Translating the Spanish from the song Despacito

Despacito. Did I hear that right?

It’s often said when learning a new language, that singing along to popular songs can help with knowledge retention, increase vocabulary, and even make the language easier and more fun to learn.


But if you’re singing along to Luis Fonsi’s record-breaking 2017 smash hit “Despacito,” which was streamed more than 4-billion times in just six months, you may be surprised to learn the meaning behind the words you’re singing.


As you may be able to decipher from Fonsi’s higher-pitched crooning of “slowly,” in some parts of the song, that’s the translation of the word, “despacito.” With “besito” meaning “little kiss” and “poquito” meaning “little” or, more accurately here because the term is repeated twice, meaning “little by little,” we can safely assume the song lyrics contain… let’s call it ‘romantic’ subject matter. But, what about the rest of the song? Let’s break it down.


Desapcito’s First Verses and Chorus


The Spanish parts of song start off innocently enough, speaking about the desire to dance (“Tengo que bailar contigo hoy” meaning “I have to dance with you today), but moves quickly forward towards more suggestive content (“Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más” meaning “All of my senses are asking for more), before launching into the most sing-along-able part – the not-so-innocent chorus, which translates into English as:



I want to breathe in your neck slowly

Let me murmur things in your ear

So that you remember if you’re not with me


I want to undress you in kisses slowly

Firmly in the walls of your labyrinth

And of your body, I want to create a manuscript


Despacito’s “Daddy Yankee Rap”


And that “Spanish rap” that Daddy Yankee performs in the middle of the song? “Bum-bum” is likely the term used by many when attempting to “rap-along” with him during this part of the song, but “bang-bang” is what he is actually saying, along with some other very specific terms to make one’s heart race while their hips are twisting along to the beat:


If I ask you for a kiss, come, give it to me
I know that you’re thinking about it
I’ve been trying for a while
Baby, this is giving and giving it
You know that your heart with mine makes you go bang-bang
You know that she is looking for my bang-bang
Come, taste from my mouth to see what it tastes like
I want to, I want to, I want to see how much love you can take in
I am not in a hurry, I want to take the trip
Let’s start slow, then wild


If you’re wondering if the song could get any more explicit, you’re in luck! Here are some other translated lyrics used throughout the song that make it extremely sexual in nature:


I want to be your rhythm
And you show my mouth
Your favourite places…

Let me surpass your danger zones
To make you scream
And you forget your last name…

We will do it on the beach in Puerto Rico
Till the waves scream ‘dear lord’
So that my seal stays with you


Did you have any idea what you were singing? No? Didn’t think so!


Check out the Spanish lyrics along with the English translation while listening to the original version of the song (the version without Daddy Yankee).


Are you ready to learn Spanish so you won’t be shocked about the lyrics you’ve been singing? Get started today and learn on the go with Pocket Learning Spanish.

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