We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Difference between Latino, Chicano, and Hispanic?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When discussing the differences between racial or cultural subcultures, it is important to remain culturally sensitive. The word "Chicano," for example, was considered derogatory when it first appeared, but later generations of Mexican-Americans have since deemed it acceptable. Brazilians may be considered to be Latino, but are not considered Hispanic. This is why it is important to understand the difference between the three words commonly used to describe those of Spanish or Mexican descent.

The most straightforward of the three cultural identifiers may be the word Chicano. "Chicano" refers specifically to Mexican-Americans, or anyone else of Mexican heritage. When Mexican workers and their families first moved into the United States, they were often referred to as "Mexicanos," which became shortened over time to "Xicanos" or "Chicanos". At first, "Chicano" was considered to be derogatory, somewhat akin to "Chinaman" or "Negro." Eventually, however, many in the Mexican-American community embraced the term, at least informally. There are still older Mexican-Americans who view "Chicano" as something less than respectful. It should only be used to describe those of Mexican descent, not those of Central or South American descent.

The word "Hispanic" is a bit more universal than "Chicano." Historically, areas conquered by the Spaniards were considered part of a region originally called Hispania. Modern countries which can trace their history to Spain are now considered to be Hispanic, and include Mexico, Central America, and most of South America where Spanish is the primary language. The only exception to this Hispanic designation is Brazil, which was settled by Portugal, not Spain. Any citizen of those countries originally colonized by Spain can be considered Hispanic. People from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and other areas south of the American border would all be considered Hispanic.

"Latino" is very close in meaning to Hispanic, but it also includes other countries such as Brazil. The regional description "Latin America" now refers to the countries where Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese) are spoken, but was originally used by Napoleon to describe other Romance speaking (French included) territories throughout the Americas. To be described as a Latino is not considered derogatory, although it can be construed as a generic for all Hispanic cultures, much like referring to a Korean or Japanese-American as "Asian." While "Latino" may be politically and socially correct, it may be more culturally sensitive to learn a person's specific heritage and refer to him or her as "Nicaraguan" or "Guatemalan" rather than using the broader term, "Latino."

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to CulturalWorld.org, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon992849 — On Oct 07, 2015

One of my heroes, Cesar Chavez, was very obviously an American Indian. It is absurd to call him "Latino", Hispanic" -- just nonsense. Nowhere can I find him referred to as an American Indian. It's sad how we U.S. American Indians can let "Latino" and white historians divide our history up so we don't see how truly familiar we all are. We don't see our own brothers standing in front of us even though they look just like us.

By anon947352 — On Apr 25, 2014

Hispano/Latino disguises self-hatred. Latino refers originally to the inhabitants of Latium, i.e., Rome. Hispanic refers to the inhabitants of Hispania, i.e., Spain and Portugal. Using it in the way it is done today is the same as saying that Martin Luther King and Sitting Bull were Anglo-Saxons, providing that it refers mostly to Native-South-Americans, African-South-Americans and the different combinations of them. They should be proud of their inheritance and vindicate it instead of hiding their legacy behind the Spanish. Can anyone imagine the Black Panthers describing themselves as Anglos, or the Sioux Nation as Saxons? They have more self-respect than their Southerner brothers, I suppose.

And Latin? Latin was spoken in Spain, as well as Italy, of course, and in France, Portugal and Romania, but not a single Latin native-speaker has ever set foot in America. Why then? Who then are Seneca and Virgil?

@Post 18: Spain was not ruled for 800 years by Moors – only the southern kingdom of Granada was. The invasion began during the 8th century, but the Kingdom of Asturias remained Christian, and by the 9th century, Castilla, León, Navarra and Aragón were already founded. With the turn of the millennium, the Christians ruled the greatest part of the territory. The re-conquered lands were repopulated with free Christian settlers, much like what Israel does today in the occupied territories. Those Romanesque churches and Gothic cathedrals didn't fall out of the blue, you know. If that weren't enough, aside from the Arab elite, the popular classes in Muslim territory were ethnically Hispano-Roman, to the extent that the language spoken by them was a Romance one.

That was to help a bit with your lack of culture, because nothing of that is relevant to this matter, providing that the so called Moors were not Black Africans as you were made to believe, but Arabs.

If you were familiar with Spanish, you would know that "moro" refers only to an ethnic Arab, from the Middle East to Morocco. To refer a Black African, whatever religion he has, the word "negro" is used instead. That goes back to Medieval texts, in which there is a clear distinction between "moros" and "negros", the latter being in many cases slaves of the formers, which makes me wonder what is wrong with some African Americans who embrace a religion whose supposedly holy language has the same word for them and for a slave.

I will presume that you are not so illiterate to ignore that Northern Africa is not Black but Mediterranean and Arab, because the Sahara desert isolated that lands from Black Central and Southern Africa. If you are smart, you will deduce of this fact that the equivalence “African always equals Black” is a fallacy.

By the way, Pedro Alonso Niño, Columbus' navigator, was indeed nicknamed "el Negro," but it wasn't because of his race, but because of his many travels to Africa with Portuguese ships to trade the kind of "goods" that make involuntarily ironical your apology for him.

@Post 152: Actually there are enough modern genetic studies that prove that the genetic pool of Spain and Portugal are quite different.

By anon939751 — On Mar 15, 2014

Okay, I have read all these. Here is my point. I am Spanish (Spaniard and Italian) so I have a couple of corrections. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Romanian are considered Latin languages and people. That being said, Hispanic denotes Spain and was the name "Hispania" given by the Greeks and Romans for the land of rabbits. Thus, if someone truly is Hispanic, it would be referred to as Spain.

With all due respect to Portuguese people, genetically we are not the same people. Portugal has many mixes of DNA that are not found in or common in Spain. Portugal had colonies in Africa and part of India. Also, they do not look the same. If I were going to say a people that sometimes would be closer would be the following Italian and Greek and sometimes French. And with the Celtic mix you find in Galicia Spain as an added mix, they have some similar features to some Irish and Welch people.

Also, Spain has much more Moorish influence and the like than Portugal does. Now in Galicia Spain -- that Celtic land of Spain -- perhaps there are some of those people who are closer kin to the Portuguese. After all, 1000 years ago Portuguese and Gallego were the same language. But the galicians are proud Spaniards and Celtic people; they are not Portuguese people.

So, being Italian and Spanish I can say these things. Honestly, with my other cousins (three sets) who are Portuguese and Spanish mix, their Portuguese family looks nothing like Spaniards. However, I have about five Italian-Spanish mix family members and the Italian side, and I would say about 75 percent look like they could be Spanish.

It's something to think about. Also, it's easier for a Spanish person to read Portuguese than understand it. It is easy to understand Italian if you are a Spaniard.

By anon937955 — On Mar 07, 2014

Actually, the Portuguese and Spanish are genetically almost the same people. So, by extension, the Portuguese can be characterized as Hispanic, since they are originally from 'Hispania', before it became 'Iberia'. Later, 'Iberia' split into Portugal and Spain, but the root origin for the peoples of Portugal and Spain is 'Hispanic'.

By anon934687 — On Feb 21, 2014

I am Italian and I think that Italians should be called "Latinos" since we invented Latin!

By anon926322 — On Jan 17, 2014

First and foremost, regardless of whether you were born in North, South or Central America, you are American because you were born in the Americas. Second, Hispanic is an ethnic group consisting of people who speak a form of Spanish and were conquered by Spain at some point. So this covers most of South America (excluding countries like Brazil and Guyana), Central America and part of the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico). The Dominican Republic was the first country that Spain went to, which is why they dubbed the island "La Hispañola" (I don't mention Haiti because they were conquered by the French).

Dominicans are mostly made up of Spanish, Taino Indian and African heritage and genealogy. It was where a large majority of the African slaves were taken, the rest (a few compared to the ones taken to DR) were taken to North America.

I also wanted to respond to a comment I keep seeing over and over again. Some people are saying Hispanics are all white people. No we are not. Hispanic is an ethnic group with people of all races. My father was born in the Dominican Republic and I have visited the country many times, and while visiting, this fact was made very clear. I saw Dominicans who were pale white with blonde hair and blue eyes, Oriental Dominicans, Indian and Black Dominicans. They range in all colors.

If you watch the news, they also make race very clear when they are reporting on Hispanics, e.g., White Hispanic, black Hispanic, etc. I also wanted to point out that Spaniards were not considered white until about 100 years ago. Many Spaniards, like my mother, refuse to be labeled as white. The derogatory term "spic" is an acronym, which stands for Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico). They are now considered white because the white supremacists want to claim ownership over the great Mediterranean civilizations. Originally, they weren't considered white because of their olive complexions.

Being Latino just means that you speak a romance language.

By anon924843 — On Jan 08, 2014

This post would be useful to generate discussion in a variety of settings.

