Donde Esta La Biblioteca – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Every year, countless more people attempt to learn the language for a variety of reasons, whether they want to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, use it as a skill to put on their work resumes, or because they have to as a school requirement.

“Donde esta la biblioteca” is notoriously one of the first phrases that many are taught when learning Spanish. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of that expression.


The phrase “donde esta la biblioteca” translated literally from Spanish means “where is the library?” This phrase became a meme because of its use in the 2000s sitcom, Community. It is often used to refer to learning Spanish, or it is something people may say when they do not actually know how to speak Spanish, but want to make it seem like they do.

It is a common phrase among fans of the show Community and other young adults that have grown to use the phrase as a joke, again, to pretend they can speak Spanish. If you are actually looking for a library in a Spanish speaking area, or country, “donde esta la biblioteca” will help you get there. More information can be found in the video (here).

Example Usage

“I’m super fluent in Spanish! Donde esta la biblioteca? See?”

“Of course I can speak Spanish. Donde esta la biblioteca?”

“I’ve been taking Spanish classes for a few weeks now, and I think I’m getting pretty good. Donde esta la biblioteca?”

“You would be surprised how much Spanish I speak, do you know what Donde esta la biblioteca means?”


The phrase got much of its popularity and recognition from the well-known NBC sitcom, Community, which ran from 2009 to 2015. In the second episode of the first season, titled “Spanish 101”, two of the main characters Abed and Troy are seen doing a nonsense Spanish rap during the end credits. During the rap, they say “donde esta la biblioteca” and the phrase exploded in popularity from there.

Also in 2009, the first of many videos of people covering the rap was uploaded to YouTube. It was even used in the film Deadpool 2, which came out in 2018. According to Google Trends, the phrase has greatly increased in the number of people looking it up since 2018, showing that it has only gotten more popular as the time has passed.

Phrases Similar to Donde Esta La Biblioteca

  • I can’t speak Spanish very well yet.
  • I’m learning Spanish.
  • I know a few things in Spanish.

Phrases Opposite to Donde Esta La Biblioteca

  • I found the library.
  • I’m fluent in Spanish.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • “Donde esta la biblioteca” translates from Spanish to mean “where is the library?”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Donde Esta La Biblioteca

This phrase is used by those that are learning Spanish, and by those that want to act like they know Spanish. The actual meaning of the phrase often has nothing to do with how it is used in this context. Using this phrase when referring to the wrong language is one example of how it is used incorrectly. It also is not used by native Spanish speakers when showing their fluency in the language. Some ways “donde esta la biblioteca” may be used incorrectly are:

  • I was born in Spain and I’ve been speaking Spanish all my life. Donde esta la biblioteca?
  • I love French! Donde esta la biblioteca?
  • I’ve always wanted to learn how to speak German. Donde esta la biblioteca?
  • My mom is Mexican and she’s been teaching me Spanish since I was young. Donde esta la biblioteca?

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Donde Esta La Biblioteca

  • I just started taking Spanish classes yesterday, but I’m already so good at it. Donde esta la biblioteca?
  • My Spanish teacher says I’m learning really fast. Donde esta la biblioteca?
  • I’ve always wanted to speak Spanish. Donde esta la biblioteca?

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