How to Say Down Syndrome in Spanish

When it comes to communicating about Down Syndrome, it’s important to know how to express this term in Spanish. Whether you are looking for formal or informal ways to discuss this condition, this guide will provide you with useful tips, examples, and variations used in different Spanish-speaking regions.

Formal Ways to Say Down Syndrome in Spanish

If you need to use a more formal or technical term to refer to Down Syndrome, you can use the phrase “Síndrome de Down.” This is the most commonly accepted and recognized term in the Spanish language.

Example: El Síndrome de Down es una condición genética que causa discapacidad intelectual y rasgos físicos distintivos.

(Translation: Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability and distinctive physical features.)

Using “Síndrome de Down” is preferred in formal settings, such as medical discussions, research papers, or official documents.

Informal Ways to Say Down Syndrome in Spanish

When it comes to informal conversations or everyday language, you might come across alternative expressions for Down Syndrome. One frequently used term is “mongolismo.” However, it’s crucial to note that this word is considered outdated, offensive, and inappropriate within a more sensitive and inclusive context.

Instead of “mongolismo,” it’s recommended to use the term “Síndrome de Down” in all types of situations to avoid any misunderstandings or unintended offense.

Regional Variations

The term “Síndrome de Down” is understood and widely used across various Spanish-speaking regions. However, there are some slight regional differences worth mentioning.

  • Mexico: In Mexico, you might occasionally hear the term “Síndrome Down” without the “de” in between.
  • Argentina: In Argentina, the informal term “mongolismo” was historically used, but it’s currently considered derogatory and inappropriate.
  • Spain: Spanish speakers in Spain commonly use “Síndrome de Down” as the formal term and also refer to “trisomía 21,” which means trisomy 21, the genetic condition associated with Down Syndrome.

Regardless of regional variations, it’s always recommended to use “Síndrome de Down” as the standard and inclusive term when discussing this condition.

Tips for Effective Communication

When discussing Down Syndrome or any sensitive topic, it’s important to be respectful, inclusive, and empathetic. Here are some tips for effective communication:

  1. Use person-first language: Instead of defining someone by their condition, put the person first. For example, say “a person with Down Syndrome” instead of “a Down Syndrome person.”
  2. Avoid stereotypes: Treat each person as an individual and refrain from generalizing or making assumptions based on their condition.
  3. Listen actively: Show genuine interest and empathy when communicating with individuals with Down Syndrome or their families. Give them ample time to express themselves.
  4. Be patient and understanding: If you encounter difficulties in communication due to speech or language challenges, be patient and find alternative ways to communicate effectively.
  5. Respect privacy: Understand that not everyone may feel comfortable discussing their experiences with Down Syndrome. Respect their privacy and only engage in conversations when appropriate and welcomed.


Learning how to express “Down Syndrome” in Spanish is essential for effective communication in both formal and informal situations. While “Síndrome de Down” is the universally accepted term, it’s crucial to be aware of regional variations and avoid outdated or offensive terms. By using inclusive language and following the tips provided, we can promote understanding, empathy, and respect when discussing Down Syndrome.

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