Ladino Alef- Bet

Here is the Ladino from some notes from a class on Ladino literature I took at Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley, Spring 1997. Remember that Ladino is read from right to left (!), like Hebrew.

Reading Judezmo: The Jewish Characters and the Sounds They Represent

LetterTranscriptionCalledSound (English)Use (Ladino)
aalefa amar love
alalal balta ax
bbedb buskar to look for
vvedv axarvar beat
ggimalg xaragan lazy
jgimalzh ajustar add
chgimalch chikes youth
ddaledd din religious law
dhdaleddh sudhor sweat
h ea xaftona beating
uvavu karpus watermelon
ovavo dos two
zzaynz kazal village
jzaynzh mujer woman, wife
khxed ch xaber news
t ted t atabafar suffocate
iyodi purimlik Purim present
eyode bel waist
kkafk kavo(d) honor
khxafch beraxa blessing
khxafch korex bookbinder
llamedl lamber lick
mmemm myel honey
mmemm xamam bath-house
nnunn na here! behold
nnunn baragan courageous
nynunny sinyal sign
ssamexs sutlach rice pudding
silentayn meara cave
ppep paras money
ffef fin end
ffef saraf money changer
ssadiks sedaka charity
ssadiks _ amares ignoramus (lit., peasant)
kkofk kavzar to cause
rreshGuttural r raki arak
shshinsh shavon soap
ssins maase story
ttaft tora Torah
ttaftor d meshared servant

Now I will present some vowel and diphtongs in Ladino:

Writing Judezmo Words in Jewish Characters

LetterPosition in WordCalledSound (English)Use (Ladino)
begining and middlealefa atar tie
endaiai ai there
middle and endauau baul trunk
yyody yamar call
yyody yo I
yyody ayudar help
yeyodye yevar carry
eyyodey rey king
ay alefay tramvay streetcar
endauau chay tea
beginningee es is
middle and endyode ves time
middle and endeaea meatad half
middle and endeeee kreer believe
middle and endeiei krei I believed
middle and endeoeo shasheo dizziness
beginningii i and
middle and endyodi chini plate
beginningauu uzar use
middle and endshureku asur prohibited (by religious law)
middle and enduyuy muy very
middle and enduaua (g)uay woe
middle and endueue jues judge
middle and enduiui siguir continue

The Ten Sefirot
Reproduction from Z. ben-Shimon ha-Levi's The Way of the Kabbalah.

(To Modernity)

Copyright © 1994-today Ovid C. Jacob