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"Andar Conmigo" by Julieta Venegas, English translation of lyrics

"Being With Me"
Style: Pop, used to be a popular radio song
Country: Mexico

Hay tanto que quiero contarte
Hay tanto que quiero saber de ti,
Ya podemos empezar poco a poco.
Cuéntame qué te trae por aquí.


There is so much I want to tell you
There is so much I want to know about you,
We can begin little by little now.
Tell me what brings you to these parts.

No te asustes de decirme la verdad.
Eso nunca puede estar así tan mal.
Yo también tengo secretos para darte
Y que sepas que no me sirven más.


Do not be afraid of telling me the truth.
It can never be as bad as that.
I also have secrets to give you
And know that they aren't useful to me anymore.

Chorus:
-----------------------------------------------
Hay tantos caminos por andar...

There are so many paths to thread...

Dime si tú quisieras andar conmigo, oh, oh, oh
Cuéntame si quisieras andar conmigo, oh, oh, oh

(x2)

Tell me if you would like to be with me, oh, oh, oh
Tell me if you would like to be with me, oh, oh oh
(x2)
------------------------------------------------

Estoy ansiosa por soltarlo todo,
Desde el principio hasta llegar al día de hoy.
Una historia tengo aquí para entregarte,
Una historia todavía sin final.


I am anxious to let it all go,
From the very beginning to today.
I have a story here to hand over to you,
A story still without an end.

Podríamos decirnos cualquier cosa
Incluso darnos para siempre un siempre no,
Pero ahora frente a frente aquí sentados
Festejemos que la vida nos cruzó.


We could tell each other anything
Even give each other forever a forever no,
But right now sitting here face to face
Let us celebrate that life has crossed our paths.

[Chorus]

Si quisieras andar conmigo...

If you would like to be with me...

Translation Notes:

Andar conmigo
To be with me, lit. to go with me
Being with me, lit. going with me
(Depends on the sentence)

andar [v] = to go, to travel, to walk
conmigo = with me

Andar conmigo means "being with me" as I move, sometimes literally (physically move from place to place), sometimes figuratively (move through time), usually romantically (going out with me, getting into a romantic relationship with me). The romantic meaning is relevant here. She is asking the guy if he wants to go out with her.

For an explanation of the -go at the end, see this page on the history of the Spanish language.

---

Cuéntame qué te trae por aquí
Tell me what brings you to these parts
lit. Tell me what brings you by here

---

Eso nunca puede estar así tan mal
It can never be as bad as that
lit. It can never be like that so bad

---

Y que sepas que no me sirven más
And know that they aren't useful to me anymore
lit. And know that they no longer serve me (any use)

servir [v] = to serve (like a waiter serves food); to serve (a use), to be useful; to work, to be functional (often used for appliances)

Examples:

¿Me podría servir otro plato, por favor? = Could you serve me another plate, please?
Este libro no me sirvió. = This book didn't help me. This book wasn't useful to me.
Esta televisión ya no sirve. = This TV doesn't work anymore.

---

Dime si tú quisieras andar conmigo, oh, oh, oh
Cuéntame si quisieras andar conmigo, oh, oh, oh

Tell me if you would like to be with me, oh, oh, oh

decir vs. contar: both mean "to tell" here

decir [v] = to say, to utter; to tell the facts
decirle [v] = to tell her/him
decirme [v] = to tell me

contar [v] = to tell, to narrate; to inform
contarle [v] = to tell her/him
contarme [v] = to tell me

decir is used for just the action of telling someone something, very literal

contar is used for telling a story, for telling in more detail; for explaining; for gossiping

---

Desde el principio hasta llegar al día de hoy
From the very beginning to today
lit. From the beginning until arriving to the day of today

---

Una historia tengo aquí para entregarte
I have a story here to hand over to you
alt. I have a story here to deliver to you

---

Pero ahora frente a frente aquí sentados
But right now sitting here face to face
alt. But right now sitting here facing each other
lit. But right now sitting here front to front

frente [f. noun] = front; forehead

Careful not to translate "frente a frente" as "forehead to forehead." The phrase is used more generally than that. It is like the English phrase, "face to face."

