Chile's Official Language
Chile's official language is Spanish. If you want to be able to speak with a Chilean, use Spanish.
Chileans, like many Latin Americans, speak Spanish as their primary language. When asked what language they speak, Chileans will often respond "Castellano" or Castilian instead of "Espaņol." Chileans have adapted Spanish with their own slang and manner of speaking.
The English language is taught in schools and is the language of international business. The English taught in grade schools isn't really enough for fluent conversations with a native English speaker. If you will be visiting heavy tourist spots, odds are your guide or those with whom you interact will speak enough English to get the point across.
Southern Chile has several areas with rich German heritage. You may find some people here that speak German.
Chile does have some indigenious residents that have preserved their native languages. These people are found in the extreme north and southern parts of the country as well as on Easter Island.
you are headed to Chile and need some help with your Spanish, take along
pocket reference guide. This will give you the basic phrases you
need to communicate with the locals.
Are you going to Chile?
Chilean Spanish is just one of the cultural challenges you'll find during your stay in Chile. Avoid culture shock by reading the Gringo's Culture Guide to Chile.
- More Information
- Ethnologue's Languages of Chile