6 Vote

What does 'oye como va' mean in english?

  • Edited to be compatible with IntenetExplorer formatting. Please do not use double quote (" ") marks in the question box. - Moe Jun 14, 2011 flag

6 Answers

11 Vote

alt text a todos:

Taken out of the context of Santana's song, "¡Oye! ¿Cómo va?" might be interpreted to mean "Hey! How's it going?" But, taken in the context of the surrounding words, it means "Listen how the beat (or rythm) goes."

Here are the first two lines of the song:
"Oye como va mi ritmo
Bueno pa' gozar, mulata"

In the context of the song, "Hey! How's it going." doesn't work. Notice also that in the written lyrics, there is no tilde in "como" suggesting it is not used in the interrogative sense. If it were a question, it would be written "cómo." "Listen how the beat (or rythm) goes." works with the song.

Interestingly, see this performance by Celia Cruz ----> Celia Cruz - Oye como va

Some may say "Listen how the beat goes" is not good grammar. Erleichda (erleichda means 'lighten up' in an unknown tongue) , it's a song, poetry if you want, it transmits or transfers an emotion, not necessarily good grammar.

Muchos saludos/Best regards,


  • Nice one Moe! Of course there are multiple nuances. Great post! - lagartijaver Jun 14, 2011 flag
  • Nicely spotted, but are you sure this is from a Santana fan? - Encalada Jun 14, 2011 flag
  • I agree with you Moe. - Agora Jun 14, 2011 flag
  • Watched the video, thanks for posting. - swampy Jun 14, 2011 flag
  • Great answer Moe! - Rolest Jun 15, 2011 flag
2 Vote

It's a street expression which could be translated as " hey how are you doing man, how's it going and similar "dude" type phrases dude... see what I dude there"-)

The thing about oye like so many other expressions is do not get hung up on literal translation. What oye is really is an attention grabbing sound that is used to make sure somebody pays attention. It's translated as listen but as I'm trying to say, it's more flexible than that... like most wordswink

link text

Pero Tito Puente es el escritor

  • That street expression cannot be applied in this case (the song). Moe is right. - Agora Jun 14, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Listen as you go.

1 Vote

It means, "Hey! How's it going?"

1 Vote

I agree with Moe: "Listen how it goes, my rhythm - good for enjoying, mulata..."

  • I am with you and Moe! thats how I understand it. - pacofinkler Jun 14, 2011 flag
1 Vote

"¡Oye! ¿Cómo va?" might be interpreted to mean "Hey! How's it going?"

Just to clarify, ¡Oye! ¿Cómo va?" would be interpreted as "Hey! How's it going?", because it's a question and that's the way *cómo" is spelled. "Oye como va mi ritmo" could never be interpreted as "Hey! How's it going?" 1) because of the way it's spelled and 2) because it's not a question and 3) it completely ignores "mi ritmo".

The original question was what does "oye como va" mean, and it is "listen how it goes"

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