Learn Spanish in Chile

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Chile is cheap, vibrant and has a stunning landscape with spectacular views of the Andes! At 4,300 kilometres in length it stretches in a long narrow band on the western seaboard of the Andes Mountains chain on to the Pacific Ocean.

Geographic contrasts abound from the bone dry deserts of the Atacama in the north to the sub-Antarctic freeze of Tierra del Fuego in the south.

The 15 million people are of an interesting mix, 95% being of European extraction, but also large numbers of indigenous Almara Indians.

What a wonderful place to learn Spanish. Why not learn Spanish in Chile?

Total immersion is the best way to learn a language, but only if done right! To really learn any language you must incorporate a period of total immersion into your language learning strategy at some point.

This way you hear, feel and watch the language in action. You can see the times and contexts when phrases, words and sayings are said, you can feel the sentiments that go with it.

It is especially effective if combined with:

  a good grammar learning system,(check out the Grammar pages on this site...) . These give you the structure of the language.

  you need a good, effective vocabulary learning system (if you are not learning Spanish at 200 words a day or more, you are using an outdated system) … .Modern vocab building courses can really give you not only a solid grounding in words, but should teach you the families of words from which you can easily convert many an English word into a Spanish word!

. . .take a few days to bone up on the vocab before you launch off!

  . . . you also should consider an onsite course with a good teacher. A teacher can explain structure, background and the whys and wherefores of what is said and where.

For more information on how to learn Spanish in Chile click on the link for a comprehensive list of Spanish language schools there, perfect for onsite learning Spanish in a total immersion situation.

For more information on how to learn Spanish in this beautiful south American country click on the link.

Learn Spanish in Chile! Check out the Spanish language schools.
The Spanish spoken there...

Like the Spanish of parts of Southern Spain the local Chilean vernacular drops certain sounds. Their speed of speech is also quicker than other Latin Americans.

Some Spanish say that they tend to 'sing' their Spanish!

So a person called 'Carlos' becomes 'Carlo'.

dos (two) becomes 'do'.

las islas (the islands pronounced laass eesslaass) becomes la ila, pronounced more like 'la eellah'.

Here are a few hundred fun facts for you to study up on before you scoot off to Santiago or other town there to learn Spanish.

Overview & brief History of Chile

Historically the area was ruled by the Incas until the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500’s.

Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago de Chile in 1540, the settlers later setting up many forced labour systems (encomiendas)as the Spaniards and their descendants spread out from the Santiago settlement.

Valdivia dished out land grants to landless Europeans who worked the land in exchange for providing the landlord with labour, and protection, when needed. These big estates latifundios were very influential in the development of the modern country and the basis of many long-established family oligarchies.

Initially the country was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, gaining its independence from Spain in 1810.

In 1973 the Marxist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown and a military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet ruled 1990.

Strong economic growth took place from 1991-97 during Pinochet’s regime, but it was a period marred by human rights abuses.

Thousands of opponents to the military regime disappeared, and many nationals fled the country and settled abroad.

Despite the increased economic growth there are still wide gaps in the distribution of income.

Democracy returned in 1990.

The capital - Santiago, is a huge metropolis where a third of the country's population lives.

Geography facts & information on Chile

Geographical Position: Southern South America, borders the South Pacific Ocean. Neighbours are Argentina to the east, on the Eastern side of the Andes, and to the north, Peru.

Latitude & Longitude: : 30 00 South, 71 00 West

Total: 756,950 square kilometres Land: 748,800 square kilometres controls Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez Water area: 8,150 square kilometres

Land boundaries:
Total: 6,171 kilometres Neighbouring Countries: Argentina 5,150 kilometres, Bolivia 861 kilometres, Peru 160 kilometres.

Length of Coast: 6,435 kilometres

Climate facts: generally temperate; desert, hot, arid and dry in north; Mediterranean climate in the central regions; cool and damp in south, very cold in deep south.

Terrain: low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes Mountain range in east.

Elevation highs & lows: lowest elevation: Pacific Ocean at sea levelhighest elevation: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 metres

Natural resources facts: copper, lumber, iron ore mining, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydroelectric power.

Land use: cultivated land: 2% cropping land: 0% other: 96% (1998 estimate)

Irrigated land: 18,000 square kilometres (1998 estimate)

Natural hazards: earthquakes; active volcanoes; tidal waves

Geography facts: Between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage) gives it strategic significance; Atacama Desert is one of the most dry regions in the world.