However, it doesn't belong in an "Ask Me for Info" context, certainly not one titled "Wise Geek". Your answers are not at all clear and once you establish an authoritative voice, you must be able to maintain it. You need to be sure you are correct before hanging out your "Expert" shingle. I think your fundamental error was in employing literal meaning in ways too narrow for lived human experience.

People always put language to whatever use works for them - that's why it's always changing. There ARE objective answers to this question though, and when your understanding is more nuanced and less literal, you'll be able to provide them.

By anon360079 — On Dec 23, 2013

First, a Latino/Latina is a person whose mother language comes from Latin. It is not a race or ethnic group; it's a linguistic group, so all the Latins (in English), Latinos (in Spanish) or Latinii (in Latin) have in common the origin of their mother language: Spanish, French, Catalan, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian and some other dialects come from Latin. There are Latin Americans, Latin Europeans, Latin Africans (yes, the ones colonized by the French) and maybe still some Latin Asians (Macao, Philippines). I'm Mexican, not by race, but by nationality and my linguistic group is Latino, so I'm Latino, or in English, I'm Latin, the same as the French Canadian or the Brazilian, or the Romanians or the people from Cameroon. Latino is not a race; it's a linguistic group. By the way, Greek does not come from Latin, so Greeks are not Latinii.

By anon340264 — On Jul 01, 2013

I've been reading through some of these posts, and I think something that everyone knows needs to be explained. Anyone can be good/bad. Nobody's perfect. We are all human. Jesus loves everyone. I hope that this is a little clarifying. I'm not trying to be mean, I just feel badly that this could be misunderstood. Love is a feeling of the heart, and everyone can feel it and give it.

By anon339620 — On Jun 25, 2013

Humans are not a race. We humans are species so shut up with that there is only one race, the human race. White and Arab people are very evil for what they did and the term Hispanic was forced on Native Americans and blacks, but Hispanic/Latino are white people.

By anon329316 — On Apr 09, 2013

Hispanic is related to the Spanish culture and hispania is the original land of the Spaniards.

Latin is the culture of Roman Empire in Spain, called the "romanización" of spain.

The original Hispanics are Spaniards, while the original Latinos are the Italians, but they mixed with some other Europeans from Portugal, Spain and France.

In the Spanish colonial society, there were three levels of races: Whites(less population but high level economy positions, Spanish descent).

Mestizos (a mixture between Spanish man and Amerindian woman, the highest population but with medium level economy positions).

Amerindians and black slaves.(More of them than whites but less than mestizos).

You have to know that the British model of colonization was completely different than the Spanish one. The Spanish conquered territory in alliance with other tribes and they "hispanized" the people that they saw in America. The Spanish real colonization (Spanish women) came later and they were in the high level positions in the colonial society."Spanish señorita" vs. "Indian women".

By anon301666 — On Nov 05, 2012

My mom is from Nebraska and my dad is from Muzquiz, Coahuila Mexico so I'm Mexican-American, but I've always called myself Chicana because that's what I feel I am and what I represent.

My ex boyfriend's dad tried to to tell me that I wasn't Chicana because I couldn't speak Spanish, but how can anyone tell someone who they are based on what languages you speak? I'm proud of who I am.

By anon278915 — On Jul 10, 2012

News alert: we are all one race -- human. Africa was where we started, and when we disobeyed God, he scattered us. In time we changed, but we still get together and we can be rotten. This is a good example: love your neighbor as yourself. God commanded it. But I'm sure somebody will miss this and be rotten and will lose the blessing.

By anon272397 — On Jun 01, 2012

Hispanics are only white people.

By anon270224 — On May 21, 2012

Ladino means super intelligent or super clever. For example, Julio es bien ladino. Julian is very clever. He is not a moron. I am explaining the meaning of the modism of Central Americans.

By anon270118 — On May 21, 2012

Chicano means a person of native american and Mexican/hispanic descent. An indigenous Native American is either from North or South America or carries the blood of ancestors from North or South America, regardless of any European blood that has been added over time.

As an elder, my fifty-seven years on the planet have taught me the meaning of the word 'Chicano.' Chicano is simply an acknowledgment of one's Native American/indigenous (Mexican) roots.

By anon266284 — On May 04, 2012

What if Jesus had brown hair, brown skin and brown eyes, was handsome and had a prominent nose and very tall and so humble and merciful and full of love? What if Jesus was an Arabic type?

I think Jesus had olive skin, was handsome and had brown eyes, or brown hair or maybe black hair? What if we were wrong that Jesus was of Aryan, white, brown eyes and brown hair?

We do not know how it was about Jesus Christ. We cannot conclude that Jesus was white. Well, it is a supposition that Jesus was white, with brown hair and brown eyes. We cannot say he was blond and blue eyes because if he were, then he would have not been slain and would have made him King in Israel.

Because Jesus was not noticed and he had no beauty that man may reward him. My type of Jesus has olive skin, brown hair and brown eyes or black hair. Maybe I am wrong. Who knows? We cannot say for sure what Jesus looked like? Then, who I conclude Jesus is a mystery. We can love Jesus no matter how he is, and no matter what color skin he had, or how tall he was no matter if he looked like an angel.

By anon266283 — On May 04, 2012

Let's make it clear. The Spanish conquistadors were not looking for gold. No, they were exploring America because of the Columbus news. The talebearers had been spread all around Europe and they agreed to land in the Americans and bring sons into the Americas. Some were looking to have sex with the inhabitants of the Americas just like when people came to United States.

By amypollick — On Apr 11, 2012

@anon260662: I completely understand what you're saying, but personally, I have enough sense to know that Jesus was not a western European when He walked on this earth as a human. He was a Palestinian Jew. He probably had dark hair, skin and eyes.

Frankly, when Jesus comes back, I just want to see His face. I don't care what color it is. I know it will be the most beautiful face I've ever seen, and that is precisely all that matters to me.

By anon260695 — On Apr 11, 2012

Whenever you discuss race or culture, you are going to offend people. If you are an adult, deal with it; if you are a child, ct childishly, have a good cry on your mother's breasts. Go on. I'll wait.

Many people speak English on this planet, but few of them call themselves Englishmen. So it is with Hispanics. The term Hispanic is a term of reference, in that it describes those peoples who can trace back, however tortuously, their ancestry/cultural identity back to the Iberian Peninsula (known as Hispaniola).

I am Portuguese (Iberian Hispanic). I share a Hispanic identity with an Indian from Gao, an Asian from Macau, a black man from Mozambique, a white man from Argentina, an Indian from Peru, a Mestizo from Mexico or Hondurus, etc. We are all Hispanics, united by our culture. Race complicates things.

Can a Black man be an Asian? Absolutely. Think Papua New Guinea (PNG). Can a white man be Hispanic? Absolutely (Argentina, Spain, Portugal). People think of Hispanic and automatically think mixed race (white and Indian equals Mexican; black and Indian equals Dominican Republic; white, black and Indian equals Cuban or Brazilian) which is not always the case. Some people embrace the confusion. I know a Mexican girl who in college was proud to be a Chicana. She was proud until she started working for a bank and landed a six figure salary. Then she became 'Spanish'. So what, I say.

Michael Jackson dyed his skin, straightened his hair, had white sperm impregnate a white woman and raised a white family. If he were alive today, I would buy the man a lifetime membership in the KKK and maybe the Daughters of the Confederacy.

This is America and you can define yourself anyway you want. However, I think it is dangerous to use terms like Latino as opposed to Hispanic because Latino only means Latin American and nowhere else (Can't be Iberian or Central American because Mexicans are not Latinos, they are Central Americans or Chicanos).

Does it really matter if you call yourself Iberian, Chicano, Latino or Hispanic when a cop is beating the hell out of you because you are a Mexican? You see where I am coming from?

By anon260668 — On Apr 11, 2012

White Americans are a very positive and perfect race. Americans are not bad people. White Americans do not smoke, there are no gays, they do not drink beer, and all of the people who go to the bars are not white Americans. I have never seen a white dude smoking pot, drugs or marijuana or drinking anything like beer.

A white American is not racist towards the black people and they are excellent and wonderful people. Mexicans are also not drug addicts. They do not smoke, they do not drink beer and they are not immoral, and they are not into gangs and it is their style of appearance. They are cool.

Lots of white people are very important and do not do bad things whether they are poor or rich. I have never seen a white American doing drugs, or something that is out of order.

By anon260662 — On Apr 11, 2012

Do you believe that Jesus Christ was pale/white, with wavy hair, brown hair, long hair, and tall and svelte, and handsome like me? Will it bother you if Jesus Christ was white, with brown eyes, and brown hair? What if -- what if Jesus Christ was of the Aryan race?

Suppose Jesus Christ comes back again? What would you do if the type of Jesus Christ you thought is very opposite? What would you do if you find out that Jesus Christ is not blue eyed, blond and white? What would you do if Jesus Christ is white, with brown eyes, and brown hair? Will you cry and realize that you are not like him? Does it bother you? Will you feel bad? Will you feel lesser than Jesus? Will you cry and feel guilty? Will you realize your own greatest mistake and your own pride and will your pride go down?

