I was trying to translate the cancion Chilanga Banda from Café Tacvba to English, but it turned harder than I thought despite I'm Mexican hahaha.

Here's what I have

You can listen to the song here. The lyrics:

Ya chole chango Chilango

Que chafa chamba te chutas What a disgusting work you have

No checa andar de tacuche

Y chale con la charola

Tan choncho como una chinche As fat as a bedbug

Mas chueco que la fayuca More ilegal than a informal stand

Con fusca y con cachiporra With gun and club

Te pasa andar de guarura

Mejor yo me hecho una chela I'd better drink a beer

Y chance enchufo una chava And maybe I'd get a girl

Chambeando de chafirete Working as bus driver

Me sobra chupe y pachanga I have too much drinks and parties

Si choco saco chipote If I crash the other car is affected

La chota no es muy molacha The police is not bad

Chiveando a los que machucan

Se va en morder su talacha

De noche caigo al congal In the night I go to the brothel

No manches dice la changa

Al choro de teporocho

Enchifla pasa la pacha

Pachuco cholos y chundos Vulgar and bad look young cholos (I don't know how to translate cholo)

Chichinflas y malafachas

Acá los chompiras rifan

Y bailan tibiri tabara

(this is repeated)

Mejor yo me hecho una chela

Y chance enchufo una chava

Chambeando de chafirete

Me sobra chupe pachanga

Mi ñero mata la bacha

Le encanta la cucaracha

Su choya vive de chochos

De chemo churro y garnachas of yellow cement, weed cigars and fried food

(this is repeated)

Pachuco cholos y chundos

Chichinflas y malafachas

Acá los chompiras rifan

Y bailan tibiri tabara

Tranzando de arriba abajo

Ahí va la Chilanga banda There goes the Chilanga people

Chin chin si me la recuerdan

Carcacha y se les retacha

Could anyone help me with the remaining sentences?

  • I think there is a danger that this would be closed as the site does not welcome translation requests. It might be better if you showed your entire attempt so people did not have so much to do.
    – mdewey
    Nov 19, 2021 at 13:25
  • Yo no puedo traducirla ni a español de argentina :p... no creo que tenga una traduccion directa, tal vez si por sentido...
    – gbianchi
    Nov 19, 2021 at 16:08
  • @mdewey, this is my entire attempt. This is not a normal translation, the problem here is that it is full of mexican modisms.
    – evening_g
    Nov 20, 2021 at 23:20
  • modism: you can get rid of that right away. You mean Mexican slang.
    – Lambie
    Dec 4, 2022 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


Esa canción está particularmente hecha con exceso de modismos y locuciones hiper-locales de la ciudad de méxico. Traducirla al inglés no solo seria inútil sino un despropósito, pues la idea es un "reductio ad absurdum" de la densa jerga capitalina.

Eso no quiere decir que no se pueda, yo te recomendaría que al traducir, buscaras frases equivalentes, también de jerga en inglés, entre más densa, cacofónica e ininteligible, será mas fiel a la inteción artística original.

por ejemplo, las primeras barras:

La chilanga Banda Them Gang'o Hillbillies[1]
Ya chole chango Chilango 'tis over 'ye southerner redneck
Que chafa chamba te chutas y're flakin' it out at y'r workplace
No checa andar de tacuche sucks to be weari'n a zoot suit
Y chale con la charola n' don't be flash'n y'r badges

[1]: Its a stereotypical thick accent, with it's own words just like chilanguese

  • Your translation sounds like archaic English. And tis is not used in AmE. It should be something like: It's over, ya southern redneck.
    – Lambie
    Dec 4, 2022 at 18:48
  • I admit I have zero talent as a musician or lyricist. My poi t stands: if the irony of the thik lingo on the song is not to be lost in translation is should be translated to an equivalent thick and unintelligible slang
    – hlecuanda
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:26

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