The Tue Tue Myth

Have you ever thought about how to improve your Chilean Spanish by listening to podcasts?

Well, in the latest episode of Slow Chilean Spanish for ‘false beginners,’ I came bearing a spine-tingling myth from the south of Chile, specifically from Chiloé Island.

Oh, but before that, how can you tell if you’re a ‘false beginner’?

Well, it’s easy.

If you already know how to do some things in Spanish, like talking about your routine, things you like, and yourself, and it feels pretty easy… but you still have a hard time following a conversation in Spanish, or you feel like a deer in headlights every time someone drops some Spanish on you.

Yes, you’re probably a false beginner.

Well, in this episode, you’re going to hear the myth of the Tue Tue, or Chonchón, which every Chilean knows about.

Here’s a fun fact: I dare say that 2 out of every three Chileans have relatives from the countryside. So, it’s highly likely that your Chilean pololo or polola was tormented in their childhood with this story.

In this episode, you will:

  • Hear ‘in context’ use of ‘tienes que’ in Spanish, something you often confuse with ‘necesitar’… which is not the same in Spanish.
  • Annoy your Chilean boyfriend or girlfriend with their childhood fears, just for fun.
    Learn vocabulary to express fear in Chilean Spanish.
  • And, of course, enhance your listening comprehension.

Subscribe to my newsletter, and you’ll receive the complete episode transcript along with my weekly dose of Chilean Spanish.

¡Dale play!

Listen to the episode here

Did you have trouble understanding it? Try it with the transcript now


[00:00:23] – Natalia

Halloween Especial 2023…

Welcome to a new episode of Slow Chilean Spanish. Me llamo Natalia, and I am the creator of this podcast that helps dozens of «gringas» stop feeling like a deer in headlights every time someone drops some Spanish on them.»

So, Halloween is here, and even though it’s not a local tradition for us Chileans, that doesn’t mean we can’t share some spine-tingling stories. Like the one I’ve got for you today.

We’re taking a trip down south to Chile, to the enchanting Chiloé Island, a place steeped in witches, myths, and legends.

If you’ve never heard of Chiloé before, it’s an island located in the southern part of Chile, specifically in the Los Lagos Region. It’s a highly touristic spot that I totally recommend visiting. But be warned, it’s also known for being the land of witches, filled with myths and legends.

Today, we’re diving into the Tue Tue or Chonchón, a creepy creature that’s part witch, part bird. But I won’t spoil it all for you. If you want the full transcript of this episode, subscribe to my newsletter.

 Ahora sí que sí

Empecemos po

El Tue Tue o Chonchón es un pájaro misterioso que sale a volar los días martes y viernes por el sur de Chile y desde hace cientos de años que asusta a sus habitantes. La gente que lo ha visto dice que es mitad brujo y mitad pájaro… algo así como una cabeza humana con alas. 

This flying entity has its roots in Mapuche legends from southern Chile, which claim it’s actually a witch capable of transforming into a bird using its magical powers. It soars so fast that it’s nearly impossible for the human eye to catch.

Para hacer su transformación de brujo a pájaro, el Tue Tue se saca la cabeza del cuerpo. Esto lo hace poniéndose un aceite especial en el cuello. Pero este aceite tiene que ser de una guagua recién nacida.

You can recognize the Tue Tue in the Chilean countryside by the sound it makes, like its name, «Tue Tue.» But be cautious, never repeat it three times unless you want to call it.

En Chiloé muchas personas dicen que han sido víctimas del Tue Tue. Hay algunas de ellas que son del mundo de la política. Estas personas dicen que cuando lo escuchas cantar cerca de tu casa o cuando estás caminando por el bosque, este pájaro te va a hacer una brujería que no te va a dejar en paz hasta el día de tu muerte.

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Wanna some extra practice?

Natalia Fontalva

Natalia Fontalva

Spanish Neurolanguage Coach® | Content Cretor

I know it sounds quite pompous to say ‘Neurolanguage Coach®,’ but I’m more of an anti-coach.

My students say I have the patience of a Buddhist monk, and there’s a lot of coaching in that, but at the same time, they say I’m a dominatrix… and there’s not much of that here.

However, I firmly believe that you don’t need supernatural skills to learn a language, let alone be a polyglot to impress others by speaking un Español casi Perfecto.

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Join the dozens of "gringas" who have already realized they can understand over half of what Chileans say with just 5 words, and who no longer feel like a deer in the headlights when they know they have a gathering with the extended family.

Tamos lista, mi reina ;)