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learn spanish with shakira

1. “Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte”

First things first. Watch the video.

The video is almost the same as the English version, except that Rihanna isn’t in it, so there’s more time for Shakira to rub herself up against the wall in a red tasseled dress. Also, the lip-syncing in Spanish is much more believable than in the English version.

Now that you’ve enjoyed Shakira playing guitar in a slightly flooded room (Is it a room? Why is it flooded? Why can’t we make sense of this scene?), you can try to work out the lyrics verse by verse.

Here’s the first verse in Spanish:

Me temo que sí
Se trata de ti
Voy a repetir
El mismo error de ayer
Y como es natural
Suele suceder
Y no hay ciego peor
Que el que no quiere ver

Now, you might think you could just cheat and look at the English version, but the English is actually quite different, so no such luck. You worked it out? Compare what you got with this:

2I’m afraid that yes
It’s about you
I’m going to repeat
the same mistake I made before (the Spanish version says yesterday, but we can imagine it’s more of a metaphorical yesterday)
And as is natural
Just like always
There’s no worse blind person
Than one who doesn’t want to see

Now you’ve got one verse down, you can carry on and try and translate the rest. As you’ll probably realize, the song is about Shakira trying to forget someone but she keeps forgetting to forget, which causes her such distress she takes most of her clothes off and rolls around on a bed/up against a wall.

Poor Shakira.

Useful vocabulary in this song includes suele suceder means “to usually do.” So suele suceder would be “what usually happens, ” or more likely, “what always happens.”

Useful grammar includes real-life use of the grammar point we all love to hate, the subjunctive. Examples of this: donde tu vayas, sabes que voy yo. Vayas is the subjunctive of the verb ir and is used here because there is an element of doubt about where the person Shakira is talking to will go.

Great App for Learning Spanish2. “Mi verdad” (ft. Maná)

Don’t know this one? Wondering who Maná are?

Again, watch the video first.

This song came out in February of 2015 and features a heavily pregnant Shakira singing around a campfire with Mexican band Maná (who are huge in Latin America, even though you might not have heard of them). They appear to be in some sort of underground tunnel filled with giant letters of words like verdad and oasis.

The song is a typical love song, and talks a lot about how much lying and cheating there is in the world, and how eres mi verdad (you are my truth).

Like the last song, it’s a good idea to look up the lyrics (you’ll have to look at them in Spanish as this song doesn’t exist in English) and try to work them out verse by verse. Then you can practice singing along.

Top Apps for Learning SpanishThe lying vocabulary is probably the most useful part of this song. So you can learn/revise words like engaño (cheating), mentiras (lies) and ocultar (to hide). This might be useful if you do ever end up in an argument with your own Latin lover. Also, Spanish music is full of this language.

Other useful Maná songs include “Como Quisiera” and Maná’s collaboration with Santana, “Corazón Espinado.”

3. “Suerte”

“Suerte, ” or as you probably know it, “Whenever, Wherever, ” propelled Shakira to fame outside of Latin America in 2001, and she hasn’t looked back since. In the video, she moves her hips in the way that she soon became famous for, rolls around in the mud and generally dances around a lot on top of a mountain and in the desert. Oh, and she’s surrounded by a load of galloping horses.

The Spanish version of the song is similar to the English one in a lot of ways, but the chorus is pretty different.

Let’s take a look at it:

Contigo, mi vida
quiero vivir la vida
y lo que me queda de vida
quiero vivir contigo

She repeats this twice in every chorus.

As you can see, there’s no mention of the words “Whenever, Wherever, ” which were made up for the English version.

Try figuring out the Spanish before checking with this translation:

With you, my life (or my love)

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