We recognized that you liked the other article about “chilenismo” and we think that you are interested in knowing more about how Chilean people speak. Because really it seams that Chilean people sometimes try to setting themselves apart from the rest of South American Spanish.

MI self I didn’t spoke Spanish before I came to chile and I wanted to learn Spanish, so I studied for a while. But only studying you still will have problems to understand some people here… 🙂 so I tried to speak as much as possible with Chileans, but then I had the problem that my teachers told me that if I speak like this in spain, they won’t understand me 🙂 but I like the Chilean Spanish, even if its not very helpful for formal speaking…. So here I will show you some sentences, touch phrases and comparisons that I heard during my time in chile and found all over internet…

First some words you have to know, some of them you already rode the last time, but to fresh up and show you some new ones.

  1. ¿Como estai?

¿Como estai? means ¿Como estás? (how are you?). The singular “you” structure in Chilean Spanish is often conjugated informally with “i.” “en que andai” “Que pensai”,…. “Cachai”

  1. ¿Cachai?

From the verb cachar meaning “to catch,” so  “do you catch?” it means the same like “you know?” or “you got it?”

  1. ¿Qué onda?

informal way to mean, “what’s going on?” or “how’s it going?” With a little more emphasis and a bit of indignation, ¿qué onda? can mean, “what’s wrong with you?” or “what’s your deal?”

  1. Sipo

“Si” means “yes” and the “po” comes from the Word “pues” wich could be translatet like “well” but Chilean people doesn’t use it only for well, they almost put it at the endd of every expression. For example : Yapo, nopo, no cachai po, donde estai po, tai loco po,….

  1. Completo

This delicious Chilean specialty is nothing more than a grilled hotdog smothered in avocado, chopped tomatoes, and mayonnaise. And it tastes especially good after a party when you have some munchies,…

  1. Carretear

Carretear means “to party!” This phrase is not intended for a 5-year-old’s birthday party; instead, it is reserved for all-night drinking benders, bar-hops and barbeques. Carreterefers to the party it self.

  1. Pololo

The normal Word for boyfriend or girlfriend(polola) here in chile when it isn’t still that serious. When it gets more serious you call It novio o novia, but to call your girlfriend like this you almost have to be promised.

  1. Fome and Bakan

Pronounced “foh me,” this Chilenismo translates best to “lame.” (Example: this party is lame.) The exact opposite is bakan, pronounced “bak án,” meaning “awesome” or “cool.”

Second the comparisons, Chilean people us that very often and I can’t translate them with the sense they have but I think you should understand, at least some of them: Enfatizar una situación, haciendo una comparación graciosa:

– Más prendido que tele de conserje      = more on than the televisión of a                                                                       guardian

– Más raro que paco rubio                      = stranger than a blond cop

– Más helado que pasillo de yogurt        = colder that the corridor where are                                                                    the yogurt

– Más asustada que monja con atraso   = more afraid than a nun with delay

– Más seco que piojo de muñeca           = dryer than a louse of a doll

– Más helado que poto de pingüino       = colder than the but of o pinguin

– Más  asustado que pescado en Semana Santa   = More scared than fish                                                                                      at Easter

– Más esperado que fin de mes. = Than expected like the end of the month.

–  Más apretado que peo de visita    = more clasped than the fart of a guest

– Más corto que beso de marido         = Shorter than the kiss of a husband

– Más puntual que novia fea             = More punctual than ugly girlfriend

Third, here are some typical ways to speak of Chilean, which will call your attention:

  • Chilean people makes some vocales larger than they are: hace calooooooooooor, tengo haaaaaaaaaaambre, estoy cansaaaaaaaaaaaaado.
  • Making things smaller than they are: . “Vamos a un asadito”, “tomémonos una cervecita o un vinito”, “espérame un chiquitito
  • The contradiction: we start with a disclaimer, facing a statement. “Cómo estás?”  – “No, igual bien”.Vas a ir al cine? – No, si ya salimos.- “Cómo está tu pega?  – Nada, ahí trabajando
  • If we greet we repeat the questions twice:

Cómo estás?

Bien y tú?

Bien también.

¿Y cómo te ha ido?

Bien y a ti?

  • We use animals to express:

Hagamos una vaca

Te fuiste al chancho

Te echaste el pollo

Estoy pa’l gato.

  • Transformation of words to persons or situations wich sounds similar.

Y boston? (Y Voh’)

Estoy Jennifer (estoy llena)

Cómo andamio? (cómo andamos)

Estoy Liz Taylor (estoy lista)

  • We are little direct and unclear when not want to do something.

“Te confirmo después”, “hablemos en la semana”.

I hope this will help you to understand a little bit better the chilean people!? and i hchilenismoope you could laught about the one or the other, even if you are chilean 🙂 i am sure i will learn more to teach you more stuff like this!!

read you soon


Chilenismo: Chilean’s slang

What a better way to start a guide than with a short wakeup call about Chilean expressions in order to get fully integrated with locals. Sometimes when you walk into the street there are some words you hear but you cannot understand such as: “cachai?”,“weon” “yapo/sipo/nopo”.. Then you start having doubts about your Spanish standard, but no worry I’ll improve you Spanish slang. But first, a short sum up about Chile, here in Chile we don’t speak Spanish but Castillan from The Castillan Kingdom. Here in Chile we do not pronounce any “S”, then “tres:3” becomes tre (tré), entonces (so…) becomes entonce (entoncé), all right, at least there is one advantage to this strange way of speaking is: no more problem with usted !!

   Here come some “fancy”words you may hear and use:

Pucha: damn it            La hueva: stuff

 Pololo/Polola: Boyfriend/girlfriend          Al tiro: right now

Huevon(a): Guy / stupid guy (use with caution)      Paco: cop (never in front of them)

Sipo (Siiiipô)/ Nopo /yapo: Yes , no , ok          Chabela: Ciao / good bye

La raja (rrraja, good luck to pronounce it !): awesome

Cachai?(at every end of a sentence): got it?

Carrete/ Carretear: party , to party         Pololear: to be in couple        

Caña ( because of pisco): hangover    Apagó la tele: blackout  

              Hueca: a stupid girl   ¡Bacán!: Cool!

Andar con el dragon (walk with the dragon): have a bad breath

  Punchi Punchi : electro music ( that’s actually the rhythm of electronic music)

Confort ( the brand): toilet paper        Borracho/curado: Drunk

Compadre: friend           1 luca(s): 1000 pesos

Plata: money

 Ayer fue a un carrete en bellavista, demasiado loco huevon, en la manana tuve una cana huevon, bebimo(s) piscola toda la noche…Fue la R(rrr)aja pô!  (Yesterday I went to a party in bellavista, it was crazy. But the morning I got a hangover ‘cause we drunk Pisco-coca cola all the night long. It was awesome!)

I hope you enjoyed this short Spanish lecture!