In timba or reggaeton music that we dance to at the parties, even not very sophisticated ear will pick up some often repeated phrases. In many of those Spanish will not help, due to the fact that it’s specific cuban slang. What is going on with this ‘candela’? Why they are singing about candles?

In short – most of this lines are about great party or hot women 😉 But let’s look at some of them now.

¡agua!

that’s water 🙂 They are not asking about a glass of one though 😉 You will call ¡agua! at the party when someone will burn the dance floor!

ahí na’ ma’

“That’s it! / there is nothing I need more”. It’s about reaching something best, ultimate that you don’t have to look for anywhere else. Usually called after a great dance, song, party.

¡dale!

Encouragement to act so in English “Let’s go” / “Do it”. In timba songs we usually here the phrase “¡Dale mambo!”, which usually precedes the entry of the brass section.

se formó

Literally means – “it formed itself, is created”. Often used in the context of the started event or a very energetic piece that reached an ultimate moment. As Mark Anthony sings: “Y se formó la gozadera, (…)”, which means more or less “And the party has started” 🙂

asere

It takes its name from the greetings of the members of the secret Abakuá association, which meant “I greet you!”. Nowadays, it is a frequent greeting among Cubans meaning simply colleague / buddy / compatriot.

¿que bola?

How is it going?,  ¿Asere, que bola?

¡candela!

Candela in Spanish means “candle”, but it’s not about electricity issues and looking for ones 😛 Here, just this girl is sooo sexy, or this party sooo insane, performance soo incredible that you just cannot handle it. This term has also a second meaning which means “how bad!”. All depends on the context.

nena / nene

Expressing tenderness towards a woman (nena) or a man (nene). They can be used by lovers, family, friends, and sometimes even strangers in a playful context 😉 English  – “baby”. For example: “How was your day, nene?” 😉