Photo by wallygrom (back home!) on flickr.
If you had to learn just a handful of phrases to ease your trip to Chile, you’d do it, right? Some of these are basic Spanish, but they have a Chilean flair, as they’re how we say things here. They’ll work in other countries as well, but each country has its own way of doing things, so learning some Chile-specific Spanish may work in your favor.
Buenos días (good day/good morning, use before noon)
Buenas tardes (good afternoon)
Buenas noches (good night as either saying goodbye or greeting someone late)
Necesito/Quiero (I need, I want) … (fill in with the word you need)
Una consulta (polite way to say, excuse me, I’m about to ask you a question)
A cuánto está… (how much does it cost)
Habla inglés? (do you speak English?)
Dónde está… (where is…)
Queda lejos? (is it far?)
Cómo llego? (How do I get there?)
Socorro (help, generalized, shouted out!)
Ayúdame! (help me)
Necesito ir al médico (I need to go to the doctor)
Carabineros (police, but people also understand the word policia
Me robaron (I was robbed)
Me asaltaron (I was assaulted)
Por favor (please)
Muchas gracias (thanks alot)
For more advanced tips on how to decipher Chilean Spanish, see this post on Chilean Slang, Where to Begin.