Juanes said that he dreams in Spanish, so that’s why he usually doesn’t sing in another language, even though he’s collaborated with artists that don’t necessarily sing in Spanish. So when he did his song Hoy Me Voy [YouTube] — included in his 2007 album La Vida Es un Ratico — and did a Spanglish version with Colbie Caillat, it was interesting.
For the most part, the Spanglish version does a good job at translating the Spanish — “Devuélveme ese corazón que tú no supiste valorar lo que te daba yo de verdad.” to a pretty close “So give me back this heart of mine ’cause you didn’t feel the love that I would give to you every day and night.”
A literal translation would be “Give me back this heart that you didn’t value what I really gave to you.”
You know there’s a problem when you add the words “every day and night,” as well as the cringe-worthy random “baby.” xD Which they use in the chorus (nonetheless!!!) — “Tengo miedo de no olvidarte y por eso de ti me despido” with the line “I am scared baby, I won’t forget you and that’s why i need to let you go, so-”
The literal translation for that would be “I’m scared of not forgetting you, and that’s why I’m saying goodbye.” Compared to that, the Portuguese/Spanish version (Spanguese? Portugish?) goes the dramatic way with the line “Tive medo, fui covarde, é por isso que de ti me despeço” which translates literally to “I was scared, I was a coward, and that’s why I’m saying goodbye.”
Obviously, the mixing of Spanish and Portuguese is way more natural than with English. However, it’s super interesting that the changed lyrics in Portguese are even more dramatic than in Spanish… which usually have dramatic lyrics.
Anyway, I prefer the arrangements for this version with Paula Fernandes because it gives it a super serious and more devastating tone. The original version of just Juanes in Spanish is a little too peppy, and the version with Colbie Caillat is just… too soft.