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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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3 Answers 3

up vote -1 down vote accepted

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia#Independence_and_growth_.281811.E2.80.931959.29

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 es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valpara%C3%ADso) –  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 es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valpara%C3%ADso#Toponimia . 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

According to this link, Valparaiso was named after the birth place(Valparaiso, Spain) of the man who founded it, who actually was Juan de Saavedra.

You are correct in your assumption about the name:

Valparaiso = paradise valley.

Val comes from "valle"(valley) and paraiso is the Spanish for paradise.

You can verify this information by visiting the offcial website of Valparaiso,Spain. From there, I quote:

Pueblo de Gran historia, en el Valle del Paraíso, unido a varios señoríos hasta el siglo XVIII en que deja de ser anejo de la villa cercana, importante por ser natural de este lugar Don Juan de Saavedra, conquistador y fundador de Valparaíso de Chile.

translating the most relevant information from that quote:

A town with a great history, in the Valley of Paradise... it's important because it's the hometown of Don Juan de Saavedra, conqueror and founder of Valparaiso of Chile.

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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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