There are lots of reasons to visit Chile. A stunning and one of the most diversified landscapes is one of them. In about 4000km of coast offering the driest desert of the earth (the Atacama desert), a region called Lake District with volcanos, deep blue lakes and silent green forests and awe-inspiring Patagonia with its rain forests, fjords and glaciers, you might well find your very own piece of paradise.

But apparently that alone is not attracting enough tourists. The chilean ministry for tourism has recently shifted their focus on a very special group of visitors: us! The young globetrotter, yearning to discover the world and its wonders and maybe to fall in love with a local. Check out this pretty funny promotional video called “Chile is yours“:

As I have spent almost two years living in Chile, I was able to make quite a few experiences with Chilean guys. So, if you are inspired to travel to Chile after watching this video and want to participate in the national past-time of lying around in public parks with your darling like in this photo…

photo by Jessie Reeder

… or if you already found your handsome Chilean but you struggle with some cultural / language problems, then continue reading carefully. I have a few tips for you to deal with them. I hope they will help you!

  • Don’t wonder why your boy always wants to stay at your place. A lot of Chileans live with their parents until they get married. That’s also the reason why he always wants to take you to the park.
  • If he decides to introduce you to his parents – which is first a real big step, it means he really likes you! – don’t expect to sleep in one room together, if you are staying over night. Chile is catholic. It introduced divorce only in 2004 – as the last country in the world! Habits won’t change that fast, so enjoy your night alone in his little sister’s bedroom next door.
  • He’s taking you out, you’re having a great evening and you are ending up in – a motel! That’s normal. For reasons we already know he can’t take his girl home, so Chileans have very often their first, second and third intimite encounters at a motel. Don’t be surprised if you have trouble finding a free room – there are plenty, you just have to keep looking!

photo by J Philipson

Since English is not likely to get you very far with Chileans, here a few more

Tips on vocabulary:

pololo / polola = boyfriend / girlfriend (the Spanish word “novio/novia” means in Chile that you are already engaged!)

Estoy pololeando = I have a boyfriend/girlfriend

po = you will always hear that at the end of a phrase, but it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s an abbreviated form of “pues” used to add emphasis.

piola = relaxed, calm, quiet

bacán = perfect, very good, the best thing / person

huevón / huevona = a whole book could be written about this very common word – it was once described as Chile’s best addition to the Spanish language, but long story short: it means something like “dude”

cachar = to get it, to understand sth., it derives from the English word “to catch” -> Cachai? = Do you understand?

gallo / galla = guy

gringo / gringa = foreigner, usu. from Northern America, Europe or Australia. Used negatively, neutrally as well as positively

guata = belly

guagua = baby

micro = local bus

al tiro = immediately

choro = cool, neat

ya = okay

la raja = amazing, excellent

If you already got that far into “chileno” and there were no new words on the list for you, here is just the perfect book for you to understand his friends as well. You can also get it here.

photo by Edgardo

Last tip: A cliché but not untrue – if you are blond, the chances are very good to find your future husband in Chile!

*Article written by Franziska Gutsche

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