Ladino Language News

Good news for the Ladino language!

Daniel Sugarman of the Jewish Chronicle writes that the Royal Spanish Academy has decided to invest in the preservation of Ladino, the language of the Spanish Jews who were expelled during the time of the Inquisition. Sugarman writes that plans include the establishment of a National Ladino Academy in Israel, a development which marks not only a historical step forward but an emotional moment for Sephardic people all over the world.

It is often said that Ladino is the “Yiddish” of the Sephardim, primarily because, like Yiddish, Ladino was written with Hebrew letters. Differences include Ladino’s use of the Rashi script, which historians tell us was actually a Ladino script designed to separate Rashi’s commentary from the Torah.

Today Ladino speakers consider the term “Ladino” to be incorrect and prefer the more accurate term, “Judeo-Spanish.” In recent years Ladino has experienced a revival with colleges like The University of Washington at Seattle, the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA offering courses in Ladino language, music and culture.

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