Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

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Alligator Dundee
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Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by Alligator Dundee » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:52 pm

I lived in Ecuador for six months, in Equatorial Guinea for about six months, and in Mexico for about six months, so my Spanish used to be really good. It's been 20 years since I spoke it daily, but I'd pick it up pretty quickly again (as I did a couple of years back when I went to Costa Rico for a month).

How is Chilean Spanish? I've heard it's... unusual. Well, to be frank, a Columbian told me that he hates Chilean Spanish. He said the accent is ugly and they use too much weird slang. That's just one man's opinion, though.

Can anyone who knew Spanish before they moved to Chile tell me about their Spanish?

Thanks.

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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by alextrombone » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:42 pm

Chilean Spanish is often considered almost like a completely different language due to their use of various slang words and pronunciation. I’ve also heard it described as “the worst” of all the Spanishes. To speak and to listen to. I studied European Spanish at university and have a Chilean wife and I still struggle sometimes. There’s not a lot of great English speakers, especially in the south, so it’s worth brushing up on your Spanish if you can.

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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by fraggle092 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:28 pm

NEgH0sO.jpeg
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by admin » Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:02 pm

fraggle092 wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:28 pm
NEgH0sO.jpeg
:lol:
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by admin » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:18 am

The problem with chilean spanish is, it is not just the mechanics of the language.

It is a culture where you can speak absolutely perfect chilean spanish, and the chilean you are speaking to will simply shutdown and refuse to communicate because they have limited foriegn experience, they get embarrassed easy, -----insert long list of strange cultural phycological quirks of chilean culture here----.

This gets particularly pronounced in the lower economic, less educated, classes in chile. Intellectual laziness can get really absurd and at times comical.

Succesful communication typically takes two or more people involved. You will run to situations where it is obvious there is nothing going on upstairs with the person you are talking to.
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by admin » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:23 am

Let me put it this way.

I have seen this "intellectual laziness" when my wife, native born, native speaker, talks to a lower class Chileans.

But, if you are foriegner and a second language speaker, trying to figure out if you have communicated with the other person correctly, it gets a million times harder when the other person is actively trying avoid understanding what you are saying.
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by nwdiver » Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:16 pm

admin wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:23 am
Let me put it this way.

I have seen this "intellectual laziness" when my wife, native born, native speaker, talks to a lower class Chileans.

But, if you are foriegner and a second language speaker, trying to figure out if you have communicated with the other person correctly, it gets a million times harder when the other person is actively trying avoid understanding what you are saying.
Yeh, I get that all the time so I try to phase everything in yes/no questions and hope I get a real answer, and my Chilean, opps Spanish was learned in Chile, then I found communicating in other Spanish speaking countries so easy......well except for Cuba they are as bad as Chileans....

For me this goes along with asking directions, I don’t bother any more as you will always receive a response often very wrong, the responder would never admit they have no clue what you are asking for but may give detailed directions to the middle of nowhere.....
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by admin » Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:36 pm

Never had a problem in cuba, but then also I did a semester with a cuban spanish teacher in the states.

pretty much every other spanish country I have been to recently, I have only gotten asked what I said because I was honestly tired and mumbling; but, at least they stopped me and asked for clarification. Chileans will just walk away, and interpret it as whatever they think they want it to be.
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by fraggle092 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:05 pm

nwdiver wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:16 pm
For me this goes along with asking directions, I don’t bother any more as you will always receive a response often very wrong, the responder would never admit they have no clue what you are asking for but may give detailed directions to the middle of nowhere.....
I think the Opinion Polls suffer from the same problem. The answer given tends to be whatever the responder thinks is the most advantageous one for them in that situation. It may even be the truth sometimes. But often it isn't!

Doesn't just happen to gringos. My Chilean wife has been a victim of wrong directions several times....
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by snobrd4life » Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:34 pm

admin wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:18 am

This gets particularly pronounced in the lower economic, less educated, classes in Chile. Intellectual laziness can get really absurd and at times comical.
This is true regardless where in the world. Language is much more than the combination of words that exit one's mouth. Plenty of Americans would struggle, even in native English, to hold a meaningful/intelligible conversation with native English speakers in their same zip code depending on a number of factors- race, primarily.
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by admin » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:40 pm

snobrd4life wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:34 pm
admin wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:18 am

This gets particularly pronounced in the lower economic, less educated, classes in Chile. Intellectual laziness can get really absurd and at times comical.
This is true regardless where in the world. Language is much more than the combination of words that exit one's mouth. Plenty of Americans would struggle, even in native English, to hold a meaningful/intelligible conversation with native English speakers in their same zip code depending on a number of factors- race, primarily.
I am really good with foreign accents. Besides having a masters in Philosophy of language, it is literally in my job description. I get like 5 seconds to adjust when I answer the phone to whatever accent, in whatever type of broken English the caller might be speaking on the other end of the line and still not sound rude.

Well, my wife and I were in New York, and somehow ended up on the wrong bus to New Jersey. We asked the bus driver for directions. He spewed out a long something about something. My wife turned to me and asked, "what did he say"?

I said, "I have no idea".

Even funnier was our last trip to Europe. I had no problem figuring out in restaurants how to order in German, Russian, Italian, French, etc. I have never had a formal class in any of those languages, but I can muddle through. Especially after I have been there a few days.

We get to London. Waiter comes up to the table. He starts talking to me, and I just draw a blank. My wife looks at me and asks, "are you o.k."?

I was waiting for my brain to shift gears in to the new language, and it just would not do it. I was having trouble ordering dinner in English.

The waiter was a good sport. He was like, "we get that a lot around here".

But the Chilean thing is different. They simply do not want to go 50/50 on communication, or even 1% in. I don't think I can think of a culture that does something similar to that. It is even beyond what other latin american countries do when faced with a foreign accent. Way beyond.
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Re: Chilean Spanish? What do you think of it?

Post by Britkid » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:15 pm

Most people say that Chilean language is hard to understand compared to other Spanish speaking countries. In fact, it seems almost everyone thinks that. There are countless stories of gringos with almost fluent Spanish dropping into Chile after years in Peru or Mexico or whatever and not understanding any of it.

I seem to be in very much of a minority that I can understand it almost all, and could from the start.

The big exception is the slang. The problem is there is just so much of it that is so infrequently used. As long as the word is in a dictionary I'll probably know and understand it. There are about 5 slang words that you learn in the first weeks, then hundreds of others that I never learned, ever. You are talking to people in a group conversation and someone you've known for years drops a new slang word for the first time ever. I just have to stop the conversation and ask what it means.

As to the directions, imagine a certain situation in say England, you ask for directions and the person says something like "turn around, then go back this way (pointing), then take your second right after a traffic light onto Queen St, make sure to take the 90 degree right, not back to your right, then it will be on your right after about 50 yards, look for a stone archway". A Chilean in that same situation just says something very brief like "la segunda esquina" that tends to be ambiguous. But at least it's concise. When I asked for directons in English speaking countries, then tend to give me directions so long I can't remember it all. I used to have a policy of memorising the first four things they say, deliberating ignoring the rest while nodding along, and then ask for directions again after doing those four things.

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