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Hispanicisation or hispanisation, also known as castilianization or castilianisation (Spanish: castellanización)[1] refers to the process by which a place or person becomes influenced by Hispanic culture or a process of cultural and/or linguistic change in which something non-Hispanic becomes Hispanic. Hispanicization is illustrated by, but not limited to, spoken Spanish, production and consumption of Hispanic food, Spanish language music, and participation in Hispanic festivals and holidays.[2] In the former Spanish colonies, the term is also used in the narrow linguistic sense of the Spanish language replacing indigenous languages.


Within Spain, the term hispanization is sometimes used as a synonym for castilianisation (castellanización). It normally refers to a cultural change in which non-Castilian Spaniards are castilianized. The term castilianization is most often used in relation to the regional languages of Spain (Basque, Galician, Catalan, Aragonese, etc.) that are threatened, not only because of language shift to Castilian but also because of progressive linguistic assimilation due to diglossia (e.g. these days Basque in the Southern Basque Country rarely creates new slang on its own, it merely copies new Spanish forms).

United States[edit]

According to the 2000 United States Census,[3] about 75% of all Hispanics spoke Spanish in the home. Hispanic retention rates are so high in parts of Texas and New Mexico and along the border because the percentage of Hispanics living there is also very high. Laredo, Texas; Chimayo, New Mexico; and Nogales, Arizona, for example, all have Hispanic populations greater than 90 percent. Furthermore, in these places Hispanics have always been the majority population.[4]

Hispanic America[edit]

In Spanish America it is also used to refer to the imposition of the Spanish language in the former Spanish colonies such as Mexico and its adoption by indigenous peoples. This refers to Spain's influence which began in the late 15th century and the Spanish Empire beginning in the colonization of the Canary Islands in 1402 which is now part of Spain. Later the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492 in the Caribbean then Central America and South America. All these countries were Hispanicised; however, there are still many people there who hold a culture that still has its origins in the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Until recently, castilianization has been official policy by the governments of many Hispanic American countries. Only recently programs of intercultural bilingual education have been introduced to a substantial extent.


The Philippines archipelago was ruled from Mexico City as a territory of New Spain, from 1565 to 1821 and as a province of Spain until 1898. Since the late 16th century, Spanish and Hispanic culture has intemperately influenced, shaped, and became the foundation of modern Filipino cultural landscape. Derived from Austronesian and Iberian influences, modern Filipino culture is described[by whom?] as a blend of Eastern and Western (mostly Spanish) traditions. Although most Filipinos speak an Austronesian language, the languages of the Philippines have thousands of Spanish loanwords. Furthermore, a small number of Filipinos to the south speak a Spanish-based Creole known as Chavacano. This is also true with the Chamorro language in Guam, which lived side by side with Spanish for over 300 years. Many people[who?] consider these languages of the Pacific, Hispano-Austronesian languages, because of the heavy influence of Spanish on the language. Likewise, the Filipinos take great pride in being considered as Asia's lone hispanoasiáticos (Hispanic Asians), or the Latinos of Asia being the sole hispanic country in the continent.


  • Beatriz Garza Cuaron and Doris Bartholomew. Languages of intercommunication in Mexico. In: Stephen Adolphe Wurm, Peter Mühlhäusler, Darrell T. Tyron (1996), Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific (1622 pages), pp. 1254–1290. Chapter 2. Historical outline, p. 1258, 2.1.5: Replacement of the dominant indigenous languages by Spanish, pp. 1260–1262. Chapter 4: Spanish as a language of intercommunication, from the Conquest to present. pp. 1270–1271.
  • Rainer Enrique Hamel: Bilingual Education for Indigenous Communities in Mexico. Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2008), Part 5, Part 18, pp. 1747–1758.
  • Juan Carlos Godenzzi: Language Policy and Education in the Andes. Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2008), Part 1, Part 4, pp. 315–329.


  1. ^ Dictionary definition of Hispanicization
  2. ^ Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places: Community and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary America, 2004. Edited by Dan Arreola, found in Chapter 14 "Hispanization of Hereford, Texas"
  3. ^ US Bureau of the Census, 2004 (Page 10)
  4. ^ Hispanic Community Types and Assimilation in Mex-America 1998. Haverluk, Terrence W. The Professional Geographer, 50(4) pages 465-480

See also[edit]

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