Sunday, October 25

Vivo Por Ella, Vivo Por Ela

Bilingual songs aren't any sort of novelty. However, I am attracted to the combination of certain languages (Romance, of course), in particular, Spanish and Portuguese. While Spanish speakers can understand written Portuguese without much difficulty, they have a hard time doing the same with spoken Portuguese. Portuguese speakers, on the other hand, are able to understand both written and spoken Spanish quite well. Thus, the songs that will be reviewed in this entry can be thoroughly understood by a Portuguese speaker listening to them, even though about half of the lyrics are in Spanish. A Spanish speaker can follow along and understand most of the sung Portuguese, though he will a have harder time than a Portuguese speaker does with the Spanish.


Vivo Por Ella
Sung by the Italian Andrea Bocelli and the Brazilian Sandy, this song combines Spanish and Portuguese. Bocelli's Spanish pronunciation is recognized as European because he makes use of the /θ/ phoneme (otherwise /s/ in Latin America and a few regions within Spain), as in the words veces /'beθes/ and fuerza /'fwerθa/. Sandy's native Portuguese accent is Paulistano, from São Paulo; among other features traditionally Brazilian, she pronounces /s/ before a voiceless consonant as [s] (as opposed to [ʃ], a marked pronunciation feature colloquially known as chiado, common in Portugal and other parts in Brazil, but not São Paulo).
In the transcription of the lyrics below, the Spanish is marked by the color blue, and the Portuguese by the color green. There are a few parts in which both artists sing together in Spanish, and, at the end of the song, they both sing a line in Italian, marked with red in the text (this line is actually the original Italian name of the piece). The recurring word is vivo, I live, which is, as a matter of fact, spelled exactly the same in the three languages heard in the song, and pronounced very similarly as well: [vivu] in Portuguese, [vi:vo] in Italian, and [biβo] in Spanish.
It should be noted that what each singer sings isn't simply a translation of what the other has just sung; they each have their own verses, expanding and moving the song forward; the same is true for the other piece analyzed after this one below. For instance, in the third stanza, Bocelli begins singing the Spanish phrase es la musa que te invita (it's the muse that invites you), and Sandy completes it in Portuguese in the following line: a sonhar com coisas lindas (to dream of beautiful things);  even a Spanish speaker has no problem understanding this particular sentence that combines both languages (undoubtedly, a Portuguese speaker understands it; see introductory paragraph).

Vivo por ella is Spanish for I live for her, which would be vivo por ela in Portuguese (and, as we can see in the penultimate line of the song, the same phrase is vivo per lei in Italian). We find out towards the end that it is música what they live for.


Bocelli:
Vivo por ella sin saber
Si la encontré o me ha encontrado.
Ya no recuerdo como fue,
Pero al final me ha conquistado.
Vivo por ella que me da
Toda mi fuerza de verdad.
Vivo por ella y no me pesa.

Sandy:
Vivo por ela eu também
E não há razão pra ter ciúmes.
Ela é tudo e mais além
Como o mais doce dos perfumes.
Ela vai onde quer que eu vá.
Não deixa a solidão chegar.
Mais que por mim
Por ela eu vivo também.

Bocelli:
Es la musa que te invita
Sandy:
A sonhar com coisas lindas.
Bocelli:
En mi piano a veces triste
La muerte no existe
Si ella está aquí.

Sandy:
Vivo por ela que me dá
Todo o amor que é necessário.
Forte e grande como o mar,
Frágil e menor do que um aquário.

Bocelli:
Vivo por ella que me da
Fuerza, valor y realidad
Para sentirme un poco vivo.

Sandy:
Como dói quando me falta
Bocelli:
(vivo por ella en un hotel)
Sandy:
Como sai quando me assalta
Bocelli:
(vivo por ella en propria piel)
Both:
Si ella canta, en mi garganta
Mis penas más negras espanta.

Bocelli:
Vivo por ella y nadie más
Puede vivir dentro de mí.
Ella me da la vida, la vida...
Si está junto a mí...

Both:
Si está junto a mí...
Bocelli:
Desde un palco o contra un muro
Sandy:
(vivo por ela e ela me tem)
Bocelli:
En el trance mas oscuro
Sandy:
(vivo por ela e ela me tem)
Both:
Cada día una conquista.
La protagonista
Es ella también.

Bocelli:
Vivo por ella porque va
Dándome siempre la salida,
Porque la música es así,
Fiel y sincera de por vida.

Sandy:
Vivo por ela que me dá
As noites livres para amar.
Se eu tivesse outra vida, seria
Dela também...

Bocelli:
Ella se llama música.
Sandy:
E ela me tem.
Bocelli:
Vivo por ella, créeme.
Sandy:
Por ela também.
Both:
Io vivo per lei
Bocelli:
Yo vivo...
Sandy:
E viverei...


