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Learning Spanish from Music Videos: Shakira’s ‘Te Aviso, Te Anuncio’

learn spanish from music videos: shakira's objectionThis is the 4th in a series of posts I’m doing where I help you learn Spanish from music videos and show you how I do it myself (that way you don’t have to wait for me to dissect a Spanish music video, you can go out and start doing it yourself with whatever songs you want and using it to teach yourself Spanish).  I’ve done three other posts prior to this: the third one on Shakira’s “Ojos Así”, the second one on Shakira’s “Suerte” and the first one on Shakira’s “La Tortura”.  I will eventually move onto another artist for future posts, and if you’ve got any suggestions as far as artists or songs go please put them in the comments, I’d love to hear them.

About This Song

Te Aviso, Te Anuncio is the first song by Shakira that was actually written in English first, titled as Objection (Tango), on her first English-language album ever, the massively successful Laundry Service, which was released in 2001.  So this song was first written (by Shakira) in English, and then she did a Spanish version of it (mind you, she didn’t translate the English version into Spanish, that sort of thing almost never works, she wrote a Spanish version of it that, although similar, definitely isn’t a direct translation).

The song itself starts out as a classical tango between Shakira and her ex-lover with allusions to one of the most famous tango songs of all time, Gerardo Matos Rodríguez’s La Cumparsita, which means “The little parade”, and was originally written in 1917.  It shortly after proceeds into latin rock territory once Shakira’s ex-lover leaves and she starts whaling on an electric guitar.

Shakira hates silicone hahaWhat follows is…entertaining, to say the least, and frankly downright weird (in an awesome and hilarious way), where Shakira expresses her dissatisfaction with her ex’s behavior via kidnapping him and his new girlfriend, who she also fights with (in cartoon form–note the helpful graphic I’ve provided) while two ‘superheros’ who look like they got their costumes at the Salvation Army proceed to beat up on her ex.  It’s just all kinds of fun, definitely watch it once or twice through just for amusement, it’s worth it :D

A quick side note: if you’re interested in teaching yourself Spanish…

I have a short post and video (that are free to read and view of course, won’t cost you more than a few minutes of your time) on how to do precisely that with the system that I put together which allowed me to become fluent in Spanish in just 6 months after years of trial-and-error by watching Spanish-language TV shows (like telenovelas, hence the name of the system) and movies, reading Spanish books and comics, and listening to Spanish music. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out by clicking the link below (the following link should open in a new tab or window for you when you click it so I’m not asking you to leave this article here):

“The Telenovela Method of Learning Spanish” (a “telenovela” is a Spanish-language soap opera, they’re what I initially used to teach myself Spanish!)

I also include some quick and valuable tips for learning Spanish as well as a couple of the most useful free Spanish-learning websites that I recommend.

Ground Rules

1. I will post the video below this. The way I want you to do this is to play it once all the way through, then let’s look at it and analyze it one verse at a time.  Below the video will be the Spanish lyrics so that you can listen to the music video while following along with the lyrics–this is the intermediate step after you learn what the lyrics mean but before you can just listen to the song and understand everything without the lyrics to read.  Having the actual Spanish being spoken in front of you in written form so you can follow along with the audio allows you to attune your listening comprehension, it’s that intermediate step that gets you to the point where you can understand everything being said without the lyrics to read, they’re sort of like training wheels (thanks to Eiteacher for this suggestion).

2. Under the lyrics will be my translation and analysis of what was said, here is where you’ll actually learn the Spanish that was spoken during the song.  I will post the Spanish lyrics and then the English translation of them.  Use the English lyrics and SpanishDict (I highly recommend you have this open in another tab while you’re doing this) to determine the definition of any words you don’t know (I will cover a lot of the words used, but not all of them)–if the regular definition of a particular word isn’t being used or the word is being used in such a way that simply knowing its definition won’t help you, I will explain it.

3. Next I will pick out various aspects of the Spanish that she’s using that I think require an explanation–I will not cover simple things like the definition of words like “el” (which means “the”), “ser” (which means “to be”), etc. unless there is something about the way they’re being used that I think warrants explanation.  If you don’t understand what a word means, like I said, just check the English translation and/or SpanishDict.  I will link to a lot of external sites with explanations for the grammar used, or the conjugation of a verb used, or the definition of a word–I’m doing this because I don’t have the space here to explain every single detail of what’s going on, there’s an enormous amount of Spanish being used in a single song like this which is precisely why I advocate this method (this is essentially The Telenovela Method, FYI), because you can learn so much from a single song or movie or book, etc.  If you don’t understand a grammatical term that I use and it’s a link, click it!

