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"Los Idiotas" by Calle 13, English translation of lyrics

"Idiots"
Album: Multi_Viral, 2014
Style: Sing-song
Country: Puerto Rico

Listen:

Calle 13 sing about the negative and redeeming qualities of idiots. The song is a criticism of uninformed people who don't care or listen, and intelligent people who don't bother making a difference. Listen at YouTube here.

[Expand embedded video]

Translation:

Algunos nacen idiotas,
Otros aprenden a hacerlo,
Otros se hacen los idiotas
Y tratan de convencernos.


Some are born idiots,
Others learn to be so,
Others pretend to be idiots
And try to convince the rest of us.

Puedes pensar lo que quieras.
Hoy no te salva la aritmética;
Todo el mundo tiene
Un porcentaje de idiotez en su genética.


You can think what you want.
Today arithmetic doesn't save you;
The entire world has
A percentage of idiocy in their genetics.

Pa' separarnos con la arrogancia
De que en el mundo somos el centro,
Mejor unificarnos con el idiota
Que todos llevamos dentro.


To separate ourselves from the arrogance
That we are the center of the world,
Better to unify ourselves with the idiot
That we all carry inside.

Cristóbal Colón descubrió América
Por pura coincidencia.
Por éso, para ser idiota
Se requiere inteligencia.


Christopher Columbus discovered America
By pure coincidence.
That why, to be an idiot
One requires intelligence.

La idiotez tiene sus puntos a favor:
Es la única enfermedad
En donde el enfermo no sufre,
Excepto todos a su alrededor.


Idiocy has points in its favor:
It is the only disease
In which the sick one doesn't suffer,
But everyone around him does. [*lit. Except everyone around him.]

Hacer buenas preguntas ayuda
A que no sea contagiosa.
La idiotez es colectiva
Cuando nadie se cuestiona las cosas.


Asking good questions helps
So that it isn't contagious.
Idiocy is collective
When no one questions things.

Ésta enfermedad no te permite mentir,
Porque se te nota.
Por éso, cuando estás enamorado,
Sonríes como un idiota.


This disease doesn't allow you to lie,
Because people can tell. [*lit. Because it can be seen on you]
That's why, when you're in love,
You smile like an idiot.

Los idiotas se sienten seguros
Con todo lo que comentan, porque
Hablan lo que saben,
Y lo que no saben,
Se lo inventan.


Idiots feel sure
About everything (that) they comment on, because
They say what they know,
And what they don't know,
They make up. [*lit. They invent.]

Aunque suene raro,
A los idiotas los escucho.
Pa' tener a un listo que no dice nada,
Prefiero a un idiota que hable mucho.


Although it sounds strange,
I listen to idiots.
(Rather than) to have a clever person who says nothing,
I prefer an idiot who says a lot.

Y de todo lo que hable,
Alguna buena idea habré escuchado,
De ésas que el sabio se guardó
Por temor a ser juzgado.


And of everything they say,
Some good idea I may hear,
One that the wise man kept to himself
For fear of being judged.

Chorus:
-------------------------------------------------------
Un idiota es aquel
Que no aprende del pasado.
Un desinformado
Que no escucha al informado.


And idiot is one
Who does not learn from the past.
An uninformed one
Who does not listen to the informed one.

Un idiota,
Por debajo del nivel.
Un idiota es el que cree que
Todos son idiotas, menos él.


An idiot,
Below standards.
An idiot is he who believes that
Everyone is an idiot, except them.
-------------------------------------------------------
(x2)

Entre todos los trabajos
Que un empleado ejecuta,
El trabajo más idiota
Es el que no se disfruta.


Among all the jobs
That an employee performs,
The most idiot job
Is the one that isn't enjoyed.

A la hora de buscar un empleo
Es bueno idiotizarte, porque...
Cuando eres brillante,
Prefieren no contratarte.


When the time comes to look for a job [*lit. At the hour/time of searching for a job]
It is better to idiotify yourself, because...
When you are brilliant,
They prefer not to contract you.

Mantener a la gente inteligente
Abajo, sin crecer,
Es la regla más importante
De un idiota con poder.


To keep the intelligent people
Down, never rising, [*lit. Below/down, without rising]
Is the most important rule
For an idiot with power.

Pero, sería una idiotez
Tomarse la vida de manera seria.
Hacen falta los idiotas
Pa' que exista la comedia.


But it would be an idiocy
To take life so seriously. [*lit. To take life in a serious manner]
Idiots are necessary [*lit. There is need for idiots]
So that comedy exists.

Y poder burlarse de ellos
Y también de uno mismo.
Ser idiota no está mal
Si lo ves con optimismo.


And so we can laugh at them
And also at ourselves.
To be an idiot isn't bad
If one sees it with optimism.

Poco entendimiento
Y mucha explicación agota.
Uno es más inteligente
Cuando piensa como idiota.


Little understanding
And much explanation is exhausting.
One is more intelligent
When one thinks like an idiot.

Simplificas las respuestas
De éste mundo complicado.
Mientras el sabio se preocupa,
El idiota es relajado.


You simplify the answers
For this complicated world.
While the wise man worries,
The idiot is relaxed.

Aunque también la idiotez
Puede ponerte nervioso.
No hay nada más preocupante
Que un idiota peligroso.


Although idiocy also
Can make one nervous.
There is nothing more worrying
Than a dangerous idiot.

Su arma más peligrosa
Es desinformar a la gente.
Son idiotas peligrosos
Con cara de presidentes.


Their most dangerous weapon
Is misinforming people.
There are dangerous idiots
With the faces of presidents.

Aquí nadie es perfecto.
Todos cometemos errores.
Hace falta ser idiotas
Pa' aprender a ser mejores.


Here nobody is perfect.
We all make mistakes.
It is necessary to be idiots
To learn to be better.

[Chorus: "Un idiota es aquel que no aprende del pasado..."]

Translation Notes:

I often use the "they" as singular third-person throughout this song because Calle 13 leave out the pronouns for many of the lines, making the lines genderless. When they do add gender, they tend to use the masculine gender as a default, as is common in Spanish and English.
Tags: calle 13
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