How Sony Music Spain is sharing Spanish music across a global audience with high-quality English subtitles

Read the story!

World-renowned Sony Music Spain trusted VeraContent with creatively translating a Spanish song into English while accurately capturing the artist’s unique personality and nuanced lyrics.

Sony Music Spain asked VeraContent to translate well-known Argentine artist Nathy Peluso’s single, Emergencia, into English and create the English subtitles for the music video—released for the launch of Playstation’s “Horizon Forbidden West” video game.





+3 million

views in the first month

The Challenge

Due to Nathy Peluso’s complex song lyrics, previous translations of her music struggled to capture her vision as an artist. This was the main challenge that Sony Music Spain had when coming to VeraContent.

Translating the song, Emergencia, was a highly complex process with several components to keep in mind. We needed to accurately capture the meaning and nuances of the lyrics, as well as the artist’s personality and voice. The translation was also used as subtitles that had to fit within the context and space of the music video, making this even more challenging as the words should complement the images on the screen.

As Luis Ángeles, video commissioner at Sony Music Spain, says, “It’s not only the translation of mere words but of a stylistic universe in the form of ‘poetry’ that is synthesized in a text.”

Lyrics also don’t follow proper language standards, conventions, spelling and grammar. In Emergencia, the artist uses a lot of slang and Spanglish. For example, “llamada di emergencia” replaces “de” with “di”, and Nathy Peluso pronounces “emergencia” in a mix between English and Spanish. These all needed to be translated while still keeping the song’s flow and capturing the subtleties, accents and intonations that reflect the artist’s character.

In addition, the lyrics in Emergencia also refer to idioms in the Spanish language that needed to be appropriately conveyed in English—without necessarily trying to force an equivalent expression into the text.

Our solution

Before translating the lyrics, we were given access to the video pre-release to help us better understand the concept and Nathy Peluso’s vision for the song. It was important that the subtitles reflected the context of the music video.

Since this project required a more in-depth creative process, we had two linguists collaborate on the first draft of the song translation. The linguists selected were highly creative and familiar with the artist’s music. By already being familiar with Nathy Peluso’s full discography, style and back story, we quickly got into her character to create lyrics she would have written herself had she been a native English speaker.

We then also asked some of our native Spanish linguists to contribute to the translation by further explaining nuances and expressions tweaked in the source text for creative purposes.

After finalizing the English translation, we then created the subtitles and adapted them to an SRT file, which is what enables subtitles on the final video. This entire process was completed in only three days from start to finish.

Sony’s story

Sony Music Spain is the Spanish home of global record label Sony Music Entertainment. Local Spanish artists under the label include Nathy Peluso, Rosalía, Amaia Montero, Dani Martín, India Martínez, Joaquín Sabina, Joan Manuel Serrat, C Tangana, Malú and Melendi, among others.

In addition to music production and representation, Sony Music Spain also distributes their artists’ music on a global scale. Songs from Spanish-speaking artists like Nathy Peluso and Rosalía transcend cultures and borders, attracting an international audience. Because of this, Spanish music is playing an increasingly important role in the global music market—particularly in the U.S.

So, it’s a key priority for Sony Music Spain to keep the connection alive between Spanish artists and their international fans. The English translation of the lyrics is one of the first bridges to making a global Latin artist known to a non-Spanish speaking world.

VeraContent is the only translation solution we’ve worked with that could accurately adapt the Spanish lyrics into English while capturing all the nuances and context of the song—and also reflecting the artist’s unique voice, writing style and power.

Luis Ángeles

Video Commissioner at Sony Music Spain

The outcome

After a highly collaborative process, we produced an English translation of Emergencia that captures the same meaning, emotions and story conveyed in the original version. Our translation remained faithful to the artist’s independent, fearless and powerful personality and reflected her original vision for the song.

One particular line that we’re extremely proud of is the translation of “He perdido mis anillos en el batalleo” to “I got my hands dirty in the daily grind.” The original lyric refers to the expression “caerse los anillos,” which essentially means doing the dirty work to get the job done. But, it also implies that the “dirty work” you’re doing is below your “rank” and thus your “rings have fallen off.” We were happy to maintain some kind of visual reference to hands since the original line conjures up images of regal rings falling off someone’s fingers.

The Emergencia music video was released on YouTube on 18 February 2022 and had nearly 3.4 million views and 122 thousand likes in its first month.

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