Overscore's log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
overscore
Orange Belt
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:49 pm
Location: Belgrade
Languages: English (N), French (N), German (??), Japanese (??)
x 145

Re: Overscore's log

Postby overscore » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:32 am

Serbian

Absolutely everything feels like having to eat brussel sprouts right now. I think the negativity of the people here is getting to me or maybe I need to change something. I think I will switch to doing more computer programming and see if the blues passes.
0 x

Daniel N.
Green Belt
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:44 pm
Languages: Croatian (N), English (C1), German (beginner)
x 647
Contact:

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Daniel N. » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:55 pm

overscore wrote:Due to the dysmal situation of serbian dictionaries i've decided to just use the excellent Hrvatski jezični portal, being careful to check if i'm suspecting they are using made up fake words.

What makes you think HJP contains "made up fake words"? All words in HJP are used in Croatia, some less in speech, but can be found in writing. I don't know of a single "fake word" in it. Granted, some words and forms used in Serbia can't be found in HJP. For example, mayo is called majonez in Serbia and Montenegro, but majoneza in Croatia, and HJP contains only majoneza.

nema effect

this is just how i call it, but to give an example.

There's no... is a special construction in Serbian (and Croatian, ofc). It always uses the genitive, the verb is always in the third person, singular (neuter if applies), and different verbs are used in different tenses!

Nema alternative. = present, uses nemati
Nije bilo alternative. = past, uses biti
Neće biti alternative. = future, uses biti

Existential (there is...) can be expressed the same way, but the word is in nominative then:

Ima (jedna) alternativa. = present, uses imati
Bila je (jedna) alternativa. = past, uses biti
....

Use of genitive in certain negative constructions (or most of them) is a common feature in Slavic languages. It's much more prevalent in Russian.

You can also say:

Ne postoji alternativa = An alternative doesn't exist.

edit: spelling
Last edited by Daniel N. on Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
1 x
Check Easy Croatian (very useful for Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian as well)

overscore
Orange Belt
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:49 pm
Location: Belgrade
Languages: English (N), French (N), German (??), Japanese (??)
x 145

Re: Overscore's log

Postby overscore » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:42 am

Daniel N. wrote:
overscore wrote:Due to the dysmal situation of serbian dictionaries i've decided to just use the excellent Hrvatski jezični portal, being careful to check if i'm suspecting they are using made up fake words.

What makes you think HJP contains "made up fake words"? All words in HJP are used in Croatia, some less in speach, but can be found in writing. I don't know of a single "fake word" in it. Granted, some words and forms used in Serbia can't be found in HJP. For example, mayo is called majonez in Serbia and Montenegro, but majoneza in Croatia, and HJP contains only majoneza.

nema effect

this is just how i call it, but to give an example.

There's no... is a special construction in Serbian (and Croatian, ofc). It always uses the genitive, the verb is always in the third person, singular (neuter if applies), and different verbs are used in different tenses!

Nema alternative. = present, uses nemati
Nije bilo alternative. = past, uses biti
Neće biti alternative. = future, uses biti

Existential (there is...) can be expressed the same way, but the word is in nominative then:

Ima (jedna) alternativa. = present, uses imati
Bila je (jedna) alternativa. = past, uses biti
....

Use of genitive in certain negative constructions (or most of them) is a common feature in Slavic languages. It's much more prevalent in Russian.

You can also say:

Ne postoji alternativa = An alternative doesn't exist.


Thank you for this explanation, this is very useful. I'll keep a note to notice the different verbs and the genitive bit when the nema effect comes up.

With regards to Croatian fake words, there was a push to invent words for political reasons, to justify it not being Serbian. It's a very common thing in this region, everyone wants to have his own language. I don't care too much, if it were not for the fact that it's been a problem in my communication – people here really don't understand the newly created Croatian words

to give some examples.
listopad. vlak. samovoz. zrakoplovstvo. zrakomlat
0 x

overscore
Orange Belt
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:49 pm
Location: Belgrade
Languages: English (N), French (N), German (??), Japanese (??)
x 145

Re: Overscore's log

Postby overscore » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:39 pm

Serbian

Going pretty well today.
I picked up the ball again and did some SRS cards. I'm not totally out of the woods yet (they accumulated during the past few days) but getting there. For some reason today everything seems to click with srpski.

A bit about the basics. "svoj" can refer to *my* stuff as well as *yours*.

imam svoje brige — I have my own worries
pazite na svoju d(j)ecu — take care of your children
uzmi svoj sendvič — take your sandwich

my brain has a bit of trouble keeping it separate from "tvog", and these things are still nebulous in fact.
Up to 300 Anki cards now.

