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Before You Go: Five Words to Know in Chilean Slang

Where: Chile
August 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM | by | Comment (1)

When you visit Chile for the first time, you'll notice very quickly that while the locals are technically speaking Spanish, their dialect is 1) very fast and 2) filled with slang words. You will be understood if you speak proper Spanish, but understanding a local will be much easier if you spend some time learning their lingo. Plus, you want to sound cool, right? Below, we've provided a few words that are simple to remember to help get you started:

Chela: A synonym for "cerveza," impress the bartender or waitress by ordering a "chela" instead.

Carrete: Whether it's at someone's house, at a bar, or in the middle of the Atacama Desert, don't go looking for a "fiesta" in Chile. Instead, you'll want to keep your ears out for a carrete, or "party."

Cachai?: "Me entiendes?" will still do the trick, but the local way to discern whether or not someone understands you is to ask them, "cachai?" Keep this phrase in your back pocket for any situation where you need to communicate something, whether bargaining at a market, ordering a drink, or arranging a tour with an adventure outfitter.

Bacán: If you want to sound hip and say that something is cool, use the phrase "Que bacán!"

Weón/Weona: When used softy and in calm situations, weón and weona are simply slang ways to refer to a guy or a gal. But if used in the heat of the moment, watch out. The terms can also be used to call someone a jerk, idiot, or fool.

[Photo: CIEE.org]

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So useful

My Spanish is so formal. I wish I had known the phrase for Man Whore before my trip the other month! :)

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