Cairaguas (cairaguas) wrote in songlations,

About Songlations; Introduction & FAQ; Notes [2007-2016]

What is Songlations? "Songlations" is a blog with English translations of Spanish song lyrics, intended for an audience that is interested in understanding the Spanish lyrics. I try to strike a balance between fidelity and transparency, i.e. to be literal, but also sound natural. The translations are meant to be educational, so I will err toward a faithful translation if necessary. However, if the literal translation is too complicated, I will explain further in the translation notes instead.

Who are you? I am Cairaguas Gonzalez, the translator, a fluent heritage speaker of Mexican Spanish (my home language). My parents are immigrants from Mexico. I was raised in California in a neighborhood with a dense Spanish-speaking immigrant population. I am currently a scientist who maintains an interest in linguistics and translations. I started translating as a hobby to maintain my Spanish vocabulary, spelling, and written grammar.

Have you translated ________?

The easiest way to find out is to do a Google search limited to Songlations. Here is an example that you can use for your own search.

Do you take requests?

I used to, but don't anymore. Too many requests, not enough time to translate, sorry!

Who is your intended audience? How do you translate? I am assuming that the people who look for these translations are not native Spanish speakers, but rather people who are learning the language. The translations here are faithful to the meaning and phrasing of the lyrics, so they should help you understand what is being said and how it is being said. The notes at the end of each song provide further clarification. Questions and comments are great, of course, and very welcome.

My translations are not meant for karaoke or fandubs, but you are welcome to further edit my translations for those purposes. If the final work is available online, I'd love to see it!

What other languages do you know? I studied French for three years. I can read French, understand a fair amount of French radio, and have simple conversations with patient people. I took one semester in German and retained a little bit, but not enough to read, hear, or speak it. I watched enough subtitled anime during high school and college to remember some really common Japanese words and phrases. Anime and manga translators influenced my translation style by helping me realize what I like in translations: e.g. notes, explanations of puns or wordplay, not changing the literal meaning too much, but also not using unusual words or syntax or being too literal, etc.

The only languages I am comfortable speaking and listening to at a normal pace are English and Spanish.

What is the history of Songlations? In 2004, I started posting occasional song translations to my Geocities website. In 2007, I opened Songlations at LiveJournal and became more organized and serious about translating. When people ask me how long I have been translating, I usually count from 2007.

Yahoo closed down all Geocities pages on October 2009, but some nice people started a Geocities archival project to preserve that portion of internet history. They happened to archive my old website here. I can no longer edit it, but you are free to browse. The old website has some Shakira songs that aren't on Songlations. Oocities deleted the archive in 2022.

From 2007-2016, I posted in Songlations at LiveJournal and became more organized and serious about translating. I posted over 300 songs at LiveJournal.

From 2016-2021, Songlations was on hiatus due to a major life changes (graduating, new job with a longer commute and more computer work, family weddings & funerals, other things).

Starting September 2021, I am tentatively transferring Songlations to The first year will be transitional (moving posts and re-adding formatting, replacing dead links, checking old comments, tagging posts), but I plan to mix new content among the reposts occasionally. I am not taking song requests at this time.

What translation resources do you use? What dictionaries do you like?

I keep a list of useful resources that I like to use when I am translating. If you need monolingual or bilingual dictionaries, etymology websites, or Perl code to make every first letter of a line capitalized, go there!

Where are you on social media?

Can I re-post your translations on other websites?

No, please don't post the whole translation somewhere else. I put a lot of effort into my translations and I don't want to lose credit or control over them. Sometimes I go back to edit old translations if I find mistakes or change my mind.

I am fine with people taking quotes for art projects, music discussions, and things like that. You can also use translations for educational purposes. Please attribute the translation by linking back to or citing Songlations somewhere.

How do I cite you?

Formal citations for school reports and similar projects:

Let's say that you are writing a report on student protests in Latin America and you want to cite the translated lyrics of "Shock" by Ana Tijoux. Here is how you do it. Today's date is December 5, 2020. The translation was posted on March 31, 2012.


Citation format
MLA style Gonzalez, Cairaguas. "'Shock' by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics." Songlations. LiveJournal, 31 Mar 2012. Web. 05 Dec 2020. <>.
APA style, website Gonzalez, C. (2012, March 31). "Shock by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics. Songlations. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from
APA style, blog Gonzalez, C. (2012, March 31). "Shock by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics [Web log post]. Retrieved December 5, 2020, from
Chicago/Turabian style Gonzalez, Cairaguas. "'Shock' by Ana Tijoux, English translation of lyrics." Songlations.

Informal citations:

If you are quoting part of a translation somewhere online, a simple link back to the post or the main page is sufficient to make me very happy. Yay, links! Here is the HTML to turn text into a link:

<a href="">Songlations</a>

What do the abbreviations in your posts mean?

lit. = literally (what the words say exactly)
alt. = alternative translation
noun, m. = masculine noun
noun, f. = feminine noun
col. = colloquial

Do you know of other websites like Songlations?

Yes! I keep a list of other websites with side-by-side translations at my resources page. If you have suggested websites, let me know.

How do I donate? How can I support you?

Donate at Wordpress

If you like Songlations and wish to donate, scroll down to the end of my About page on I set up an account with Stripe, Wordpress' recommended secure payment system.

Proceeds go toward the cost of website hosting, lunch, and stuff to make translating easier. I do not get donations often, but they make my day. Thank you!

Amazon referral link (ID: songlations-20)

If you wish to support Songlations a different way, I now have a tracking ID for Amazon referrals. Click the following link, buy anything within 24 hours, and I get a small percentage as commission:

Spread the word

Finally, just telling people about Songlations helps drive traffic to my blog. I don't use ads to make money (any ads you see are LiveJournal's), but more traffic usually means more comments, and that keeps me motivated.

Thanks for your support!

Why do Songlations layouts always have plant themes?

Because plants are my other passion! I love plants and nature. The Aloe vera in the title header is my houseplant. The Cacao tree in the Songlations Facebook page is from a visit to a botanical garden. See my nature photos at my Flickr account.

Last edited: April 10, 2022
Tags: about

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