Cachai, yapo, huevon…..you don’t understand? It is also Spanish.

I have prepared for you a little guide to speak Chilean language.

Chile flag

When I first moved to another country the most important thing for me was to learn the language. What is the worst thing for someone who loves talking so much, like me for example,  if it’s not being able to communicate verbally with locals? Even when I travel to a foreign country I try to learn some basic frases and words that would enable me to communicate better and make my experience richer. And it is fun! I am also sure that it is well appreciated by the people you meet, the fact that you put some interest and effort into knowing their language and culture.

I find it quite fascinating the whole business of language learning. Sometimes though, you think you can speak the language, let’s say…Spanish for example, you travel to Chile…and boom! You feel as if you landed in some other country. They don’t prepare you in a classroom to survive in the chilean jungle, as the author of the book How to Survive in the Chilean Jungle, Alvaro Taboada, used to say. To make the life a little easier for some of you who are planning to visit Chile, I have prepared a list of some Chilenismos (Spanish chilean language) – slang words and frases used in Chile. You are a fluent Spanish speaker? Well, as some of my native spanish friends admit, speaking in Chile is a whole other story. Endow yourself then with those phrases before going to Chile.

 Buy Now
 

See also: Chilean bucket list.

Laguna Miscanti, Chile

?

Cachai, yapo, huevon….nie rozumiecie? To równie? hiszpa?ski. Kiedy po raz pierwszy przeprowadzi?am si? do innego kraju, najwa?niejsz? dla mnie spraw? by?a nauka j?zyka. Co mo?e by? gorszego dla kogo? kto uwielbia du?o rozmawia?, jak ja na przyk?ad, ni? niemo?no?? porozumienia si? z tubylcami. Nawet kiedy podró?uj? do obcego kraju staram si? nauczy? podstawowych s?ów i zwrotów, aby lepiej si? porozumie? i aby moje do?wiadczenia z podró?y by?y poka?niejsze i bogatsze. No i jest to ?wietna zabawa! Jestem równie? przekonana, ?e tubylcy doceniaj? to, ?e przyjezdni  interesuj? si? ich kultur?, j?zykiem i zadaj? sobie trudu, aby si? czego? dowiedzie? lub nauczy?.

Dla mnie ca?y ten biznes nauki j?zyków jest dosy? interesuj?cy. Czasami jednak, wydaje si? wam, ?e potraficie mówi? w pewnym j?zyku, powiedzmy… po hiszpa?sku na przyk?ad, jedziecie do Chile…i bum! Czujecie si? jakby?cie wyl?dowali w innym kraju. Na lekcjach hiszpa?skiego nie przygotowuj? jak przetrwa? w d?ungli chilijskiej, jak autor ksi??ki “Jak prze?y? w d?ungli chilijskiej”, Alvaro Taboada, mawia?. Aby u?atwi? nieco ?ycie dla tych z was, którzy planujecie wypraw? do Chile, przygotowa?am list? niektórych s?ów i zwrotów chilijskiego slangu. Mówisz biegle po hiszpa?sku? Có?, jak kilku moich rodowych znajomych z Hiszpanii przyzna?o, rozmowa w Chile to ca?kiem inna historia. Wyposa? si? wi?c w kilka nowych zwrotów przed wyjazdem do Chile.

chilean slang board

A little guide to the use of Spanish in Chile.

Chilenismo                          Direct translation                       Real meaning  

