The Ladin language is a Romance or Rhaeto-Romance language, which is spoken by about 30,000 native speakers.
Having once been the prevalent language in the Alpine area, today Ladin is still spoken in the Val Badia valley as well as in other valleys surrounding the Sella alpenstock such as the Val di Fassa and Val di Fiemme valleys in the Trentino. Other areas are the Italian region Friuli around Udine as well as the Swiss Canton of Grisons.
The Ladin language originated under Roman rule and combines Rhaetian and Latin elements. Due to the isolated position of the valley and its high mountain ranges, the Ladin language could survive up to the 21st century.
Once Ladin was mistakenly considered to be a dialect. Today, however, it has been acknowledged - beside German and Italian - as third official language and is also taught in the schools of the Val Badia and Val Gardena valleys as compulsory subject. The population of Val Badia and Val Gardena is an acknowledged ethnic group and is supported in terms of preserving culture and language, e.g. by the Istitut Ladin Micurà de Rü, located in San Martino in Badia.
Would you like to learn some Ladin words?
- Good morning = bon dí
- Good night = bona nuet
- How are you? = co vala?
- What are you doing today? = ce fesa ncuei?