Ladino language



Ladino/Judæo-Spanish
גודיאו-איספאנייול Djudeo-espanyol, לאדינו Ladino 
Pronunciation:[dʒuğeo.espaɲol]
Spoken in:Israel, Turkey, Brazil, France, Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Mexico, Curaçao
Total speakers:100,000 in Israel
8,000 in Turkey
1,000 in Greece
unknown numbers elsewhere, steady decline in all those places
Language family:}}}
 Italic
  Romance
   Italo-Western
    Western
     Gallo-Iberian
      Ibero-Romance
       West Iberian
        Spanish
         Ladino/Judæo-Spanish}}} 
Official status
Official language of:none
Regulated by:Alliance Israelite Universelle
Language codes
ISO 639-1:none
ISO 639-2:lad
ISO 639-3:lad


Ladino is a Romance language with a vocabulary derived mainly from Old Castilian, Hebrew, Turkish and some French and Greek. Speakers are currently almost exclusively Sephardic Jews, for example, in (or from) Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Izmir.

Ladino has kept the postalveolar phonemes /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ of Old Castilian, which both changed to the velar /x/ in modern Castilian; Ladino also has an /x/ phoneme taken over from Hebrew. In some places it has also retained certain characteristic words, such as muestro for nuestro (our). Its grammatical structure is close to that of Castilian, with the addition of many terms from the Hebrew, Portuguese, French, Turkish, Greek, and South Slavic languages depending on the geographic origin of the speaker.

Ladino is in serious danger of extinction because many native speakers today are elderly as well as elderly olim (immigrants to Israel), who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. However, it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. The danger of extinction is also due to the risk of assimilation by modern Castilian.

Name of language

The name "Ladino" is a variant of "Latin". The language is also called Judæo-Spanish, Judæo-Espagnol, judeoespañol[1], Sefardi, Djudio, Dzhudezmo, Judezmo, and Spanyol or español sefardita; Haquitía (from the Arabic haka حكى, "tell") refers to the dialect of North Africa, especially Morocco. The dialect of the Oran area of Algeria was called Tetuani, after the Moroccan town Tétouan, since many Orani Jews came from this city. In Hebrew, the language is called Spanyolit.

According to the Ethnologue,

The name 'Dzhudezmo' is used by Jewish linguists, 'Judeo-Castellano' or simply 'Djudio' by Turkish Jews; 'Judeo-Castilian' by Romance philologists; 'Ladino' by laymen, especially in Israel; 'Hakitia' by Moroccan Jews.


The derivation of the name "Ladino" is complicated. In pre-Expulsion time of the area known today as Spain the word simply meant "Castilian": literary Castilian as distinct from dialect, and Castilian Romance[2] in general as distinct from Arabic. (The first European language grammar and dictionary, of Castilian, refers to it as "nostro latin," or "lengua ladina". And in the Middle Ages, the word "Latin" was frequently used to mean simply "language".) Following the expulsion, Jews spoke of "the Ladino" to mean the traditional oral translation of the Bible into archaic Spanish. By extension it came to mean that style of Castilian generally, in the same way that (among Kurdish Jews) Targum has come to mean Judaeo-Aramaic and (in Arab countries) sharħ has come to mean Judaeo-Arabic. For this reason, authors like Haim Vidal Sephiha[3] reserve "Ladino" for the very Hebraicized form of the language[4] used in religious translations such as the Ferrara Bible, which was based on the traditional oral version.

Variants

At the time of the expulsion from the area today know as Spain, the day to day language of Castilian Jews was little if at all different from that of other Castilians. There was however a special style used for purposes of study or translation, featuring a more archaic dialect of Castilian, a large number of Hebrew and Aramaic loan-words and a tendency to render Hebrew word order literally (ha-laylah ha-zeh, meaning "this night", was rendered la noche la esta instead of the normal Spanish esta noche[5]). As stated above, some authorities would confine the term "Ladino" to this style.

Following the expulsion, the daily language was increasingly influenced both by the language of study and by the local non-Jewish vernaculars such as Greek and Turkish, and came to be known as Dzhudezmo: in this respect the development is parallel to that of Yiddish. However, many speakers, especially among the community leaders, also had command of a more formal style nearer to the Spanish of the expulsion, referred to as Castellano.

The Judaeo-Castilian dialect of Northern Morocco, known as Haketia, is the subject of a separate article.

