"O Christmas Tree" in Spanish

"Que Verdes Son" Is the Spanish Version of the Christmas Carol "O Tannnenbaum"

Couple decorating Christmas tree
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Below is a Spanish-language version of O Tannenbaum, a famous German Christmas carol more formally known in English as O Christmas Tree. After exploring the translated lyrics, learn how the word order changes for poetry in Spanish, along with additional vocabulary and grammar notes for the translation. These notes will better explain how phrases and terms change in translation from German to Spanish, plus how the definition of the word can transform itself into the Spanish language.

Review the lyrics of Qué Verdes Son below and then learn about the difference between hoja, brillarairosas and other words and phrases within the song.

Qué Verdes Son

Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
En Navidad qué hermoso está
con su brillar de luces mil.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.

Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
Sus ramas siempre airosas son,
su aroma es encantador.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.

Translation of the Spanish Lyrics

How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
At Christmas how beautiful you are
with your glittering of a thousand lights.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.

How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.


How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
Your branches always elegant are,
your aroma is enchanting.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.

Vocabulary, Grammar and Translation Notes

  • An unusual word order is used throughout the lyrics in the Qué verdes son song for poetic purposes, and so the lyrics tend to go well with the music.
  • The phrase typically used to refer to a Christmas tree is árbol de Navidad. Although these lyrics do not specifically refer to a Christmas tree, neither do those of the original German carol.
  • Hoja is normally translated as "leaf," but "needles" is used in this song because that is what the leaves of a fir tree are typically called. Hoja can also be used to refer to a sheet of paper or a sheet of metal.
  • Brillar is a verb usually meaning "to shine," "to glitter" or "to be conspicuous." The infinitive form here, like other infinitives, can be used as a noun. In nonpoetic use of the language, the noun brillantez would be more likely here.
  • Airosas could have been translated more literally as "airy."
  • Note that the word aroma, like many other words of Greek origin ending in -a, is masculine.