"Ladino" is a term that was applied to the Old Castilian or Romance language to differentiate it from Latin, from which it was derived and of which it was considered to be a degenerate form. During the time that Muslims were in Spain, the term was applied to Muslims who spoke Castilian. In Mexico during the sixteenth century, Indians who had been educated by the friars and who knew the necessary Latin for the Catholic liturgy were sometimes called "Latinos" and, more generally, "Ladinos" or "Ladinizados." Later the term began to be applied to those Indians who learned Spanish. In a distorted sense, because of the cultural values attributed to the term "Ladino," the word came to be used to describe someone who was deceptive or malicious.
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MARÍA DE LA PALOMA ESCALANTE GONZALBO (Translated by Ruth Gubler)