28 July 2011


Many people questioned why I would learn Spanish in Chile. They told me it was the same as going to Scotland to learn English - hard to understand and many unique words that are only in use in Chile...
But, as I countered, if I could understand Chilean Spanish, I could understand most Spanish around the world....plus I liked it.
Chilean Spanish is musical. They speak fluidly and run words together. Once on the subway I heard a man singing, or so I thought....he was just talking on his cell phone. Chileans speak beautifully.

Now what about the differences..... Well of course they exist, but I liked them.
Chileans often drop 's's from words, so for example Buenas Días becomes Buena Día. Actually they would more likely just say Buena. But I also learned this is a class indicator. People who drop the s are thought of as lower class / less educated. But honestly, I heard it frequently.

Another difference is the pronunciation of 'll'. In Chilean Spanish it sounds like a soft j in English, such as the g in the word giraffe. So for example llaves (keys) sounds like javes. Milliones sounds like mijones. It's correct pronunciation for Chile, but incorrect for other Spanish speaking countries.

And finally we come to words. I'll give the word in English and Chilean.... And if I know it, I'll put the word in Spanish as well in parentheses.

Boyfriend/Girlfriend - Pololo/Polola (novio/novia)
Corn - chocolo (maiz)
Pumpkin- zapallo
Zucchini - zapallo de Italia (zucchini?)
Caramel - manjar (dulce de Leche)
Mini bus - migro (autobus)

There are others, but I just can't recall them at the moment.

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