People facts & information on Chile

Total Population: 15,600,000 (July 2003 estimate)

Age Distribution facts: under age 14 yrs: 26% (male 2,112,251; female 2,018,099) between 15 & 64 yrs: 66% (male 5,151,551; female 5,180,607) age 65+: 7% (male 499,441; female 703,267) (2003 estimate)

Median age: Total: 29 years male: 28 years female: 30 years (2002)

Rate of Growth of Population: 1% (2003 estimate) Birth rate: 16 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) Mortality rate: 5 deaths per thousand (2003 estimate) Rate of Net Migration: 0 migrant(s)per thousand population (2003 estimate)

Rate of Infant Mortality: Total: 8 deaths per thousand live births female: 8 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 9 deaths per thousand live births

Life Expectancy: Total population: 76 years male: 73 years female: 79 years (2003 estimate)

Name given to People: Chilean

Racial groupings: European white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%

Religious groupings: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%

Languages: Spanish

Literacy: : definition: age 15 and over can read and write Total population: 96% male: 96% female: 96% (2003 estimate)


Republic of Chile - Republica de Chile

System of Government : Republic

Capital City: Santiago

Independence day: 18 Sept, 1810 independence from Spain

National holiday: Independence Day, 18th Sept 1810

Legal & Law System: : based on Spanish law influenced by French and Austrian law.

Voting system: : universal at 18 years

Head of State : President who is both the Head of State and head of government.

Cabinet of country: Cabinet is then appointed by the President

Election system: president elected by 6 year term.

Economy - facts on Chile

Market-oriented economy. Strong foreign trade.

Became a model for economic reform in the 1990’s.

GDP: - $USD151 billion (2002 estimate) GDP growth rate: 1% (2002 estimate) GDP per head of population: - $USD10,000 (2002 estimate) GDP make-up by sector: agriculture sector : 11% industrial sector: 34% service sector: 55% (2001)

Population below level of poverty: 21% (1998 estimate)

Household % income: lowest 10%: 1% highest 10%: 45% (1998)

Labour force: 5 million (2000 estimate)

Labour force - by occupation: agriculture sector 14%, industrial sector 27%, service sector 59% (1997 estimate)

Unemployment rate: 9% (2002)

Budget Figures: revenues: $USD17 billion spending: $USD17 billion

Industries: copper, other minerals, processed food, fish products, iron and steel products, timber and wood products, transport equipment, cement, apparel

Exports : $USD17 billion (2002 estimate) Exports - partners: US 17%, Japan 12%, UK 5%, Brazil 5%, China (2001)

Imports: $USD15 billion (2002) Imports - partners: Argentina 18%, US 17%, Brazil 8%, China 5%, Japan (2001)

Debt - external: $USD40 billion (2002)

Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)

Currency code: CLP


Telephones - main lines in use: 2 million (1998)

Radio Stations : AM 180 , FM 64, SW 17

Television broadcast stations: 63

Internet Code : .cl

Transport, Travel to Chile and Tourism

Railways : Total: 6,585 kilometres

Roading your way around on your Tour: Total: 79,800 kilometres paved roading: 11,012 kilometres unpaved roading: 68,788 kilometres (1996)

Navigable Waterways : 725 kilometres

Pipeline Distances : crude oil 755 kilometres; petroleum & petroleum by-products 785 kilometres; natural gas 320 kilometres.

Commercial Harbours/Ports : Antofagasta, Arica, Coquimbo, Chanaral, Iquique, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas (Point Arenas), San Vicente, San Antonio, Talcahuano, Valparaiso.

Airports-Aerodromes : 363 (2002)

Tour with Lan Chile Airlines

Lan Chile is the national airline. Click here for the official website of Lan Chile Airlines for travel to Chile.

Military information on Chile

Military groupings & departments : Army, Chilean National Navy incl Marines, National Air Force, Carabineros (National Police), Investigations Police

Military Spending - dollar figure: $USD2 billion (FY99) Military Spending - percent of GDP: 3% (FY99)

International Issues Chile

Bolivia pressing Chile and Peru to restore the Atacama corridor ceded to Chile in 1884; claims against Peru over the economic zone delimited by the maritime boundary; claims water rights to Bolivia's River Lauca and Silala Spring;

Territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims.

Chile flag

Click here for the Chile flag and its history.

Map of Chile

Click here for the Map of Chile.

History of Chile

Check out this website for the History of Chile.

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Source: Cia Factbook. 1 August 2003.
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