Watch and Listen:

At YouTube here. This song was nominated for "Record of the Year" in the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards.

Comments

You know, I really like those tiny distinctions you make when you explain something. Like how you were talking about decir vs contar. When you explain things like that, you can TELL the tiny differences and it makes understanding things better than just "oh this is a very similar". It's like in the english language when you want to find a synonym for a word that means the same but isn't the exact one or has different connotations/etc.
Yeah, yeah! I was trying to fit in the word "about" when translating "Cuéntame si quisieras andar conmigo" because it feels like contar is "to tell about," but when I translate the whole line it just ends up being "tell" every way I try it, because contar does mean "to tell." That made the two lines "Dime si..." / "Cuéntame si..." exactly the same, though, and I knew that if it were me learning the language, something like that would be maddening. I would have wanted to know the difference. So yup, I definitely thought I should make a note about that. I'm glad you found it useful.

(Anonymous)

andar conmigo

i would translate "dime" as let me know; and "cuentame" as tell me. Also, "andar conmigo" does not mean be with me. "be with me" in spanish is estar conmigo. the phrase andar conmigo is used to ask someone out. so it shoudl be translated as follow, let me know if you would like to go out with me, tell me if.....

Re: andar conmigo

In English, "be with me" has a romantic connotation as well. Look at the translation note for andar. I explained this there already.

Thanks for commenting!

(Anonymous)

Thank You

Esto me fui muy util. Gracias por ponerlo en tu livejournal.

Re: Thank You

You're welcome!
You and this community are EXACTLY what I've been looking for! My Spanish has always been very basic and very passive (my family really abandoned the language upon coming to the US three generations before my entrance into this world, ha), and idioms evade me.

That said, singers like Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourçade and Ximena Sariñana are three of my favourites, and while I can usually figure out what the song is about, there are such tiny lyrical bits of cleverness that I always miss.

For example - this song is probably my favourite song of last year, and I had always translated "andar conmigo" to "walk with me", which isn't entirely incorrect, but it doesn't carry the same sort of weight as "be with me".

I look forward to reading more!
Thanks! I'm glad that it's useful. I like explaining things like "andar conmigo" because they're not very intuitive if you aren't used to them. They also help me think about the language, too. Nothing like explaining something to better understand it yourself! :)

My parents are immigrants and they only speak Spanish with us at home, but after elementary school, I just heard English at school. Luckily, I hear a lot of Spanish in my neighborhood, too, but the way American society is set up, it's really easy to lose heritage languages after a generation or two. Everyone defaults to English.

So... make sure to teach your kids, if you ever have any! :D

(Anonymous)

Thank you

You are a great translator and you explain the ambiguity of the words for us. Thank you for being so precise and going the extra mile when translating this so we can apprehend this as much as a native speaker. You're great! :)

Re: Thank you

Aw, thanks! :D

(Anonymous)

thanks!

Thanks so much for explaining the details of your translation (such as the distinction between 'decir' and 'contar'). It's extremely useful!

Re: thanks!

You're welcome! I'm glad you found it useful.

(Anonymous)

Dime si tú quisieras andar conmigo = Dime si quisieras ser mi novio(a) = Tell me if you would like to be my boyfriend/girlfriend
That's the real meaning in Latin America culture
I'm Mexican xD
Thanks for the comment. I'm Mexican, too. The reason I put "being with me" in the main text and explain the romantic meaning in the translation notes is that this blog is to help Spanish speakers understand the language. "Being with me" has romantic connotations in English, too. Mira las notas después de la traducción. Ahí expliqué todo esto. Además, no necesariamente quiere decir algo tan serio como ser novio/a. También se usa como "dime si quieres salir conmigo", i.e. tell me if you want to date me. Eso es unos pasos antes de ser novio/a.
I always thought 'andar conmigo' meant 'hang with me' (short for hang out with me/ spent some time with me). ¿Isn't the literal translation of andar - to walk (walk with me)?

Gracias por su trabajo en este sitio (soy gringo)
In this context, it is clearly meant romantically (e.g. "go out with me", "date me", "be with me"). In the context of friendships, it may mean "hang out with me", yes. You are correct about the literal translation. :-)
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July 2014

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