By anon256972 — On Mar 24, 2012

Would you do me a favor? Can you stop talking about ethnic people, please? Can you make a habit of forgetting about race? Why not try?

By anon256971 — On Mar 24, 2012

I do not care about Indians, or whatever who you are. The bottom of your heart is the most important. Because perfection is not required. It is your heart that is required of you.

Lots of white Americans are very mean and rude and are my enemies. I do not understand why I am an American citizen if the majority of white Americans really hate me so much. We do not relate to each other. I understand. But, I fear God will collapse the United States if the white Americans are against me and do not amend their ways.

Because God loves me and protects me and God is real and does not want anyone to touch me and hate me. I want to be honest with you. I am not Jewish. I do not want to pretend to be Jewish anymore. Sorry. But, I am not.

By anon256970 — On Mar 24, 2012

So, if white Americans called me Hispanic? What is the difference between blood type A positive and blood type O? If the Hispanics are universal, then how come there is a difference between Hispanics and white Americans? I am really confused. The white Americans and Mormons confuse me so much. I am really dazed and confused.

I hope they have not committed such offense as a blasphemy. The white Americans are my enemies and I love them and have so much pity because Jesus said, love your enemies. They are also my secular Jewish people.

By anon255543 — On Mar 18, 2012

I am brazilian. I am white and european from both sides. Latino is a word used in spanish, Latin would be english and other languages, etc.

Latin will be Portuguese, Italian, France, Romanian, Greek, etc.

A Latino would be a person who spoke spanish and is of Spanish origin, and that's all! Brazilians are not latinos. They are of a latin language.

We brazilians are not minorities. When I went to college in North America, I had to pay as much as European because I would not be considered minority, and that was in Berkeley, Ca.

No, the prejudice in USA is a racial, ignorant factor. Unfortunately they still ask on forms what race you are. They somehow think they are the only caucasians on the whole american continent, and that makes them ignorant. But rest assured, a lot of North Americans like to live their lives in denial so they live better.

There is a lot of guilty feelings in the USA, like the history of how they killed the American Indians and deported the Mexican citizens of USA. So, there was a brainwash done to the American immigrants from Europe, to make them believe they deserve to feel superior after murdering and taking someone else's country.

Now, go figure how the real Americans, the Native Americans and Mexicans feel about the whole deal. So, this is the reason why they are prejudiced against Mexicans and Indians. To me, this is very wrong. They should claim their citizenship back!

By anon251645 — On Mar 01, 2012

My parents immigrated from Spain to Canada and I have friends from Central and South America. We can get into lengthy conversations on all the different terms - definitions used to identify people from (or descending from) the spanish speaking worlds.

What I find as an interesting occurrence is the number of times those of non-spanish speaking backgrounds have a need to group such diverse cultural groups as one thing. I would never call an American, an Australian, etc., (someone from an english speaking cultural background)' "English". Just like someone from, for example, Columbia is Colombian, and does not want to be called Spanish. If someone is "descended from" a spanish speaking world, ask them how they identify themselves.

By anon234030 — On Dec 10, 2011

Latino (from the latin language) or hispanic (Spanish or Spaniard culture). You have to understands that we, the spaniards, were conquerors and we imposed our culture to the american indians. Some spaniards got there and colonized that territory and we were in the high-class in the government.

Some spaniards mixed with some indians and that's why they are different races. But the majority were american indians. Opposite from the american british that killed and impose your control and your race and culture.

By anon233040 — On Dec 04, 2011

american latinos are indios, not Spanish! european latinos are germanic, greek and italian!

By amypollick — On Oct 29, 2011

@anon225944: When the Romans were in the conquering business, they didn't force their "Christian religion" on any countries. This is because they weren't Christians. Christianity did not come into being until about A.D. 33, long after the great Caesars reigned.

Christianity did not become the officially recognized religion of the Roman Empire until in the vicinity of A.D. 300. In fact, the Roman rulers were fairly interested in eradicating Christianity for quite a while after it came into being.

Just wanted to clarify that one fact.

By anon225944 — On Oct 29, 2011

The term "Latin" and "Latino" are one and the same. They mean the same thing. Like when we say "American" or "Americano/a". It depends on who says it. British and French say "Latin". The others whose languages originated from the Latin/o of Italy say "Latino/a.

As for the origin of the Latin language and culture, the first Latins originated in Italy. They lived in an area called Latium (In Latin), now called Lazio.

These Latins were defeated by next-door Romans and annexed under Roman control. The Romans eventually took over all of the remaining groups living within the Italian territory. The Romans adopted the Latin language as the only language of all of Italy. All of the united Italians became Latins.

After the first unification of Italy under the Romans, the Romans embarked in extra-territorial colonization (Roman Empire), invading and colonizing one European territory after another and remaining there for more than seven centuries.

They colonized France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Germany and many other parts of Europe then the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Romans imposed their Latin language, Roman laws, their Christian religion, their culture to all the places that they conquered.

This is basically in brief the birth of the Latin language, where it originated and how it was spread around.

After the end of the Roman Empire, the Latin language went through changes in each European country and that's why we have today the Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian languages. These are all Latin languages.

When the Spaniards, Portuguese and French came to discover and colonize what the French later called "Amerique Latine", these people brought with them their Latin derived languages and wanted to distinguish themselves as "Latin people" from the Northern American (USA) English-speaking,protestant Americans and that's why they called those areas colonized by them "Amerique Latine".

Now the Brazilian and Spaniards. They are both Hispanics and Latins (Latino) because Portugal was part of Spain when the Romans called those territories Hispania. They should be Hispanics and Latins here in Latin America too!

Who are the real Latins? First and foremost, the Italians, because they have inherited the language, culture and traditions of the Latins. Then the French, the Spaniards, the Portuguese and the Romanians. Contrary to what people think, the Latin comes from Italy and not from Spain!

Latin America doesn't mean and cannot be equal to Latino. No way! And being Latin or Latino doesn't imply belonging to a particular race. Latin-Latino/a is not a race. It's a language,culture and not a race.

"Hispanics", 'Spanics", that is Ibero-Americans have manipulated and distorted this term to identify themselves as belonging to a particular racial,ethnic background. This is a distortion of history and will have to be corrected.

By anon223274 — On Oct 18, 2011

I have some doubts about Dr. Poston’s prediction. Mexico and the United States have a common border. When things get bad, undocumented Mexican immigrants can go home. Chinese immigrants are more vulnerable because they don’t have the same option. There are millions of Mexican and Mexican Americans that are able to help undocumented Mexican immigrants settle in the U.S. That’s not the case for Chinese immigrants. Finally, Latinos represent a political force to be reckoned with, which is not the case for the Chinese.

By anon222257 — On Oct 15, 2011

All US citizens should just be called Americans. You can only hyphenate if you are a dual national. If you are not a citizen of Mexico, you are not Mexican. If you are not a citizen of any African country, you are not African.

In Latin American countries, a person of whatever descent is just called by the name of the country if he is a citizen, even if he was born in another country. Even if his parents are from another country. But we can't, can we?

Heritage? In the UK, many people are of Norman and Viking and Celtic heritage, but they don't walk around saying, "I am a Norman Englishman" or "I am a Celtic Englishman." Also, in Argentina they don't walk around saying, "I am a German Argentinean" or worse, "I am a German."

People in the US should just be called Americans and that's all. That is if they are citizens. Born in the US or not.

As far as the nationality -- place where you were born -- think again! Only 30 plus countries out of 200 give nationality based on birthplace. For most, it is bloodline. Even in the US, children of diplomats and royalty, even if born here do not get citizenship and are not Americans. Did you know that? And US servicemen who had kids in Japan have no right to give them Japanese citizenship. You inherit nationality through the parents there.

Am I the only one who wants to create just an American nationality like what all normal countries do? Stop dividing our nation!

Oh, by the way, I am a human of Ape heritage. So I consider myself an ape.

By anon219727 — On Oct 03, 2011

Yo soy Chicano! Being Chicano is a life-style, a commitment to know ancestral connections, understand the Conquest of Pre-Columbian peoples and am resolved to share the knowledge of this history, culture and the body politic.

Racially, I am Mestizo who experiences life molded by a philosophy characterized by the fusion called mestizaje. Born and raised as a Mexican American, being a Vietnam Vet, speaking English as well as Brokaw, understanding and speaking Spanish, reflects my North American experience. There are close to 50 million of us living north of the Rio Bravo. We are a force to be reckoned with.

By anon205086 — On Aug 11, 2011

Only in the 1970s did words like "Chinaman" (compare with Frenchman or Englishman) and "Negro" (the United Negro College Fund), and to a lesser extent, "Chicano," started to fall out of favor.