  • A donde la viste?                                 Where did you see that?                                  I don’t believe it/ No way!
  • Agarrar papa                                        Grab a potato                                                     To take advantage of a situation
  • Arreglarse los bigotes                          To sort out your moustache                          To arrange something in secret
  •  Al tiro                                                     To pull                                                                Right now    
  •  Andar con el dragon                            Walk with the dragon                                     To have a bad breath
  • Avispate!                                                 Wasp yourself                                                   Wake up!
  • Buena onda                                             A good wave                                                     Great stuff; Cool.
  • Cachai?                                                    To catch                                                             To understand/ Got it?
  • Creerse la muerte                                   One thinks he is death                                   One loves himself
  • Curado                                                      Cured                                                                 Drunk
  • Dedos crespos                                          Curly fingers                                                    To be unhelpful
  • Dejar la escoba                                         To leave a broom                                            To make a mess
  • Echar al agua                                            To throw out water                                         To let the cat out of the bag
  • Esta peluda la prueba                             The test is hairy                                               The test is really difficult
  • Estoy pato                                                 I am a duck                                                       I have no money
  • Huevon                                                      Big egg                                                               Idiot, stupid
  • Marca chancho                                        A piggy label                                                     A no name label for clothes, shoes, etc
  • Mermelada(o)                                          Jam                                                                     Stupid
  • Mina/o                                                       Mine (as for minerals)                                   Good looking woman/men
  • No estar ni ahi                                          To not be even there                                       To not care
  • Patas negras                                              Black feet                                                          A lover
  • Péscame                                                      Fish me                                                             Listen to me
  • Picado/a                                                      Chopped                                                           Spiteful
  • Plata                                                             Silver                                                                 Money
  • Sacar la cresta                                            To pull the comb                                             I am going to kill you
  • Salta pa’l lado                                             Jump to the other side                                  I don’t believe it
  • Ser seco para algo                                      To be dry for something                               To be the best at something
  • Ser pesado                                                   To be heavy                                                      To be annoying
  • Ir al chancho                                               To go to the pig                                               To be ludicrous, unrealistic
  • Tener cueva (mala/buena)                       To have a cave  (good/bad)                          To have good/bad luck
  • Te voy a subir y bajar                                 I’m going to take you up and down            I am really going to tell you off
  • Que papa!                                                     What a potato!                                                Really easy
  • Que plancha!                                                What an iron.                                                  How embarrasing!
And some more…
  • ¡Bacán! – Cool!
  • Caña -Hangover
  • Carretear – To party
  • Chabela –  Goodbye
  • Fome – uncool, boring
  • La hueva – Stuff
  • La raja – Awesome
  • Pololo/Polola – Boyfriend/Girlfriend
  • Pololear – To be in a relationship
  • Yo me rajo – I pay/ it’s on me.
  • 1 luca = 1000 pesos
  • Sipo / Nopo /yapo – Yes , no , ok
  • “Po” –  This is a “filler word” and has no meaning and does not add anything to the meaning at all. It is used at the end of words or phrases, for example: “Si po”, “hola po” etc.
  • “Cachai” is being used as a full stop at the end of every sentence.
See also: Keep calm and go to Chile…What you need to know before your trip.

Chilean accent

Apart form the dialect that is so extensively used in Chile, it is spoken so fast that it is hard to differentiate particular words. It seems that people here take a deep breath and try to squize as many words as possible to say aloud on that one breath. Another thing I have struggled with at first is that they ‘eat’ some consonants, for example: “pescado” (fish) is pronounced here “pescao”; “helado” (ice cream)- in Spanish pronounced ‘elado’, in Chile: “elao”. For all plural words, the final ‘s’ is being eaten too. For someone who is not fluent in Spanish, it is quite a big deal to follow and understand the full meaning of the conversation. I hope this will help you a little bit while you are trying to figure out what they really mean when talking to you.

?

Oprócz dialektu, który jest w Chile tak powszednio u?ywany, jest on tak szybko wypowiadany, ?e trudno rozró?ni? poszczególne s?owa. Wydawa?oby si?, i? ludzie tutaj bior? jeden g??boki wdech i staraj? si? wcisn?? jak najwi?cej s?ów jak to tylko mo?liwe do wypowiedzenia na tym jednym wdechu. Kolejn? rzecz?, z któr? trudno mi by?o si? upora? by? fakt, ?e wiele spó?g?osek jest zjadanych, na przyk?ad: “pescado” (ryba) jest wypowiadana “pescao”; “helado” (lody)- po hiszpa?sku ‘elado’, w Chile “elao”. We wszystkich wyrazach w liczbie mnogiej, ko?cowa literka ‘s’ jest równie? zjadana. Dla tych, którzy nie mówi? biegle po hiszpa?sku, to jest ca?kiem niez?y problem ze zrozumieniem pe?nego znaczenia rozmowy. Mam nadziej?, ?e to zestawienie wam troch? pomo?e podczas prób zrozumienia o co im tak naprawd? chodzi, kiedy z tob? rozmawiaj?.

chilean language

Thank you for visiting. I hope this little guide helps you a little while traveling to Chile. Enjoy and have fun!

logo (4

Did you like the post? Pin it for later:

chilean language, chile

[wysija_form id=”1″]