The richness of the Spanish language is undeniable. Its diversity can be spotted across the different accents and phrases of Latin American countries. However, navigating it in Spain can feel as challenging as speaking another language.

Just ask Mexican-American singer Tasha Malan, who appears on TikTok as Theedoodlebop. In a recent clip, she shared her eye-opening adventure in the European nation during her recent visit to Barcelona.

Loading the player...

Like bae how much more land do you need to acquire before u smile!! #spain #barcelona #spanglishtiktok #mexicantiktok #studyabroadspain

♬ original sound – La mala🐍

“I grew up exposed to many people from different Latin American countries, so in my head, I think Spanish speaking equals humor, charisma, sazón,” she said. “When I went to Barcelona this summer, I realized, no, that is not the case.”

Malan spoke to mitú about her pride in her roots, sharing advice for people experiencing similar situations.  

“It’s best not to take cultural differences personally, if you can,” she says. “But mostly, my experience made me proud of the warmth and friendliness of my culture and made me appreciate anyone who can match our energy.”

Malan tried to bridge the cultural gap with her Mexican humor, but her co-workers often looked at her awkwardly

Malan explained that in her world, phrases like “no pasa nada” or “no te creas” are playfully used to tease someone with a touch of humor and affection. However, when she attempted to share this Mexican humor and sarcasm with her coworkers, things got a little, well— awkward.

The singer said she was interning at a communications firm, where her coworkers were mostly millennial women or perhaps older.

“I was trying to connect with these people; I was struggling. Mexican-Spanish has inflections of sarcasm or just like goofy energy to make the other person smile a bit,” she said.

According to Malan, when she innocently said things like “I hope you don’t mind” or casually mentioned, “It’s time to rest, right?” her Spanish colleagues took it seriously.

As a result, she had to dial down her sarcasm and humor a notch. She even shared that another Latina living in Spain had a similar experience, with even the locals asking her why she was always so cheerful and if she had no worries.

She wrapped up her video with a plea to the Spanish folks: “Giggle, laugh, experience joy.”


Why is it so embarassing🧍🏽‍♀️

♬ original sound – Aaron 🫢

Latinos on the internet shared similar experiences visiting Barcelona, while others shared tips

On social media, other Latinos couldn’t resist sharing their own stories and thoughts on this cultural gap.  As one commented, “How you explained Mexican Spanish so well.”

Others agreed that some Spanish people can be more serious than Latinos:

“I feel they lack some basic warmth/manners? It would always shock people when I held a door or said y tú? After ‘Qué tal’.”

Meanwhile, people from other Latino countries shared their thoughts: 

“I’ve had the same experience speaking Dominican Spanish,” they said.

While another added, “When I studied abroad in Barcelona, the hostess said it would be an hour wait, and my friends all made sad and surprised faces, and she just stared back.”

Barcelona being a common destination for students and internships, others chimed in:

“I also interned abroad, and I honestly think they really separate work life from regular life. Like work, friends don’t exist.”

Moreover, users shared advice for people having a hard time communicating.

“My Spanish teacher told me you must speak formally in Spain if you don’t know the person personally.”