Learning Spanish From Music Videos: Shakira's 'Suerte' (2022)


Yo puedo escalar los Andes solo
Por ir a contar tus lunares

Which translates to:

I can climb the Andes alone
to go and count your moles

“Escalar” means to climb, “los Andes” obviously refers to the Andes mountains (remember, Shakira is Colombian and the Andes cut right through Colombia), a “lunar” in this case is a mole or beauty mark.


Contigo celebro y sufro todo
mis alegrías
Y mis males
Lo ro lo le lo le
Lo ro lo le lo le

Sabes que
Estoy a tus pies

Which means:

With you I celebrate and suffer everything
The good times and the bad

le ro lo le etc. etc.

You know that I’m at your feet.

Contigo” is a contraction of “con” and “tú” (you would never say “con tú”, you’d always say “contigo”), “celebrar” means to celebrate, “suffrir” means to suffer, so far so good.

Now we come to “alegrías” and “males”, which is where it gets tricky because there isn’t really a good direct English translation of either of these words, “joy” is pretty close for “alegría” but it more literally means “happy things” or “happy times” depending on the context, and the same thing with “males” which is the plural of “mal” which is normally an adjective that simply means “bad”, though it can also be a noun, as it is in this case, that means “bad things” or “bad times”.

Lastly, you see the previously mentioned “saber” being used here to state a fact: that she’s at his feet (“sabes que estoy a tus pies”).


Contigo, mi vida
Quiero vivir la vida
Lo que me queda de vida
Quiero vivir contigo

Which means:

With you, my dear [lit. “life”]
I want to live life
What I have left of life
I want to live with you

You see “contigo” again, “vida” literally means “life” and in this first use (“contigo, mi vida”) it’s used to refer to her lover, she’s say that he’s “her life”, then it’s immediately used in its literal sense, I’m sure on purpose, sort of like someone saying “I love you, my love” where “love” is first used as a verb and then as a pronoun.

She then says “Lo que me queda de vida”: we’ve discussed what it means when you see “lo” used like this in the previous ‘La Tortura’ post, but we’ll quickly revisit it: “lo” is a direct object pronoun used in a way in Spanish that’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s sort of like how we use “that” in a very specific context: “that which is”, so in this case “lo que _____” means “that which ______”, so “lo que me queda de vida” literaly means “that which I have left of life”, got it?

Oh, and in case you didn’t figure it out, “quedar” means “to be left or remain”, so in this case with it being reflexive towards “me”, it means “what’s left to me / what remains for me”.

Next verse:

Suerte que es tener labios sinceros
Para besarte con mas ganas
Suerte que mis pechos sean pequeños
Y no los confundas con montañas

And that translates to:

It’s lucky that I have sincere lips
So I can kiss you passionately
Lucky that my breasts are small
And that you don’t confuse them with mountains

“Labio” means “lip”, “sincero”, as you’ve likely guessed, means “sincere” or “honest”. “Besar” means “to kiss”, and tacking the “te” on the end means “to kiss you”.

Now, the “con mas ganas” part is the one that’s going to require a bit of explanation: much to my consternation, I can’t find a Spanish dictionary anywhere that recognizes “ganas” as a noun, but it is a noun and it’s used as a noun here in this particular instance. Normally it would be the present “tu” form of “ganar“, which means “to win”, but not in this case. I personally, from experience and context, would translate it as “enthusiasm”, “appetite”, or “passion”, and now I just tried plugging it into a couple translation engines and they recognize it as a noun and all three of them (Google, Yahoo, and Babel) define it as “desire” which is one I didn’t think of and would probably work just as well as my translation of “passion” in that I could’ve translated that sentence as: “So I can kiss you with more desire”.

After that we get to…boobies! Indeed. No clue why she says this, but she does: “pechos” means “breasts” (in the sense of a woman’s breasts), but do remember that “pecho”, singular, just means “chest” in the normal sense (I know you want to know so I’ll tell you: “tetas” is how you say “tits” or “boobs”). “Los” is the plural of the previously explained direct object pronoun “lo” and refers to her breasts, “confundir” means “to confuse”, and “montaña” means “mountain”. Next!

The following stanza is:

Suerte que herede las piernas firmes
Para correr si me hace falta,
Y estos dos ojos que me dicen
Que han de llorar cuando te vayas

Which means:

It’s lucky that I inherited strong legs
so that I can run if I need to
and these two eyes tell me
that they have to cry when you leave

Now we run into a verb you likely haven’t heard before, “heredar“, which means “to inherit” and isn’t especially notable except for the fact that you don’t hear it often – it can mean to inherit either money or a certain physical or personality trait from your parents. “Pierna” is “leg”, “firma” means “strong” or “firm” depending on the context (in this case I think “strong” makes more sense, though they do look quite firm as well 😀 ).

