3 Hilarious YouTubers from Spain and Argentina to Learn Spanish While You Laugh Out Loud
For people outside their target audience, YouTubers can be a baffling phenomenon. With their eccentric body language, a marked preference for easy jokes, and the recurrence of Gen Z/Millennial slang, they seem to have replaced movie stars and pop singers as teenagers’ most revered idols for no clear reason.
Yet the most popular YouTube stars aren’t just famous: they are truly influential figures sponsored by some of the most important brands in the world, leaders of a subculture with very specific social and linguistic practices. Swede PewDiePie, for example, who is the most popular Youtube star in the world, has just passed 100m followers and has recently published a graphic novel that sold out in just a few weeks.
Though all of this could sound a bit overwhelming, parents shouldn’t worry. After all, we all had our idols when we were growing up, and we all wanted to dress like them and be like them. In fact, adult audiences might be able to find at least one YouTuber that they really like if they keep their eyes and minds open. People who enjoy learning languages, for example, could follow YouTubers with similar interests to get hours of real-life, unscripted oral discourse in the target language.
Because we have to start somewhere, today we are bringing you the best YouTubers for Spanish lovers.
1. La loca de mierda
Malena Pichot is usually credited as the first Argentinean YouTuber. Back in 2008, she uploaded a series of videos in which she shared details of her post-breakup sadness and indignation under the name La loca de mierda (Crazy bitch). Her eloquence and self-deprecating humor became so instantly popular that in just a few months MTV had started to broadcast her videos to great success.
In this episode, Therapies about him, Malena talks about how we have been determined by our parents and always choose the same kind of partner. “In my case, well… in my case —gays”. But she’s set on changing the pattern this time. She’s going to fall in love with a macho man. A cho-ma, she says, which illustrates an Argentinean tradition of playfully reversing the order of syllables of some common words (A clown, for example, un payaso, would be a so-ya-pa.). But then, when she finally finds a simple guy, un básico, she ends up in the library looking for the perfect book to get for him so he becomes more cultured and sensitive. “Whitman, Oscar Wilde… Even when it comes to literature I like queers”.
La loca de mierda series makes an excellent learning resource for culturally-oriented language lovers because it’s a great example of what educated, middle-class young people from Buenos Aires speak like. There is an element of pretentiousness and snobbery among the millennial generation that Malena knows how to exploit to perfect comedic effect. “Do you still have Wuthering Heights in English?”, she asks the librarian —a typical snob’s question.
But at the same time, behind all the corrosive humor, Malena’s vlog is a collection of universal emotions that can appeal to anyone that has ever experienced grief and heartbreak.
2. Te lo resumo así nomás
If you were to retell the plot of Disney’s Snow White, where would you start? Jorge Pinarello, from Te lo resumo así nomás (I’ll sum this up for you), surely has an interesting way of telling this beloved children’s story:
“This is the story of Snow White, a girl who’s so lonely she ends up talking to animals. One day, a Prince sees her, is immediately struck by her beauty, and thinks: ‘I’m going to get into her house without her permission’. At first, she’s a bit scared but then she thinks ‘He’s white and attractive, there’s no reason to be afraid’”.
Through hilarious, highly provocative humor, Te lo resumo así nomás uses the “movie review” video blog subgenre to offer ingenious criticism of some of the most cherished movies in film history while delving into the political aspect of how Hollywood tells its stories. When he reviews Disney classics, for example, Jorge usually touches on the gender dynamics embedded in these tales through dark and thought-provoking jokes.
“Snow White is so tired after cleaning the house that she falls asleep on a bed, only to be found a few hours later by not one but seven little men. Do you realize how bad this could’ve ended, Snow White? Thank God these dwarves are good people”.
As this channel focuses mainly on extremely popular films that you’re most likely to have seen at least a couple of times, it’s a wonderful companion for Spanish learners who want to practice the language through familiar content. But because Jorge likes to analyze every aspect of the narrative and audiovisual techniques involved in the production of a film, you’ll also get to learn a lot of vocabulary about movie-making.
3. Mr. Avelain
“Una pareja son dos personas que se juntan para resolver el problema que quizás solos no tendrían”.
(A couple is made of two people who get together to solve a problem that they might not have if they had stayed alone)
Mr. Avelain is a gay YouTuber who talks about relationships, sexual identity, and pop culture. In this video, titled “The Myths of Romantic Love”, he goes over some of the most enrooted ideas of what love is supposed to look and feel like according to cultural conventions and debunks them one by one with gusto.
For example, he challenges the trope of la media naranja (a half orange) which is used in Spanish to mean that we all have a “better half” out there that we need to find in order to be complete at last. Mr. Avelain is hilariously enraged by such a notion. “Let’s think about it for a minute”, he says, in his wonderful Andalusian accent. “At the moment, there are at least seven thousand million people in the world. That’s a lot of people. Don’t make things so hard on yourself. Don’t go thinking the love of your life is in North Korea because it’s going to be rather difficult to pay him a visit”.
Is that a great point or what?
If you enjoy learning about different accents and dialects, you should know Mr. Avelain is a fantastic example of what people from Andalusia sound like. For instance, he tends to replace the /l/ sound by an /r/, saying arma instead of alma (soul), or argo instead of algo (something). In addition, he produces the “ado” ending in words like enamorado (in love) as “ao”, resulting in words like enamorao’ or dejao’ (abandoned).
Is there any other aspect of his accent that you find unfamiliar? What about the final -s for plural inflections? Does he produce them at all?
Though it’s easy to dismiss YouTubers as a millennial fad, the truth is that there are great comedians and content creators out there that might teach us a lot about different aspects of life. Actually, the fact that there are so many of them at the moment can only mean that no matter what kind of things you are into, there has to be at least one YouTuber who talks about something you love or care about.
Will you be learning some Spanish with any of the YouTubers above? If so, let us know in the comment box.
If you want to take a Spanish class with a native teacher who knows how to keep a class as engaging as one of Mr. Aveilain’s vlogs, make sure to explore our courses and reach out to us if you have any questions.