Orthography

The following systems of writing Ladino have been used or proposed.

1. Traditionally Ladino was written in the Hebrew alphabet (especially in Rashi script), a practice that was very common, possibly almost universal, until the 19th century (and called aljamiado, by analogy with the equivalent use of the Arabic alphabet). This occasionally persists today, especially in religious use.

2. The Greek and Cyrillic alphabets have been employed in the past [6], but this is rare nowadays.

3. In Turkey, Ladino is most commonly written in the Turkish variant of the Latin alphabet. This may be the most widespread system, as following the decimation of Sephardic communities throughout much of Europe (particularly in the Netherlands and the Balkans) during the Holocaust the greatest proportion of speakers remaining were Turkish Jews.

4. The Israeli Autoridad Nasionala del Ladino promotes another spelling. This is a phonetic transcription into the Latin alphabet from the traditional Hebrew script, making no concessions to Spanish orthography. The songs "Non komo muestro Dio" and "Por una ninya", below, and the text in the Sample paragraph, are transcribed using this system.

5. There are also those who, with Iacob M Hassán, claim that Ladino should adopt the orthography of standard Castilian, the official language of Spain. For the reasons set out below, this would fail to reflect the phonology of Ladino.

6. Perhaps more conservative and less popular, others along with Pablo Carvajal Valdés suggest that Ladino should adopt the orthography used during the time of the Jewish expulsion of 1492 from the area today known as Spain. This system is used in the transcription of the songs "Quando el melekh Nimrod" and "Adio querida" below.

The Castilian orthography of that time has been standardized and eventually changed by a series of orthographic reforms, the last of which occurred in the 18th century, to become the spelling of modern Spanish. Ladino has retained some of the pronunciation that at the time of reforms had become archaic in standard Castilian. Adopting 15th century orthography for Ladino would bring back into existence the /s/ (originally /ts/) - c (before e and i) and ç/z (cedilla): such in caça, which was a letter of Castilian origin, the /s/ - ss : such as in passo and the /ʃ/ - x : like in dixo. The original pronunciation of /ʒ/ - g (before e or i) and j : mujer, would be reestablished and the /z/ (originally /dz/) - z : would remain in Ladino words like fazer and dezir. The /z/ - s : in between vowels like in casa, would regain its pronunciation under this orthography as well. Like in modern Castilian, in Ladino the /z/ - s is also present before m, d and others like in mesmo or desde. The distinctive Ladino /ʃ/ - s : like in buscar, cosquillas, mascar, pescar or after is endings like in séis, favláis or sois could be reflected through writing x.

The difference between b and v would be clearer, in that the choice would be made phonetically, as in Old Castilian, rather than in accordance with the Latin etymology as in modern Spanish. For example Latin DEBET > post-1800 Castilian debe, will return to its Old Castilian deve spelling. The use of the digraphs ch, ph and th ( today /k/, /f/ and /t/ in standard Castilian respectively), formally reformed in 1803, would be used in words like orthographía, theología. Latin q before words like quando, quanto and qual would also be used. Classical and Golden Age Castilian literature might gain renewed interest, better appreciation and understanding should its orthography be used again.

Phonology

The phonology of the consonants of Ladino and part of its lexicon are closer to Portuguese than to Castilian, because both retained characteristics of medieval Ibero-Romance which Castilian later lost. Compare for example Ladino aninda ("still") with Portuguese ainda and Castilian aún, or the initial consonants in Ladino fija, favla ("daughter", "speech"), Portuguese filha, fala, Castilian hija, habla. However, the grammar of Ladino is closer to Castilian grammar. See also Judeo-Portuguese.

History

During the Middle Ages, Jews were instrumental in the development of Castilian into a prestige language. Erudite Jews translated Arabic and Hebrew works (often translated earlier from Greek) into Castilian and Christians translated again into Latin for transmission to Europe.

Until recent times, the language was widely spoken throughout the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa, having been brought there by Jewish refugees fleeing the area today know as Spain following the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

The contact among Jews of different regions and tongues (including Catalan, Leonese and Portuguese) developed a unified dialect, already different in some aspects of the Castilian norm that was forming simultaneously in the area know today as Spain. The language was known as Yahudice (Jewish language) in the Ottoman Empire. In late 18th century, Enderunlu Fazıl (Fazyl bin Tahir Enderuni) wrote in his Zenanname: "Castilians speak the Jewish language but they are not Jews."

