Latine vs. Latinx: Which is the Best Gender-Neutral Way to
Latine vs. Latinx: Which is the Best Gender-Neutral Way to Talk about Latinos v Freepik

As most Spanish words have a fixed grammatical gender, making them either masculine or feminine, many people and institutions are increasingly using the e or x suffix as a gender-neutral alternative.

The discussion applies to almost every word referring to people, and has sparked controversy in many countries, where some people and politicians resist its use, citing conservationist arguments.

In addition to that, among advocates of gender-neutral language, there isn't agreement regarding which suffix to use, so some texts might use the word 'todos' (a male word that means 'everyone' in Spanish) written as 'todxs', 'todes', or even other options like 'tod@s'.

What happens among Latinos in the United States? How do they prefer to be referred to? While the U.S. Census has just admitted the category Latino in addition to Hispanic, the Latine vs. Latinx discussion seems to be more balanced, slightly tilting toward one winner.

Latine vs. Latinx: Which is the Preferred Term

The term 'Latine' is surging in popularity.
The term 'Latine' is surging in popularity. Freepik

Recently, the term 'Latine' is surging in popularity on university campuses, in museums, and among researchers and media.

Latine is "part of a movement centered on wanting to build and foster an inclusive community," says Carlos Zavala, vice president at consulting firm Whiteboard Advisors, which has used the term in reports from its work with tech and education groups, according to an article by Axios.

The main difference with Latinx is the pronunciation. While 'Latinx' had been pushed by U.S. academics as a gender-neutral option for Latinos, it is also criticized for using the letter "x" in a manner that's unnatural to Spanish speakers.It's very difficult to say 'Latinx.'

The adoption of the word 'Latine' is increasing. About 41% of U.S. Latinos say they are comfortable with the title 'Latine,' according to an Axios-Ipsos Latino poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo oriented towards Latino political inclinations.

The question was "How Comfortable Are You, If At All, with People Using the Term 'Latine' to Refer to Your Race or Ethnicity?." About 17% say very comfortable, 24% somewhat comfortable, 21% not very comfortable, 32% not at all comfortable, and 6% skipped the question.

These figures show that the word still sparks rejection for many people of Latino origin and migrants from Latin America. In fact, the study highlights that "Latino/a" and "Hispanic" are still the preferred terms for respondents, with over 80% acceptance, followed by a descriptor linked to a country of origin (such as Cuban American or Mexican American), as the poll shows.

'Latine' vs. Latino: Just a Matter of Time?

25% of Americans Use Social Media to Learn Languages, with
According to a poll, the terms Hispanic or Latino are still much preferred anyway. Freepik

This might change as time passes. According to the poll, younger people are more positive about 'Latine,' with 43% of respondents aged 18-29 saying they're comfortable using it, compared to just 33% of those 65 and older.

Using 'Latine' "makes sense as an internationally used way of speaking and writing in a less gendered manner," told Axios Monica Trasandes, director for Spanish language media and representation at GLAAD.

The same happened in the English language used in the U.S. with words like 'fireman,' she recalled. While at first many people rejected the use of 'firefighter', now it has become the most commonly used term.

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