Pequenas Verdades
Here we have the renowned fadista Mariza accompanied by the Spanish singer, Concha Buika, in this piece titled Pequenas Verdades (Small Truths) in Portuguese. In Spanish, the title would be Pequeñas Verdades, which is actually said in the song. Once again, here the Spanish has been marked by blue, and the Portuguese by the color green.
Analyzing the last two lines that coincide in meaning, we see that the wording is kept virtually identical:
É verdade que a sombra do ar me queima; É verdade que sem ti eu morro de pena in Portuguese vs.
Es verdad que la sombra del aire me quema; Es verdad que sin ti yo me muero de pena in Spanish (It's true that the air's shadow burns me; It's true that without you I die of sorrow). What is different in those lines is that the verb to die is reflexive in Spanish (morirse), but not in Portuguese (morrer). In actual usage, many verbs in Spanish are intensified by the use of the reflexive, and are often used in this fashion (other examples would be comerse, dormirse), while this is less common in Portuguese, particularly in Brazil where many clitics are avoided in the everyday language.
Born in Mozambique and raised in Portugal, Mariza's pronunciation is then European, with [ʃ] and [ʒ] for underlying /s/ before a consonant (cf. [s] and [z] from Sandy, above). Concha's Spanish is, of course, European as well, distinguishing the phonemes
/θ/ and /s/ in her pronunciation. It is to be noticed, as well, that in the word morro, Mariza pronounces /r/ as [r], an alveolar trill like rr in Spanish, as opposed to [ʁ] in her native accent. It is common of her to alternate [r] and [ʁ] within the same song (here, she sings roubar as [ʁo'βaɾ], and rosto as ['ʁoʃtu] , as expected); she seems to render /r/ as [r] when the word containing it is stressed and important in the meaning of the piece, for instance, if it's part of the chorus or an elongated note .
 

Mariza:
No meu deserto de água, não havia luz para te olhar
Tive que roubar a lua para te poder iluminar.

Quando iluminei o teu rosto, fez-se dia no meu corpo
Enquanto eu te iluminava, minha alma nascia de novo.

São as pequenas verdades as que guiam o meu caminho:
Verdades brancas, como a manhã que abre a janela do nosso destino;
Como o teu olhar quando tu me olhas
Como a tua lembrança depois de partires.
É verdade que a sombra do ar me queima
É verdade que sem ti eu morro de pena.

Concha:
Misteriosa era tu boca, misterioso mi lamento
Aun no sé si nuestro amor de primavera
Fue verdad o sólo el sueño de cualquiera.

Cuando la soledad regrese, ciega de amor me iré a la muerte
Las verdades sólo existen en rincones de la mente.

Esas pequeñas verdades que guiaron mi camino:
Verdades blancas, como la mañana que abre la ventana de nuestro destino;
Como tu mirada cuando tú me miras
Como tu recuerdo cuando ya te has ido.
Es verdad que la sombra del aire me quema
Es verdad que sin ti yo me muero de pena.

Mariza:
São as pequenas verdades as que guiam o meu caminho:
Verdades brancas como a manhã que abre a janela do nosso destino;
Como o teu olhar quando tu me olhas
Como a tua lembrança depois de partires.
É verdade que a sombra do ar me queima

Concha:
Es verdad que sin ti yo me muero de pena.
Mariza:
Eu morro de pena...


RBD in Brazil
Finally, we will take a look, not at a song, but at an interview of the Mexican pop sensation, RBD. Famous all over Latin America, the US (among Hispanics), and many countries around the world, here, we will review a video of their visit to Brazil. There, they were interviewed numerous times by different TV shows and TV stations; what is shown here just a sample of that. On this particular clip, you see something that happens commonly whenever a Portuguese speaker encounters spoken Spanish: he's able to understand it, so he continues to speak Portuguese. As mentioned above and as you will see in the video, Portuguese speakers, in this case, Brazilians, can understand spoken Spanish very well (not 100%, for they are different languages after all, but very close to that). You will also notice that the Spanish speakers in this video, Mexicans, aren't able to grasp what is said to them in Portuguese at times, and the host has to say a few words in Spanish so they can comprehend. Other times, they understand and reply as if they had been asked in Spanish, and the Brazilian studio audience screams and cheers, signaling they like and understand what is being said. A couple of times, the Mexican band members say (or try to say) a few words in Portuguese.




3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is probably excessive nitpicking, but in the Bocelli & Sandy song the verse IO VIVO PER LEI is pronounced incorrectly: IO in Italian should be pronounced /'io/, not /jo/.

Anonymous said...

Nossa, fazia muitooo tempo que não via seu blog! Obrigada por me lembrar dele no facebook!! Não sabia que a música Turu Turu (que eu conhecia em português com Sandy & Jr) tinha tantas versões, e menos que a original era em italiano... nesse mundo nada se cria, hein!!! Vou seguir com mais frequência tudo que você escreve, amiga! XXOO!!
Bel

Anonymous said...

Ops, quis dizer amigOOO na mensagem de cima... saiu errado, desculpa...
Dei muita risada vendo esse vídeo do RBD no Brasil... eles não entendem o Gugu falando... e o Gugu também é um "patso" pra falar "espanhol", né... sabia que eu sou professora das filhas dele esse ano? (filhas desse apresentador do vídeo, o Gugu Liberato)
Bel

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