This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

There are some funny little language differences here in Croatia. Differences between the English and Croatian languages.

One that popped up last year for me was "džuboks". My friends here thought that that was how you pronounced it in English too. But, the funny part is, that is pronounced like "Jew Box". For my Croatian pals, in English, it's "jukebox". It has nothing to do with Jews. Well, if it was playing Klezmer music, I guess it could. But it's not a Jew Box.

Another one that is really strange to me is when Croats pronounce a V like a W. This makes absolutely no sense to me. They don't even have a W in their alphabet. They also pronounce a W like V, which to me makes total sense. Seeing as how they don't have a W, change it to a V. Makes sense. But to pronounce a V, which IS in their alphabet, like a W, which is NOT, makes no sense to me. My friend Esad says womit instead of vomit, for instance. Always reminds me of Chekhov in Star Trek 4 saying "nuclear wessels". Esad also says "awailable".

I've asked him and others about this a lot and have never gotten a good answer. They say basically that they see no difference between those letters. But that still doesn't make sense to me.

Inspired by the blog here:

http://rosemarybaileybrown.blogspot.com/

9 comments:

coni said...

the 'w' is the influence of German language

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Sorry, but that makes no sense either. Sure, pronouncing the W like a V, yeah, that makes sense. But Germans don't pronounce a V like a W.

tonci said...

how about younger people? i think people like esad mostly picked up english on their own, which might account for some of these things... at least the w/v thing.

also, i think most people here are shy about speaking english (even if they won't admit it), especially if there's a bunch of people around. so they'd rather speak in a silly broken english than have other croats think "this guy's full of shit, what's he doing with a british accent" etc.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Well, I don't hear everybody doing it, so there's that. It's just very peculiar to me. It doesn't make sense at all. I'm pretty sure Esad learned English in school though. They started teaching English in schools here in the 70s from what I recall.

I've found that the people who supposedly don't speak English DO speak English once you get them drunk. They're too worried about making mistakes when sober, then they relax when they're drunk and suddenly you find out that they speak much more English than you had thought.

Jennifer Juniper said...

haha Watching the extras on the new Star Trek DVD, the new Chekov said he hated having to do the "w" thing b/c Russians don't actually do that (they also have a "v" but no "w") but he had to b/c it's so attached to the character.

I think that's so cute about people speaking more English when they're drunk! ;-)

And now I'm going to be listening for the v/w next time I see Esad...

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Just ask him to say vomit next time you see him!

Daniel Nikolić said...

Oh, it's easy to explain.

When your language has no difference and other language has one, then you tend to mix up things.

Actually, Croatian Standard v is pronounced somewhere between English v and w,

We just remember that English has "2 v's" but cannot remember which one is where.

Ask e.g. your wife how she mixes up Č and Ć.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Actually, she doesn't mix up Č and Ć though lots of other people do! Me included.

I don't really buy this explanation either. It's not that the Croatian language has no difference between those two letters, it's that it doesn't even have one of those letters, the W.

The one that *is* in the Croatian alphabet, the V, is pronounced the same. There you go. A Croat wouldn't see "vuk" and say "wuk". Sure, it's obvious there's some confusion going on but I still don't get it. Croats don't have a W, so that's the one that is pronounced different. There is a V in the Croatian alphabet, so just pronounce that the same.

Toni said...

Matt,
I find this very (or wery) funny as my husband is from Croatia and he mixes up his W and V all the time (even after 24 years of speaking English!) I tease him about his white amins all the time!