4. Now, go back and play the verse we just analyzed several times and see if you can hear and understand everything being said, then go on to the next one.

5. If you are confused about anything and feel there’s something I didn’t cover or explain but should have, please let me know in the comments.  As a matter of fact, please leave a comment and let me know what you think regardless, I need feedback and love getting it, each individual comment allows me to make an improvement or fix a problem thereby making this blog just a little bit better each and every time I get feedback of some sort.  Oh, and you can also contact me via my contact form (this will go to my e-mail inbox).

The Video

The Lyrics

Nunca pensé que doliera el amor así
Cuándo se entierra en el medio de un no y un sí
Es un dia ella y otro dia yo
Me estás dejando sin corazón
Y cero de razón

Ay, te aviso y te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Ya sabes que estoy de ti vacunada
A prueba de patadas
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy, será mejor así

Sé que olvidarte no es asunto sencillo
Te me clavaste en el cuerpo como un cuchillo
Pero todo lo que entra ha de salir
Y los que estan tendrán que partir
Empezando por mi

Ay, te aviso y te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Ya sabes que estoy de ti vacunada
A prueba de patadas
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy

Tal vez tú no eras ese para mi
No sé como se puede ya vivir queriendo así

Es tan patético, neurótico, satírico y sicótico
Tú no lo ves, el tango no es de a trés
Ahí voy planeando escapar y me sale al revés
Pero voy a intentarlo una y otra vez, voy

Ay, te aviso te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Te aviso que estoy de ti vacunada
Y no me importa nada
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy, será mejor así

Ya me voy, ya me fui
Es mejor así
Ay, que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy
Ay, que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy
¡Será mejor así!

Translation and Analysis

First verse:

Nunca pensé que doliera el amor así
Cuándo se entierra en el medio de un no y un sí
Es un dia ella y otro dia yo
Me estás dejando sin corazón
Y cero de razón

Which translates to:

I never thought love would hurt like this
when you’re buried in the middle of a no and a yes
It’s her one day, me the next
You’re leaving me without a heart
and zero reason [for it]

“Doliera” is the imperfect subjunctive of “doler” which means “to hurt”, the subjunctive in this case is being used because the statement expresses doubt and uncertainty (if you need more help with the subjunctive check out my post on it here: The Spanish Subjunctive Explained). “Se entierra” means “one is interred (buried)” and is the 3rd person singular conjugation of the verb “enterrar” which means “to bury”.  “Medio” means “half” literally and this is how they frequently express “in the middle” or “between”.  “Dejar” means “to leave or to let” and in this case the gerund (“dejando”) is combined with the present “tú” form of “estar” (to be) to express that he is currently (as in right now) leaving her without a heart–note that whenever this is done (you see estar + gerund) instead of just the present form (in this case that would be “dejas”) it means that the action in question is actually happening right now, at that very moment, not potentially 5 minutes (or hours) in the future as can be the case with the present form depending on the context.

Next:

Ay, te aviso y te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Ya sabes que estoy de ti vacunada
A prueba de patadas
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy, será mejor así

Which means:

Oh, I’m warning you and I’m announcing to you that today I’m renouncing
your dirty business
You know that I’ve been vaccinated against you
to protect me from your kicks [referring to tango kicks]
Because of you I’m left like Mona Lisa
Without tears and without a smile
Let Heaven and your mother take care of you
I’m leaving, it will be better that way

Ah, here we go, now “avisar“, as you may have guessed, is indeed related to “advise” in that it means “to warn”, and “anunciar” means “to announce”, which I’ve no doubt was chosen so that it would rhyme when she says “hoy renuncio” which means “today I renounce”, so she’s making it clear that she’s loudly and publicly announcing her renunciation of him!

Negocio” means “business”, pluralized in this case to express the fact that he has got several various dirty dealings that qualify as “dirty business”, and “sucio”, of course, means “dirty”.

