Judaeo-Spanish is a Romance language derived from Old Spanish. In Israel, Judaeo-Spanish is commonly referred to as Ladino, and it is known locally as Judezmo, Espanyol, Djudeo-Espanyol, Djudezmo, and Spaniolit, among others. As a Jewish language, it is primarily influenced by Hebrew and Aramaic, but it is also influenced by Arabic, Turkish, and to lesser extents, Greek and other languages of Sephardic exiles around the world, primarily throughout the Ottoman Empire.
Ladino should not be confused with the Ladin language, which is related to the Swiss Romansh and Friulian languages and is mostly spoken in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy.
Judaeo-Spanish has kept the postalveolar phonemes /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ of Old Castilian, which have both changed to the velar /x/ in modern Spanish. It also has an /x/ phoneme derived from Hebrew. In some places, certain characteristic words were retained, such as the use of the possessive muestro instead of the Spanish nuestro to signify "our." Its grammatical structure is close to that of Spanish, with the addition of many terms from Hebrew, Portuguese, French, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Bosnian, and Serbo-Croatian, depending on the geographic origin of the speaker.
Like many other Jewish languages, Judaeo-Spanish is in danger of language extinction. Most native speakers are elderly, as many have emigrated to Israel, where the language was not transmitted to their children or grandchildren. However, Judaeo-Spanish is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. In some expatriate communities in Latin America and elsewhere, there is a threat of dialect levelling resulting in extinction by assimilation into modern Spanish.