Talk:Judeo-Italian languages

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jap491.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 01:29, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


according to what i've heard, italkian-speaking jews are known as italkim. i'm adding my signature. Gringo300 08:26, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ethnonym for Italkit speakers[edit]

You are correct. Speakers of Italkit are referred to as "Italkim". This is not a "subdivision" of Jews, it is, rather, a geographic identifier--it literally means, in Hebrew, "Italians". Despite the fact that recent genetic (and to great extent, historical) evidence connects large portions of the Ashkenazi community to the ancient Italian Jewish community, the Italkim are not Ashkenazim (literally "Germans"), a community whose distinctions became evident over a millennium after its separation from the communities in Italy. Similarly, the geographical proximity and similar culture of the bulk of Sephardi Jewish communities does not indicate association, historically or culturally, with the Sephardim. Much as the Romaniotes are a distinct historical European Jewish community from both the Ashkenazim and Sephardim, the Italqim are a collection of communities distinct from both. Despite the historically small numbers of this community, they have maintained distinct traditions, not only linguistically, but cultural and liturgical, from neighboring communities with which outsiders' inference or assumption might impute significant connections. Tomer TALK 09:30, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)


i'm about to attempt to do extensive research on italy, italian culture, food, music, etc., and the various dialects of the italian language.

hopefully i'll come across info on the italkim and the italkian language that i can contribute to wikipedia. however, that isn't the primary purpose of the planned research.

Gringo300 08:22, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can someone please help me? Maybe a few years agoi was searching on the Judeo-Italian language wiki page but it was by another name, I'm guessing Volgare, another name for Italkian, and it showed a sign in Italy with the Judeo-Italian or Italkian language. If any one recalls seeing that picture or has a link to it can they please give email to me or post it on wiki once again. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 3 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


See the etymology of "italki", which is borrowed from "italicum". See the current article for "Italkian language," which ought to be renamed "Judeo-Italian Language Varieties."

--Jerchower 18:42, 31 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On what grounds? The language is called "Italkit" (by some folks even "Italkian"), but not "Judeo-Italian language varieties". Where'd you pull that from? Your assertion makes as little sense as demanding to call Yiddish "Judeo-German language varieties". Tomertalk 11:03, 21 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No native speaker of the languages ever referred to them as *italchiano. As I stated, the English term "Italkian" was invented in 1942 by Birnbaum, and received limited support, for the most part from the Ethnologue (which has recently changed in favor of "Judeo-Italian"), and from David Gold. Yiddish has a separate history, which I am not competent in addressing. Also, please read the citation from Cassuto that I've included. --Jerchower 16:54, 26 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I never asserted that anyone even claimed that anyone had ever called the language *italchiano, your points are well-taken. That said, these languages (which are better described as such, not as "varieties") have certainly also never been referred to as "Judeo-Italian language varieties" by any native or non-native speakers. As for the Cassuto quotation, that just supports what I said previously about the folly of calling Yiddish "Judeo-German". I would recommend that, if you insist that "Italkian" or "Italkit" are "inaccurate" (although both rosettastone and ethnologue make reference to the term, and in nothing approaching the denegratory tone you take wrt the topic), Judæo-Italian languages would be a more appropriate name for the article. The current title makes it sound like there was some historical "Judeo-Italian" language from which were derived the languages referred to in the article, when, from everything I've read, these languages developed from La'az or, in the case, of Bagitto, [Judeo-?]Pisano-Livornese with an overlay of Jewish-influenced Ibero-Romance languages. Perhaps what we should be using is Ghettaioli. :-p Tomertalk 04:57, 1 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tomer: Your point is well taken, and the debate useful. I agree with the title "Judeo-Italian languages". I don't think that "ghettaiolo/-i" is an appropriate term, since it only covers certain varieties, and not the entire corpus, which would also include what, prior to 1588, was called "latino, volgare", laʻaz, and after, as "leshon iṭalyano" (e.g., Seder Hagadah shel Pesah bi-leshon ha-kodesh u-fitrono bi-leshon Iṭalyano. Venice, 1609. Tranlated by Leone Modena) or lashon Iṭalyani (e.g., Pirḳe Avot : meturgam be-lashon Iṭalyani. Venice, 456 [1695 or 1696]). "Leshon laʻaz" also continues into the 18th century, as can be seen in the title, Maḥazor ke-minhag bene Romah : Pirḳe Avot bi-leshon laʻaz, Venice, 470 [1709 or 1710]).

Judæo-Italian languages can and should be used as an alias; the Library of Congress heading is Judeo-Italian language, so while I disagree with the use of the singular, I think it is wise to keep the modern spelling, as opposed to that used in the JE (and that which I myself have used in earlier years!).

Bagitto is actually of Livorno, and extended into Pisa, which is home to the oldest continuous community in Tuscany. I don't know of any studies or surveys done on Judeo-Pisan, and I don't believe that there are texts of any consequence. I will check on this. --Jerchower 20:00, 16 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incoherent article[edit]

The title of the article says "languages", whereas the body of the text says "language". The infobox also claims that Judeo-Italian is a Gallo-Italic language, which Italian itself is not. The cited sources in the reference section that discuss these alleged language varieties discuss minor sociolectal differences shown by Jewish communities that historically speak specific local Romance languages of Italy, such as Apulian or Venetian. This is of course to be expected since Italian is not the traditional vernacular language of Italy; Italian is a literary form of Tuscan that only began to replace the historical dialects in the 20th Century. Perhaps the Jewish sociolect of Tuscany, if such a thing exists, could be at a push called "Judeo-Italian". There's no real indication that these language varieties are related to each other either genetically or typologically; really these are varied sociolects of unrelated Romance languages that happen to be historically be spoken by Jews in Italy. One source cited by this article claims that certain sociolects are more divergent from neighbouring non-Jewish speech than others. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 15:17, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Linguistic Data[edit]

This page here includes information about the phonology, writing, and grammar of this dialect cluster. I hope their sources could be of help for this article, especially for an optional consonant chart. Kaden Bayne Vanciel (talk) 06:19, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]