Beginners Guide to Ladino/Guide to Reading and Writing Ladino

Guide to Reading and Writing Ladino

Consonants and VowelsEdit

א - pronounced as "a" as in Spanish "nada"

ב - pronounced as "b" as in English "beat"

בֿ - pronounced as "v" as in English "vex"

ג - pronounced as "g" as in English "gas"

גֿ - pronounced as "j" as in English "jump"; pronounced as "ch" as in "much"

ד - pronounced as "d" as in English "ditch"

דֿ -pronounced as a hard "th/ð" as in English "the"

ה - not pronounced; used at end of a word to indicate an "a" sound like a "א"

ו - pronounced as "u/o" as in English "moon, old"

ז - pronounced as "z" as in English "zombie"

זֿ - pronounced as a French "j" as in "vision"

ח - pronounced as a Hebrew "Kh/Ch" as in "Chutzpah"'


ט - pronounced as "t" as in "time"

י - pronounced as "i/ee" as in English "week"; pronounced as "e" as in "Elmo"

יי - pronounced as "y" as in English "Yellow" not to be confused with Adonay

כ - pronounced as "c" as in English "cat" only used in words of Hebrew origins

ל - pronounced as "l" as in English "life"

מ - pronounced as "m" as in the Italian city "Milan"

נ - pronounced as "n" as in English "none"

ס - pronounced as "s" as in English "some"

ע - not pronounced; used only in Hebrew

פ - pronounced as "p" as in English "put"

פֿ - pronounced as "f" as in English "fade"

צ - pronounced as "tz/ts" as in English "boots"

ק - pronounced as "k" as in English "kill"

ר - pronounced as "r/rr" as in English "rob"

ש - pronounced as "sh" as in "shirt"

שֿ - pronounced as "s" as in "suit"; only used in Hebrew words

ת - pronounced as "t" as in "tooth"; only used in Hebrew words

תֿ - pronounced as a soft "th" as in "think"

Vowel combinationsEdit

אאי - "ai" example: אאי (aí)

אאו - "au/ao" example: באאול (baúl)

איי - "ay" example: גֿאיי (Chay)

יא - "ea" example: מיאטאדֿ (meatad)

יאי - "ee/ei" example: קריאיר (kre'er)

יאו - "eo/io" פֿריאו (frío)

יי - "y, ey, ye, yi" לייס (leyes)

יא - "ia" גיאדור (giador)

וא - "oa/ua" לואר (loar)

ואי - "oi/we/wi" מואיס (moís)

ויי - (oy/uy) מויי (muy)

NotesEdit

1. Any 2 vowels combined without a (א) or (יי) will have a silent א in between them.

2. There are is no (א) at the end of ladino words. The (א) at the end of a word will be replaced by a (ה) at the end of a word

3. In certain countries the digraph (ליי) which represents a "double L" will be used to pronounced y; although not all dialects have this "double L" it is used almost universally in every dialect to spell Eya, Eyas, and Eyos.

4. At the beginning of a word the letters (י) and (ו) must have a silent (א) before them.

5. The reason "ai" and "au" has a silent (א) even though they contain a vowel combination is because of the way Hebrew vowels work.