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Wait, you’re Spanish right?

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Wait, you’re Spanish right?

Katerin Lopez, Editor In Chief

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Latino, Hispanic, and Spanish. Most people think they mean the same thing; but do they really?


For what seems like forever, people have been using these words interchangeably to refer to any person who speaks Spanish.


Let’s break it down. It really is pretty easy to remember!


Latinos are people from ANY country in Latin America. (We are not all Mexican, folks!)


Latin America is full of many other beautiful countries aside from Mexico, including El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, and many more. Latinos don’t necessarily have to speak Spanish. Brazilians speak Portuguese, for example, but they are considered Latino because Brazil is in Latin America.


This leads us to our next word: Hispanic.


Hispanics are people who are from Spanish speaking countries, which includes most of the Latin American countries . People from countries like Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, and so forth, are considered Hispanic. Brazilians are not considered Hispanic, since they speak Portuguese, but don’t forget; they are Latino.


Now, last but not least, the term: Spanish.


Spanish people are from… wait for it… you’ll never guess where… Spain!!! Yep, that is right, folks. The Spanish are people who are from Spain. A person who is Latino and refers to themselves as Spanish, which is quite common actually, is completely incorrect.


The point is, just because a person is speaking Spanish, their ethnicity cannot just be assumed. Furthermore, it is often considered very offensive to refer to a person of a specific ethnicity by another culture or country of origin’s name.


One last thing, not every Spanish speaking person is Mexican!


There are other countries in the world that speak Spanish, so please don’t assume just because someone is Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish that they are Mexican. Perhaps they are, but referring to someone based on language or stereotypes is racist, whether it is done on purpose or not.


Some simple advice: if you don’t know which term to use, don’t use one. There are plenty of other ways to refer to individuals (tall, short, that guy wearing the ugly reindeer sweater…). However, if you really need to identify a person by their ethnicity, then just ask where they are from, and then you will know what to say!

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Wait, you’re Spanish right?