For the young generation of Sephardic Jews in Turkey, their ancestral tongue, Ladino, is just a few words for Grandma's cuisine, a line or two from old songs and some snappy insults.
UNESCO considers Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo, a severely endangered language. In Turkey, it is spoken by only about 10,000 people, mostly around Istanbul and Izmir. Other Ladino-speaking communities in Greece and North Africa have also diminished, according to the Unesco Atlas. Israel has declared Ladino endangered as well, and has established a National Authority for the Ladino language and culture.