Tag Archives: idioma

Ya mi niña: who do YOU belong to?

Mi, mi, mi… A few thoughts on linguistic ownership today.

Ya mi niña, nos vemos…

¿Mi niña? I thought, there it is again… Mi niña—my girl—an oddly common expression in Chilean vernacular. I had really tried not be drawn into the cell phone conversation going on next to me in the crowded waiting room yesterday and was pretty successful until the blah-blah-blah, ha-ha-ha, turned to “ya mi niña.” It’s one of those expressions that often seems to signal the end of a conversation and always grabs my attention. I knew she was not talking to her daughter.

Mi niña, mi hija, mi reina, mi general, mi mamá…. who do YOU belong to? Continue reading


Ya Pasamos Agosto!

We made it through August… Let the fiesta begin!

Chileans—especially the older ones—have a thing about August, a kind of a wary-scary dread accompanied by the increasing mantra-like use of the expression “si pasamos agosto…” (if we get through August), Continue reading

Gringas die laughing

I was just sitting here minding my own business when the phone rang the other day and a reporter announces that he had stumbled upon Cachando Chile and had tracked me down and wanted to know more about what was behind this whole Chilean Spanglish Rooster from the Glue, bad-translation fun with Chilenismos that was going on over here. He saw that gringa blogger Abby (see Abby’s Line) was involved as well as Canadian comedian Eileen Shea. Unfortunately Bearshapedsphere blogger Eileen Smith posted just a tad too late to be included in the article—it was LUN‘s loss, but you don’t have to miss out—go on over and check out her contribution too! Continue reading

The Calendar Trap

Rats, it happened again… all these years and I still stumble into that funky little rabbit hole known as the calendar. Chilean calendars not only start on a different day, they are used differently too. You’d think I’d have that down by now!

Here’s the set-up. I receive an e-mail on Monday the 22 requesting something for next Wednesday. No problem, I zip back, silently applauding the sender for allotting me so much time. But oops… watch that slippery step there sister, a cultural-linguistic trap lies in wait… Continue reading

Cynical or Cínico?

Want to get yourself into some real hot water? Use the word “cínico” when you think you’re talking about “cynical.” Not, Not, NOT the same thing! Continue reading

Chilean place names

Lo Barnechea, Lo Curro, Lo Espejo, Las Condes, Manquehue, Llanquihue… Ever wonder about the names of places in Chile? A Cachando Chile reader asked… so I did my homework. Continue reading

El contexto chileno (Chile in context)

For English, use the translator tool or see the summary below…

En Chile se habla español. Y si sabes hablar español porque lo aprendiste o porque también se habla en tu país de origen, seguro considerarás que estás en óptimas condiciones de llegar a Chile y entenderte con todo el mundo. Pero… no siempre es así! Hay muchas particularidades en las formas de comunicación que tienen los chilenos. Continue reading

Pequeña manifestación cultural



Santiago es una ciudad llena de personajes curiosos, como el de la foto. Este caballero está en una manifestación pública unipersonal, reivindicando la educación y las buenas maneras. Continue reading