There are so many unique things about Chile, a country with one of the longest coastlines in the world, stretching 4,620 km (2,647 miles) from the Northern border with Peru right to the very tip of the Americas.
This is our 10 interesting facts about Chile as we travelled from the dry San Pedro desert in the North all the way to Torres del Paine in the breezy snowy Patagonian south.
#1 THE CHILEAN ACCENT: a new way of speaking Spanish!
Just when you thought you’d mastered the Spanish language, you arrive in Santiago totally confused, wondering what on earth anyone is saying to you…
Meet: the Chilean accent! It’s like nothing else you’ve encountered before and by far the most unique across Latin America. It’s fast, with a strong almost sing-song-like sound, with specific letters and phrases cut off from words and new ones thrown in for good measure.
For example, in Chilean Spanish, the letter s is usually avoided, so in a shop, “200 pesos” (dos cientos pesos), becomes do ciento peso. The word for thank you, gracias sounds like gracia and mas o menos (more or less) is pronounced ma o meno.
Chileans also take off the d from words ending with ado, so words like supermercado become supermercao and the Spanish word for fish, pescado sounds like pecao as both the s and the d are dropped. And for good measure, random words like po are randomly thrown in every other sentence, even after a simple yes or no: si po or no po.