“La Llave De Mi Corazón” by Juan Luis Guerra, complete English translation of bilingual version

“The Key to My Heart”
Album: La Llave De Mi Corazon (The Key to My Heart), 2007
Style: Bilingual version of a merengue/pop hit.
About: The album won six Latin Grammy Awards in 2007, including “Album of the Year,” and this song won “Song of the Year.” The album also won “Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album”. Some of the English is in italics because it’s part of the original song and not a translation. I tried not to repeat English parts too much.
Country: Dominican Republic
Listen: YouTube

Translation:

Spoken introduction:

Buenas noches damas y caballeros*
Demos la bienvenida a
Juan Luis Guerra Y Cuatro Cuarenta

Good evening ladies and gentlemen
Let’s give a (warm) welcome to
Juan Luis Guerra And Cuatro Cuarenta*

Song:

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Yo escuchaba el otro día
Una emisora radial
Un siquiatra, Doctor Luis
Daba consejo matrimonial

I was listening the other day (to)
A radio transmission*
A psychiatrist, Doctor Luis
Was giving marriage advice

Marqué 305 594 1185
(Three o’ five, five ninety-four eleven eighty-five)
Hey doc, le llamo por una amiga
Que conocí en un web site

I dialed 305 594 1185
(Three o’ five, five ninety-four eleven eighty-five)
Hey doc, I’m calling you about a friend
Who I met on a website

Chorus:
———————————–
Le pido que me de solución
Pues tiene la llave de mi corazón

I ask you to give me a solution
Because she has the key to my heart
————————————

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Yo soy de Ciudad Nueva* y ella es
De San Pedro de Macorís, you know
Tierra de peloteros, where Sammy Sosa lives

I’m from New (Orleans) City and she is
From San Pedro de Macorís, you know
Land of ball players, where Sammy Sosa lives

Le gusta beber jugo de papaya con anís
Y narrar telenovelas
But love is blind as you can see

She likes to drink papaya juice with anise flavoring
And to narrate soap operas
But love is blind as you can see

[Chorus]

Sólo quiero que me beses como besas tú.
I only want you to kiss me the way you kiss

You know I can’t stop loving you, babe

I said mambo
Love me, yeah (x2)

Confirme su autoestima
Confirm your self-esteem

Make a point, you’re on the air

Que usted quiere que haga yo
Debo aprender español
Y bailar con un pie
Hasta que me dé su amor

What do you want me to do
Should I learn Spanish
And dance with one foot
Until she gives me her love

O viajar un año luz
De Saturno a Nueva York
Movin’ in, movin’ on,
Merengue, bachata y son, now

Or travel a light year
From Saturn to New York
Movin’ in, movin’ on,
Merenguebachata and son, now

[Chorus]

Dance!
Dance!
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Dance!

Que usted quiere que haga yo
Tocaré mi conga drums
Y me haré un carnet
De poeta y trovador

What do you want me to do
I’ll play my congo drums
And I’ll make myself a passport*
For poets and troubadours

Desempolvaré mi voz
Cantaré ‘La Vie en Rose’
Moving in, moving on
Merengue, bachata y son, now

I’ll dust off my voice
I’ll sing ‘La Vie en Rose’
Moving in, moving on
Merengue, bachata and son, now

[Chorus]

Sólo quiero que me beses como besas tú.
I only want you to kiss me the way you kiss

You know I can’t stop loving you, baby

[Chorus]

You’re so sweet, to me, yeah
You’re so sweet
You’re so sweet, to me, baby (x2)
You’re so sweet
Yeah yeah yeah

[Chorus]

Sweet to my heart
Eh baby now
Sweet to my heart (x3)

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Sweet to my heart
Yeah, baby

Chorus slightly altered:

Te pido que, me des solución
Tu tienes la llave de mi corazón

I ask you to give me a solution
You have the key to my heart

Translation Notes:

damas y caballeros = ladies and gentlemen

Notice that “caballeros” is caballo (horse) with the -ero suffix which makes it refer to a person. It’s actually from Latin caballarius which means horseman/rider.


Cuatro Cuarenta = Four Forty. I left it untranslated because it’s the name of Juan Luis Guerra’s band.


Una emissoria radial = a radio transmission (usually refers to a radio station).

Radio station = una estación de radio, too, however.


Ciudad Nueva = literally New City.

I am assuming this is New Orleans (Ciudad Nueva Orleans) since the English version says Louisiana. Before I heard the English version, I thought it referred to New York City (Ciudad Nueva York) since Spanish Wikipedia says that Juan Luis Guerra worked with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the song mentions New York later on.


carnet = carnet. It’s not really a passport, but that’s the sense with which it is used.


pelotero = ball player

Same construction as caballeropelota (ball) + -ero suffix (referring to a person again)

Note that -ero doesn’t always refer to a person, though.

Example: llave = key; llavero = keychain.

-ero in Spanish is like -er in English.

Examples: dance, dancer; fish, fisher; plant, planter; light, lighter.

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