I perfectly remember the day when two girls asked me if I was Spanish, and I answered, “no, I’m Hispanic,” and they just stared at me weirdly. Many people do not realize there is a big difference between Hispanic and Spanish, which starts with our ancestry and descendants. Hispanics are those who speak Spanish, like our descendants. The Spanish, however, are descendants of those from Spain, which is something that needs to be cleared up. Though some people think it is not offensive, others do. It’s really just the same as getting mad for others calling Americans or typically white-raced individuals “gringos.” Hispanics get insanely mad when they are called Spanish.
The word Latino, however, has an entirely different perspective and origin. Unlike Hispanic, Latino is a term that comes from the geography. For example, if you are a descendant of a Latin American country, like Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Honduras, you are a Latino.
People don’t get the difference between both worlds, and it’s annoying. In a country where people are so mindful of what they say, it’s important for history and terminology like this to be known. I hope that now that you know the difference between each term, you won’t be confused ever again or offend anyone for that matter.