By anon190206 — On Jun 25, 2011

This is unbelievable. We whites in the U.S. are mostly English speaking people whose ancestors migrated from Europe, just as they did to Australia and Canada as well. Most people in Central America and South America, with the most notable exception being Brazil, are Spanish speaking people who live in the Americas. Now that the simple language issue is resolved, let's talk about race.

The majority of Central and South American people are a mixture of native american (and I mean all of the Americas), caucasian and occasionally african descent. The most notable exceptions in this instance are Argentina and Uruguay where the populations (dare I say) are as 'white' as Germans and Italians, because that is what they are: Spanish-speaking Germans and Italians. People from Spain are also white and should not be incorrectly referred to by the idiotic word 'hispanic.'

And for all of you people who want to call everyone 'Americans,' I am very proud of my Sicilian, Alsatian, Bavarian and Irish origins. It is who I am and why I am different from others. Then again, most people in this country think that Applebee's, PF Chang's and the rest of those dreadful 'American' chain restaurants are fine dining. Sorry to get off the topic. Long live New Orleans, the most unamercian city in the US!

By anon177939 — On May 19, 2011

For some of these people who posted, you need to be more open minded. there is nothing wrong with someone wanting do learn about their heritage. heritage does not stop at the place you were born; it is your blood line.

When I grew up, a Chicano was someone who was half white and half mexican. Everyone says it does not matter and we are all the same, but that is incorrect. Cultures differ and morals and beliefs differ.

You guys want something to think about? I can go to any hispanic kid in a school and ask him who Martin luther king is and they can tell you, but ask them who Cesar chavez is and what he did for the Hispanic people and they would not have the slightest clue.

How can we, as majority of the population in this country get less recognition than all the other minorities. The only minority that had it rough was the African American communitym according to our country, even though they are not suffering slavery any more but the Mexicans are in the fields they work in today.

We as a hispanic community better educate our kids on their heritage or it is going to get lost. Our kids know more about African Americans than they do their own culture. My kids know their history.

By anon175456 — On May 12, 2011

this is just ignorance usually seen in the US. the word Latin refers to a dead language spoken by ancient Romans who were the real latinos or latin people. This is not a race, it is ethnicity and language. What the hell does a Mexican who, besides Spanish, also speaks his native American tongue have to do with Latin? this is really stupid.

By anon163654 — On Mar 28, 2011

I was born and raised in the United States and I am Black, part Native (do not like using the word Indian to generalize), and some French. I do not think I have any Hispanic, Latin or Chicano, etc. blood running through my veins.

For myself, I have always loved learning new languages and about different cultures. Currently I am learning Italian in college, but I learned some Spanish and French in high school.

I have always tried to be sensitive and respectful to others' cultures and whatnot, so one of the problems I have is when people get upset with a person for mistakenly calling them something that they are not. Some people, such as myself, do not know otherwise and we are not meaning to be hurtful when we do so.

Everyone should be mindful that not everyone knows about their culture and I believe everyone should begin to have the mindset that, "OK, this person does not know (the truth) any better. I shouldn't get upset or impatient. I should simply correct them, thus teaching them and giving them new knowledge about my (other) culture and societies outside of their own."

When I refer to someone as "Asian," I do not mean to be rude; I simply like to play it safe. I know that some people get offended when you call them something other than themselves. For example, if I see a person who appears either Japanese, Korean, Chinese (or something in that area), instead of guessing and risk upsetting them, I simply say Asian. I did not know that some get upset with that general title as well.

Another example: I am in the Chicano Boricua Studies program at my school and I am learning about the different cultures. I generalize and perhaps say "Hispanic" or "Latino" (I rarely use the word "Chicano). But they do not take offense, because it is an honest mistake (I understand some mean it to take offense, but those in the situation should not take it as such and think that everyone is trying to hurt them).

Since I do not know any better, and I apologize on behalf of those like myself who are not trying to offend but rather not offend by generalizing, I would appreciate people taking the time to teach me, so perhaps I can pass it on and in the near future if I ever run into a person again I will know.

Nowadays, I simply ask someone "what is your race" or "...nationality?" in order to really play it safe, but when I refer to a group of people and I do not know the majority (since most races and ethnicity come with totally different features in one race so it may be hard to pinpoint it) I say Hispanic or Latino. Also, some of the "Hispanics" refer to each other as Latino or Chicano themselves. I have lots of friends in the program and I am learning a lot. One friend in particular is Guatemalan, but because she and this other female are together a lot, I guessed she was Mexican as well (her friend even thought so)--though I knew her features were definitely different. She did not get irritated or mad at me, she just laughed it off and corrected me, and Bam! I gained more knowledge about another culture. Yay me!

Sorry this became so long. I didn't intend on typing so much.

By anon161153 — On Mar 18, 2011

I live in Iowa. Chicano doesn't get used much in my area. I asked a Mexican-American friend what Chicano meant one time. His answer was that "it's those California Mexicans acting like they're better than the rest of us."

By anon157720 — On Mar 04, 2011

I hate it when people say bull like all people from south of the United States are Hispanic and that Hispanic is universal. There are so many people from those areas who are of different races and ethnic origins who are not Hispanic (Hispanic meaning Spanish, Spanish meaning White).

I get all the man made racial comments but because there are substantial physical, cultural, linguistic and ideological differences in people from different origins. Chicano is not only a term that can be used to identify people of Mexican decent but also Mesoamerican decent in general, which would include "Central America". It's a term of Native Mesoamerican origin. ¡Reconocelo!

By anon155097 — On Feb 22, 2011

The definition of "latino" is absolutely incorrect! Just because hispanics, meaning "part-spanish," not just those from Hispaniola; is Spanish speaking. This is where the Latin-Americans get it wrong!

Stop using Latin or Latino. Both are the same, as just referring to people who speak Spanish or variations of Spanish (Spanglish)! Anyone and I mean anyone from a Latin speaking language is Latino or Latino! Greek, Italian and so forth. This is where hispanics and chicanos have usurped a dialect and are trying to make it theirs.

Latin is of Latin origin and does not mean spanish speaking. Stop with the latino festivals unless you plan on including all Latin cultures not just spanish. La Razza has done you a disservice in convincing you otherwise. Knowledge is power.

By anon137291 — On Dec 27, 2010

Classifications are definitely not crap. Different areas of this world embrace different practices and their cultures differ greatly.

I feel the United States is much less sensitive to other people's cultures because of the magnitude of us being a "melting pot". Not being culturally sensitive leads to stereotyping and isn't fair to those who stand proud to be where they are from.

By anon135488 — On Dec 19, 2010

Okay why does it even matter? races are man made and there's no point to then whether you're african american, latino or asian you still come from the same species and there's no one who's just "Latino." i guarantee you whoever you are you have euro african and asian blood in you, so all the classifications are crap.

By anon132362 — On Dec 06, 2010

Wait. I thought latino is a mixture of aztec and spanish from when the spanish settled in south america and mixed with the aztecs.

By anon131406 — On Dec 02, 2010

The people of Mexican descent are direct descendants of Native American or Native Mexican Americans. They are one of the first people documented in the annals of history. Cortez wrote about the Tenochca/Culhua Mexica Americans and Indians interchangeably. At no time did he ever use the word Aztec. And for that matter, you will not find any documents using the word Aztec in the 15th through the 18th century.

By anon130701 — On Nov 29, 2010

I don’t understand why so many people don’t recognize what they are. You are from the country you were born. If you were born in the United States, then you are an American.

You are an American because you were born in the country named America and not because you were born in the American continent. Believe or not, there is a country named America. The United States of America, just like you have “The United States of Mexico” and every person born in this country is called Mexican.

If you’ll have a country named the United States of Ecuador, then every person born there will be Ecuadorian.

Let’s use “Los Angeles” in California as an example. We have the “County of Los Angeles” and the “City of Los Angeles”. If you are from California, you won’t claim to be from Los Angeles because you were born in the county of Los Angeles. Nevertheless, you will claim to be from the city you were born.

If you want to claim a place of origin, it will depend on where you are at that moment. If you go from one state to another state within USA, you will claim to be from the state you came from. Let say California, Texas, New York, etc.

If you are in another country then you will claim your origins to be from the country you were born.

On the ethnicity issue: it is a lost cause. There is no pure breed in any of us anymore. Almost 95 percent of humanity has a mixture of races. Most of the people born in America are just American. If your parents were born in another country, then, they are from that country, not you, unless, you were raised in that country.

If your parents came to the US before you were born, you can be certain their customs have change and have assimilated quite a few American customs. Then, your customs will be a mixture of American with their native customs.

Not only that, if you attended elementary, middle, and high school in the United States; your customs are mostly American. Don’t get confused; there is difference in maintaining a tradition and to have a custom.

You can also be sure that if you are an American born and moved to another country, you will always be a foreigner. The people from the other country might be nice to you, but they will never accept you as one of their own. At the end you will be a person with no country.

