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Title: Judaeo-Portuguese  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Portuguese language, Portuguese dialects, Judaeo-Aragonese, Portuguese in Asia and Oceania, Caló language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Judeo-Portuguese is the extinct Jewish language that was used by the Portuguese Jews of Portugal.


The Judeo-Portuguese language was the vernacular of Sephardi Jews in Portugal before the 16th century and also in many places of the Portuguese Jewish diaspora. Texts were written in Hebrew script (aljamiado português) or in Latin script.

As Portuguese Jews intermarried with other expelled Sephardim, it influenced the neighboring Judeo-Spanish language. Due to close similarity to standard Portuguese, Judeo-Portuguese went extinct in Portugal, surviving in the everyday usage in the diaspora until the early 19th century. Judeo-Portuguese influenced the Papiamento and Saramaccan languages.


Influences from Ladino

Judaeo-Portuguese Portuguese Ladino English meaning
ay hay there is
Dio Deus (arch. Deo) Dio God
manim mãos manos hands

Portuguese archaisms

Judaeo-Portuguese Modern Portuguese English meaning
algũa alguma any
angora agora now
aynda ainda yet
dous dois two
he é is
hũa uma a, an, one

Influences from Hebrew

Judeo-Portuguese Hebrew English meaning
cados kodesh holy
esnoga - (of Greek origin) synagogue
jessiba yeshiva Religious School
massó matzah ritual bread
misvá mitzvah commandments
ros rosh head
rassim rashim heads
rossaná rosh hashanah Jewish New Year
sabá Shabbat Saturday
sedacá tzedakah charity
queilá qehila congregation
quidus kiddush blessing over the wine
tebá tevah central platform in the synagogue

See also


  • Jewish Language Research CenterinJudaeo-Portuguese
  • Thesouro dos Dinim, a Halakhic work
  • Strolovitch, Devon L. (2005) Old Portuguese in Hebrew Script: Convention, Contact, and Convivência. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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