|Castellano de Chile, Español de Chile|
|Native speakers||17 million (date missing)|
|Writing system||Latin (Spanish alphabet)|
Chilean Spanish (Spanish: español chileno, español de Chile or castellano de Chile) is the variety of Spanish spoken in most of Chile. Though still mostly mutually intelligible with standard Spanish, Chilean Spanish has distinctive pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and slang usage.
In Chile, there are not many differences between the Spanish spoken in the Northern, Central and Southern areas of the country, although there are notable differences in zones like Aysén, Magallanes, Chiloé, or Arica (especially in their accent). There is remarkable variation in the Spanish spoken by different social classes, however.
There are a number of phonetic features common to most Chilean accents, though none of them individually are unique to Chilean Spanish. Rather, it is the particular combination of features that sets Chilean Spanish apart from other regional Spanish dialects. These features include:
Pronominal voseo consists of using the pronoun vos (in Chile, [βos], [β̞os], [βoh] or [β̞oh]) in place of tú for the second person singular familiar/informal. Verbal voseo is the use of corresponding verb forms (tenís instead of tienes, hablái instead of hablas, etc.).
Voseo is common in Chile, with both Pronominal and Verbal voseo being widely used in the spoken language. However, unlike in neighboring Argentina, neither is deemed acceptable as part of any written document except as reported speech. Voseo of any kind is considered bad linguistic form and generally labels the speaker as unsophisticated, rude or lacking in education.
In Chile there are at least four grades of formality:
1. Pronominal and verbal voseo, that is, the use of the pronoun vos (with the corresponding voseo verbs).
For example: vos sabís, vos venís, vos hablái, etc. This combination occurs only in very informal situations and should be approached and used with caution by foreigners. It is always considered rude and insulting but is tolerated and enjoyed as part of friendly bonding and banter. However, with even a slight change in intonation it can change from a tone of friendly banter to a form of insult in a heated argument, even among friends. Non-natives should refrain from using vos until sufficient understanding of its use is gained.
2. Verbal voseo, using the pronoun tú.
For example: tú sabís, tú tenís, tú hablái, tú vivís, etc.
This kind of voseo is the predominant form used in the spoken language. It should never be used in formal situations or with people one is not very familiar with.
3. Standard tuteo.
For example: tú sabes, tú hablas, tú tienes, tú vienes, etc.This is the only acceptable way of writing the informal second person. Because of this more literary facet, its use in spoken language is reserved for slightly more formal situations such as (some) child-to-parent, teacher-to-student or peer-to-peer relations among people who aren't familiar with each other.
4. The use of the pronoun usted.
For example: usted viene, usted habla, usted tiene, etc. Used for all business and other formal interactions (e.g. student-to-teacher, but not always teacher-to-student), as well as upwards in situations where one person is considered to be well respected, older or of an obviously higher social standing. Stricter parents will demand this kind of speech from their children as well.
The Chilean voseo conjugation has only three irregular verbs in the indicative present: ser, ir, and haber.
In Chile there are various ways to say "you are" to one person. From the least to the most formal:
A comparison of the conjugation of the Chilean voseo, the general voseo used in Latin American countries except Chile, and the tuteo.
|Voseo (Chile)|| caminái,
|Voseo (general)|| caminás,
| camines, caminés*
*Rioplatense Spanish prefers the tuteo forms, whereas in Central America, Argentina, and in some regions of Colombia the voseo forms are used.
Chilean Spanish has a great deal of distinctive slang and vocabulary. Some examples of distinctive Chilean slang include chaucha (small change/coins), gallo/a (guy/gal), fome (boring), pololear (to go out as girlfriend/boyfriend), pelambre (gossip), poto (buttocks), quiltro (mutt) and chomba (knitted sweater). In addition, several words in Chilean Spanish are borrowed from neighboring Amerindian languages.
Lunfardo is an argot of the Spanish language that originated in the late 19th century among lower classes of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Coa is an argot common among criminals in Chile. It has been heavily influenced by Lunfardo. Examples of Lunfardo and Coa words and phrases in Chilean Spanish are:
The Mapudungun language has left a relatively small number of words in Chilean Spanish, given its relatively large geographic expanse. Most Mapudungun loans are names for plants and animals for example:
The Quechua language is probably the Amerindian language that has given Chilean Spanish the largest number of loan words. For example, the names of many American vegetables in Chilean Spanish are derived from Quechuan names, rather than from Nahuatl or Taíno as in Standard Spanish. Some of the words of Quechuan origin include:
An example of a text in normal, carefully spoken Latin American Spanish and the same text with -very- relaxed pronunciation in informal Chilean Spanish:
|Text||¡Cómo corrieron los chilenos Salas y Zamorano! Pelearon como leones. Chocaron una y otra vez contra la defensa azul. ¡Qué gentío llenaba el estadio! En verdad fue una jornada inolvidable. Ajustado cabezazo de Salas y ¡gol! Al celebrar [Salas] resbaló y se rasgó la camiseta.|
("Standard" Latin American Spanish)
|[ˈkomo koˈrjeɾon los tʃiˈlenos ˈsalas i samoˈɾano | peleˈaɾoŋ ˈkomo ˈle‿ones | tʃoˈkaɾon ˈuna j‿ˈot̪ɾa ˈβ̞es ˈkon̪t̪ɾa la ð̞eˈfens aˈsul | ˈke xen̪ˈt̪io ʝeˈnaβ̞a‿el esˈt̪að̞jo | em beɾˈð̞að̞ ˈfwe‿una xoɾˈnað̞a‿inolβ̞iˈð̞aβ̞le | axusˈt̪að̞o kaβ̞eˈsaso ð̞e ˈsalas i ˈɣ̞ol | al seleˈβ̞ɾaɾ rezβ̞aˈlo‿i se razˈɣ̞o la kamiˈset̪a]|
|[ˈkoːmo kɔˈɹjeːɾon̪ lɔh ʃiˈleːn̪o ˈsaːla‿i samoˈɾaːn̪o | peˈljaːɾoŋ komo ˈljoːn̪ɛh | ʃoˈkaːɾon̪ ˈuːn̪a j‿ot͡ɹ̝̥a ˈβ̞eːh kon̪t͡ɹ̝̥a la‿eˈfeːns aˈsuːl | ˈceː çen̪ˈt̪iːo jeˈn̪aː‿el eˈʰt̪aːð̞jo | ʔem bɛɾˈð̞aː ˈfweː‿un̪a xonˈn̪aː‿in̪olˈβ̞iaːule | ʔaxuˈʰt̪aːo kaβeˈsaːso‿e ˈsaːla‿i ˈɣ̞oːl | ʔal seleˈβ̞ɾaː ɹɛfaˈloː‿i se ɹaˈxoː la kamiˈseːt̪a]|
|Translation||"How those Chileans Salas and Zamorano ran! They fought like lions. They beat again and again against the blues' defense. What a crowd filled the stadium! In truth it was an unforgettable day. A tight header from Salas and... goal! Celebrating, Salas slid and ripped his shirt."|
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