Still on a reggaeton kick

Trying to finish a story before the deadline (in a month, but I am the panicky type) and listening to Wisin y Yandel, which makes me ruminate on translation. Every time I do any translation work, I struggle, as do all translators, I think, in finding the exact word in another language when sometimes the word just does not exist – not with the same sense or evoking the same sentiment. And I am not even talking about idioms! It is both frustrating and fulfilling (when one solves the puzzle). Onto Spanish a la Wisin y Yandel:

La jefa literally means ‘female boss’, but in the context of a relationship refers to one’s wife/girlfriend. Still can’t think of a good translation for this, though. On endearments, mami chula. Anyone care to have a whack at this?

Un besito* con baba = a little kiss with saliva (lit.) Anyone for a wet kiss, or French kiss? Yeah, me too. *On this, I keep hearing un besita con baba, which means I might either be mad, or hearing things, or it’s ungrammatical, or WyY just wants to rhyme it.

My favourite: pegao(n.)/pegar(v.)

(n.) A sort of close type of dancing, more dirty than not. Also, v. to mean to dance pegao. Comes from pegar (to stick) and I find this a wonderful extension of the word. Very innovative, reiterates why I like listening to urban music. Viz. Que violenta/ Cuando te pegas a mi cuerpo lento : How violent [the feeling] when you dance, slow, close, to my body. (Me Estas Tentando, Wisin y Yandel) And evocative, too, on par with ‘waistline makes my soldier salute’ (Beautiful, Akon), although the latter amuses, while the former is a little more…sensual.

Also, interesting, WyY (same song) uses Que sediento/ Me siento: Such thirst I feel [for you]. The English usage would be ‘to hunger for someone’.

Fascinating stuff.



About A. Faris

A. Faris spent her formative years at libraries and scribbling odd tales that somehow always end up romantic. She writes in between running after her son.
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