Learn Spanish with Bachata Music: Talking about Future Plans (Voy Pa’lla by Antony Santos)
Did you know you can learn Spanish grammar with music? In this episode, we’ll explore how to use the Spanish future tense with the Dominican music genre bachata. We’ll review 2 ways to talk about future plans, give you some vocabulary that you can use in day-to-day conversation, and talk about one curious word that’s *technically* not Spanish or English that appears in the song Voy Pa’llá by Antony Santos. ¡Que disfruten!
|¿Cómo estás? Espero que todo esté bien. Welcome to episode eight of the Learn Spanish Con Salsa podcast. Now I got so much great feedback from episode one where we looked at the song Despacito and some Spanish hacks that we can learn from the lyrics of the song. So in this episode I’m going to break down another song for you. Now with Dominican Independence Day right around the corner. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to explore a different genre of music that comes from the Dominican Republic. We’re gonna look at a song from the genre bachata. The song we’re gonna look at today is a classic bachata by Antony Santos. Now even though it came out back in 1991, it is still a very popular song and a favorite among dancers. So let’s take a look at the lyrics to Voy Pa’llá by Anthony Santos and see what Spanish we can learn from this song that we can actually use in our day-to-day conversations.
|So first I think I should explain a little bit about the title of the Song “Voy Pa’llá.” It’s actually three separate words, voy para allá. But in this case it’s really best not to try to translate it word for word. It’s much better to look at it as a phrase and translate the entire phrase, all three words together, into English. So the best equivalent for this expression in English would be something like, “I’m on my way” or “I’ll be right there.” And that’s definitely something that you can use in normal conversation. So if you’re on the phone with a friend and you’re on your way to their house, when you get off the phone, you can say, “voy pa’llá.” Now you might be wondering if this is three separate words, why does it just sound like two words, “voy para allá” sounds like “voy pa’llá.”
|Well, there’s a reason for that and some of it has to do with the Caribbean dialect of Spanish where a lot of words are shortened or cutoff at the endings, particularly in spoken and informal language. In the next episode, we’re actually going to talk in detail about the Dominican Spanish accent in particular. We’ll actually explain some of the reasons why people find it so hard to understand Spanish speakers from the Dominican Republic. So we’ll get into that in a lot more detail in the next episode. But for now it’s important just to note that the word “para” in this case is actually shortened. So the “r” and the “a” at the end are cut off in spoken Spanish in this case. So “para” just becomes “pá'” so it becomes “voy pa’ allá.”
|Now the normal rules of spoken Spanish, when you have a word that ends in a vowel and the next word begins with the same vowel, they’re combined into one syllable. So we have “para” shortened to “pa” and the next word is “allá,” which begins with an “a.” So that “pa” and “allá” combine to really form one sound, so it actually sounds like “pa’llá” so it’s “voy pa’llá.”
|So let’s get into the lyrics of the song. Now actually want to point out a word that you used in the introduction of the song that really isn’t Spanish and that’s the word “Mayimbe.” And it’s a word that Anthony Santos uses to refer to himself sort of as his stage nickname. Now this word is believed to come from the indigenous populations of the Dominican Republic and it really translates to something like a chief or a ruler of a village. But in this case he sort of using it to brag to say he’s the king. He’s the ruler. He’s on top, but it’s definitely a word that you’re not going to find if you look it up in the dictionary.
|Okay, so let’s get into the Spanish that’s in this song. The first thing I want to point out is in the first verse where we can actually figure out how to use the future tense in Spanish. And there’s actually two very easy ways that we can use the future tense when we’re speaking from a first person perspective–meaning I am the person that’s speaking. So we have “voy pa’llá” and then he says, “voy a buscar a la mujer que me domina.” Okay, so I’m going to look for the woman who rules over me or who’s kind of in charge of my heart and my feelings.
|So that “Voy a buscar” is saying, “I’m going to look for.” So in this case, “voy” means “I’m going” and that “buscar” means “to look for.” Okay, so in this case, buscar, it doesn’t just mean “to look.” It actually means “to look for” in English. And this is a construction that you can actually use with any verb.
|So you can say, “voy a comer,” “I’m going to eat,” “voy a beber,” “I’m going to drink.” “Voy a irme,” “I’m going to leave.” So there’s a lot of ways you can use this and it’s a very simple way to talk about the future or something that you’re about to do. So that “voy a” can be used with any verb in the infinitive form. And that’s how you form the simple future tense in Spanish.
|Now in the next line, he actually uses a different way to express a future event. And this is with the actual conjugation of the future tense in Spanish. So we have the simple future with “voy a,” and then we have the future tense itself, which is its own separate verb conjugation. So he says “la buscaré, la traeré.” So “I will look for her.” I will bring her back. So in this case the “la” means “her” and “buscaré” is the future tense in the first person and it’s really easy to form.
|So we have the verb “buscar” and we just add “é” to the end. So it becomes “buscaré.” And for the verb “traer” which means “to bring.” If I want to say “I will bring,” I just add “é” to the end and it becomes “traeré.” And I don’t have to say “Yo buscaré” or “Yo traeré” because with the ending “é,” it’s understood that I’m talking about myself. So that’s a part of the verb conjugations in Spanish in general, you really don’t need to use the subject because it’s implied in the conjugation itself.
