Difference BetweenLatino and HispanicCarlos F. Martinez, MHA, M.Ed. carlosFmartinez.com
Latino or Hispanic?The terms Latino and Hispanic are somewhatcontroversial, and many people are divided onhow they should be applied. Many within thispopulation prefer the term Hispanic, whereasothers prefer Latino.
What Do Experts Say? Some experts recommend that people should use the term Latino while others suggest the term Hispanic.
Is it Geography? Geographical position may correlate with a preference of terms. In South Florida, where the majority of Latinos/Hispanics are of Cuban heritage, the term Hispanic is generally preferred. The designation of Latino is more often used in southeastern states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
What Does RAE Say About the TermHispanic?The Dictionary of the RealAcademia Española (RAE) definesHispano as someone who belongs toor is related to Spanish-speakingcountries.
What Does RAE Say About the TermLatino? Latino is used to describe people of European or American descent whose languages derive from Latin itself. This definition obviously includes not only citizens of every nation in Latin America and Europe whose primary language is either Spanish or Portuguese, but also technically all people whose native languages derive from Latin, such as the French, Romanians, and Italians.
Are Brazilians Hispanics or Latinos? Individuals of Brazilian and/or Portuguese descent, though geographical neighbors to those in Spanish-speaking nations, have a different linguistic and cultural heritage. The term Hispanic is more generally defined as an individual whose native language is Spanish.
So, Which Term Should Be Used? Many people are using the terms Latino and Hispanic interchangeably. When addressing a Hispanic or Latino, just ask the person which term s/he prefers.