As a language translation agency, we’re intrigued by cultural identity studies, particularly among those cultures whose languages we translate. Recent research conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that even though American Latinos are united by a common heritage language, they are divided on cultural labels. In fact, 69% of those polled say they do not share a common culture among other Latinos/Hispanics.
Some interesting findings:
Hispanic vs. Latino: 51% of those polled had no preference on the term, however when the preference is expressed, “Hispanic” comes in at 33% over “Latino” at 14%.
Cultural identity – not as clear cut as some might think: 51% say that most often they use their family’s country of origin to describe their identity. That includes such terms as “Mexican” or “Cuban” or “Dominican,” for example.
Regarding language: 38% of all respondents identify as Spanish-dominant, 38% are bilingual and 24% are English-dominant. Among those born in the United States, 51% are English-dominant.
- 87% believe English language skills are essential for successful life in the U.S.
- 95% believe preserving Spanish language skills for future generations is important
What does this all mean to us? The U.S. Census predicts that Latinos will be the largest minority population by 2050, and Spanish will continue to be a major language in this country. It’s going to be increasingly important for businesses to prepare for an even greater influx of this demographic, that, if not bound by cultural identity, is bound by a common heritage language.
Here’s a great article from HispanicBusiness.com that summarizes the lengthy study.