I also believe that many of you who call themselves Mexicans after being born in the US, will not line up to enlist in the armed forces if someone declares war against Mexico. Something, I believe you will do, if someone declares war against the US.

So my dear friends, stop trying to be what you are not. If you were born in the US then you are an American, because this is “The United States of America." That is the name of the country you were born and rise. If you are black person born in the USA, you are not an African-American person. Your parents might be the ones, because they are mixing their native customs with American customs. Or if your parents were born in Asia and you in the US, you are not an Asian-American; you are just an American.

Why are some of you trying so hard to belong to some place else, when almost everyone in the world wants to come to the US?

By anon129149 — On Nov 22, 2010

Now let me just say I'm Nicaraguan and in Nicaragua there is so much mixing in race terms! You can't see a Nicaraguan and say he or she is Nicaraguan. You just can't.

My mom's family is all mostly of Spanish ancestry. Then my father has German (my last name is Gudiel) and indigenous blood and maybe a hint of black, I've heard! Here we have a whole black community on the Caribbean coast. We have mestizos, white (euro?), asian, and middle eastern people all living together in one small, densely populated country! Funny, huh?

As far as Latino Hispanics? I don't know the origins, but all I can say about it is that it is what it is! Let's just not be racist!

The person standing next to you might be more American or more Euro than you!

By anon129084 — On Nov 22, 2010

People should get over being insulted if the wrong term is used, unless the speaker/writer's intentions intentions are malicious.

Also, how about the Haitians? Lots of French blood there. Or Belize, settled by the British. What ethnicities are the people of Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana?

By anon125235 — On Nov 08, 2010

To me a chicano seems to be a more Americanized form of someone who is born in the states and whose parents are both from Mexico. My father is Mexican and my Mother is a Mexican American and I am insulted when someone calls me a Chicano. I am heavily rooted with my Mexican roots and therefore I consider myself as a Mexican American.

By anon120466 — On Oct 21, 2010

First off it's not complicated! they (blacks, whites and mexicans in this thread) have made it complicated, but actually it's really simple. If you have spanish blood, culture and language (one or all) and you are in the americas, you are latino or hispanic. I don't know why people get lost on that.

P.S. Chicanos refers only to mexicans living in the us.

By anon117859 — On Oct 12, 2010

Love being a Chicano. it makes me so proud. I mean going back to the Aztecs and knowing you have that history is just phenomenal. Love it.

By anon117030 — On Oct 08, 2010

I'm from Chicago IL. My mother is Mexican, while my father is Peruvian. Both were born and raised in their countries and then came to America. Now My mother everyone thinks is white or Italian. She has more Spaniard in her then native. Yet she is still a Mestizo (there is suspicion that there might be Russian on my mother's side).

Now my father is like half of the world. I can go pretty far back. First, my great-great-great grandparents were German and British, then they moved over to Spain. Then in Spain they had a family, then my great great grand parents married someone Spaniard. Then they moved to Brazil, and then they settled down there. Made another family and married someone Brazilian. then my great grand parents moved over to Peru, which by then had my grandfather. He was later on left to be an orphan, he then married my grandmother who is native to Peru.

They had seven kids (then my grandfather cheated on my grandma and had two more kids with another women who currently lives in Florida) So then my father moved to America, married my mother, had my brother and I. Then cheated and divorced her with his childhood friend from Peru (she is pure Peruvian) and then had a full blooded Peruvian daughter with her. So yes, I have a very large extended family.

People who first meet me, think I am white because I'm so light. I've been confused for Korean, Italian and Romanian.

Not to mention, my last name is Hobbs which is British (I am the only hobbs on facebook).

By Juan Mendes — On Oct 01, 2010

I am Brazilian, and my race is white as most of my ancestors are from Portugal. I think the ethnic group that best describes me, or anyone in the Americas who speak Portuguese or Spanish is Latin American. That way there is no confusion with Portuguese/Spanish speaking people from Europe since the culture is not that close.

When people ask me where I'm from, I reply with a question: I'm Latin American but not Hispanic, what do you think? Only three or four people figured out where I was from.

Also, having a Spanish first name and a Spanish sounding last name (notice it ends with an 's', not a 'z') always gets me some telemarketers calling in Spanish, which I don't mind, it's an opportunity to practice my Portuñol (that's when Brazilians try to speak Spanish, hehe).

By anon102931 — On Aug 10, 2010

What a fascinating conversation. Unfortunately, it seems that the overall consensus is: there is no consensus.

I find it interesting, though, because I just returned from a two-week stay in Mexico, where Mexican friends constantly referred to Americans of Mexican descent as Chicanos. It seemed like an insult, perhaps because one friend-of-a-friend also referred to me as a gringo (I am white).

My ancestors came to the U.S. in the early 1900s from Poland, Germany and Ireland. People refer to me as white, and I don't really mind but it is not exactly accurate, is it? In addition, I now live in Europe, where I am considered simply to be American. Never mind that, as one poster pointed out, "American" is not accurate either, as Mexicans, Costa Ricans, Canadians and Brazilians are all essentially Americans from the American continent.

By anon96671 — On Jul 16, 2010

to number 76: I'm number 72, and i don´t understand your point. i have given historical notions. as a spaniard, i feel that my historical identity is planted when someone says "you're not Hispanic" or when a spaniard says, "i'm not hispanic" because the term "hispanic" has been given to Latin americans as racial "category" by north americans -- that´s all.

Latin Americans (some) talk very badly about spaniards, yes, yes, but then, try to identify by all the ways with us. Sir: that was the origin explaining why they are called "hispanics"; the desire to not identify by any means with their indigenous origins.

If they have so much hatred against us, stop to supplant a millenarian identity, because hispanics were the inhabitants of the iberian peninsula and "hispania" and "latinos" were the parents of ancient Roma.

The important thing is where is my history, my culture when I have to write a report and a lady tells me "You're not hispanic" because I'm from europe. That's so crazy! You understand that?

By anon94466 — On Jul 08, 2010

To number 72: I see the reason why most Spanish-speaking Americans dislike the Spaniards. Thank you for validating what I've heard/seen.

By anon94065 — On Jul 07, 2010

I have found the discourse on this site be very informative. thank you all.

It always interests me when people are so "proud" of their heritage. I am not against ethnic pride but think about it: nobody chose what ethnic/race background they have. They were just born that way.

Should all the curly haired people march and sing songs while all the straight haired people do the same. C'mon, all the redhead of the world should unite to fight "the man". By the man I mean whatever political/ethnic ideology that you are part of.

I am of Korean descent. No I am not "Chino" as many Mexican/Mex Americans have so elegantly called me. First and foremost, I am an American! USA! USA!

I like when people say I am American with Mexican descent or American with Scottish/Irish roots. Let's focus on being American, on being united in our rich and cherished land. Let's be happy we have a free press and don't fear for their lives as other people in the not so free press of other countries have.

I taught eighth grade US History. I encourage all to read about early US history. It's fascinating. This country was founded by rebels who were committing treason against Britain. Not to mention the Indians who were here 1st (that is another story.)

If you live here, regardless of your origin you have a responsibility to know at least some US history.

You can wave your "foreign" flag all you want in the US as long as you recognize the specialness of this land we call the US. We are truly different, and no other land can boast the freedom or diversity of this country. Be proud of your past, but be cognizant of where you are now.

The Southwest US used to be part of Mexico.

Louisiana was bought from the French.

Indian tribes lived in Mexico before the Spaniards, etc. Read more, know more.

By anon93098 — On Jul 01, 2010

all this white, black, latino, asian thing can forget itself. We are all human people and we all bleed red so let's stop this race crap.

By anon92988 — On Jul 01, 2010

"Areas conquered by the Spaniards were considered part of a region originally called Hispania": I'm a spaniard, and "Hispania" was the name given by the Romans to the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). Hispanic was originally the name given to its inhabitants (current spaniards and Portuguese). You should learn more.

I don`t know why you americans consider that "hispanic" is a race associated with Latin America when the fact is to say "Hispanic" is like saying "Gallic", "luso" or "germanic", names referring to the ancient european tribes, nothing to do with the new world. And "latino"? Latino is a latin american race? Oh my god, that´s incredible. In any case, the closest thing to that latin culture from ancient Rome are south europeans (french, spanish, portuguese, italians) and romanians and part of Swiss, heirs by conquest of the latin culture and language which caused the current latin romance languages (french, portuguese etc.).

The closest thing to "latinos" that ruled in America were spaniards and portuguese, thus the term "Latino" is more ludicrous than "Hispanic" (itself ridiculous).

By anon92094 — On Jun 25, 2010

I just finished reading through all the comments and what bothers me the most is that people in the U.S. have coined the term “American” to refer to only people of the United States… Anyone on the continent of the Americas is considered American regardless of their nationality or culture.

By Elaine Crivano — On Jun 23, 2010

Oh my gosh! This is confusing at times. Can I just be? I am what I am regardless of race, ethnicity, etc., etc.

