The Spanish Jews who fled Spain in 1492 after the Edict of Expulsion took with them a rich cultural heritage including the Spanish Language. For nearly five centuries Sephardic Jews kept the language of those Spanish exiles alive. Ladino, as it is popularly known, is an archaic form of Spanish with structures and vocabulary that can be traced back to the Fifteenth century.
Over the centuries it has absorbed expressions from the languages of the countries in which the Iberian Jews settled (notably Turkey). its Hebrew content is limited to religious terms such as haham, a rabbi. Whilst very few native Ladino speakers remain today, there has been a recent worldwide revival of interest in this "dying "language.
Ladino songs enjoy a current renewed interest as well. These songs can be divided into
Romansas, ballads (dramatic narrative poems) and Kantigas (lyric songs), the most popular of which are love songs.
Text by: Hilary Poeroy