of rival pressure a player might be told "emboveve" - just get rid of it, while "einupa" is shoot, although, away from goal, it could loosely also mean, "welly it," or "hoof it" in colloquial English.
When it comes to 'taking out' an opponent there are various possibilities, ranging from enaka-o" (literally, cut his head off) or "eipi-aka (kick him in the stomach).
And if a star player is having one of his quieter days, there is always the instruction "eyejechaka" - show yourself, don't hide.
Not that the team will be doing that against the five-time world champions.
The squad even have their own early warning signal for when exhibitionist model and mega-fan Larissa Riquelme turns up to watch.
"Penatendeke, chake ou Larissa" (watch out lads, here comes Larissa).