A really interesting phrase we see next that I needed some help sorting out is “Ya sabes que estoy de ti vacunada”, which literally translates to “Already you know that I am from you vaccinated” where “vacunado” is the past participle of the verb “vacunar” which means “to vaccinate”; the word order is really screwy here and the lack of punctuation to help out makes it worse.  What she’s saying isn’t “I am of your vaccinated” which is what it looks like, she’s using de to mean “from”, so she’s actually saying “I’m vaccinated against you”, as in “I’m immune to your charms” as we would say in English, but the word order is such that you have to insert a couple of commas to read it properly: “You already know that I am, from you, vaccinated”–that makes sense!

And next up is something even more confusing unless you’re a Spanish-speaking tango dancer: “A prueba de patadas” which means “to be kick-proof” with regards to what she’s vaccinated against (kicks, his kicks).  This refers to the kicks you see in the tango dance, so she’s saying that she’s immune to his sexy dance moves, haha! In this case the word “prueba” is used, which normally means “test”, however when it’s used with “de” like this it can sometimes mean “X-proof”, e.g. “prueba de balas” means “bullet proof”.  And, of course, “patada” means “kick” so when you combine the two in the phrase “prueba de patadas” you get “kicks-proof” :D

The next thing I’d like to address is the use of “Que” in this statement: “Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti”.  When you see this in Spanish–it’s hard to spot, you have to go off the context more than anything, though it almost always occurs at the beginning of a sentence or clause–it means literally “that” but it means it in the sense of “That the following may occur” or, a better translation, being “Let the following occur” as in “I want the following to happen”, so when she says “Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti”, she’s saying “I want that heaven and your mother take care of you”…sort of…make sense?

Next verse:

Sé que olvidarte no es asunto sencillo
Te me clavaste en el cuerpo como un cuchillo
Pero todo lo que entra ha de salir
Y los que estan tendrán que partir
Empezando por mi

Which translates to:

I know that forgetting you isn’t a simple matter
You drove a knife through my heart
But all that comes in must go out
And those that are [still in] will have to go
Starting with me

“Olvidarte” is the infinitive of the verb “olvidar“, which means “to forget”, with “te” added on to the end which directs the action of “olvidar” to “te” (you) in this case.  In that same sentence we see a very interesting, and commonly used, word with multiple meantings: “asunto“.  Which, in this case, means “matter”, but can also mean similar things such as “issue” (in the sense of a problem) or “affair” (in the sense of a situation, not a romantic affair), and is also used when Spanish-speakers say the equivalent of our English expressions, “It’s none of your business” by saying “No es asunto tuyo” (literally, “it’s not your affair”), and “The thing is that…” by saying “El asunto es que…” (literally, “the issue is that”).  Also, “sencillo” means “simple”, so her expression “asunto sencillo” obviously means “simple matter” as in “it’s not a simple matter”.

The next line includes the verb “clavar” to express that her lover has proverbially driven a knife or stake through her heart, as we would say, and “clavar” literally translates to “to nail, drive, or thrust” in reference to stabbing or driving a sharp object such as a knife or nail into something.  Notice the exact wording of the expression that’s actually used in this case and you’ll see it’s clear that it’s a metaphor: “Te me clavaste en el cuerpo como un cuchillo” which literally means “You stabbed me in the body like a knife” so she’s saying that he has caused her great and sudden pain like when someone stabs you with a knife, except her pain is emotional, it’s just like when we refer to “our heart” in English in reference to emotions and romance: we’re talking about the symbolic heart, that which represents our feelings, not the real one, and you see it when we say that a lover/ex “stabbed us in the heart” or, the more recently popular and funny expression, “He/she crapped on my heart!” :D

After that there’s the expression “Y los que estan tendrán que partir” and I’d like to point out that the word “tendrán” is actually the third person plural future of the verb “tener” (click to see the full conjugation) so what’s literally being said is “And those that are will have to leave” because, as you probably already know, “estar” is always used to indicate the presence of something in a certain location (you would say “Estoy en Bogotá”, not “Soy en Bogotá”), and so she’s saying “those which are still there” by saying “los que estan”, and the way that “have to” is most commonly said in Spanish is by using “tener + que + [action]“, e.g. “I have to go” = “Tengo que ir”, and since she wants to say that these things (plural) will have to go (if they’re there) she does this by using the future conjugation in the “ustedes” form, which is “tendrán”. Got it?

And, of course, the last line, “Empezando por mi” means “beginning with me” (in reference to that which will have to go) as “empezando” is the gerund (“-ing” version) of the verb “empezar” which means “to begin”.

