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Stroum Center’s Devin Naar and doctoral candidate preserve Ladino, a dying language | NBC News

March 1, 2019

Professor Devin Naar
Prof. Devin Naar presenting his latest book on Jewish Salonica. Photo Credit: Canan Bolel

In “Do you speak Ladino? Meet the folks trying to save a dying language,” Sephardic Studies Program Chair Devin Naar and doctoral candidate Molly FitzMorris were recently featured in the article. Naar along with a team at the University of Washington are working to preserve the cultural history of Ladino, an ancient Judeo-Spanish language spoken by approximately 130,000 people worldwide, according to Ethnologue, a world language database.

According to the article, Naar launched a call for people to bring him Ladino texts and it has been successful. The UW now houses one of the largest Ladino libraries in the world with 150,000 pages of digitized text.

“A lot of families had held onto their cultural family heirlooms even though most couldn’t read or understand the language,” Naar said.

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