Latino vs Hispanic

Latino vs HispanicLatino means: from Latin America. Latin America refers mostly to everything below the United States of America, include the Caribbean.

Hispanic means: from a country whose primary language is Spanish. But not every country in Latin America speaks Spanish primarily.

—Terry Blas
I’m Latino. I’m Hispanic. And They’re Different, So I Drew a Comic to Explain.

4 thoughts on “Latino vs Hispanic

  1. ” Latin America refers mostly to everything below the United States of America, include the Caribbean.”

    ‘Everything’? I think that Jamaica wouldn’t really be called ‘Latin America’, even though it did have a Spanish-ruled period. I doubt few would call most Jamaicans ‘Latino’, anyway. And the same goes for the rest of the Caribbean Commonwealth countries.

    Or is this a matter of language interpretation – “refers mostly to everything below…” to me means “most of the time, ‘Latin America’ means everything below…”, and perhaps he meant “refers to nearly everything below …”?

    • Well, maybe we should. It would be nice to have some hard rules and not just go with our gut. But it does come from a cartoonist, so we aren’t talking about a terribly deep discussion of the topic. I just thought it was an interesting rule of thumb. Check out the cartoon if you haven’t.

  2. Hard rule – Latin America is everything south of the USA in a country where the last colonial power was a Romance language-speaking, ie mainly Latin-derived, one. This includes French speaking places like Haiti, as well as Spanish and Portuguese, but not British or Dutch, and actually ties to the word ‘Latin’.

    • Good stab at it. I think most people from the DR consider themselves Latino — not sure about Haitians. The important thing is that we address people the way they choose to be addressed. “African-American” isn’t strictly accurate; more recent voluntary arrivals from Africa aren’t included with descendants of kidnapped slaves. But it’s a term you can use in conversation that won’t make anyone feel degraded, so it works.

      I liked the cartoon a lot — but I want to know more about the gay Hispanic Mormon missionary!

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