I do understand that for demographic purposes we have to give names to all, but seriously, people have to understand that a lot of people are just a plain mix.

I, for example, was born in Brazil and speak Portuguese. However, one grandmother was Portuguese, one grandfather was Italian, the other grandmother was from mixed ancestry including Japanese and Italian, and the other grandfather was from native indian descent.

I never really had to think about it, or declare what I am when I was home, but now that I live in the States (and let me make it clear I love it here, and no, I didn't have a bad life in Brazil either).

Anyway, now that I live here, I am always asked what I am, and the other half of the times people just assume they know what I am and period. That is so mean! What am I? Heck if I know! Sometimes I say Hispanic, and they say, oh so you speak Spanish and are from Mexico? No!

OK, so I'll be Latina, but oh dear, Latina is the same as Hispanic! All right then, I'll be Native Indian. Oh cool, let me see your tribal card, Which tribe are you, by the way?

At this point, I give up being anything that implies having an olive complexion skin color, which is absolutely beautiful, so that a lot of people spend a lot of money to have it! I then say that I'm Caucasian and am laughed at, because evidently, they don't think my tan skin, brown eyes and hair match the description.

I wouldn't dare say I'm from some Asian descent because of the eyes. So, the last time I was asked, I said I was black. Oh boy. Did I mention that didn't go well either? Anyway...

By anon88240 — On Jun 03, 2010

Mexican-American is redundant as all Mexicans are American. The US Americans never gave themselves a name.

Hispanic is term coined by the Nixon administration that groups unique and distinct cultures into one category, making us more ignorant than we already are.

For example, we don't group Canadians, Australians, English, US Americans into one group because they speak English. Hispanic also negates the contributions of blacks, indigenous peoples, Asians, and others throughout Latin America.

Chicano is a political movement and a sense of pride of being genetically linked to indigenous peoples who had advanced civilizations. Chicanos look at Hispanic in historical context and understand the ethnocentrism brought by the Spanish.

Most Chicanos/as do not identify as Hispanic.

Latino/a, also an incorrect term, is more commonly used because it spans back several hundred years. Chicanos are more tolerant of the term than Hispanic, a more recent term that makes references to Spain.

Hispanic is also a more linguistically appropriate term, but most Mexicans in California do not speak Spanish, thus it is not a valid term.

By imswamp — On May 22, 2010

Excuse me all of you hispanic, latino or chicanos. you refer to anyone with light skin as "white". Where is that country exactly?

If you wanted to be treated as a "special" ethnicity or nationality, then here in the US you had better learn where all of us "white" people are from. I am nordic, french, and russian immigrant. I call myself american. Grow up and stop thinking you are special. If you call us white, then you are a racist.

By anon85533 — On May 20, 2010

i just wanted to find out what was the difference between Hispanic, Latino and Chicano. I don't really care if it's disrespectful or not, but this topic is roaming all over the place, and deeply, i just want this topic to get over with.

Anyone who is what they are, just accept it.

Don't start assuming things because then people are going to start saying smack, and we are going to rumble on about this in our graves.

By anon84814 — On May 17, 2010

You are all mistaken. chicanos are americans of spanish ancestry who barely have any ties to the mother country. they barely or even don't know any spanish.

chicanos are all those people you see protesting for illegal immigrants' rights. did you know only 9 percent of mexicans from mexico are now in the united states? that's all the illegal and legal people who where born in mexico now living in the usa.

to be honest, real mexicans don't like chicanos. we just call them gringos. mexican is not a race. it is a nationality. you can't be half mexican or half of a nationality. it doesn't make sense.

By anon84214 — On May 14, 2010

What a bunch of nonsense. I am american. You probably are, too. If you do not want to be American - no one is keeping you here.

Be proud of this wonderful melting pot I am proud to call home. Sincerely, Nicholas G.

By anon81507 — On May 02, 2010

What is up with some people? I just came from a website that was full of het up white people fighting about whether or not whites are to blame for the entire world's problems -- and now this.

I just came on here to find out what my children would be considered, as my husband is half spanish (his maternal grandfather is from the Rock of Gibraltar and his maternal grandmother from mainland Spain) and half English (we currently live in England).

My mom is Vietnamese/French and my dad is English, German and Native American.

By anon81289 — On Apr 30, 2010

If you're born here and are mexican you're basically chicano. But being called chicano doesn't mean you're not mexican. You still are. Being mexican/Chicano or makes you hispanic if you're from a Spanish speaking country in South America, and being latino just refers to being from a either Spanish OR Portuguese speaking country in South America! It's not that hard! Everyone knows this.

People here keep making it so damn complicated for no damn reason! Spanish speaking countries in South America used to be colonized by spain and portuguese speaking countries in South America used to be colonized by Portugal -- it's not that hard to figure out!

Simply being from a Spanish speaking country in South America makes you Mestizo/Mestiza if you have a Spanish (from Spain) background! Unless you really don't have that background and are full blooded Guatemalan or Colombian or whatever other spanish speaking country, then you're not considered being Mestizo/Mestiza.

By anon80562 — On Apr 27, 2010

i always thought i was a latino but now i know I'm a chicano. Thanks for the explanation.

By anon79442 — On Apr 22, 2010

Latino is not a European term as stated by a previous comment. There is a difference between Latin and Latino. Latinos may speak a language that comes from Latin origin. However, the term Latino is an overarching identity that encompass people from and/or heritage from Latin America.

By anon77860 — On Apr 15, 2010

anon 62426 suggests that we should all just consider ourselves people of the earth. I agree. The word for that is "Tellurian". Look it up.

By anon75033 — On Apr 05, 2010

I don't think this article befits appraisal, as it doesn't do a good job delineating Latino any further than on the most superficial level that is accepted by the large majority of the public mind.

It does not include the European Latins, the true origin of the words "Hispanic" or "Latino", and fails to mention the astronomical racial diversity identifications that can be attached to just the word "Latino", such as Asians, Blacks, Whites, Brown-Skinned, Indian, Persian, etc. that can easily self identify themselves as Latin due to the fact that they have grown up in a family that originated from those countries that speak some latin languages, but their family originated from other parts of the world other than Europe. I don't feel this article covers enough.

By anon74400 — On Apr 01, 2010

Okay so I live in the fabulous state of Texas.

My maternal grandparents and my paternal great grandparents, all born before the 1920's, came from Mexico.

I have introduced myself to some "Mexicans" whom i have worked with as being mexican and they basically laughed in my face and said 'no you're chicana because you and your parents are from here.'

I no longer consider myself mexican. I don't mind "chicana" because I'm very proud not to be from mexico, but i think the phrase hispanic is a better term.

Latino to me actually does seem a little derogatory and the word negro should also be more widely viewed as horribly offensive and unacceptable to use.

By anon74392 — On Apr 01, 2010

No, we are not all from Africa. That is a myth perpetrated by americano blacks to make them feel better about themselves. When early man ventured into new territory it was on a giant land mass called a super continent, not "Africa".

We brown skinned Chicanos were originally from Asia when man migrated across the Bering Strait many moons ago. There are also white, yellow,and black Latinos, too.

By anon74252 — On Mar 31, 2010

This article is somewhat misleading in defining the term "Chicano". It states the term "refers specifically to Mexican-Americans, or anyone else of Mexican heritage" and that it "should only be used to describe those of Mexican descent". This is incorrect.

Not all people of Mexican heritage are Chicanos, or consider themselves to be. There are many Mexicans who have emigrated to other countries other than the USA, such as Canada, UK and Spain. But only in the USA is the term used.

Obviously, Mexicans in Mexico have Mexican heritage, but no one in Mexico would ever use that term to refer to themselves or their compatriots.

Even for quite a number Mexicans who have recently emigrated to the USA, or their children, the term represents strong cultural and historical ties to the USA that they do not share, and therefore do not feel comfortable being identified as such.

By anon73643 — On Mar 28, 2010

I am a native born citizen in the US and my parents are Guatemalans.

Honestly, i hate it when people call me or ask me if I'm mexican. i tell them do you think there are only mexicans here in the US? and they'll be like "I'm sorry". i don't know why it bothers me so much but it does.

I'm very proud that I'm Guatemalan American and that my parents had the opportunity to come here at an early age. they gave us that gift you can say to be USA citizens. I prefer to myself as Latina or Hispana. for me there is no wrong if you consider yourself as Latina or Hispana!

there are so many problems right now about illegal immigrants and i hate that the media makes it bad for them being here. the only reason why they are here is because they want a better life and help out their family back at home.

By anon72467 — On Mar 23, 2010

I find the word Chicano a very offensive word as it is not a race -- it is slang for Mexican. I am an American born Mexican. If I had been born in Mexico, my race would be that of European ancestry of Mexican descent. My ancestors arrived in 1519 before there were 13 colonies.

