About

What is Songlations? 

“Songlations” is a blog with English translations of Spanish song lyrics, intended for an audience interested in understanding the original Spanish lyrics. I try to strike a balance between fidelity and transparency, i.e. to be literal, but also sound natural. The translations are meant to be educational, so I will err toward a faithful translation if necessary. If the literal translation is too complicated, I will explain further in the translation notes instead. 

I assume that the people using these translations are learning Spanish, not native or heritage speakers. The translations are faithful to the meaning and phrasing of the lyrics. The notes at the end provide further clarification. Questions and comments are great, of course, and very welcome. 

My translations are not meant for karaoke or fandubs, but you are welcome to further edit my translations for those purposes. If the final work is available online, I’d love to see it! 

Who are you and what languages do you know? 

I am Cairaguas Gonzalez, the translator, a fluent heritage speaker of Mexican Spanish (my home language). My parents are immigrants from Mexico. I was raised in California in a neighborhood with a dense Spanish-speaking immigrant population. I started translating as a hobby to maintain my Spanish vocabulary, spelling, and written grammar. 

I am only fluent in English and Spanish. I studied French for three years. I can read French, understand some French radio, and have very simple conversations with patient people. I took one semester in German and retained a little bit, but not enough to read, hear, or speak it. I watched enough subtitled anime during high school and college to remember some really common Japanese words and phrases. Anime and manga translators influenced my translation style by helping me realize what I like in translations: e.g. notes, explanations of puns or wordplay, not changing the literal meaning too much, but also not using unusual words or syntax or being too literal, etc.

The only languages I am comfortable speaking and listening to at a normal pace are English and Spanish.

Have you translated ________? 

The easiest way to find out is to do a Google search limited to Songlations. Here is and example that searches the old and new site at the same time: 

Do you take requests?

I used to, but don’t anymore. Too many requests, not enough time to translate, sorry. If you suggest a song from a singer or band that I translate a lot, I’ll take it into consideration but it won’t be translated immediately.

What is the history of Songlations? 

In 2004, I started posting occasional song translations to my Geocities website. Yahoo closed down all Geocities pages on October 2009.

From 2007-2016, I posted in Songlations at LiveJournal and became more organized and serious about translating. I posted over 300 songs at LiveJournal.

From 2016-2021, Songlations was on hiatus due to a major life changes (graduating, new job with a longer commute and more computer work, family weddings & funerals, other things).

Starting September 2021, I am moving to a WordPress site hosted at Songlations.com. The first years will be transitional (moving posts and re-adding formatting, replacing dead links, checking old comments, tagging posts). The old posts will keep their old post dates unless I make big edits. I plan to add new translations at least once a month, hopefully more often. I am not taking song requests at this time.

Where are you on social media?

New posts will be shared on social media, so follow me to get notifications.

Can I re-post your translations on other websites?

No, don’t post my full translations somewhere else. I am fine with people taking quotes for art projects, music discussions, and things like that. I am fine with English fandubs. You can also use full translations for private educational purposes (not posted publicly). Please attribute the translation by linking back to or citing Songlations somewhere.

How do I cite you?

Formal citations for school reports and similar projects: Let’s say that you are writing a report on student protests in Latin America and you want to cite the translated lyrics of “Shock” by Ana Tijoux. Here is how you do it. Assume today’s date is December 5, 2020. The translation was posted on March 31, 2012.

StyleCitation format
MLA styleGonzalez, Cairaguas. “‘Shock’ by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics.” Songlations. LiveJournal, 31 Mar 2012. Web. 05 Dec 2020. <http://songlations.livejournal.com/51479.html >.
APA style, websiteGonzalez, C. (2012, March 31). “Shock by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics. Songlations. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from http://songlations.livejournal.com/51479.html.
APA style, blogGonzalez, C. (2012, March 31). “Shock by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics [Web log post]. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from http://songlations.livejournal.com/51479.html.
Chicago/Turabian styleGonzalez, Cairaguas. “‘Shock’ by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics.” Songlations. http://songlations.livejournal.com/51479.html.

Informal citations: If you are quoting part of a translation somewhere online, a simple link back to the post or the main page is sufficient to make me very happy. Here is the HTML to turn text into a link: 

<a href="https://songlations.com">Songlations</a>

What do the abbreviations in your posts mean?

  • lit. = literally (what the words say exactly) 
  • alt. = alternative translation noun, 
  • m. = masculine noun noun, 
  • f. = feminine noun 
  • col. = colloquial 

Thank you for your support! These donations will help me offset the cost of WordPress fees and domain registration. I appreciate any amount!

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Amazon referral link (ID: songlations-20)

If you wish to support Songlations a different way, I have a tracking ID for Amazon referrals. Click the following link, buy anything within 24 hours, and I get a small percentage as commission:

http://www.amazon.com/?tag=songlations-20

Spread the word

Finally, just telling people about Songlations helps drive traffic to my blog. WordPress ads generate a little bit of money though not much currently, about $0.07 per month since Songlations.com is still new, but that is more than I got from LiveJournal (nothing). In time, I hope increased traffic will make Songlations pay for itself.


Last edited April 19, 2022