Education, Preservation, & Community Building
Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo, is the language of Sephardic Jews, or Sepharadim, who originated from the Iberian Peninsula (what is now Spain and Portugal). Following their expulsion from Spain in 1492, Sepharadim sought refuge across the Mediterranean and the Middle East and beyond, primarily in the Ottoman Empire, where they developed the Ladino language. While based in Spanish and other Iberian languages with a strong Hebrew-Aramaic component, Ladino incorporated many elements from the languages of the Mediterranean world including Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, and Arabic. It was a language for all occasions: of the home, the street, the marketplace, and the synagogue; for humor and satire, politics and literature.
Special opportunity for Summer 2020: Remote Ladino Language and Culture with Professor David Bunis! Click here for more info.
Explore videos, podcasts, and essays to get you started on your Ladino language journey.
Watch a complete tutorial on writing soletreo, the alphabet of the endangered Ladino language!
In this podcast, Devin Naar discusses the history of the Ladino language and preservation efforts taking place right here in Seattle.
Since its inception in 2013, International Ladino Day at the University of Washington has become a hallmark of campus programming where more than 300 community members, students, faculty, and scholars come together to discuss the past, present, and future of Ladino.
Past programs have included lectures from national and international scholars of Sephardic studies and the Ladino language; performances by professional musicians and local hazzanim (cantors); film screenings; sharing refranes, or Ladino sayings; and involvement from participants young and old. Learn more about Ladino Day >
Reflections on Ladino
Students and faculty reflect on learning and teaching an endangered Jewish language in the 21st century.
Student Abby Massarano explains why changing her name was an important step in connecting with her Sephardic heritage.
Molly FitzMorris on this year's Sephardic "summer university" in Paris, and why today's Ladino speakers can say "aki estamos" ("we are here").