Watching an interview of Novak Djokovic and that person is a genius, my new model. Exaggerating a bit, but he makes a great point that you shouldn't ignore bad moments, but not get trapped in them, lest shall you lose the match.

It's a good watch regardless of your target language so here's the link. Comes with English subs
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utBDhw3Z6Hk[/youtube]

German

For fun I was listening to some Schlagers (btw do people say Schlägers or Schlagers???). My comprehension is clearly pretty high since I understood all of them near 100%. A word "Blinder" came up but I imagine that means "a blind person". Now granted these are some simple lyrics but anyway. Fun :D

Quebec French

My native tongue, but I really suck at it. It has rusted a lot throughout the years. I have to go back home for a bit soon, and I don't have a definite plan right this minute, but I think I wanna do some listening practice before that.
My main issue is that I don't have a clear understanding of what is Proper French and what is Dialect and what's socially acceptable, anymore... it's just very rusty overall.
1 x

Daniel N.
Green Belt
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:44 pm
Languages: Croatian (N), English (C1), German (beginner)
x 647
Contact:

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Daniel N. » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:02 pm

overscore wrote:With regards to Croatian fake words, there was a push to invent words for political reasons, to justify it not being Serbian. It's a very common thing in this region, everyone wants to have his own language. I don't care too much, if it were not for the fact that it's been a problem in my communication – people here really don't understand the newly created Croatian words

to give some examples.
listopad. vlak. samovoz. zrakoplovstvo. zrakomlat

Yes. But that push started 150 years ago with replacement of foreign words with Slavic words. Words like vlak are not "fake" in Croatia (the same word is used in Slovenia) -- it's simply a translation of German Zug, and has been really used in daily life for more than 130 years so far.

Zrakoplovstvo is an official term, corresponding to Serbian vazduhoplovstvo. Both are not really used in daily conversation, but the word zrak "air" has been a normal word in Croatia for a very long time, while vazduh is a normal word in Serbia for the same thing.

Samovoz and zrakomlat are words that were invented, but they never stuck. If you look up zrakomlat in HJP, you'll see it's clearly marked as a "neologism which is not used". The word was basically a joke. Another attempt was vrtolet, after the Russian word for helicopter. It never stuck. Most people in Croatia wouldn't know what samovoz was supposed to mean at all (the word is marked in HJP as "ideologically motivated neologism from 1941 which is not used").

Listopad was not invented (the same word is used in some other Slavic countries, it's inherited) but it's true it's rather formal, and most people in Croatia talk about months with numbers (e.g. "deseti mjesec" is way more common than "listopad")

Idea that words were invented or promoted to make difference with Serbian is a great oversimplification. Actually, if you look what Croatian prescriptive manuals say (books telling you how you should speak and write), and then what Serbian prescriptivists say, there's a very big overlap. Croatian nationalist linguists and purists have been pursuing language engineering for over a century, only partially corresponding to daily politics...

Regarding the there's no... construction, the following chapters in Easy Croatian might be of your interest:

22 Here I Am: More Pronouns (introducing "negative existential" nema + G)
24 Past Tense ("negative existential" in the past tense)
40 Future Tense (includes "negative existential" in the future)
45 Quantities and Existence (final details, expressing existence, counted vs uncounted)

I have to admit that details are very subtle (it's explained on the webpage for the chapter #45).

I suggest you read these chapters, and you can also comment on each chapter and ask me if something is not clear.

overscore wrote:A bit about the basics. "svoj" can refer to *my* stuff as well as *yours*.

imam svoje brige — I have my own worries
pazite na svoju d(j)ecu — take care of your children
uzmi svoj sendvič — take your sandwich

The possessive adjective svoj is introduced here: 19 Your, Ana’s: Possessives. There's nothing similar in English.

Also, its use is somewhat controversial, as you'll hear (and read) in real life also "imam moje brige" and "pazite na vašu d(j)ecu". Use of moj where svoj "should" be used is especially common with family members.

For a very brief overview of Croatian vs Serbian differences, I wrote this.
5 x
Check Easy Croatian (very useful for Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian as well)

overscore
Orange Belt
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:49 pm
Location: Belgrade
Languages: English (N), French (N), German (??), Japanese (??)
x 145

Re: Overscore's log

Postby overscore » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:03 pm

Daniel N. wrote:
overscore wrote:With regards to Croatian fake words, there was a push to invent words for political reasons, to justify it not being Serbian. It's a very common thing in this region, everyone wants to have his own language. I don't care too much, if it were not for the fact that it's been a problem in my communication – people here really don't understand the newly created Croatian words

to give some examples.
listopad. vlak. samovoz. zrakoplovstvo. zrakomlat

Yes. But that push started 150 years ago with replacement of foreign words with Slavic words. Words like vlak are not "fake" in Croatia (the same word is used in Slovenia) -- it's simply a translation of German Zug, and has been really used in daily life for more than 130 years so far.