The common Ladino and Castilian favoured trade among Sephardim (often relatives) ranging from the Ottoman Empire to the Netherlands and the conversos of The area know today as Spain and Portugal. Over time, a corpus of literature, both liturgical and secular, developed. Early Ladino literature was limited to translations from Hebrew. At the end of the 17th century, Hebrew was disappearing as the vehicle for Rabbinic instruction. Thus a literature in the popular tongue (Ladino) appeared in the 18th century, such as Me'am Lo'ez and poetry collections. By the end of the 19th century, Sephardim in the Ottoman Empire studied in schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. French became the language for foreign relations (as it did for Maronites), and Ladino drew from French for neologisms. New secular genres appeared: more than 300 journals, history, theatre, biographies. Interaction with French also gave way to the creation of a new language named judeo-franyol

Given the relative isolation of many communities, a number of regional dialects of Ladino appeared, many with only limited mutual comprehensibility. This is due largely to the adoption of large numbers of loanwords from the surrounding populations, including, depending on the location of the community, from Greek, Turkish, Arabic, and, in the Balkans, Slavic languages, especially Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian.

Ladino was the common language of Salonika during the period of Ottoman rule. The city became part of the modern Greek Republic in 1912 and subsequently renamed to its original historical name Thessaloniki. Despite a major fire, economic oppression by Greek authorities, and mass settlement of Christian refugees, the language remained widely spoken in Salonika until the deportation and murder of 50,000 Salonikan Jews in the Holocaust during the Second World War.

Ladino was also a language used in Donmeh ("Dönme" in Turkish meaning convert and referring to adepts of Sabbatai Tsevi converted to Moslem religion by the Ottoman empire) rites. An example is the recite Sabbatai Tsevi esperamos a ti. Today, the religious practices and ritual use of Ladino seem to be confined to elderly generations.

The Castilian colonization of Northern Africa favoured the role of polyglot Sephardim who bridged between Castilian colonizers and Arab and Berber speakers.

From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, Ladino was the predominant Jewish language in the Holy Land, though the dialect was different in some respects from that spoken in Greece and Turkey. Some Sephardi families have lived in Jerusalem for centuries, and preserve Ladino for cultural and folklore purposes, though they now use Hebrew in everyday life.

In the twentieth century, the number of speakers declined sharply: entire communities were eradicated in the Holocaust, while the remaining speakers, many of whom migrated to Israel, adopted Hebrew. The governments of the new nation-states encouraged instruction in the official languages. At the same time, it aroused the interest of philologists since it conserved language and literature which existed prior to the standardisation of Castilian.

Ladino is in serious danger of extinction because many native speakers today are elderly olim (immigrants to Israel), who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. However, it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. In addition, Sephardic communities in several Latin American countries still use Ladino. The danger of extinction is also due to the risk of assimilation by modern Castilian Spanish.

Kol Yisrael[7] and Radio Nacional de España[8] hold regular radio broadcasts in Ladino. Law & Order showed an episode with references to Ladino language. Films partially or totally in Ladino include Novia que te vea and Every Time We Say Goodbye.

The Jewish community of Belgrade still chants part of the Sabbath Prayers in Ladino. The Sephardic Synagogue Ezra Bessaroth in Seattle, State of Washington (US) was formed by Jews from Turkey and the Island of Rhodes and they use Ladino in some portions of their Shabbat services. The Siddur is called Zehut Yosef and was written by Hazzan Isaac Azose.

Songs

Folklorists have been collecting romances and other folk songs, some dating from before the expulsion.

Many religious songs in Ladino are translations of the Hebrew, usually with a different tune. For example, Ein k'Eloheynu looks like this in Ladino:
Non komo muestro Dio,
Non komo muestro Sinyor,
Non komo muestro Rey,
Non komo muestro Salvador.
etc.


Por una Ninya
(A song from Sofia, Bulgaria)
For a Girl (translation)
Por una ninya tan fermoza
l'alma yo la vo a dar
un kuchilyo de dos kortes
en el korason entro.
For such a beautiful girl
I will give my soul
a double-edged knife
pierced my heart.
No me mires ke'stó kantando
es lyorar ke kero yo
los mis males son muy grandes
no los puedo somportar.
Don't look at me; I am singing,
it is crying that I want,
my sorrows are so great
I can't bear them.
No te lo kontengas tu, fijika,
ke sos blanka komo'l simit,
ay morenas en el mundo
ke kemaron Selanik.
Don't hold your sorrows, young girl,
for you are white like bread,
there are brunette girls in the world
who set fire to Thessaloniki.
 
