Understanding Latinx and Latin American Descent

We have come to understand that “Latin America” is a very vague and imprecise name for a highly diversified continent of twenty nations. It is true that everyone speaks Spanish except Haiti, which uses French, and Brazil, whose 44 million inhabitants (one third of all Latin Americans) speak Portuguese.


is a term used to describe people who are of Latin American origin or descent or are related to them. Is it a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latinos or Latinas? Born refers to people born in the United States and those born in other countries to parents, at least one of whom was a U.

S. citizen. The second generation refers to people born in all 50 states or the District of Columbia with at least one first-generation parent or immigrant. The third generation and above refers to people born in all 50 states or the District of Columbia with both parents born in all 50 states or the District of Columbia.

Language proficiency is a composite measure based on self-described assessments of speaking and reading skills. People with Spanish dominance are better fluent in Spanish than in English (that is, bilingual). People who are fluent in English are better fluent in English than in Spanish. Over the past half-century in the U.

S., when asked in an open question what Latinx means in their own words, 42% of those who have heard the term describe it as gender neutral. As one 21-year-old woman said: “Latinx is a more inclusive term for those who don't choose to identify with a certain gender. The terms “Latino” and “Latina” are very limiting for certain people.” Other answers to the open question offer other descriptions of Latinx and reactions to it. For example, 12% of respondents who had heard of Latinx express disagreement or dislike the term.

Some described the term as an “Anglicism” of the Spanish language, while others say that the term “is not representative of the Latino community in general.” The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan data group that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends that shape the world. They conduct public opinion polls, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. The Pew Research Center does not take political positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

I travel a lot in Latin America but I live in Brazil, which speaks Portuguese, not Spanish. Donald Trump, who has made immigration central to his campaign, has sometimes used the phrase catchall Mexicans. And his verbal confrontation this week with Spanish-language broadcaster Jorge Ramos, a Mexican-American, lit up social media. I feel the need to jump into the fray because it will save me from writing lengthy corrections to others in my Facebook feed.

When talking about people of Latin American descent in the U. S., you can usually use Latino (or Latina for a woman). U. citizens of Latin American descent actually prefer to be called American along with their country of heritage, such as Mexican-American or Cuban-American.

I am a Cuban-Panamanian-British who speaks Spanish and lives in a Portuguese-speaking part of Latin America. The use of the term Latinx to refer to all people of Latin American descent has become more common as members of the LGBTQ community and their advocates have adopted the label. They have marked us label after label, and each label tries, but fails to summarize in a single word, the 60 million people with Latin American and Caribbean descent who have made a home here. But Jorge Duany, director and professor at the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, responds that “Latinx has not become very popular among those it is supposed to appoint because it is alien to them and it doesn't make much sense from a linguistic point of view.

Keep in mind that Brazilians are Latinos, not Latinos, since Latinos are used when speaking English in the U. S.” Finally, many consider the use of “Latino” when spoken in English to be both condescending and a linguistic abomination, but it is a crowd pleaser, particularly among the politically active. Latinx advocate Arnaldo Cruz-Malave, a professor at Fordham University, says the use of Latinx “has only gained momentum with struggles for queer and trans rights in the past decade, both in Latin America and in the U. S.

Although technically Latinos refers to all genders of Latin American descent, it is still a masculine word in Spanish. It's important that companies don't offend their consumers, although, of course, some of them will also prefer Latinx for that reason. This should not be confused with Latin Americans, which refers to people currently living in Latin America regardless of immigration status; A Latino is a foreign-born worker for whom English is a “foreign language” and who lacks the cultural fluency taken for granted by those born and raised in the United States. And while some public figures and politicians are rapidly adapting to the term, others within the Latin American community are trying to resist Democrats including President Joe Biden have been using the word Latinx, apparently believing that a gender-neutral term will be more inclusive.

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