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Ladino phrasebook

Revision as of 04:08, 10 June 2010 by Inas (talk | contribs)

Ladino (Djudezmo or Judeo-Espanyol) is a Jewish language spoken by the Sephardic Jews.

It is also spoken by the minor Jewish communities in Turkey, Israel, Netherlands, Greece and the United States. For the most of its speakers, today, Ladino is the second language.

A Western Romance language, Ladino is closely related to and mutually intelligible with the Spanish. However, there are many loan words from Hebrew, Portuguese, Arabic, and Turkish.

Pronunciation Guide

Ladino spelling, as Spanish does, has the pleasant characteristic of being very phonetic, with only a few clearly-defined exceptions. This means that if you know how to pronounce the letters of a word, it's relatively easy to sound out the word itself.


like 'a' in "father".
like 'e' in "met", although often taught as 'a' in "spain".
like 'ee' in "see".
like 'o' in "score", especially when stressed.
like 'oo' in "hoop".
like 'ee' in "see". Very rarely used at the middle or ending of words.


like 'b' in "bed"
follows the same pronunciation pattern as in English. In most cases it is pronounced like 'k' in "kid": calle, doctor. When followed by 'e' or 'i', it is like 's' in "supper" (Latin America) or 'th' in "thin" (Spain): cine.
like 'ch' in "touch": muncho
like 'd' in "dog"
like 'j' in John. Djudezmo
like 'f' in "fine": faro
like 'g' in "good": ganyar
like 'h' in "hit": haham
like 'j' in the French name Jean
like 'k' in "kid": kilo
like 'l' in "love": lápiz
like 'm' in "mother": mano
like 'n' in "nice": noche, ancla
like 'p' in "pig": Pesah
is pronunced as 'r' in Turkish, most often rolled very lightly
like 'ss' in "hiss": sopa
like 'sh' in "shining": yanashear
like 't' in "top": Tora
like 'v' in "valad" (but no aspiration).
like 'y' in "yes": yuvyar.
like 'z' in "zoo"

Accents and stress

Phrase list


Shalom (Shah-lom)
Have a good day 
Buen dya (keh PAH-seh un BWEHN DEE-ah)
How are you? (informal)
Ke haber? (KEH HA-bear)
How are you? (formal)
Komo esta? (KOH-mo ehss-TAH?)
Fine, thank you
Muy bien, grasyas. (MOOEY BYEHN, GRAH-syahss)
What is your name? (informal)
Komo te yamas? (KOH-moh TEH YAH-mahss?)
What is your name? (formal)
Komo se yama? (KOH-moh SEH YAH-mah)
Who are you? (informal)
Ken eres? (KEN EH-rehss?)
My name is ______
Me yamo ______ (MEH YAH-moh _____ )
I am ______
Yo soy ______ (YO SOY ______)
Nice to meet you
Enkantado/a (ehn-kahn-TAH-doh/ehn-kahn-TAH-dah)
It's a pleasure to meet you
Muncho plezir. (MOO-choh pleh-zeer)
Por favor (POHR fah-vOHR)
Thank you
Grasyas (GRAH-syahss)
You're welcome
De nada (DEH NAH-dhah)
Sí (SEE)
No (NOH)
Excuse me! (begging pardon)
Pardon! (pahr-DOHN)
I'm sorry
Lo siento (LOH SYEHN-toh)
Adio (ah-DYOH)
I can't speak Ladino(well)
No avlo (byen) ladino. (NOH Av-loh (BYEHN) la-dee-noh)
Do you speak English? (informal)
Avlas inglez? (AH-vlahss een-GLEHZ?)
Do you speak English? (formal)
Avlates inglez? (AH-blah-tes oos-TEHD een-GLEHZ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Ay alguno ke avla inglez? (I AHL-goo-noh KEH AH-Vlah een-GLEHZ?)
Ayuda! (ah-YOO-dah!)
Good morning
Buenos dyas (BWEH-nohss DEE-ahss)
Good afternoon / Good evening
Buenas tardes (BWEH-nahss TAR-dehss)
Good evening / Good night
Buenas noches (BWEH-nahss NOH-chehss)
I don't understand
No entiendo (NOH ehn-TYEHN-doh)
Where is the toilet?
Ande esta el banyo? (AHN-deh ehss-TAH EHL BAH-nyoh?)


Leave me alone. 
Deshame en paz. (DEH-shah-meh ehn PAHS)
Don't touch me! 
No me tokes! (noh meh TOH-kehs!)
Polis! (poh-lees!)


Left: Yiddish similar Ladino - Right: Modern Ladino.

½ - methet ( Spanish "medio" + Hebrew "hetsi" ) / medd

0 - cerofash ( Spanish "cero" + Hebrew "efes" ) / ceram

1 - unatkash ( Spanish "un" + Hebrew "ahat" ) / on

2 - dostum ( Spanish "dos" + Hebrew "shtayim" ) / dans

3 - trisloh ( Spanish "tres" + Hebrew "shalosh" ) / treh

4 - cuatrbah ( Spanish "cuatro" + Hebrew "arba" ) / cuetru

5 - cinhemesh ( Spanish "cinco" + Hebrew "hamesh" ) / cinneh

6 - sehasi ( Spanish "seis" + Hebrew "shesh" ) / ses

7 - sitseh ( Spanish "siete" + Hebrew "shewa" ) / sittim

8 - oshomoneh ( Spanish "ocho" + Hebrew "shmoneh" ) / ossu

9 - nuwateseh ( Spanish "nuewe" + Hebrew "tesha" ) / nu

10 - disher ( Spanish "diez" + Hebrew "eser" ) / diz

11 - onatdasrah ( Spanish "once" + Hebrew "ahatesreh" ) / onno

12 - dochassasreh ( Spanish "doce" + Hebrew "shtayimesreh" ) / danno

15 - dicenhamesrah ( Spanish "diez+cinco" ) + Hebrew "hamesreh" ) / dicin

20 - wentashim ( Spanish "veinte" + Hebrew "esrim" ) / vet

25 - wentashimmwecnamesh ( Spanish "veinticinco" + Hebrew "esrim vehamesh" ) / vetcinneh

50 - cintkhomeshim ( Spanish "cincuenta" + Hebrew "hameshim" ) / cinnenz

60 - sessehim ( Spanish "sessenta" + Hebrew "sheeshim" ) / sesanz

100 - cemah ( Spanish "cien" + Hebrew "meyah" ) / con

200 - dokhamtayim ( Spanish "doscientos" + Hebrew "matayim" ) / dancun

500 - kuensamsot ( Spanish "quinhentos" + Hebrew "hameshmeot" ) / cinhentun

1000 - millef ( Spanish "mil" + Hebrew "elef" ) / mul

2000 - dosmilshalef ( Spanish "dosmil" + Hebrew "shtayimelef?" ) / danmal

5000 - cinmilhameshlef ( Spanish "cincomil" ) + Hebrew "hameshelef?" ) / cinnimal

This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!