By anon70848 — On Mar 16, 2010

The reason Mexicans get picked on is because Americans resent the Mexicans who have come to the U.S. illegally and are partaking of the benefits America offers without paying any taxes.

It makes it hard on all Mexicans, even Mexican Americans. And the reason that so many are here illegally is because the Mexican government is so corrupt and life can be so hard in Mexico. That is another reason Mexicans might be disrespected in the U.S. - Americans see them as somehow inferior because they won't or aren't able to do anything about the total crooks running Mexico. In addition, the Mexican culture presents itself as being quite racy and sex oriented and more conservative Americans do not approve of that.

By anon70473 — On Mar 14, 2010

Well, i am from Africa and i am black as night. i am the original man and all of you guys come from me. From black to white going through brown, yellow, red and so on. This is so amazing.

The most important thing is that God created us into different races so that we know each other, learn from each other, love one another and work together to make the world a better place for everybody.

Let's not despise one another like the Quran says!

By anon67544 — On Feb 25, 2010

how spaniards from europe in the new world became non-white amazes me. Recognizing of course many people in south and central America are mixed with indigenous peoples as they are in north America.

I guess you are whatever is convenient. If you're non-white then you're a minority, and it is easier for others to agree to keep you out. Then on the other side there are those who are indigenous to the Americas and claim they are latino (only by the language adopted from their conquerors). It's all very convoluted to be who you are. I am African, Scottish, German, Arawak and Panamanian and Asian (not sure of the exact asian origin) ancestry, born in the UK, with my grandparents coming from the west indies and very proud of all of it.

Of course it's not possible for everyone to know their exact origin and i'm sure I don't have the whole picture but we shouldn't allow others to label or brainwash you into being something you're not just because it's better or worse or convenient for them or you. stay true to yourself.

Also realize that nationality, race and culture are related but not always the same. I, for instance, am a british national of european, african, asian and american indian descent (i know its a bit long but i'm lucky enough to know} whose culture is very much west indian (Jamaican} "one love" -- out of many came one.

By anon67536 — On Feb 25, 2010

anon62426- "black girls say they have indian and have bad hair." are you mad? If you want to agree we are all people of the earth, maybe you can start by recognizing although we are all have different features none are better than others and there is beauty in all of us. black girls have as good a hair as white, asian or any other girl. dumas

By anon66701 — On Feb 21, 2010

yes, kids, be proud of yourselves.

By anon66246 — On Feb 18, 2010

Your right. I don't think a person's ethnic group should matter, when you're describing someone as long as you're not being derogatory. It should only matter when you are doing demographics.

It's important to group races for various statistical reasons and informational reasons to benefit them, especially health related since each race has or could potentially develop a disease that is usually race related.

By anon65322 — On Feb 12, 2010

My parents are both from Mexico with a background mixture of Mexican, Spanish and some Indian blood. I was born in the U.S, but i consider myself a Chicana and am proud of it. It really bothers me when people say bad things about Mexicans. I don't know why they have to pick on Mexicans. It's so cruel.

By anon63640 — On Feb 02, 2010

My mother is Navajo Indian, French and black.

My father is Dominican, black and Black Foot Indian.

When someone asks what I am I just say Criolla and black, or just Dominican. Criolla is another word thrown in the mix to basically describe a Latino who has some Indian blood too.

To me, that word just makes it all the more complicated. I don't think a person's ethnic background should matter. I think people should look past all that and just love one another for the person inside. -Biracial Beautii <3.

By anon62441 — On Jan 26, 2010

Latino: Lusitano-- Hispano

Lusitano: Brazil; Hispano: Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, etc.

By anon62428 — On Jan 26, 2010

We all came from Africa then spread out from there. I'm Arab, Greek, African, White -- we all are!

By anon62426 — On Jan 26, 2010

I just hate it when people try to say they're from Spain and not Mexico so that's why they're Hispanic. It's like when black girls try to say they have Indian in them but still have bad hair. Why don't we just all agree that we are people of the earth and stop generalizing each other.

By anon61108 — On Jan 18, 2010

I really only wanted to understand what the difference was because I was not brought up in a hispanic location even though my maiden name is Chavez. I was considered white and yet not considered white. Really, a survey asked me what I consider myself.

First I must say, I consider myself an American above all. Second, I have not been treated like a white person as I have endured and totally survived racism that often most (not all) African-Americans will not acknowledge! With that said, I love all my fellow Americans who are for freedom. I don't care what color or origin they are. However, I am Mexican-American-Mexican and white. I really cannot believe such a simple need for a definition became an African-American issue there for a minute.

If we all started out being Moors, then cool because I love reading about their ancient history. They were an awesome people. So, If that is the ancient origin of who I am, fantastic!

In that case I only wish we had more Moors around because they were brilliant!

The people we as Americans need to go back and work on as a people is the American-Indians -- just look up what they are still enduring.

But, thank you so much for the factual definitions, and explanations that I was able to read on this post. That is what I was looking for! It helped a lot as I have no other way of learning about my heritage except in forums such as this!

By anon60561 — On Jan 14, 2010

My parents are Salvadorian. I was made in the USA. I am American, my children are American, but I am proud to say I am Latina or Hispanic whatever. I know where my blood comes from and my ancestry, and it sure ain't Mexican, so you "chicanos" out there get over yourselves, we don't owe you anything. And please people, let's stop hating each other.

By anon60473 — On Jan 14, 2010

I agree that many latinos/hispanics don't know the difference either. I myself, being of mixed descent [Spanish(Canarian), Mexican and Irish] don't feel comfortable being put under an "umbrella" term that lumps me in with all ethnic groups just because we all speak Spanish. However, I in no way expect anyone to know just by looking at me that I'm a mixture of all of the above mentioned heritages.

I think what we've learned here, in a nutshell, is to just ask if you're not sure! What's the harm? I, personally, am proud of my heritage, and like it when people ask. I also find it very polite. This is the USA, you know, the melting pot?

We're all different. I prefer to be known as American (I was born and raised here by parents who also were) but of spanish/mexican descent (Because I identify more closely with Spanish/Mexican customs/traditions, etc.)

By anon59531 — On Jan 09, 2010

Who cares? I mean seriously, there are real issues in the world.

By anon57611 — On Dec 25, 2009

people are just too sensitive nowadays. context clues? tone of the voice? Fakers know when they are being purposely offended or not. correct them if they use the wrong term, kick their butts if you know they are being stupid on purpose.

By anon55634 — On Dec 08, 2009

In the beginning, God created the planet, the animals, the plants, and everything in it. But, most importantly, He created man and woman (in his own likeness)!

I'm not sure of the exact details, but I know he created man and woman, and we're all exact! You need to look at the bigger picture and see that we're all the same.

I know, we have different traditions, beliefs, and maybe even, thoughts. But, we are still created "alike" and we all should appreciate each other, and our differences.

I'm a "white male" (yeah, I know, we suck at life) who came onto this site to figure out the difference between "hispanics and latinos" and I appreciate all of your responses because we all need to know and accept each other.

By anon54376 — On Nov 29, 2009

Let me put my two cents in. Hispanic and Latino are terms used to put people of different ethnicities and backgrounds together without considering their differences and only looking that they all speak a form of Spanish. Chicano is a political term to define Mexican Americans. Like many other words it has become accepted. Its origin was negative.

If you want to know what people prefer, ask. Do not assume you know what they want to be called. Myself, I was born in California but I call myself and my children Mexican. It can become a heated issue, so be careful how you refer to someone.

By anon51652 — On Nov 08, 2009

chicanos are people that were born in USA but have mexican born parents, so the children of chicanos (if born in USA) are just americans. hispanic is used for the places that were conquered by the spanish. and latinos are people that speak a latin based language: spanish, french, portuguese. it's not that hard. if you really do some research you can find the answer. don't look online where anyone can say what they want.

By anon51117 — On Nov 03, 2009

I just wanted to know the origins of the terms. These labels are very divisive in nature; we are all descendants of the Mesopotamian and African lands. It is much more effective if everyone puts aside their nationalistic and ethnic prides and starts taking pride in the connection amongst all human beings and their counterparts.

By anon50083 — On Oct 25, 2009

it's simple. mexicans are from mexico and chicano is our slang word for mexican-american. just like calling someone "black" is a slang word for african-american. i'm a chicano, not a mexican. that would be like a person going up to a black person and calling them "african". and i treat "hispanic" as derogatory. it is a word to generalize all chicanos, central americans, south americans, and spaniards into one category. and how i was brought up it was a word made up by "white" people, and by reading most of these posts it is correct. romans are white people. (i myself use "white" to generalize all caucasians, but it doesn't mean its right. im not here though to defend the caucasians' roots.)

