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Hispanic or Latino? Answered

I cringe everytime someone uses the word Latino when generically speaking of Spanish-speaking people. I prefer to be called Spanish or Hispanic. Some people may disagree with me but I think that calling me a Hispanic describes my true ethnical and cultural origin. Although many people will bring the fact that the colonization of America by the Spanish conquerors was bloody and opressive, we still owe to Spain the origin of our countries. From Mexico to Patagonia and the Large Antilles, the Spanish conquistadores left their footprint in the form of language, architecture, religion, cooking, stories, art, crafts and culture.
In contrast, a Latino is anyone who descends from people that speak a Romance language like: French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian. By that definition, when we speak of Latin America we include countries like Brasil, Haiti, French Guyana and, Surinam. The same definition could apply to Italian-Americans, French-Americans, French-Canadians, and Cajun people.


Question whether a word needs to be used at all, and for what purpose.
Can you give me an example?


Personally I prefer to be called Spanish or Hispanic. Being called a Latino is not wrong but it is a more of a generic term.

Yes, I'm asking if it's necessary to even call you Spanish, you have at least one name already.


Why have race .... Why cant every color n ethnicity just be the same but no we have to have a war n hurt ppl

The topic is about my preference for naming my/our ethnicity it wasn't about race. The use of the term "race" to designate people of different ethnicity was popularized by 19th century European anthropologist and other scientists to justify colonialism.

No matter which term you use, someone will be offended. There was a big fuss over a local bookstore a couple of years ago. They had labeled a shelf of books (cooking? travel? IDK) "Hispanic" and a customer pitched a fit. The store manager apologized and changed it to "Latino" and other customers threw an equally loud fit. I think 90% were fine with either term but a few saw an insult where none was intended and it made the news

Wow! I didn't think this was such a controversial subject. I prefer to be called Hispanic because that is my heritage although Latino is not technically wrong.

I prefer mexican. I speak mexican not spanish spanish. I eat mexican food not french inspired spanish cuisine lol mexican just is sexier too:)

Come on! I am Puertorrican and I don't speak "Puertorrican". Although I agree with you about the Mexican food. I love it. About sexy I have to say that Leticia Calderon can have me anytime! :)

This topic is confusing since you bear the Corsican shield. But there are "dialects" of Spanish. Many of my friends from Ecuador have a hard time getting some parts of what my Puerto Rican friends say. It may be different speech patterns, slang, mix with English or speed at which they are talking. Then again, comparably there are so many dialects of Chinese that exist, with the "country" dialect I learned growing up, I find it hard to understand Mandarin or formal Cantonese.

Many puertorricans have Corsican ancestry. Corsicans traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico and Venezuela when Spain in the Real Cedula de Gracias in 1815 allowed Catholic allies of Spain the entry to any of its colonies. The corsicans being used to mountainous terrain moved inland and created coffee plantations. My mother's family was one of those.
About dialects, the Spanish language has four major dialects, the Iberian, European  or peninsular Spanish (the one spoken in Spain and in Israel by Sephardic Jews), the Caribbean Spanish (spoken in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and, North Colombian coast), Mesoamerican Spanish (Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, San Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Venezuela) and rioplatense (relative to Rio de la Plata, is the South American Spanish spoken in Uruguay and Argentina). And I haven't mentioned Equatorial Guinea and the Philippines which was a Spanish colony until 1898.

Thank you for your cultural insight. May you keep your traditions and heritage strong.

Thank you Lâoshí. I now bow to you Master!

What I mean by speaking mexican is for boy I say chavo...for por favor i say pofa theres all this slang I guess? Like In Argentina I know money is multa but mexicans dont understand that word...but just listen to reggaeton an you hear the puerto rican slang. lol. Another good one is in school kids learn "vosotros" which is Spain and ive never heard that used. Or maybe I have? Yes to Srta calderonnn

Yuk, vosotros. Thankfully my school completely ignores it - it's in the conjugation tables in the book, but it is never used and you are never tested on it.

Mexicans like to be called mexicans or more specifacally where theyre from like nortenos theyre proud to say their herigatage.

I personally prefer Latino to Hispanic but that might be due to the fact that I am Portuguese. When someone uses the term Hispanic towards me I am inclined to take offence because I do not consider being spanish to be part of neither my ethnicity or culture.

From the way people look and act however most latin (and I assume also the latin american) cultures are very similar and I would therefore have no problem with the term Latino.

I think it is like using the term Chinese or Asian. If you are capable of telling the specific nationality then by all means use the specific term, but if you do not I think the generalization is a good way to go.

I agree with you. The only problem that I have with the term Latino is that it is only used with Spanish people. As a matter of fact some people associate the term Latino with dark skin Spanish people. I have been told that I don't look Latino, like it is some sort of compliment.

Latino is not exclusively used for Spanish people. Anybody from Latin America is a Latino. This includes countries speaking Portuguese and French; not only Spanish. The Portuguese word "latino" even includes most countries in southern Europe,not only Spain.

I know, but here in the United States many misinformed people associate the term Latino with dark skin Spanish people or Spanish people in general. Even Italian Americans call us Latinos although the term also applies to them. Everywhere the Romans went and mingled with the local European tribes became Latinos with the exception of Germania and Britannia, two Roman provinces with an ethnic makeup that is mostly Anglo Saxon.

You never will get a definitive answer:
  • USAensis names themselves "Americans", but I am American too although I live in Argentina.
  • I say "gallego" to Spanish people in general
  • I say "chino" or "japonés"  to almost all Asiatic
  • I say "turco" to Arabs, Lebanese, Syrian and others
  • I say "yanqui" to USAensis
  • I say "norteamericano" to USAensis, but Canadians and Mexicans are norteamericanos too, and I don't think of them.
  • And so many more
I am not a rare bug, all world is like me in that sense.

"USAensis"? I never heard that word before. I wonder if it was created by the online translator. Although I must confess that I need to work on my rioplatense Spanish dialect from my argentenean and uruguayan friends. :)

Indeed & agreed: anyone living in any part of South America, or even any part of the North (Canada for instance) are all "Americans" by definition of the word, even if not by common consent. Even such generalities can be rather restrictive because people refuse to think about what they say.

People is totally ilogic with these matters. In example, we the Argentines felt uncomfortable when a stranger confused Buenos Aires to Brasilia, but even 1% of us would know to locate on the map a few U.S. states. Even European, African or Asiatic countries are even mislocated.

So is it wrong to use Latino as it is what can be described as a broader term? In common usage, I've never really heard Italians or French or Romanians being referred to as Latinos although your explanation would make that technically correct.

No, it isn't wrong. We can compare that to the term Latino as a whole cake and being Spanish as a slice of that cake. And you are absolutely right, Italians, French and Romanians do not see themselves as Latinos, although refusing to recognize that they are Latinos does not make them Anglo-Saxons! :)

I do not have any problems with being able to identify with a specific heritage. Here in NYC, land of diversity, it is sometimes hard to distinguish an exact ethnicity and then use the proper and politically correct "label" that the person would like to identify with. Within the Spanish community here, true Spainards only like to be called Spanish or Hispanic, as are the Cubans, Dominicans, and other Latin American countries. Latinos would be Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, There is some dynamic going on there but interesting to comment on.