Then we come to “Para correr si me hace falta”: “correr” means “to run”, but where it gets complicated is at “me hace falta”…now, this particular phrase, “hacer falta”, can have multiple meanings: usually, it’s used to indicate that something’s needed, necessary, lacking, or missing (see the 2nd definition of “falta” under “also: hacer falta”), e.g. “me hace falta suerte” which means “I need some luck” or “Me hace falta sucra” which means “I’m lacking sugar” or “I need some sugar”. The reason for this is that the secondary definiton of “falta”, after the primary definition of “mistake”, is “lack or absence”, and since “hacer” means “to make or do” when you say “hacer falta” you’re “making lack” or “making need/necessity”. Now, when you put “me” before a verb it becomes reflexive back on you so that whatever that verb is doing, it’s doing to you, and so consequently when you say “me hace falta” you’re literally saying “it makes a lack for me” or “it creates an absence for/to me”, you see? It sorta makes sense, haha.

Next, she goes on to talk about his eyes (how typical) and says “Y es que tus dos ojos me dicen que han de llorar cuando te vayas”: “ojo” means “eye”, that’s simple, but what’s this “han de llorar”? Well, “llorar” means “to cry”, that’s easy enough, but the use of “haber” here is rather odd: in this case it means “to have to”, as in “to have to cry”–normally that’s expressed with “tener que”, but if you’ll scroll down to the 3rd definition for haber (here) you’ll see:

haber de hacer algo -> to have to do something

So it can be used to express obligation, to say “to have to”, but it’s unusual and I’ll tell you that 98% of the time I’ve heard someone say that someone has to do something in Spanish, they’ve used “tener que”, not “haber de”, but it can (and is, obviously) done, so it should be noted.

Lastly, we get to “te vayas” which is the present tú subjunctive of “irse” which is a very commonSpanish way of saying “to go” in reference to a person leaving to go somewhere and makes sense if you think about it: it’s reflexive, so again the verb is doing whatever it is it does to the person that the reflexive pronoun represents, in this case that verb is “ir” and so “se va”, for example, literally means “you make yourself go” or “me voy” means “I make myself go” (FYI “me voy” is a very common way of saying “I’m leaving”).

Now…you’ll notice that in this particular case it’s in the subjunctive (“te vayas” instead of “te vas”)–why? Well, she says “cuando te vayas” meaning “when you leave”, but his leaving isn’t certain, it’s very much an if/when-you-leave sort of thing, it’s unknown, it’s not a concrete thing, he isn’t scheduled to depart at precisely 9 AM the next morning so thereforewe have uncertainty and therefore we have…the subjunctive! Yaaaaay!


Le ro lo le lo le
Le ro lo le lo le

Sabes que
Estoy a tus pies

This is just a repeat chorus, we’ve covered this. Next.

Le ro lo le lo le
La felicidad tiene tu nombre
y tu piel

The word for “happiness” in Spanish is “la felicidad”, and the word for “skin” is “piel”, so what she’s saying here when she literally says “happiness has your name and your skin” is that happiness is, to her, the sound of his name and the feel of his skin against hers…daaaawwwwww, so cute (it’s late, I’m getting weird).

The next, and final verse (though it’s repeated a couple times) is:

Ya sabes, mi vida
Estoy hasta el cuello por ti
Si sientes algo así
Quiero que te quedes junto a mi

Which means:

You already know, my love [lit. “my life”]
I’m up to my neck because of you
If you feel the same way
I want you to stay together with me

As you should already know, “ya” means “still” or “already”, and as we mentioned previously “mi vida” can be used to mean “my love” because in this case she’s saying “my life” in that he is her life, so that’s why we translated it that way.

Now, “estoy hasta el cuello”: “hasta” means “until”, “up to”, or “as far as” and “cuello” means “neck”, so she’s saying she’s up to her neck because of him (up to her neck with what, I don’t know–I’m honestly not quite sure what she’s trying to say here). Then she says “si siente algo así” (“sentir” means “to feel”) which literally means “if you feel something like this”, because “algo” means “something” and “así” means “this way or like this”.

Next she says “Quiero que te quedes junto a mi” which is something like “I want that you keep yourself together with me” because, as we’ve discussed, “quedar” means “to remain or keep” and “junto” means “together”. Now, when “quedar” is made to be reflexive, as in this case, it means “to stay” (if you’ll look at the definition for “quedar” and scroll waaay down to the heading “Pronominal Verb”, you’ll see it) in the personal sense because the verb (“to keep”) is being done to the person it’s reflexive upon, so when you say “te quedes” you’re saying “you keep yourself” meaning “you stay” and…did you notice something else? “te quedes” is in the subjunctive 🙂 Why? Because when she says “Quiero que te quedes” she’s making a wish (first letter in W.E.I.R.D.O., right?), she’s expressing a desire, and that always requires the subjunctive.

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