Hispanic and Latinx are terms used to mention or refer to ethnic groups belonging to Latin America. They are usually immigrants to the US due to the colonization of their states within South America.
These different terms were used to distinguish between the immigrants who were similar in their ethnic lines.
- Hispanic refers to people from Spanish-speaking countries, regardless of their racial or ethnic background. At the same time, Latinx is a gender-neutral term that describes individuals from Latin America, including Brazil.
- Latinx includes people from Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil, which Hispanics do not encompass.
- Hispanic is more focused on language, while Latinx is broader and emphasizes geographic origin and cultural connections.
Hispanic vs Latinx
Hispanic” refers to people from Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. “Latinx” is a more recent term that has emerged in the United States in the 21st century. It is a gender-neutral term used to describe people of Latin American descent, regardless of gender identity.
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Hispanic is a term commonly used in its plural form of Hispanics. They refer to many immigrants who had immigrated to the US from Latin American countries.
This isn’t seen as a derogatory term as it is to show the cultural and regional differences of a specific set of people. This isn’t meant in a racial or discriminating way when used.
Latinx is used in place of the ethnic reference term Latino or Latina as it is seen as a gender-neutral word instead of having to refer to a male or female Latin American.
Latinx is not a term that degrades a particular ethnicity, nor does it mean that some people are lower than others. It is used to differentiate each group with ease.
|Parameters of Comparison||Hispanic||Latinx|
|Gender-Neutral||On the area or the the geographical differences||Yes|
|Includes Only Spanish Speaking People||Yes||No|
|Major Focus While Terming||On the language spoken||On the area or the the gephical differences|
|Different Terms For Males and Females||Not specifically||Latino for males and Latinas for females|
What is Hispanic?
Hispanic is a word that describes a specific ethnic group belonging to the Latin American states.
It generally refers to all the Spanish-speaking immigrants and their ancestors who have migrated to the US.
When used in sentences or while being used in a verbal statement, Hispanics won’t be used to point out Brazilians as they tend to speak Portuguese over Spanish.
Such different terms to classify other ethnicity came about after a US Census.
All the Latin American activists seemed to find it offensive that they were being called “whites” in a generalized manner.
But the Latino people couldn’t come up with a single name for all the ethnic groups due to the massive strike between colonised and those conditions that were not.
Since most states in Latin America were either fully or partially colonized, especially by Spain, their language became Spanish.
This caused disparity among the non-colonized states. They spoke their ethnic and cultural language or some other language depending on whether or not they were occupied.
Therefore, while the activists protested for a different name for the other ethnicity, Hispanic was designated for the Spanish-speaking Latin Americans.
However, those few states that spoke part Spanish and other languages like Portuguese were also classified under Hispanics.
But this had limitations,, and the name was accepted by very few people in states with multiple languages.
What is Latinx?
Latinx is the gender-neutral term for the ethnic group Latino.
Latinos are those people who are immigrants from the Latin American states into the US through their ancestors.
Latinos are commonly used to refer to male Latin Americans, whereas Latina is the term used to mention female Latin Americans.
To remove this disparity between the gender-related terms, the new word Latinx was introduced.
Latinx could be used for both males and females alike and could refer to all Latinos in a crowd without worrying about gender.
Latinx people refused to be called Hispanics in the US under the new naming system, as Spain had most of Latin America under their control.
This was a sour discord between the Spanish-speaking and the other Latin Americans.
Because of this, the Latin American activists requested that non-Spanish-speaking people be categorized under the Latino or Latinx category.
So this means Brazilians come as a part of the Latinx ethnicity as they speak Portugal as the primary language.
The emergence of the word Latino or Latinx was due to geographical issues and divisions, unlike for Hispanics.
This means that a Brazilian is a Latinx but not a Hispanic.
Such differences wouldn’t lead to communal issues as they have different reference names without feeling targeted.
Latinx is not a term used for dominating over the minority or to degrade them over cultural or regional differences.
It is just used to refer to Latin Americans as per their needs.
Main Differences Between Hispanic and Latinx
- Hispanic is a term used for Spanish-speaking Latin Americans alone, whereas Latinx refers to non-Spanish-speaking Latin Americans.
- People belonging to Brazil are not considered Hispanics, whereas they are seen as Latinx alone.
- The regional and geographical differences gave birth to Latinx, whereas Hispanic was born out of language variation.
- Hispanic was the first term to be brought under the umbrella of Latin American ethnic groups, whereas Latinx was brought about later.
- Male and female Latin Americans are termed as Latino and Latina, respectively, under the Latinx title, whereas it’s just Hispanic for the general population for Spanish speakers.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.