Language shift and attitudes

WHY DON’T WE SPEAK LADINO?

Description: Șeli Natan Gaon discusses why her mother forbade her from speaking Ladino at home. Later on, however, began writing articles in Ladino for the newspaper “El Salom”. Furthermore, she justifies giving Turkish names to her children as she believes – particularly for boys – that this is necessary in order to avoid any future inconvenience in public life, as well as during conscripted military service.

Cite as: Porké no se avla el Ladíno? – Why don’t we speak Ladino?; Șeli Natan Gaon, camera/ interview: Ioana Nechiti, transcription/ translation: Ioana Nechiti, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0005a.

TRANSCRIPTION


HOW DID THE LANGUAGE OF THE JEWS CHANGE?

Description: Jojo Eskenazi recounts the changes that affected the language of the Turkish Jews, giving examples from his own experience in daily life and with family. He explains in detail the trajectory of his language biography and background. Jojo continues with comments on language mixing and ends his narrative with a humorous anecdote.

Cite as: Kómo se trokó la língwa de los ǧudíos – How did the language of the Jews change?;performer: Jojo Eskenazi, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0013a.

TRANSCRIPTION


WHICH ONE IS OUR LANGUAGE?

Description: In this interview, Jojo Eskenazi expresses his opinion on Judeo-Spanish and its relation to Jewish identity. To illustrate his ideas, he gives examples from other minorities situated in Turkey, such as the Greeks and Kurds, and refers to their language politics. Furthermore, he talks about his own experiences with the languages he speaks, giving more examples from his family, emphasizing especially the difference between his parents’ generation and the new one. Following this, he elaborates on the process of language shift in his theatre work. Finally, he gives his opinion on Spanish citizenship and concludes the interview with his thoughts on his personal choice of languages that he would like to preserve and master.

Cite as: Kwála es la língwa mwéstra? – Which one is our language?; performer: Jojo Eskenazi, camera: Deyvi Papo; interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0015a.

TRANSCRIPTION


YOU CANNOT MISS WHAT YOU HAVEN’T KISSED

Description: Yusuf Altıntaş, although fluent in Judeo-Spanish, did not learn the language at home. He aquired it gradually throughout his life. In this video clip, he explains to us what the Sephardic culture and Judeo-Spanish mean for him as an individual and as well as for the Sephardim community in Turkey as a whole. He discusses in detail the reasons why Judeo-Spanish has fallen in "the abyss of oblivion"; he attributes this process to the interruption in the chain of transmission, but also to the social and societal changes that the Sephardic minority in Istanbul has had to endure. His observations are based on allegories and on examples that trigger further reflection.

Cite as: Si no konóses no te eskaríñas You cannot miss what you haven’t kissed; performer: Yusuf Altıntaş, camera: Deyvi Papo, interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0032a.

TRANSCRIPTION


A WOUND IN MY HEART

Description: In this second fragment of his interview, Isak Haleva explains what his language preferences are and discusses his use of language, particularly among his friends. Furthermore, he tells us an anecdote about how the Spanish prime minister reacted when he spoke Judeo-Spanish at an official dinner, elaborating on why this diplomatic experience was so peculiar for him. As he continues, he explains how the Jewish community "voluntarily" abandoned Judeo-Spanish as a language used in Synagogues over the course of just a few decades, explaining how both the governmental measures and the community itself has brought into being this fundamental shift in language use.

Cite as: Una yáɣa en mi korasón – A wound in my heart; performer: Isak Haleva, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0033a.

TRANSCRIPTION 


WE HAVE IT IN OURSELVES

Description: Lizet Papo is a semi-speaker of Judeo-Spanish of the second generation. In this video, she discloses to us with the utmost directness, honesty and humour how her attitudes towards Judeo-Spanish have changed over the years. She observes that people are more aware of the language loss today than in her youth and stresses out that it was her children who raised her awareness of the issue. This has acted as a motivation for her to use the language whenever the opportunity presents itself. Throughout the interview, she also tries to understand how she learned to speak Judeo-Spanish as she was growing up and points out that she uses it more today than she did in the past. At the end of the interview, she tells us an anecdote about other people's reactions to her speaking Judeo-Spanish.

Cite as: Lo tyenémos aryénto – We have it in ourselves; performer: Lizet Papo, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0039a.

TRANSCRIPTION


NOT HALF TURKISH, NOR HALF JUDEO-SPANISH

Description: In this interview fragment, Soli Avigdor talks about the role that French language played in her youth and how Judeo-Spanish was marginalised to such an extent that its domains of use were restricted. She explains in detail how linguistic plurality was being lost increasingly rapidly. In her theatre plays for example, she was compelled to develop strategies of playing in both languages so that younger people would be able to understand their content. Furthermore, taking the example of her own name, she discusses about the practice of preferring Turkish names as opposed to Jewish ones among the Sephardim in Istanbul.  She concludes the interview by relating her reading habits in Judeo-Spanish, her attitudes towards modern Spanish and towards the language characteristics of Judeo-Spanish.

Cite as: Ni médyo túrko ni médyo ǧudéo españóɫ – Not half Turkish, nor half Judeo-Spanish; performer: Soli Avigdor, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0045a.

TRANSCRIPTION


I WOULD CHOOSE LADINO

Description: In this interview fragment, Viki Diler speaks very honestly and candidly about the historical causes that led to a radical change in attitude towards the Judeo-Spanish language. Viki’s family belongs to a dwindling number of resilient families who continued to speak Judeo-Spanish at home despite the fear which sprang from the "Citizen Speak Turkish!" campaign initiated in the 1930s. Additionally, Viki lends us a perspective into the role Judeo-Spanish has played in forming her identity.

Cite as: Yo gwaɾdáva el lađíno – I would choose Ladino; performer: Viki Diler, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0049a.

TRANSCRIPTION