ladino

Ladino is a Roman language spoken by the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain. In Ladino, there is a great deal of usageof Hebrew words due to the presence of the language in the community life of the speakers. After the Spanish expulsion, the language absorbed words and phrases from the local languages from where the Jews resided after the expulsion. The Ladino vocabulary also contains ancient Spanish words that are not in use in modern Spanish.

 

Ladino originates from the Castilian dialect of 15th-century Spanish, spoken by Spanish Jews. They also combined with the local language Hebrew and Aramaic elements. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Ladino became a separate Jewish language, spoken by Jews in Asia Minor, in the Balkan countries, South Romania, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Land of Israel. In the communities of expelled Jews in Western Europe (Holland, England, Hamburg, France, Belgium, etc.), they did not speak Ladino but rather Baroque Spanish and Portuguese during the first period and subsequently switched to the language of the country.

 

A few years ago, the opinion was that about 250 thousand people spoke Ladino worldwide. This is probably a conservative number since the more realistic number of all who are eligible now for Spanish citizenship by virtue of being descendants of Jews expelled from Spain ranges around 3.5 million people.