How do the appropriate topics of conversation vary between the United States and Latin America?

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In many Latin American countries, the scope of what is considered acceptable to bring up in casual conversation is much broader than it is in the United States. It is generally acceptable to inquire as to someone's age and marital status, even upon first meeting. In the United States, such inquiries might be considered invasive. Personal and demographic information like marital status is unusually not the subject of initial conversation. However, in many Latin American communities, particularly rural communities, people expect to learn such details relatively quickly. Indeed, age and marital status often determine the nature and content of future conversation, so it might be necessary for two people to share that information mutually, before advancing from acquaintances to friends.