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¿Cachai?: A Guide to Spanish and Chilean Slang

Has it been years since your last Spanish class? Have you never taken a Spanish class? Not to fear! We are here to give you a quick refresher as well as introduce you to some Chilean slang so you have all the right things to say on your next trek.

Useful Spanish Phrases

With about 400 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most common native language in the world. Although Spanish is the national language of Chile, there are a handful of other indigenous languages spoken including Quechua, Rapa Nui, Mapudungun, and Huilliche.

  • Hello – “Hola”
  • How are you? – “Cómo estás?”
  • Very well – “Muy bien”
  • What is your name? – “¿Cómo te llamas?”
  • My name is – “Me llamo (insert name)”
  • I am from – “Soy de (insert city)”
  • Nice to meet you – “Mucho gusto”
  • Good Morning – “Buenos días”

Chilenismos (Chilean Slang)

Chilean slang is notoriously famous for being difficult to understand and spoken incredibly fast. But we are giving you a few words and phrases to look out for so you will be talking like a local in no time!

  • Bacan – “very cool”
  • Hueón – “idiot,” but also used to call a friend
  • Buena onda – “good vibes, cool”: literally “good wave”
  • ¿Cachai? – “do you understand?”: literally means “catch?”
  • Al tiro – “Right away” literally “at the shot”
  • Echate al pollo – “Get out of here”: literally mean “throw it to the chicken”
  • ¡Que choro! – “How entertaining”

Review this list before you leave and keep your ears alert to the people around you. Remember: don’t get discouraged and your language skills will improve quickly!

¡Buen Viaje! – Have a great trip!