JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Translation of unknown language: "La Chikitika Mia, La #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 7:59 AM +0200 10/17/06, Mathilde Tagger wrote:
Hi Terry,
You wrote:
I have a phrase >from a gravestone that I need translated. I
thought it might be French or Italian but I have been told it
probably is not. The phrase is "La Chikitika Mia, La Savorozika
Mia". Could someone please tell me the language and translate it
for me.
These words are in Ladino (or Judeo-Spanish) that was mainly spoken
by Sephardic Jews living in the Ottoman Empire. The language is
based on medieval Spanish (time of the Expulsion in 1492) and has
additions >from Hebrew and local languages like Turkish, Greek and
The words on the inscription mean: "My little one, my delicious one".
Dear Mathilde,

Thank you so much for confirming my deduction (and that of some
others) that this inscription is Ladino, and also my guess that the
words would turn out to mean (as I put it) "something like My little
chickadee, my sweet little girl ." It seems I hit the spot. Of
course, one Romance language is very like another, so if one knows
even a little Latin or French or Italian or Spanish, it's usually
not hard to guess at the general meaning!

The reason I took the liberty of guessing at all was my suspicion
that there are very few actual Ladino speakers on this list who would
be able to tell us. (And the time it took until we did hear >from
one -- namely Mathilde -- has borne out that suspicion.)

We rarely hear >from any Sephardim on Jewishgen -- and by no means all
Sephardim speak Ladino, which was mainly the language of the Jews of
Thessaloniki (Salonika) , a community more or less wiped out by the
Nazis during the war. Also, most of today's Sephardim come >from
countries that did not actually experience the Holocaust and often
know who their ancestors were quite a long way back (though many of
those countries did kick their Jews out after the establishment of
the State of Israel). Furthermore, the sources most J-genners use
to track down their genealogies have little or no relevance for most

Judith Romney Wegner

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