About LadinoType and Its Creator
LadinoType is a transliteration engine for the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish or Djudezmo) langauge. Using, LadinoType, you can type Ladino text naturally using latin characters following the Ladino orthography standards set forth by Aki Yerushalayim. LadinoType then processes the text using hundreds of algorithms and accurately outputs the text in one of multiple Hebraic scripts, including Solitreo, Rashi and Meruba. The Hebraic scripts used were developed specfically for LadinoType. The Solitreo font, for example, was developed using the actual handwriting of a Salonican sephardic Jewish Holocaust victim named I. Nefussy (Nefussy documents were courtesy of Professor Devin Naar and family).
LadinoType was and remains the only site of its kind. Originally developed and launched in 2006, the original version of LadinoType was built on what was then cutting edge technology. LadinoType instantly become a go-to resource for those learning about and using Solitreo. The site was widely used but went without updates for many years. In 2022, however, LadinoType was rewritten from scratch using the latest technology and relaunched. The new infrastructure allows LadinoType to work faster, more accurately, and provide opportunity for more applications of its technology.
The new version of LadinoType is incredibly advanced compared to its predecessor, with instant conversion and display of text, quick switching of scripts and public share URLs. Even more exciting features are planned for LadinoType, including "wishlist" items such as Hebraic to Latin conversion, public search of specific words, a Solitreo instant messaging system and more.
Over the years, people have used LadinoType for a number of purposes. Some users use it to produce Solitreo and Rashi texts for personal use, some for publication and others for educational use. The hope for LadinoType's future is that it will become even more useful, particularly in the education context and for the preservation of the language. If you have a project or use case you would like to see aided by LadinoType, please reach out to the contact information below.
On the technical font, this new system is built on the "TALL stack," using TailwindCSS, Alpine.js, Laravel and Livewire.
About Brian Berman
Brian Berman is the creator of LadinoType. Originally from Detroit, Brian currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. By day, Brian is an estate planning attorney who focuses on high net worth tax planning. By night (and weekends), Brian is a self-taught full-stack software developer.
After high school in Detroit, Brian attended college at Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree with majors in Political Science and Spanish Language & Literature and minors in Applied Microeconimics and Jewish Studies. During college, Brian studied abroad at Universidad Carlos Tercero in Madrid, Spain.
Brian's college coursework focused on comparative politics, microeconomics and medieval Spanish literature. His study of Spanish literature, the Inquisition, and Hebrew prepared Brian well for taking up the Ladino language and Solitreo writing system while in college. What started as helping his friend and then suitemate Professor Devin Naar with trying to decipher some strange-looking documents belonging to Devin's relatives lead Devin and Brian to teaching themselves to read and write in Solitreo.
After graduating from college, Brian lived for a year in Washington, D.C. while continuing to work for a tech company. During that time, Brian volunteered at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum helping to make sense of a cache of Solitreo and Rashi documents obtained from the Osobyi Archive in Moscow. Brian also had the privilege of assisting Isaac Nehama, a native Ladino speaker and fellow volunteer, with translating the book Monastir Without Jews (Monastir Sin Djudios), by Jamila-Andjela Kolonomos, from its native Ladino text into English.
It was during that time in Washington, D.C. working with the Ladino language that Brian began envionsing ways to use his programming skills to bring the archaic Solitreo writing system to the modern age Internet. After working on the system day and night over the course of a four-month bout of insomnia, LadinoType was born in its original form.
Brian graduated from UCLA School of Law in 2006 and has been working full-time (and then some) as an attorney, which left little time over the years to devote to LadinoType and its many users. However, Brian renewed his efforts and attention on LadinoType at the end of 2021 and is excited to take LadinoType to the next level. If you have ideas for LadinoType or need help, contact Brian.