About LadinoType™

LadinoType™ was created by me, Brian Berman (see About The Author), as a tool for the use and preservation of the Ladino language, and specifically its writing form known as Solitreo. It has taken countless hours over almost two years to create, and runs on a very complex system built using XHTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP5, MySQL, XML, and PERL. The system is centered on my proprietary LadinoType Engine™ that converts Romanized Ladino text into various Hebrew alphabets according to Ladino orthography. Users of LadinoType™ can use the intuitive and logical keyboard map that I created (see Keyboard Layout) to naturally input Romanized Ladino. It then uses over 250 technical parameters to convert the text into an intermediate code language that is then used to output the text in Hebrew characters according to the "standard" orthography rules of Ladino. Currently, the text can be outputted in Meruba Hebrew (block Hebrew), Rashi Print, and the handwritten cursive script known as Solitreo. The Solitreo script used is the actual handwriting of a Salonikan man named I. Nefussy. The system is quite accurate, as extensive testing has shown that almost all words written in Roman letters are rendered just as they should be in the Hebrew scripts. However, the system is not perfect and I am constantly trying to improve it. If you use the system and find that a word is being rendered improperly, I encourage you to submit Feedback, or email me at brian@solitreo.com so that I can correct the problem.

I have several goals for this project on which I have worked so hard. First, I want LadinoType™ to be a tool for communication. I hope that the few Ladino speakers that can read and write it in Hebrew characters will use the system to write to each other (a messaging system will soon be built in), as well as write journals, memoirs, etc. just for the sake of preserving this precious art. Second, I want LadinoType™ to be a tool for education. I want those that can speak Ladino, but not read and write it in Hebrew characters, to use the system to learn to do so, as they can write Ladino in Roman letters and look to see how it should look in Solitreo, Rashi, and Meruba. Finally, I want LadinoType™ to be a tool for preservation of the language. Every document written using the system is automatically entered into a database. By naturally using the system for all other purposes, users are helping to create a lexicon of the Ladino language and its usage. Beyond communication, education, and preservation, there are many other purposes which LadinoType™ can serve.

This is the first time that writting in the ancient script of Solitreo has come to the computer, and no other tool exists that allows the transliteration of Ladino. This is just the beginning. In the near future LadinoType™ will be capable of sending messages between users, allowing for instant communication in this beautiful language. Also, I'm currently working on finalizing a Solitreo computer font that will allow users to type in the old handwriting using programs such as Microsoft Word, and email in Solitreo with programs such as Microsoft Outlook. Soon you may even be reading this website in Solitreo!!! Developing this site has been quite costly (especially for a student), so if you would like to support my efforts please consider making a donation by clicking on the donation button on the right menu (Your support is greatly appreciated!).

The possibilities are endless, but this progress can only be achieved if YOU, the users (and specifically the Ladino-speaking community), use the website! I encourage you to look around and try it out. Also, PLEASE pass word of the site along to everyone you know!

Thank you,

Brian Berman