|And again, this works for other verbs. So if I want to say “I will eat,” I can say “comeré.” If I want to say “I’m going to drink,” I would say “beberé”. So, just in the first few lines of the song, we learned two ways. to express our future actions. So “Voy a buscar” “Buscaré” > “I’m going to look for.” “I will look for.” Two different ways to express the future in Spanish when you’re speaking about yourself or in the first person.
|Now and the next line he says, “Aunque el mundo me lo impida.” So even if the world doesn’t let me or tries to stop me. Okay, “impida.” Now the word I want to focus on in this line is our “aunque” and that’s one word, a u n q u e, and it means something like, despite, or even if. So in this case he’s saying “aunque el mundo me lo impida” > “even if the world doesn’t allow me to.” So later in the verse he says, “voy pa’llá, aunque llueva.” So “I’m on my way even if it rains.” So despite the fact that it’s raining, even if it rains, I’m still coming. Then he says, “aunque se hunda la tierra” which means even if the ground caves in or sinks in.
|“Yo llegaré y la besearé” So here we have more of the future tense in the first person. So “llegaré” > “I will arrive” or “I will get there.” And then he says “y la besearé” which is “and I will kiss her.” So that “besaré” is “I will kiss.” So again, we have more examples of the future tense.
|And he uses “aunque” again in the next line, when he says “aunque pelee con cualquiera.” So “even if I have to fight with anybody,” right, so “cualquiera” is like whoever, whatever person comes his way. Even if he has to fight, aunque, he will get there. So he is really after this woman in this song.
|Now just a quick note, if you want to get the full lyrics of this song with the translation into English, check out the show notes page at learnspanishconsalsa.com/8 for episode eight, that’s learnspanishconsalsa/8.
|You’ll be able to access the lyrics for the entire song as well as a link so you can listen to the song as well. So let me share with you one more thing that if you’re a beginner, you may not have known, but it’s definitely illustrated in this song. So in the second verse he says, “¿Por qué te fuiste y me dejaste?” which means “Why did you go away and leave me?” And then he says, “si soy el macho de tu vida.” So it’s. So “if I’m the man of your life.” So the part I want to point out is “si soy,” which means “if I am.” Most people know that “sí” means yes in Spanish, but that “sí” is actually spelled S – I with an accent over the I. In this case, S – I without the accent over the I actually means “if” and not “yes.”
|So that’s something that most beginners don’t know. So I just like to point that out. If this is the first time you’ve come across this usage of the word, si, it actually sounds exactly the same as the “sí” that means yes, it’s just a matter of context. So he’s not saying “yes, I’m the man of your life.” He’s, he’s actually asking a question. So the context right before, ¿Por qué te fuiste y me dejaste?, why did you go away and leave me if I’m the man of your life. Okay? So you need the full context to understand that that si doesn’t mean “yes” it actually means “if.”
|So I hope you enjoyed that short breakdown of the song, “Voy pa’llá,” and you learned that you can actually use that phrase, which is the title of the song to say, I am on my way or I’ll be right there.
|We also talked about two ways to use the future tense “voy a” also adding “é” to the end of the infinitive of a verb when we’re speaking in the first person or we’re talking about an action that we’re doing ourselves. So “voy a buscar,” I’m going to look for and “buscaré” > “I will look for.” So those are two easy ways that you can begin to express actions that you’re planning to do in the future.
|Then we looked at the word “aunque,” which means “even if” or “despite the fact that.” So “aunque llueva” > “even though it’s raining, “voy a la playa,” > “I’m going to the beach.”
|And lastly we learned that “sí” not only means “yes,” but depending on context, it could also mean if. And the “si” that means “if” it’s spelled without the accent over the I.
|So that’s it for this episode of Learn Spanish Con Salsa. As I mentioned before, if you want to get the full lyrics for this song with the breakdown and the translation into English, go to, learnspanishconsalsa/8 that’s learnspanishconsalsa.com/8. And you can get access to the show notes for this episode.
|Now coming up on our next show, I will be joined by one of the team members from Spanish going salsa and we’ll be talking more about the Dominican Spanish accent and why it is that some people find it so hard, even native Spanish speakers sometimes, to understand Spanish speakers from the Dominican Republic. So we’re going to talk all about that in the next episode and hopefully make it a little bit easier for you to understand Dominican Spanish speakers.
|So until then, I hope something you learned today has taken you one step closer from being a beginner to bilingual. Hasta luego.
|This episode of Learn Spanish Con Salsa is brought to you by SpanishPod101.com with lessons just three to 15 minutes long, you can learn at home on your commute or whenever you have some free time. Get started today with a free account at SpanishPod101.com. Use the discount code SPANISHCONSALSA for 25 percent off basic, premium, and premium plus subscriptions. Sign up for SpanishPod101.com right now and start speaking Spanish from your very first lesson.
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This episode of Learn Spanish Con Salsa is brought to you by SpanishPod101.com with lessons just 3 – 15 minutes long, you can learn at home on your commute or whenever you have some free time. Get started today with a free account at SpanishPod101.com. Use the discount code SPANISHCONSALSA for 25 percent off basic, premium, and premium plus subscriptions. Sign up for SpanishPod101.com right now and start speaking Spanish from your very first lesson using this link https://www.spanishpod101.com/member/go.php?r=366198&i=b16
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