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I've heard people pronounce the Chilean city "Val puh RI zo", but now that I'm learning Spanish I realize that can't be right; it must be something like: "bval par uh EE so" no?

The "paraiso" means paradise, but what is the "val" part? Does Valparaiso mean "paradise valley" or "paradisaic valley" or...???

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Yes, the correct pronunciation would be Bal - pa - ra - EE - so

Al fracasar en su misión de encontrar metales preciosos en la Terra Australis, Almagro volvió a Cuzco donde comenzó una lucha fratricida con Pizarro. En este conflicto, se destacó en el bando de Pizarro el capitán Pedro de Valdivia, cuya presencia ayudó a la posterior victoria sobre Almagro.

A petición propia, Pizarro le otorgó a Valdivia permiso para "conquistar" Chile. Su primer acto oficial fue la fundación de la ciudad de Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura en 1541, siendo designado Valparaíso como su puerto natural el 3 de septiembre de 1544.

The Val in Valparaíso refers to the founder, and captain, Pedro de Valdivia.

More information, in English

So, literally, it would mean Val's Paradise. or Valdivia's Paradise.

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That might be inaccurate, as Valparaíso was never officially founded (see "Fundación" in – ailnlv May 6 '14 at 19:42
@dockeryz This is plain inaccurate. There is no mention on the links that "Val" refers to Pedro de Valdivia. Check the answer from Jose Maria. Also check your own link . This is simply -1. – Envite May 7 '14 at 10:43
@Envite, I wasn't the one who added the green check mark either. – dockeryZ May 8 '14 at 12:13
@dockeryz A green mark does not mean that your answer is right; just that the person who wrote the question thinks so. Envite and anyone else are very right on commenting or downvoting your answer if they think it is incorrect. – Gorpik May 8 '14 at 13:55

how say ailnlv, Valparaíso was never officially founded. indigenous of the area was called "Aliamapu" that means scorched earth. But nobody knows the real origin of the word valparaiso

please, visit this city, it's very very beautiful

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