Ladino

Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) is a Romance language derived from Old Spanish, itself a dialect of Vulgar Latin.

It is spoken mainly by (elderly) Sephardic Jews scattered over more than thirty countries, and is in danger of extinction.

Historically it was written using the Rashi script (a typeface for the Hebrew alphabet), but nowadays is written using the Latin alphabet.

There are a large number of dialects, which because of the large number of loanwords taken from local languages have limited mutual comprehensibility. It is estimated that up to forty percent of Ladino vocabulary is of non Spanish origin. This also includes many Hebrew and Aramaic words (for religious concepts and institutions).

The grammar and much of Ladino vocabulary is extremely similar to spanish, as can be seen from the sentences from the little prince (in Ladino, Spanish and English).

If you have any additional Ladino phrases/corrections in any dialect, then you can comment here.

Numbers. 1 to 10 Learn

Days in Ladino Learn

Months in Ladino Learn

Sample text in Ladino

A sample of Ladino text taken from El Princhipiko (the Little Prince) translated by Avner Perez and Gladys Pimienta.

El Princhipiko (the little Prince)

Kuando tenia sesh anyos vidi en un livro sovre la shara salvaje ke se titulava "Istorias bividas", una manyifika pintura. Eya reprezentava un kulevro boa ke se tragava a una alimanya. Na la kopia de la pintura.

When I was six years old, in a book about primeval forests, called 'True Stories from Nature', I saw a magnificant drawing. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal. Here is a copy of the drawing.

Ladino proverbs

En boka serada no entra moshka.
Into a closed mouth, flies do not enter.

This is similar to the spanish proverb en boca cerrada no entran moscas.

It presumably has a similar meaning which is that it is better to remain quiet than to be wrong. There is no direct english equivalent but it could perhaps be rendered as:

An empty vessesl makes the most noise.

Much of the information about Ladino is in Spanish, such as Proverbios y refranes populares sefardíes en Ladino (Popular Sephardic proverbs and sayings in Ladino).

Ladino music

Although Ladino is endangered, there has been a revival of sorts in the musical arena, and here is Hija mia (my daughter) in Ladino.