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Since even good students of Spanish find it quite challenging to understand the specific dialect and slang of Chileans, we will describe some of the most common national variants of Spanish, which Chileans call castellano (after its origin in Castilia). A popular means of emphasis that is used in many countries but seems especially popular in Chile is repeating words. So, in a restaurant, it's a good idea to order café café, if you want the real thing instead of the ubiquitous instant coffee.The Chileans are among the fast-talkers of the Hispanic world. And someone living in the very center of the city might say, Yo vivo en el centro centro.
We’d like to share our conversation with a couple of fifth grade Spanish Immersion students, Abby and Maria. – At the beginning, I didn’t know Spanish at all and the teacher spoke Spanish.
She wouldn’t tell you how to say each word but instead just talked to us all the time and we just somehow started understanding her.
This wouldn't be too bad if they didn't also swallow parts of words that actually enhance comprehension - such as the final 's', which will leave you guessing as to singular or plural most of the time. The massive use of the diminutive suffixes '-ito' und '-ita' can also be found in other Latin American countries.
So you might at first have a problem with dialogs such as, "¿Cómo estas? They do not just mean 'little', as in niñito (little boy) or mesita (small table), but they have additional functions such as expressing endearment by using '-ito/ita' (mamita) or diminishing the urgency, directness or importance of a thing or an action.
I would sit there and feel a little lost, but it got easier pretty quickly.
Tell me about a time that you were able to use Spanish outside of the classroom.
– We’ve traveled to Florida and were in a situation where we needed help and the people there only spoke Spanish.
I was able to translate between my parents and the staff.
This will help you make contact with the locals and allow you to ask for information in difficult situations.
This website does not wish to replace the intensive course or phrase book. Using these very informal expressions is strictly sanctioned in some circles, and since they sound strange coming from the mouth of a foreigner anyway, they are best left alone.