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a people belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance group. They live in the eastern part of Switzerland and in the Italian Tirol. They number about 40,000 (1967, estimate). They speak the Rhaeto-Romance languages; the Ladins also use German and, in Italy, Italian and German. Among the religious believers are both Protestants and Catholics. By origin the Ladins are descendants of the ancient Rhaetians, who were Romanized in the first centuries A.D. They engage in livestock raising and farming.