Quando el Melekh Nimrod (Adaptation)When King Nimrod (translation)
Quando el Melekh Nimrod al campo salía
mirava en el cielo y en la estrellería
vido una luz santa en la judería
que havía de nascer Abraham Avinu.
When King Nimrod was going out to the fields
He was looking at heaven and at the stars
He saw a holy light in the Jewish quarter
[A sign] that Abraham, our father, must have been born.
Abraham Avinu, Padre kerido
Padre barukh, la luz de Yisrael.
Abraham Avinu [our Father], dear father
Blessed Father, light of Israel.
Luego a las comadres encomendava
que toda mujer que prenyada quedasse
si no pariera al punto, la matasse
que havía de nascer Abraham Avinu.
Then he was telling all the midwives
That every pregnant woman
Who did not give birth at once was going to be killed
because Abraham our father was going to born.
Abraham Avinu, Padre querido
Padre barukh, luz de Yisrael. '
Abraham Avinu, dear father
Blessed Father, light of Israel.
La mujer de Terach kedó prenyada
y de día en día le preguntava
¿De qué tenesh la cara demudada?
ella ya sabía bien qué tenía.
Terach's wife was pregnant
and each day he would ask her
Why do you look so distraught?
She already knew very well what she had.
Abraham Avinu, padre kerido
Padre barukh, luz de Yisrael.
Abraham Avinu, dear father
Blessed Father, light of Israel.
En fin de nueve meses parir kería
iva caminando por campos y vinyas,
a su marido tal ni le descubría
topó una meara, allí lo pariría
After nine months she wanted to give birth
She was walking through the fields and vineyards
Such would not even reach her husband
She found a manger; there, she would give birth.
Abraham Avinu, Padre kerido
Padre barukh a la luz de Yisrael.
Abraham Avinu, dear father
Father who blessed the light of Israel.
En aquella hora el nascido fablava
"Andávos mi madre, de la meara
yo ya topo ken me alexasse
mandará del cielo ken me acompañará
porque só criado de El Dio Barukh."
In that hour the newborn was speaking
'Get away of the manger, my mother
I will somebody to take me out
He will send from the heaven the one that will go with me
Because I am a servant of the blessed God.'
Abraham Avinu, Padre querido
Padre barukh, luz de Yisrael
Abraham Avinu, dear father
Blessed Father, light of Israel.


Anachronistically, Abraham - who in the Bible is the very first Jew and the ancestor of all who followed, hence his appellation "Avinu" (Our Father) - is in the Ladino song born already in the judería, the Jewish quarter. This makes Terach and his wife into Jews, as are the parents of other babies killed by Nimrod. In essence, unlike its Biblical model, the song is about a Jewish community persecuted by a cruel king and witnessing the birth of a miraculous saviour - a subject of obvious interest and attraction to the Jewish people who composed and sang it in Medieval Spain.

The song attributes to Abraham elements from the story of Moses's birth (the cruel king killing innocent babies, with the midwives ordered to kill them) and from the careers of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who emerged unscathed from the fiery furnace. Nimrod is thus made to conflate the role and attributes of two archetypal cruel and persecuting kings - Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh. For more information, see the Nimrod page,

It is also suggested that the song borrows from the Christian nativity story: for example the miraculous light that signalled the birth, the birth in a manger and the massacre of the innocents.

Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow from the New York-based band Elysian Fields released a CD in 2001 called La Mar Enfortuna, which featured modern versions of traditional Sephardic songs, many sung by Charles in Ladino. There are a number of groups in Turkey that sing in Ladino, notably Janet - Jak Esim Ensemble, Sefarad, Los Pasharos Sefaradis, and the children's chorus Las Estreyikas d'Estambol. There is Brazilian-born singer of Sepharadic origins called Fortuna that researches and plays Ladino music.

Adío, querida

Tu madre cuando te parió
Y te quitó al mundo,
Coraçon ella no te dió
Para amar segundo.
Coraçon ella no te dió
Para amar segundo.


