Sunday, September 28, 2014

Every time we say good-bye

It's not too hard to find a movie I've never heard of, but last night I watched "Every time we say good-bye" with a very young Tom Hanks (1986). It was the time in his career as he was shifting from comedy to drama. It's a WWII romance that takes place in Israel and reviewers say it is predictable, but since I don't see many movies, I didn't think so. What makes this film somewhat more unusual is that about half is in Ladino with sub-titles, a Spanish based language spoken by Jews all over Spain, Eastern Europe and the middle east at one time. So I did have some fun researching that--I'd never heard of it.

“Ladino, otherwise known as Judeo-Spanish, is the spoken and written Hispanic language of Jews of Spanish origin. Ladino did not become a specifically Jewish language until after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 - it was merely the language of their province. It is also known as Judezmo, Dzhudezmo, or Spaniolit.

When the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal they were cut off from the further development of the language, but they continued to speak it in the communities and countries to which they emigrated. Ladino therefore reflects the grammar and vocabulary of 14th and 15th century Spanish. The further away from Spain the emigrants went, the more cut off they were from developments in the language, and the more Ladino began to diverge from mainstream Castilian Spanish. “

“Since the Expulsion [1492], Ladino has been spoken in North Africa, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Israel, the United States and Latin America. At one time, an estimated 80 percent of Diaspora Jews were Ladino-speaking. However, the Holocaust wiped out about 90 percent of all the world's Ladino-speakers.”

“David: What language was that you were speaking?
Sarah: Spanish.
David: How did you and Victoria come to speak Spanish?
Sarah: It is what we speak at home.
David: Oh, your family came from Spain?
Sarah: Yes.
David: Recently?
Sarah: About 400 years.
David: They must have some good memories.” Quote from the movie of Sarah explaining her language to David.

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