Hispanic Heritage Month:

Celebrating the Diversity within Diversity

by Rubén Terrazas, Copy Editor/Translator

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15. It recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States as well as celebrating their heritage and culture.

Hispanic is a term that evokes wildly different reactions, but which hardly condenses the complete essence of the people it tries to describe. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we tried to illustrate this point using one of the things that supposedly unites most Latinos: the Spanish language.

With more than a dozen Spanish-speaking countries represented plus a handful of individuals hailing from other countries, including the U.S., Canada and Brazil, who speak Spanish as a second or third language, Dieste is the perfect example of diversity – linguistic in this case – among Latinos.

In its book ‘1+1=3 Changing The Equation With The Booming Hispanic Market’, Dieste argues that while Spanish unites all Hispanics under one banner, it “does not fully define any of them.”

We created a couple of videos where we show how terms as mundane as ‘popcorn’, ‘cake’, ‘swimming pool’, ‘bug’ and ‘drinking straw’ vary dramatically – and sometimes laughingly and embarrassingly – from country to country.

 


Is there a cautionary tale here? Well, when marketers aiming for the Hispanic consumer use the Spanish language, they should be very careful because one group’s term of endearment can be another’s insult. As 1+1=3 puts it: “… there’s a real danger in overemphasizing” the Mexican and Mexican-American influence. All the other groups in the Hispanic community “… are making their mark” and “… none of them speak ‘Mexican’.”

 


To learn more about the diversity of U.S. Hispanics and how Dieste is helping clients effectively reach Hispanics during Hispanic Heritage Month, subscribe to Provoke Weekly and follow us on social media!

 

Special thanks for Jorge Urdiain for filming and editing the videos

Gaby Sosa
Gsosa@dieste.com