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An Analysis & Rant of the song “Bailando” in English & Spanish

I am in love with languages. I am constantly fascinated by how languages evolve and cater to the cultures that speak them. English is my native language, so it is generally easier for me to express myself in English. However, there are moments, or feelings, that just make so much more sense to me in Spanish. I hate reading translations of Spanish because things just tend to be lost in translation.

Here’s the thing though, there are emotions and meanings that are simply lost in a translation, and there are things that are hacked away, twisted, or changed altogether. It usually makes me a little sad, perhaps slightly annoyed, but I recently became incredibly angry, disappointed, and offended by a terrible “translation” (if you could even call it that) of the song Bailando by Enrique Iglesias. It’s clear that the English version was marketed to Americans and has that typical skating-the-line-of-offensive-and-sexist feel.

If you’d like to watch the official videos, I’ve included them at the end of this post. I also include break-downs of several sections in English and Spanish with the time when they appear in their corresponding video. However, I felt a video of my own was in order, so you could see my rant in full force. Enjoy.

A look at some of the lyrics

(0:42-1:02)Yo te miro y se me corta la respiración
Cuando tú me miras se me sube el corazón
(Me palpita lento el corazón)
Y en un silencio tu mirada dice mil palabras
La noche en la que te suplico que no salga el sol

I look at you and it takes my breath away

(My heart beats slowly)

And in silence your look says a thousand words

The night when I’m begging of you not to let the sun rise

Same section in the English version:

(0:38-0:58)You look at me and, girl, you take me to another place (because me need it baby girl)
Got me feeling like I’m flying, like I’m out of space (heart beat)
Something ‘bout your body says, “Come and take me.” (because me need it baby girl)
Got me begging, got me hoping that the night don’t stop (rock that body ’cause we don’t stop party)

—-
(1:23-1:44) Con tu física y tu química también tu anatomía
La cerveza y el tequila y tu boca con la mía
Ya no puedo más (ya no puedo más)
Ya no puedo más (ya no puedo más)
Con esta melodía, tu color, tu fantasía
Con tu filosofía mi cabeza está vacía
Y ya no puedo más (ya no puedo más)
Ya no puedo más (ya no puedo más)
With you physics and your chemistry and your anatomy

Beer and tequila and your mouth with mine

I can’t take it anymore (I can’t take it anymore)

I can’t take it anymore (I can’t take it anymore)

With this melody, your color, your fantasy

With your philosophy my head is empty

I can’t take no more (I can’t anymore)

I can’t anymore (I can’t anymore)

Same section in the English version:

(1:19-1:29)Girl, I like the way you move
Come and show me what to do
You can tell me that you want me
Girl, you got nothing to lose
I can’t wait no more (ya no puedo más)
I can’t wait no more (ya no puedo más)

—-

Unnecessary garbled English section

(with no corresponding section in the Spanish version)

1:30-1:39 She a call a me for fit it
‘Cause you nah say me not pretty
Me a tell you no for pit it
Any time when me get it
Is gonna be alright.
We take it full fly
So we do this all night,
Baby girl.. bam bam

Yet another gem from Sean Paul:

(2:02-2:12) Oh oh oh come, baby girl?
Oh oh ohhaaa stay with me, girl!
Oh oh ohhh play with me, girl!
Oh oh ohaaa come, baby girl?

—-
(2:17-2:36)Tú me miras y me llevas a otra dimensión
(Estoy en otra dimensión)
Tus latidos aceleran a mi corazón
(Tus latidos aceleran a mi corazón)
Qué ironía del destino no poder tocarte
Abrazarte y sentir la magia de tu olor
You look at me and take me to another dimension

(I am in another dimension)

Your heartbeats accelerate my heart

(Your heartbeats accelerate my heart)

What irony of fate that I cannot touch you

Embrace you and feel the magic of your scent

Same section in the English version:

(2:12 – 2:33) I look at you and it feels like paradise (estoy en otra dimencion)
You got me spinning, got me crazy, got me hypnotized (tus latidos aceleran a mi corazón) (heart beat)
I need your love, I need you closer (because me need it baby girl)
Keep me begging, keep me hoping that the night don’t stop (rock that body ’cause we don’t stop party)

—-
And yet another unnecessary addition by the barely literate Sean Paul

Baby girl, you are the bomb bomb the drop drop killing it with the one drop
The way you move, girl, let me heart beat want stop
Tik a tik a tok, never gonna stop, girl
Let ma heart burn when you fit and turn
Energy you give me, girl, you run the world
Sexy body she a full of body, girl
Let me turn your body to rise up in there
Long time me looking up and listen my world

Oh oh oh come, baby girl?
Oh oh ohhaaa stay with me, girl!
Oh oh ohhh play with me, girl!
Oh oh ohaaa come, baby girl?

Official Video (English)

Official Video (Spanish)

17 Responses to An Analysis & Rant of the song “Bailando” in English & Spanish

    • reasek says:

      I listen to the Spanish version every day because I LOVE it. When I heard the English version on the radio I was just so full of rage! haha. Sean Paul is by far the WORST part of the English version, but it’s pretty much all terrible. I agree with you, JUST LEAVE IT ALONE.

  • I am an Indian and have fallen in love with the Spanish language. No language other than the language of silence says I Love You better than Spanish. Te quiero mucho, Espana y me encanta mucho Espanol.

    • reasek says:

      I agree, Spanish is so beautiful! While a translation of this song never would have been QUITE as beautiful as the original Spanish, I was just so disappointed by just how badly it was done.

  • Sara says:

    Hi,
    Completely agree with your rant. It derogatory to females. I would never fall for the english version.
    One request can u translate the rest of the song, por favor.
    Gracias.

    • reasek says:

      Sure, here’s the full song:
      I look at you and it takes my breath away

      (My heart beats slowly)

      And in silence your look says a thousand words

      The night when I’m begging of you not to let the sun rise

      (dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing)
      Your body and mine filling the emptiness
      rising and falling (rising and falling)
      (dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing)
      This fire inside of me is driving me crazy
      It’s saturating me

      With you physics and your chemistry and your anatomy

      Beer and tequila and your mouth with mine

      I can’t take it anymore (I can’t take it anymore)

      I can’t take it anymore (I can’t take it anymore)

      With this melody, your color, your fantasy

      With your philosophy my head is empty

      I can’t take no more (I can’t anymore)

      I can’t anymore (I can’t anymore)

      I want to be with you, live with you
      Dance with you and have a crazy night with you
      (a crazy night)
      To kiss your mouth
      (and kiss your mouth)
      I want to be with you, live with you
      Dance with you and have a crazy night with you
      So crazy

      You look at me and take me to another dimension

      (I am in another dimension)

      Your heartbeats accelerate my heart

      (Your heartbeats accelerate my heart)

      What irony of fate that I cannot touch you

      Embrace you and feel the magic of your scent

      after that it just repeats 🙂

  • Bethany says:

    Oh my. Just googled translation of this because my husband and I love this song (two) in Spanish and were curious. Man this just ruined it lol. Why did they piss all over the beautiful lyrics?? Argh hahaha guess dirty sex sells more albums.

    • reasek says:

      Yeah the English version is the worst! But the Spanish version is really lovely, so just stick to that version and you are all good!

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