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Native to Portugal, Netherlands, Germany (Hamburg), England, North America, Brazil
Extinct estimated early 19th century
fewer than 2,000 users in a limited liturgical context
Latin (Portuguese alphabet), Hebrew alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Judaeo-Portuguese, or Lusitanic, is the extinct Jewish language that was used by the Jews of Portugal.


It was the vernacular of Sephardi Jews in Portugal before the 16th century and also in many places of the Portuguese Jewish diaspora. Its texts were written in the Hebrew script (aljamiado português) or the Roman alphabet.

As Portuguese Jews intermarried with other expelled Sephards, the language influenced the nearby Judeo-Spanish. Close similarity to Standard Portuguese made Judeo-Portuguese go extinct in Portugal, having survived in everyday usage in the diaspora until the late 18th/early 19th century. Judeo-Portuguese influenced the Papiamento and Saramaccan languages.


Influences from Judaeo-Spanish[edit]

Judaeo-Portuguese Portuguese Judaeo-Spanish English meaning
ay ay there is
Dio Deus (arch. Deo) Dio God
manim mãos manos hands

Portuguese archaisms[edit]

Judaeo-Portuguese Modern Portuguese English meaning
algũa alguma any
angora agora now
aynda ainda yet
dous dois two
he é is
hũa uma a, an, one

Influences from Hebrew[edit]

Judeo-Portuguese Hebrew English meaning
cados kadosh holy
jessiba yeshiva Religious School
massó matzah, matzot ritual bread
misvá mitzvah commandments
ros rosh head
rassim rashim heads
rossaná rosh hashanah Jewish New Year
sabá Shabbat Saturday
sedacá tzedakah charity
queilá qehila congregation
quidus kiddush blessing over the wine
tebá tevah central platform in the synagogue

Influences from Greek[edit]

Judeo-Portuguese Greek English meaning
esnoga synagogē synagogue

See also[edit]