Lyrics Translation: The Girl From Ipanema

Posted on 23. Mar, 2010 by in Learning, Music

One of the most internationally famous bossa nova songs of all time, The Girl from Ipanema is a classic with easy to follow lyrics. It’s useful to see a side by side translation, especially since the song is also sung in English (the most famous recording by Frank Sinatra), but with slightly different lyrics. Here, we have the literal translation of the original Portuguese lyrics sung by Tom Jobim, along with a video with subtitles.

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A Garota de Ipanema / The Girl from Ipanema

Olha, que coisa mais linda,
Mais cheia de graça,
É ela, menina, que vem e que passa,
Num doce balanço, a caminho do mar.

Moça do corpo dourado,
Do sol de Ipanema,
O seu balançado
É mais que um poema
É a coisa mais linda
Que eu já vi passar

Ah, por que estou tão sozinho?
Ah, por que tudo é tão triste?
Ah, a beleza que existe
A beleza que não é só minha,
Que também passa sozinha.

Ah, se ela soubesse
Que quando ela passa,
O mundo sorrindo
Se enche de graça
E fica mais lindo
Por causa do amor.

Look, such a sight, so beautiful,
So filled with grace,
It;s her, this girl who comes and who passes,
With a sweet swing, on her way to the sea.

Girl with body of gold
From the sun of Ipamena,
Her swing
Is more than a poem,
Is a sight more beautiful
Than I have ever seen pass by.

Ah, why am I so alone?
Why is there so much sadness?
This beauty that exists,
This beauty that is not only mine,
That also passes by alone.

Ah, if she but knew,
That when she passes by,
The world smiles,
Is filled with grace,
And becomes more beautiful,
Because of love.

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8 Responses to “Lyrics Translation: The Girl From Ipanema”

  1. Knud Sandbæk Nielsen 19 January 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Thank you for this translation.

    I love this music, and I’m learning to sing the songs in the original language, because I don’t like the “translations” available.

    Your work has been very helpful, and without it, I’m sure many people like me would miss an opportunity to enrich their love for the unique and exuisite music of Brazil.

    Again, thanks!

  2. Paulina 7 June 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Thank you very much for this beautiful lyrics. I am in love with Brazil. I am going to learn how to sing this beautiful song in Portuguese. I will sing it infront of my class next Friday.

  3. Larry 29 September 2012 at 2:20 am #

    This music is the essence of our honeymoon in 1968 in Longboat Key, Fla near Sarasota. Every few years we go back and stay in the very same motel apt, now a condo, play this music, our “beach music” plus other special songs and soft styles and relive that honeymoon! It is in our souls, the beach, the surf, the sand and the music: the beginning of our 44 years of committed marriage. This is the first time I’ve ever seen the lyrics and translation. I am in tears as I listened and write this.

  4. Carioca 4 December 2012 at 5:22 am #

    I love Joao Gilberto! and I LOVE BRAZIL! IT IS THE BEST COUNTRY IN ALL OF SOUTH AMERICA! ARGENTINA IS AMAZING TOO! THE TWO BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRIES IN ALL OF SOUTH AMERICA! VERY BEAUTIFUL, CIVILIZED, LOVELY PEOPLE!

  5. Cristina 29 May 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Olá Nielsen

    Adorei a tradução, procurava a tempos, uma versão em Português para passar aos meus alunos que estudam Português como segundo idioma. Obrigada… Cristina

  6. Hanike 8 April 2014 at 2:36 am #

    This is not a literal translation and it’s very-very adapted to not say wrong.
    Oh, and you should tag it as Vinicius de Moraes, since he’s the real lyricist of this version (there was a first version that was different, composed by him and Tom Jobim).


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