Our Spanish expert explains Drake’s MIA lyrics (and shares a few tips for him)

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drake spanish mia lyrics explained in english

Drake’s long-awaited collaboration with Bad Bunny, ‘MIA’, was released yesterday and fans around the world are going wild with excitement about his verse in Spanish.

But what exactly is Drake singing in Spanish? What do the lyrics mean in English? And is Drake’s Spanish any good?
We sat down with Elena, one of our Spanish language experts here at busuu, to find out.

What do Drake’s Spanish lyrics in MIA mean?

It’s not as complicated as you might think!
Here’s Elena’s English language translation of Drake’s Spanish verse in MIA:
Todos están pendientes de ti // All the guys are checking you out

pero tú puesta pa mí. // but you’re there for me.

Haciendo que me odien más. // Making them hate me more.

Porque todos te quieren probar. // Because all the guys want to be with you.

Lo que no saben es que no te dejas llevar de cualquiera. // What they don’t know is that you don’t get carried away by anyone.

Diles que tú eres mía, mía. // Tell them that you are mine, mine.

Tú sabes que eres mía, mía. // You know that you’re mine, mine.

Tú misma lo decías // You said that yourself

cuando yo te lo hacía. // when I made it to you.

As for the title, ‘MIA’, here’s what Elena has to say:
“The title of the song is a possessive pronoun used with feminine nouns. It means ‘mine’ and in Spanish we know the gender by looking at the pronoun (we know the song refers to a woman). However this pronoun has an accent on the “I” and in Spanish we accentuate caps, so we need an accent there. Something interesting about the title is that the use of capitalisation together with a possessive pronoun makes this title even more powerful and emphatic. Alternatively, ‘Mia’ without an accent means ‘he/she meows’…another way to interpret the song title!”

How good is Drake’s Spanish?

It’s not bad! Let’s not forget, this isn’t the first time for Drake to sing in Spanish. So he’s definitely had a bit of practice.
In particular, here’s what Elena says Drake does well:
“The Puerto Rican way of pronouncing some Spanish sounds makes Drake sound super sweet. I am amazed that he maintains his unique ‘Drake style’ even whilst singing in Spanish. He also looks very comfortable singing in Spanish and his pronunciation is great!”
We also asked Elena to point out the parts that he sings well, and which parts Drake has a bit of room to improve on. Here’s what she said:

1. Todos están pendien(tes) de ti (All the guys are checking you out) 

“Drake ‘eats up’ the syllable ‘tes’ in ‘pendientes‘. But hey, our language is long and it’s a lot of syllables to say. Also, you can still understand what he is saying.”

2. pero tú puesta pa mí (but you’re there for me)

“The phrase ‘estar puesta’ is used a fair bit in songs. Here Drake omits the ‘estar’ but it can be understood that ‘tú estás puesta pa’ mí”’is what he says. It means ‘you’re there for me’.

Also ‘pa’ means ‘para’, but it’s the colloquial way used mainly in spoken Spanish. It sounds cool in songs since it’s shorter than ‘para’.”

3. Porque todos te quieren probar. (Because all the guys want to be with you.)

“I love the little pause Drake makes when he sings ‘to-dos’. It’s so cute!”

4. Lo que no saben es que no te dejas llevar de cualquiera. (What they don’t know is that you don’t get carried away by anyone.)

“You can tell here that Drake struggles a little with one of the trickiest sounds in Spanish – ‘j’. In Puerto Rico, this is an aspirated phoneme, but the whole sentence has a nice rhythm when he sings it.”

5. Lo que no saben es que yo hoy te voy a buscar. (What they don’t know is that today I’m going to look for you.)

“Here Drake struggles a little bit with the sound ‘y’, but the whole rhythm of the sentence sounds natural in the context of a song.”

6. Diles que tú eres mía, mía. (Tell them that you are mine, mine.)

“Here he eats the –s in ‘diles’. The word ‘dile’ exists, but it won’t make sense that he first refers to a group ‘todos’ (all the guys) and now he refers to just one guy.”

If Drake is keen to improve his Spanish, we’d happily offer him a busuu Premium subscription – free of charge.

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