From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
es:Judeoespañol Judaeo-Spanish is a Romance language, derived mainly from Old Castilian (Spanish). Speakers are exclusively Sephardic Jews. The language is also called Ladino, Sefardi, Dzhudezmo, Judezmo, Spanyol, and Haquetiya.
According to the Ethnologue,
- The name 'Dzhudezmo' is used by Jewish linguists and Turkish Jews; 'Judeo-Spanish' by Romance philologists; 'Ladino' by laymen, especially in Israel; 'Hakitia' by Moroccan Jews; 'Spanyol' by some others.
Like Old Spanish, Judaeo-Spanish keeps the /S/ and /Z/ palatal phonemes, both changed to /x/ in modern Spanish. But unlike Old Spanish, Judaeo-Spanish has an /x/ phoneme taken over from Hebrew.
Judaeo-Spanish is normally written with the Hebrew alphabet, like Hebrew and Yiddish, although it is linguistically unrelated to Hebrew and very distantly related to Yiddish. There also several standards for a Latin orthography. And, sometimes, Greek and Cirillic alphabets have been used.
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 Spain following the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. It was the most used language in Salonica. Over time, a corpus of literature, both liturgical and secular, developed.
During the Jewish Enlightenment, as Sephardim in the Ottoman Empire studied in schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Judaeo-Spanish drew from French for neologisms.
In the twentieth century, the number of speakers declined sharply: entire communities were eradicated in the Holocaust, while the remaining speakers, most of whom migrated to Israel, adopted Hebrew. At the same time, it arose the interest of philologists since it conserved language and literature previous to the standardizing of Spanish.
Most native speakers today are elderly immigrants, who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. In addition, Sephardic communities in several Latin American countries still use Ladino.
Folklorists have been collecting romances and other songs, some dating from before the expulsion.
Here is a sample of religious poetry:
Non komo muestro Dio,
Non komo muestro Sinyor,
Non komo muestro Rey,
Non komo muestro Salvador.
It is also sung in Hebrew (Ein k'Eloheynu) but the tune is different.