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Difference between Hispanic and Latino

Difference between Hispanic and Latino

Hispanic vs. Latino

What is difference between Hispanic and Latino? Many people use the terms “Hispanic” and “Latin” to refer indistinctly to the same, however, although these concepts have a certain relationship; describe two different things. They do not mean the same thing and therefore some people should not use them as they commonly do. As it is important to know which terms to use at the right time, here’s the difference between Hispano and Latino so that you do not get confused at the moment of using these words.

Difference between Hispanic and Latino


Originally this term was associated to Hispania (Iberian Peninsula), but as soon this happened to be Spain; then related the Spanish nation: its history and culture.

Nevertheless, today the term Hispanic is used to refer to people who are citizens of countries in which Spanish is spoken. This word has to do more with the linguistic aspect than with the geographical location. Among Hispanics, not only are many of the people and countries of America, but also that includes Spain and other (non-American) nations where Spanish is spoken.


On the other hand, the Latino word is an adjective that is used to refer to people who are from countries (of America) in which languages ​​are spoken that derive from Latin. It has to do with the geographical aspect rather than with the language itself.

Latinos are people or communities originating in Latin America. A good example of what we are explaining can be found in Brazilians: the people of Brazil are Latinas (they speak Portuguese and this one derives from Latin), but they are not Hispanic, because they do not speak Spanish.

Latinos are known to all people in Latin America, especially those in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic); to those of South America (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia …) and Central America (Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica …).

In short, a person can be Hispanic and Latino (for example, Cubans); however there are others that are only Latin, but not Hispanic (those of Brazil). There are also others that are only called Hispanic, but not Latin; given its geographical position (understood, those of Spain).

Key differences between Hispanic and Latino

  • The term Latino has to do with the geographical aspect and applies to the people and countries (of America) in which they speak languages ​​that derive of the Latin. While Hispano has to do with the language and applies to every individual and country in which Spanish is spoken.
  • The Hispanic adjective is more general than Latino.
  • Not all Latinos speak Spanish, but all Hispanics do.
  • Hispano has to do with the linguistic aspect and Latin with the geographical aspect.

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