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Report: It Is Not Necessary To Speak Spanish To Be Considered Latino

Rubio Challenges Cruz on Speaking Spanish at Debate 1:23

At a recent debate, GOP candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tussled over Spanish and English messaging and Cruz even sprinkled some words in español.

So are Latinos defined by their ability to speak Spanish?

Related Article: Opinion: Republican Debate Was Nastiest Yet, With A Dash Of Spanish

In a blog post, Pew Hispanic Research Director Mark Hugo Lopez said that a survey found most Latino adults don't think it's necessary to speak Spanish to be considered Latino, according to a recent Pew Research report.

The report found that 71 percent of Latino adults do not think it is necessary while 28 percent think it is.

"Among Hispanics, views on speaking Spanish and Hispanic identity differ, though majorities of all key subgroups say speaking Spanish isn't necessary to be considered Hispanic," wrote Lopez.

Related Article: Two-Thirds of Latinos Consider Hispanic Their Race

Fifty eight percent of foreign born Latinos and 87 percent of U.S. born Latinos say speaking Spanish isn't necessary to be considered Latino. Yet interestingly enough, over nine out of ten Hispanics thought it was important for future generations to keep their native language.

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