Next verse:

Ay, te aviso y te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Ya sabes que estoy de ti vacunada
A prueba de patadas
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy

Which is just a repeat of a verse we covered before. Next:

Tal vez tú no eras ese para mi
No sé como se puede ya vivir queriendo así

Which means:

Maybe you weren’t that for me
I don’t know how anyone can even live
Wanting like this

Now, the first line, “Tal vez tú no eras ese para mi”, is in reference to the previous verse where she said “Me voy, será mejor así” in the last line which means “I’m leaving, it will be best that way”, so she’s saying that maybe he wasn’t the best for her (“ese” in the first line of the current verse refers to “mejor” in the last line of the previous verse).  Oh, and “tal vez” is a very common expression that means “perhaps” or “maybe”.

Next verse:

Es tan patético, neurótico, satírico y sicótico
Tú no lo ves, el tango no es de a trés
Ahí voy planeando escapar y me sale al revés
Pero voy a intentarlo una y otra vez, voy

Which means:

It’s so pathetic and neurotic and satirical and psychotic
Don’t you see? Tango is not for three
There I go planning to escape and I get the opposite
But I’m going to try it one more time, I’m leaving!

Ok, this is cute and kinda funny at this point.  The first line is the funniest, but it’s also pretty obvious and I don’t think there’s anything there I need to explain, do I? I guess I’ll mention that “tan” is a very common word that means “so” in the sense of “a lot”, and a very similar word that you’ll frequently confuse it with is “tal” which means “such”.

Where she says “me sale al revés” that literally translates to “It takes me out backwards” but this is an idiomatic expression meaning “I get the opposite” because “al revés” means “the wrong way round”, “sale” is in the 3rd person present so it means “it takes out” (that is, “it” is the one doing the taking out, not her) and it’s reflexive so it’s happening to her: “me sale al revés” = “it takes me out the wrong way round”.

In the last line you see the verb “intentar” which means “to try” and with “lo” tacked onto the end, of course, it means “to try it”.

Next verse:

Ay, te aviso te anuncio que hoy renuncio
A tus negocios sucios
Por ti me quedé como Mona Lisa
Sin llanto y sin sonrisa
Te aviso que estoy de ti vacunada
Y no me importa nada
Que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy, será mejor así

Which is the third repeat of that same verse we previously dealt with. Next:

Ya me voy, ya me fui
Es mejor así
Ay, que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy
Ay, que el cielo y tu madre cuiden de ti
Me voy
¡Será mejor así!

Which is a repeat except for the first line which means “I’m going already, I’ve already left” due to “ya” (“already” or “now”) at the beginning of the sentence, and then “fui” is the preterite “yo” form of “ir” (“to go”) that means “I left” when used reflexively (“se/me/te/etc.”) in this case with “me”.

That’s it! We’re done.  I love doing this with music videos, TV shows, movies, etc., you learn an enormous amount of the language just from a few minutes of one of those.  Any suggestions for how to go forth with this? Modifications? Improvements?  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Also, of course, there will be more where this came from, whether it’s Shakira or other artists or other media like clips from movies or what-have-you, it seems people really like this, so we’re definitely going to keep doing this indefinitely.

A Quick Note Before We End…

I’ve got two posts that I’ve put up that I’m recommending everyone interested in learning Spanish go read if they haven’t already (if you have, ignore this, sorry): How to avoid wasting months learning Spanish the wrong way (basically this is my “how to get started right in learning Spanish” post for complete beginners) and The Telenovela Method where I cover how to use popular media like movies, music, and books to learn Spanish. Additionally you can check out the front page for a more complete list of my best and most popular posts.

Cheers,

Andrew

Learn Spanish from TV shows, movies, music, books, comics, and more!

Did you remember to check out my post on the Telenovela Method? Again, it costs nothing to read it, watch the (short, under 15 minutes!) video, and give it a shot! I'll show you exactly how you can learn to do all sorts of cool things, including teaching yourself Spanish from whatever modern popular Spanish-language media you choose (TV shows, music, etc.) as well as how to apply what you've learned immediately by using it to talk to a real, live native speaker who will, for free, be glad to help you with your Spanish (I'll show you where and how you can find these people online and how to talk to them, either face-to-face via Skype or via written means if you'd prefer). Check out the Telenovela Method (click here) and get started learning Spanish today!

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