Dolomite Ladin is a set of Rhaeto-Romance varieties currently spoken in five alpine valleys: the Gardena/Gherdina and Badia valleys, in the province of Bolzano/Bozen, the Fassa/Fascia valley in the province of Trento and, finally, Livinallongo/Fodom and Ampezzo/Anpezo in the province of Belluno. The latter is part of the so-called ‘Cadorino Ladin’, together with other varieties spoken in the Cadore valley.

From a historical point of view, Ladin is the continuation of colloquial Latin spoken in the area. Initially, the designation of Ladin was very narrow, perhaps reserved only to the variety of the Badia valley, but later it was extended to the entire Rhaeto-Romance group in the Dolomite valleys. It should be noted that some dialects have additional internal subdivisions. In the Badia valley there are at least three different dialects: Badiot (at the end of the valley), Badiot de mesaval (in the middle and lower parts of the valley) and Mareo (in the adjacent valley of Mareo/Marebbe). Fassano is also divided into three dialects: Cazét (at the end of the valley), Brach (in the central part of the valley) and Moenat, typical of Moena. Gardenese, on the other hand, is not divided into dialects. The Linguistic atlas of Dolomite Ladin and neighbouring dialects (ALD) provides detailed documentation of the various dialects.

The language vitality of Ladin varies greatly from valley to valley: the Badia valley has the highest percentage of language use, with almost exclusive use of Ladin in all settings of everyday life by the local population. The percentage of those that identify as and/or speak Ladin decreases progressively when moving through the Gardena valley, to the Fassa valley, to Fodom, and finally to Cortina d’Ampezzo (where the Ladin are a minority of the population).

ISO code: 639-3 lld


Further reading

Additional online resources

Websites of Ladin communities