From Latin latinus (“Latin”), ladino it is a concept that can have very different meanings. It may be the adjective indicating that someone is shrewd, cunning or devious. For instance: “Be careful with Raúl: he is a ladino man who always seems to be one step ahead of others”, “The experts agreed that the pilot won the race as a ladino”, “We are not going to allow any ladino to deceive the people”.
In Central America, the idea of ladino is linked to the mestizo population. The concept was developed around the time of the Suburb to name those who spoke Spanish but were not part of the dominant elite (made up of Europeans and Creoles) or of the indigenous populations. In Guatemala, Ladinos are officially recognized as an ethnic group that includes the mestizos and the descendants of indigenous people who are considered mestizo from the cultural aspect.
Ladino is also an expression used in the linguistics in reference to different Languages. It may be a Romansh language that is spoken in some regions of the Italian Alps; of the religious language of the Sephardim; of the variety of Spanish that Jews spoke in Spain during medieval times and that Judeo-Spanish still speak in the East; or old Castilian.
All these meanings are also associated with another use of the term Ladino as a synonym for polyglot. In this sense, a ladino is one who speaks easily one or more tongues in addition to your own: “The king sent for the ladino of the town to communicate with the natives”.
Ladino, as explained in a previous paragraph, is a Romanesque language, a group that it composes together with Friulian and Romansh. In Italy, it is spoken in region Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige and is officially recognized in 54 communes in the provinces of Bolzano, Belluno and Trento.
After the Roman Empire fell, little by little the Ladino language was displaced by the barbarian invasions. Until then, they spoke it in part of the territory of Nórico and in the entire arc of the province of Recia. Today, its speakers are found around the Las Dolomitas mountain range.
Within the Ladino language, various linguistic varieties can be distinguished, among which are the following: Atesina from Sella (its dialects are those that most faithfully preserve the original features of the language); Trentina del Sella (with certain characteristics inherited from the dialect trentino); agordina del Sella; cadorin; of Ampezzo (similar to the previous one); Nones and Solander (influenced by the Lombard language and the Trentino dialect).
There is a project named SPELL (acronym that comes from Service for planning and elaboration of Lingaz Ladin, translated as Service for the planning and elaboration of the Ladino language), which has received monetary support from the provinces of Bolzano and Trento for the purpose of elaborating a standard written Ladino, thus unifying all the varieties from language. Its success, so far, has not met the expectations of the participants.
The official number of population The Ladino area is around 92 thousand, although it cannot be determined exactly how many of them speak the Ladino language, especially considering that there is no region in which it is the only language used. Given that Ladino has many similarities with our language, let’s look at an example that is often used to compare them, the prayer Our Father:
* in Ladino, Pere nost, che t’ies en ciel, al sie santifiché ti inom, al vegne ti regn, sia fata tia volonté, car in ciel enscì en tera;
* in Spanish, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in heaven as on earth..