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?
For those of us learning Spanish, understanding the lyrics offers a fun lesson.
We sat down with Elena, one of our Spanish language experts here at Busuu, to learn everything we need to know.
It’s not as complicated as you might think!
Here’s Elena’s English language translation of Drake’s Spanish verse in MIA:
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!”
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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:
“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.”
“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’.”
“I love the little pause Drake makes when he sings ‘to-dos’. It’s so cute!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.