Adío,
Adío Querida,
Non quero la vida,
Me l'amargates tu.
Adío,
Adío Querida,
Non quero la vida,
Me l'amargates tú.


Va, búxcate otro amor,
Aharva otras puertas,
Aspera otro ardor,
Que para mi sos muerta.
Aspera otro ardor,
Que para mi sos muerta.


Adío,
Adío Querida,
No quero la vida,
Me l'amargates tu.
Adío,
Adío Querida,
No quero la vida,
Me l'amargates tú.

Sample

Ladino

El djudeo-espanyol, djudio, djudezmo o ladino es la lingua favlada por los sefardim, djudios ekspulsados de la Espanya enel 1492. Es una lingua derivada del espanyol i favlada por 150.000 personas en komunitas en Israel, la Turkia, antika Yugoslavia, la Gresia, el Maruekos, Boriken, Mayorka, entre otros.


Spanish

El judeo-castellano o ladino es la lengua hablada por los sefardíes, judíos expulsados de España en 1492. Es una lengua derivada del castellano y hablada por 150.000 personas en comunidades en Israel, Turquía, la Antigua Yugoslavia, Grecia, Marruecos, Puerto Rico, Mallorca, entre otros.


Portuguese

O judeu-espanhol ou ladino é a língua falada pelos sefarditas, judeus expulsos de Castela em 1492. É uma língua derivada do espanhol e falada por 150.000 pessoas em comunidades em Israel, na Turquia, na antiga Iugoslávia, na Grécia, em Marrocos, Porto Rico, Maiorca, entre outros.


English

Judeo-Spanish or Ladino is the language spoken by the Sephardim, Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. It is a language derived from Spanish and spoken by 150,000 people in communities in Israel, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Morocco, Puerto Rico, and Majorca, among others.

Notes

1. ^ Judeoespañol in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE).
2. ^ Ladino. 2nd sense in the DRAE
3. ^ El ladino. Lengua litúrgica de los judíos españoles. Haim Vidal Sephiha. Historia 16, 1978
4. ^ Ladino. 7th sense in the DRAE
5. ^ "Clearing up Ladino, Judeo-Spanish, Sephardic Music" Judith Cohen, HaLapid, winter 2001; Sephardic Song Judith Cohen, Midstream July/August 2003
6. ^ Verba Hispanica X: Los problemas del estudio de la lengua sefardí, Katja Smid, Ljubljana, pages 113-124: Es interesante el hecho que en Bulgaria se imprimieron unas pocas publicaciones en alfabeto cirílico búlgaro y en Grecia en alfabeto griego. [...] Nezirović (1992: 128) anota que también en Bosnia se ha encontrado un documento en que la lengua sefardí está escrita en alfabeto cirilico. The Nezirović reference is: Nezirović, M., Jevrejsko-Spanjolska knjitévnost. Institut za knjifevnost, Svjeálost, Sarajevo, 1992.
7. ^ Reka Network: Kol Israel International
8. ^ Radio Exterior de España: Emisión sefardí

References

  • Hemsi, Alberto: Cancionero Sefardí
  • Molho, Michael: Usos y costumbres de los judíos de Salónica (1950)
  • Markus, Shimon, Ha-safa ha-sefaradit-yehudit (the Judeo-Spanish language): Jerusalem, 1965
  • Габинский, Марк А. Сефардский (еврейской-испанский) язык (M.A. Gabinsky. Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) language, in Russian). Ştiinţa: Chişinău, 1992.
  • Kohen, Elli; Kohen-Gordon, Dahlia. Ladino-English, English-Ladino: Concise Encyclopedic Dictionary. Hippocrene Books: New York, 2000

See also

External links









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Official language of: none
Regulated by: The office for Ladin language planning
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ISO 639-1: none
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ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. It consists of 136 two-letter codes used to identify the world's major languages. These codes are a useful international shorthand for indicating languages.
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ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 464 language codes in the list.
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ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. It extends the ISO 639-2 alpha-3 codes with an aim to cover all known natural languages. The standard was published by ISO on 5 February 2007[1].
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Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family that comprisies all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire.
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Spanish (español) and Castilian (castellano). Originally Castilian referred to the language of the Kingdom of Castile that spread across Spain.
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Hebrew}}} 
Writing system: Alefbet Ivri abjad 
Official status
Official language of:  Israel
Regulated by: Academy of the Hebrew Language

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