By anon49890 — On Oct 23, 2009

To the man/woman wanting to know the true ethnic origin of the Portuguese/Brazilians of Portuguese descent; they should be correctly referred to as Lusitanians, this is what the original Indo-Europeans that lived in the Western Iberian Peninsula were called. It should further be noted that Brazilians are descendants of various European ancestry in much the same way that Argentineans are, with the notable difference that Brazilians in different regions of Brazil have mixed with the indigenous people of Brazil and Africans. There still remain vast areas in the South East and Southern states of Brazil where large populations of German and Italians that have not mixed with black or indigenous people still abound.

By anon49677 — On Oct 22, 2009

Spanish Conquistadors looking for gold and other goods made their way to the Americas, the new world, where native people already existed.

African slaves were also brought along to harvest crops such as sugar cane in places such as Puerto. The Spanish and the African slaves mixed with the native people and you can see the results to this day. Some Puerto Rican people are darker with coarse hair. Some are as fair skinned as many European people. Mexico and most other (Latin)countries are Catholic because the Conquistadors converted them to Catholicism and they are to this day. True Latins were the ancient Romans.

By anon48190 — On Oct 10, 2009

Chicano is political terminology. Once cannot become Chicano or Chicana unless they have a politicized mind. One has to understand the political implications of being a Chicano/a before one can claim to be one. There are many Mexican/Americans that are not Chicano/a. There are Central Americans that are Chicano/a. The Chicano movement was started by a plethora of beings from different backgrounds and countries. They all rallied behind the term Chicano/a for effect and because of the shared experiences of racism, oppression and marginalization in the USA at the time. In the past the system did not care where you came from -- if you looked like a mexican you were treated like one. Therefore many people were lumped together as one. Puerto Ricans were allies of the Chicano movement and very involved in the struggle with the Chicano movement. They usually worked as one group each responsible for their own regions and accepted people from each other's communities as equals and kin. I suggest reading The Golden Door or poetry and essays from the chicariquno press if you can get your hands on them. Also with the influx of central americans in the 70's there was a need to include these people into the community but because they did not have the experience on a large scale from the 40's to the 70's they had no idea what a Chicano/a was and thus the term Latino was coined in order to assimilate them into the US /Chicano/Latino culture.

By anon47255 — On Oct 03, 2009

Annon 31115: Dude! Or Dudette! Latin is not spoken anywhere! Don't you remember how much flak Dan Quayle got for that very thing? Sheesh! Latin has been dead for about 1,000 years.

By anon45653 — On Sep 18, 2009

the word chicano came from the mexicans living in chicago. they took the chi and added the cano which became chicano.

By anon45084 — On Sep 13, 2009

1. "Latino" refers only to the European part of these peoples ancestry. A huge amount of the people in the Americas also have native blood, african blood, arab blood, Asian blood etc etc. 2. Chicano is a person of any type of Mexican descent, living in the United States. 3. If "white" people insist on calling us "Latin Americans" and/or Afro Americans" I will insist on calling them "Anglo Americans" (even though I´m aware of the fact that not all white people have english heritage).

By anon44218 — On Sep 05, 2009

Seriously, not everything revolves around Africans. This article clearly is describing the difference between Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano. Get over yourself.

By anon43397 — On Aug 28, 2009

Hey people! You who call yourselves Hispanics, and have copper color skin, well, you're not just descendants of African sncestors who the caucasians called the Olemac's and the Twa! Oh yeah -- Spain was ruled by Moors for 800 years, so what is the difference? One is blacker than the other? And to remind everyone that caucasians can continue to divide and conquer the minds of the oppressed. Just remember, the Moors had very detailed maps of the world during that time. That's why Columbus had a Moor for a navigator! He knew that America was there from African sailors now called Nigerians/Olemac's/Washtenaw/Moors/Egyptians/Nubians!! You may have been in the Americas for longer than the caucasian history claims! Stop being fools. Just follow the history and compare and the truth will reveal itself. And oh yeah -- China's first Dynasty was founded by an African/ Egyptian/ Nubian who taught the chinese Woo-Shu or Kung-Fu! Hey don't the name speak for itself? Sounds like African to me. She is an African goddess of wind or air. Hmmm... Not even the chinese can lie their way out of that!

By anon42398 — On Aug 20, 2009

It was my impression that Hispanic is not a racial term, but rather cutural. An Asian person who is a citizen of Peru is Hispanic. Whereas Chicano is a racial term; a Hispanic with American Indian ancestry. A second generation Peruvian who is Asian is Hispanic, but not Chicano. A white, blond-haired Mexican is not Chicano, but they are Hispanic. Am I wrong about this?

By anon40925 — On Aug 11, 2009

My sister, who is originally from Mexico and moved to the USA when she married her white american husband, uses the term Chicano. It is a very scornful way to refer to Mexican americans that do not come from educated families. This bothers me so much I have asked her to stop saying that especially when her own children (mexican-american) fall in the same category. Her discriminatory comments bother me enormously, especially when she does it in front of her kids. We had a heated discussion on the subject, but very sadly, she is too stubborn to understand. How do I get her to understand the true meaning of Chicano and to realize the richness that this term embodies? Do you know any good books that may help her better understand the term? --A Mexican -born brother living in Paris

By anon40460 — On Aug 08, 2009

latino is considered hispanic,

so brazilians are not considered latino

brazilians are considered latin, like italy france, and portugal.

By anon40186 — On Aug 06, 2009

Chicano is not a race or ethnicity. There are so many definitions to these terms because people were brought up differently around the world. For example Hispanic could also mean "his-male, panic". Also, the census used this term as anyone who is non-white. Meaning, that could be african, asian, etc...As for me I use Chicano, which came from the xichas. Meaning, people of the land. I rather identify as Chicano since it doesn't use boundaries. We should be people and not be divided.

By anon38823 — On Jul 28, 2009

Wow! Where do I start? Um, the Ecuadorean guy: you're "American" whether you live in Ecuador or the US. Don't buy into what people think "American" is. As a matter of fact Native Americans (as in from Alaska down to the tip of Argentina), mixed peoples including (Latinos) are more "American" than Caucasian/African Americans/and especially Asians (not going there). and any other *true* immigrants to this country. So you are Ecuadorean *not* "American" with Hispanic ancestry. If anything, you're of Native American and Spanish ancestry. Another point to make, especially to all you other Latinos coming to the U.S. and Southwest: Don't come over here and jump on the Anti-Mexican band wagon. Because it is because of the Mexican that you have many of the rights you have today. Don't buy into complete assimilation. Celebrate your ancestry, but respect the people of the land where you are a guest. A Latino/Xicano/Mexicano/Native American (in order of true origins) with an obsidian toungue. Jorge A. Garica from the Occupied State of California Mexico/Aztlan.

By anon35833 — On Jul 08, 2009

If you were born in the states then you're American with Hispanic ancestry or ethnicity--I was born in NJ and both parents came from Ecuador. Some people might call me "Ecuadorian American". I don't object, but, I think of myself as American with Hispanic blood. You should check out some info on Ecuador though, it's a very cool little country.

By anon32724 — On May 26, 2009

My mother is from Ecuador and my father was American...what does that make me? I have always considered myself Caucasian - We did not speak Spanish growing up so I don't feel close to the culture...

By anon31876 — On May 12, 2009

to anon26980---

There are huge differences between countries and relatively little difference between states, in most cases. Wouldn't it be a little frustrating if people continuously assumed that you were from Canada always instead of the U.S.? No offense at all to our northern neighbors, but they are different in a lot of ways that may be important to you and what you know.

For example, someone's life in Ecuador is probably very different from someone in Mexico. These are entirely different countries in different continents, not just states in a Midwest region of the U.S.

By anon31115 — On Apr 29, 2009

the words hispanic and latino have different meaning. hispanic does come from people or a country who predominantly speak spanish but a latino is actually a person from europe or latin speaking european country such as italy, france, spain, portugal. in those countries latin is spoken. in mexico for instance we like to descibe ourselves as mexicans not latino for the majority of our race is a mixture of aztec indian or mayan indian with spanish or spainard descendents. in other parts of central and south america they like to refer themselves as latinos.

By anon29137 — On Mar 27, 2009

Chicano originally, in the early 30's was used to say that he/she was "one of us". We had many Mexicans with Anglo surnames and this term

indicated that they were at least 50% Mexican.

In our era, Chicano was not a derogatory term.

By anon26980 — On Feb 22, 2009

Thank you for explaining the difference. It was exactly what I thought, but I think some Latinos and Hispanics do not know the difference themselves, as they have gotten their feathers ruffled over use of the two terms. I think it's a little bit overly sensitive to expect someone to know the specific country one is from. I don't expect people to know I'm from Kansas vs. Missouri or Iowa, for example.

By anon22405 — On Dec 03, 2008

If Brazilians are latinos but not hispanic, because they were not conquered by Spain... what are the Portuguese from Portugal, who gave origin to Brazil and so many other parts of the world?

By anon13405 — On May 26, 2008

I have Chicano, Hispanic, and Latin friends and I always wanted the difference to be explained, thanks.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to CulturalWorld.org, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a...
Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.