Spain sets up Ladino centre
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”.