Are Spaniards Hispanic?

Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter. She was Hispanic and Latinx.
Salvador Dali, Spanish painter. He was Spanish (nationality) and Hispanic.
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 3.35.14 PM
Lygia Clark, Brazilian artist. She was Latinx.

I’ve come to realize that there are a few misconceptions surrounding the geography and lexicon used to describe the people who descend from/live in Spanish-speaking countries.

These are a few misconceptions I’ve heard people have over the years.

  1. Being from a Spanish-speaking country does not make a person “Spanish.” Spanish is a language and a nationality, so if you call someone or something Spanish, you’re saying they’re (or it is) from Spain.
  2. Spain is not a part of South America. Spain is in Europe, which is a different continent from South America…
  3. South America includes countries across the Atlantic from Spain (and not in North America) like Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela.
  4. Mexico, Central America (including countries like El Salvador and Honduras), and the Caribbean form a part of the North American continent.
  5. Hispanic and Latinx are not races, they are ethnicities. People have misused
    Latin America

    these terms to the point that their definitions seem to be changing in the modern American vernacular.

  • If someone is Hispanic, they are from or descended from the Spain and/or a Spanish-speaking country in North/South America. This means that if someone is from Brazil, they are not Hispanic, since Brazilians speak Portuguese. Someone from Spain would be considered Hispanic.
  • If someone is Latinx, they are from or descended from countries in Latin America (LA) and may speak any of the Romance languages of the countries in the LA region. This means that if someone is from Brazil, they are Latinx. Someone from Spain would not be considered Latinx.


Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Are Spaniards Hispanic?

  1. This is good to know. I am probably guilty of misusing the term “Hispanic”, which is bad because I should have been able to figure out the meaning from the structure of the word.

    I did know Spain is in Europe, though. Kind of scary to think that some people don’t…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved misconception # 2 🙂 Also, thanks for the very clarifying information. Just a note for people to learn the logic here but don’t worry if you slip a little in actual usage. Lots of my Latinx friends themselves use the terms with more flexibility than the logic would suggest.

    Liked by 1 person

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