St. Anthony Church at Antoniusplatz in Ortisei in Val Gardena.

Ladin culture and language in Val Gardena

Ladin, third national language

Because of the one time seclusion of Val Gardena an individual language sustained next to German and Italian, the Ladin language, a rhaeto romanic language, which developed from the vulgar Latin and from remnants of the regional language after the region had been romanised.

It is a pleasant sounding, althoug for a non-Ladin hardly comprehensible language, rich in unique sounds and sound combinations.

The Ladin part of South Tyrol starts at Pontives (approx. 7 km east of Waidbruck). Ladin is also spoken in the adjacent Gader Valley, the Trientner Fassa Valley, in the Ampezzaner region as well as in the Swiss Graubünden.

The Ladin population represents with approx. four per cent the smallest ethnic group of South Tyrol. They, nevertheless, adhere to their traditions and to their language, which is being transported verbally from generation to generation and they nurse their traditions accordingly in school lessons, regular pulications, various television and radio programms.

In several municipalties with a Ladin population the Ladin laguage is being recognised as the local official language as well as school language, as f.i. at the Art School in Ortisei, where for some years now quadrilingual education takes place (that are subjects in Ladin, German, Italian and Englisch language).

These municipalities are Wolkenstein (Selva), St. Ulrich (Urtijei), St. Christina (Santa Cristina), Abtei (Badia), Kufar (Corvara), Enneberg (Maréo), St. Martin in Thurn (San Martin de Tor), Wengen (La Val), Canazei (Cianacei), Vigo di Fassa (Vich) and Pozza di Fassa (Poza), all of them belonging to the region Trentino – South Tyrol.

Relic language of Europa

The Ladin linguist Micurà de Rü (born 4th of December 1789 in Rü, St. Kassian, Abtei (South Tyrol), deceased 29. March 1847 in Wilten), made the first attempt to develop a Ladin written language.

The Ladin Cultural Institute in Sankt Martin in Thurn is named after him, which is responsible for the cultural maintenance. Also close nearby is the Ladin Museum in St. Martin in Thurn.

One can often find a paragraph or even a whole page in the largest daily paper of South Tyrol, written totally in the Ladin language.

Today the Ladin language is severly threatened by foreign influence. Nevetheless, it is proven that the capability to perceive, to think and to feel as a Ladin person is still alive in the majority of the population.

As a folk-anthem, at least for the Ladin people of Gröden, passes the song “Gherdeina, Gherdeina”, the last verse of which finishes as follows:

Gherdëina, Gherdëina,
de l’oma si rujné
rejona, rejona
y no te l dejmincé!
Gardena, Gardena,
mother’s language
speak, speak,
and don’t forget!

Hotels in Ortisei

Enjoy the wonderful panoramic alpine view of the Dolimites. Simply book a hotel or apartment in Ortisei in Val Gardena.