Spain sets up Ladino cen­tre

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY NATHAN JEFFAY

MADRID’S OF­FI­CIAL body for safe­guard­ing the Span­ish lan­guage is to broaden its ef­forts and start con­serv­ing the Jewish lan­guage Ladino.

The Span­ish Royal Academy (RAE) has an­nounced that it will set up a Ju­daeoS­pan­ish — or Ladino — branch in Is­rael. It al­ready has 23 branches world­wide ded­i­cated to Span­ish lan­guages.

One of Is­rael’s lead­ing Ladino schol­ars, Pro­fes­sor Sh­muel Re­fael of Bar Ilan Uni­ver­sity, said: “We have started the very first steps to es­tab­lish an academy in Is­rael that will be as­so­ci­ated with the academy in Madrid.” He added the news comes amid some­thing of a Ladino resur­gence.

The di­rec­tor of the RAE, Darío Vil­lanueva, told the Guardian that the “idea isn’t to ab­sorb Ladino into mod­ern Span­ish, it’s the op­po­site: to pre­serve it.” He added that Ladino was spo­ken by Span­ish Jews when they were ex­pelled from Spain in the 15th cen­tury, and said it had been “mirac­u­lously pre­served”.

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