Ladinian: the third official language of South Tyrol

Ladinian: A relic language of Europe

As a result of the once remote location of the Val Gardena Valley, a proprietary language, Ladinian, still exists; a Ret Romanesque language which evolved after Romanization of the area from the commonly used Latin and the regional language.

It is a pleasant sounding but for the non-Ladinian hardly understandable language, rich in unique sounds and sound combinations.

At Pontives (approx. 7 km east of Waidbruck) begins the Ladinian section of South Tyrol. Ladinian is also spoken in the adjacent Gader Valley, and the Fassa Valley of Trientino, as well as around Ampezzo and the Swiss region of Graubünden.

The Ladinians, which make up approx. 4% the smallest ethnical group in South Tyrol, adhere very strongly to their traditions, orally passing on their Ret Romanesque language from generation to generation, preserving it in school classrooms, in continuous publications, and through TV and radio broadcasts.

The Ladinian language is greatly endangered due to foreign influences and globalization. In spite of that it is proven that the ability to sense, think and feel as Ladinian is still alive in the majority of the population.

The anthem of the ethnic group, at least for the Ladinians of Val Gardena, the song “Gherdëina, Gherdëina” is still in use and its last phrase is as follows:

Gherdëina, Gherdëina,
de l’oma si rujné
rejona, rejona
y no te l dejmincé!
Val Gardena, Val Gardena,
the mother language
speak it, speak it
and forget it not!

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