Archive for the ‘Ladino (lad)’ Category

A Revival of Ladino

4 March 2011

During the Diaspora, one of the places Jews settled in was Spain. Mixing their Hebrew tradition with Spanish, the Sephardi (Spanish) Jews developed the Ladino (lad) language or Judaeo-Spanish. When they were exiled from Spain in 1492, they spread out again, and Ladino incorporated elements of Turkish, Greek and other languages.

According to the Ethnologue, there are some 110,000 speakers, about 90 percent of which live in Israel, most of the rest residing in Turkey. Wikipedia notes that the language is endangered as many Jews who moved to Israel did not pass the language along.

Aviya Kushner gives a nice overview of Ladino in her article “Is the language of Sephardic Jews, undergoing a revival?” on the site My Jewish Learning. Among the many things she discusses is the production of plays in Ladino and class offerings in New York and elsewhere.

For music, check out Yasmin Levy. Daughter to the head of the Ladino department at Israel’s national radio station, she is well recognized for her talents and efforts in maintaining the rich Ladino culture.

This post was inspired by “Yasmin Levy: Keeping An Ancient Language Alive Through Song,” a post on the Radio Boston website.

Ladino in Spain

17 May 2007

A descendant of medieval Spanish, the endangered language Ladino (lad) is once again of interest in Spain.

A language spoken by the Jews in the Iberian Peninsula (the Sephardic Jews), Ladino followed them when they were exiled in Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 and in Portugal by King Manuel five years later. Although most speakers of Ladino are now in Israel, the Sephardic Diaspora spread in Europe, north Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.

Today, the Cervantes Institute is set to open a Ladino Department including an archive of materials, as outlined in “Language institute helping Ladino revival“. Although a dictionary of Ladino and English is available, according to a review by Bortnick, spellings are not uniform, making it difficult to use.

Wikipedia has an interesting article on Separdic culture and on the Ladino language.