Issue #605 - 2023-02-27 - Trying to save a disappearing language

latest | archive | edited by Gabor Szabo
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Hi there!

In 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain and 4 years later also from Portugal. Many of those Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire and kept talking and changing their language. This is what created the language we call 'Judeo-Espanyol' or in its modern name 'Ladino'. For 500 years these people kept speaking and improving their language which is now a mix of medieval Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, and probably a few other languages. These Jews are usually referred to as the 'Sephardic' Jews because 'Sepharad' means Spain in Hebrew. It was originally written using old Hebrew letters called Rashi and Solitreo, but in the last 100 years or so it was switched to Latin letters.

Unfortunately due to various reasons (The modernization of Turkey by Atatürk, the Holocaust, emigration to USA, Israel and elsewhere) the majority of remaining Ladino speakers switched to the local language and today there are only a few ten thousands of native Ladino speakers, most of them above 60.

There are various grass-root projects to revitalize the language. One of them is called Kantoniko. It is a multi-lingual dictionary with sample sentences, audio, poster etc. There are also experiments to use the material for educational purposes for people who would like to learn Ladino. The project has some Open Source code written in Python and JavaScript. There is also a lot of data under various Creative-Commons licenses.

I know Python is not your cup of tea, but the whole project might be interesting to some of you and might take a look at it. I recorded a series of videos in English about the site and how to contribute to it.

Enjoy your week!

Gabor Szabo


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The Weekly Challenge

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Straight forward solutions in Perl and Raku is shared week after week without any fuss. Thanks for sharing.

PWC205 - Maximum XOR

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Raku magical power can make any solutions look elegant. Great work, keep it up.

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Perl Weekly Challenge 205

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Knows for this one-liner in Perl. He didn't disappoint us this week too. Well done.

Weekly challenge 205

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Task analysis of both tasks is well drafted, specially the second one. Just loved it. Thanks.

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Simple for-loops is your friend this week. Robbie shared how? Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Third Exclusive

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Roger never misses the opportunity to use the power tool of the language. Well done and keep it up.

Weekly Challenge 205

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Use of CPAN can be handy when it comes to Perl. By the way Python is not far behind either.

Weekly collections

Event reports

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