29 September 2013

Sí, po

It's time for a little more linguistics.

In Chile,  you are guaranteed to hear the word po.  A LOT.  Officially speaking, it's a contraction of the word pues which is more or less equivalent to the english word well in the sense of "well, I think I can make it."  However, in Chilean Spanish, po seems to have dozens of meanings.  In general, it seems to express some kind of doubt in regards to what the speaker has just heard or said.

Depending on its context, here are a few of the definitions of po I've found:

-why not (would you like swim while it's -9°C out?  sure why not.)
-but, however
-I understand, but I disagree
-of course not
-like, uh (in the sense of a filler word)
-I don't know
-yes but there's more

These are just a few of the meanings I've encountered.  It is one of my favourite words in Chile because it is so versatile.  You can use it in seemingly endless ways in tonnes of contexts.

This has nothing to do with Chilean Spanish, but I thought I'd try and keep it interesting for those who don't care too much about po!  These flowers are very common here.  You can see them along many road sides and highways.  

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