Zrakoplovstvo is an official term, corresponding to Serbian vazduhoplovstvo. Both are not really used in daily conversation, but the word zrak "air" has been a normal word in Croatia for a very long time, while vazduh is a normal word in Serbia for the same thing.

Samovoz and zrakomlat are words that were invented, but they never stuck. If you look up zrakomlat in HJP, you'll see it's clearly marked as a "neologism which is not used". The word was basically a joke. Another attempt was vrtolet, after the Russian word for helicopter. It never stuck. Most people in Croatia wouldn't know what samovoz was supposed to mean at all (the word is marked in HJP as "ideologically motivated neologism from 1941 which is not used").

Listopad was not invented (the same word is used in some other Slavic countries, it's inherited) but it's true it's rather formal, and most people in Croatia talk about months with numbers (e.g. "deseti mjesec" is way more common than "listopad")

Idea that words were invented or promoted to make difference with Serbian is a great oversimplification. Actually, if you look what Croatian prescriptive manuals say (books telling you how you should speak and write), and then what Serbian prescriptivists say, there's a very big overlap. Croatian nationalist linguists and purists have been pursuing language engineering for over a century, only partially corresponding to daily politics...

Regarding the there's no... construction, the following chapters in Easy Croatian might be of your interest:

22 Here I Am: More Pronouns (introducing "negative existential" nema + G)
24 Past Tense ("negative existential" in the past tense)
40 Future Tense (includes "negative existential" in the future)
45 Quantities and Existence (final details, expressing existence, counted vs uncounted)

I have to admit that details are very subtle (it's explained on the webpage for the chapter #45).

I suggest you read these chapters, and you can also comment on each chapter and ask me if something is not clear.

overscore wrote:A bit about the basics. "svoj" can refer to *my* stuff as well as *yours*.

imam svoje brige — I have my own worries
pazite na svoju d(j)ecu — take care of your children
uzmi svoj sendvič — take your sandwich

The possessive adjective svoj is introduced here: 19 Your, Ana’s: Possessives. There's nothing similar in English.

Also, its use is somewhat controversial, as you'll hear (and read) in real life also "imam moje brige" and "pazite na vašu d(j)ecu". Use of moj where svoj "should" be used is especially common with family members.

For a very brief overview of Croatian vs Serbian differences, I wrote this.


Okay I'll keep this in mind. I don't know anything about Croatia and never been there so of course I might show serb bias in my analysis.

Anyway, reading your article on the differences between the two languages. I think you underestimate the actual usage of Cyrillic. It is used a lot in Serbia, to the point where not knowing it will be a problem to daily life here.
Actually I was very surprised to learn that the Croats oftentimes don't know it at all. Like, don't they read anything from Serbia?
I suppose all the serbian books get transliterated over there? Most books here are in cyrillic and also newspapers, but there's also some in latin, and it's not a big deal. The two scripts actually have equal recognition here. afaik the only language in Europe with a dual-script system.

serb wikipedia also defaults to cyrillic, but you can switch it to latin too.

the ijekavian differences don't really bother me too much anymore. if i see 'vrijeme' or 'vjera' I understand that just fine, and just mentally convert it.

Serbian

There's a sign in Skadarlija that is like this.
Đura_Jakšić_u_Skadarliji.JPG
Đura_Jakšić_u_Skadarliji.JPG (164.79 KiB) Viewed 181 times

Learning the words.
Last edited by overscore on Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2 x

User avatar
Kat
Orange Belt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: German (N), English (advanced), Dutch (intermediate)
x 297

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Kat » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:17 pm

overscore wrote:For fun I was listening to some Schlagers (btw do people say Schlägers or Schlagers???)

It's even easier, plural and singular are the same in this case:

der Schlager (singular)
die Schlager (plural)

By the way, the grammar section in the Duden is a good reference to check things like that.

Schläger (der Schläger/die Schläger), on the other hand, refers to a bully who beats people up. ;)
Or to a racket (Tennisschläger) or a bat (Baseballschläger).

overscore wrote:A word "Blinder" came up but I imagine that means "a blind person".

Yes, exactly.

der Blinde (blind man or blind person in general)
die Blinde (blind woman)
die Blinden (blind people, plural)
3 x
Transcription challenge: 1. episode of De Ijzeren Eeuw (The Iron Century)
Minutes: 6 / 43

Daniel N.
Green Belt
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:44 pm
Languages: Croatian (N), English (C1), German (beginner)
x 647
Contact:

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Daniel N. » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:50 pm

overscore wrote:It is used a lot in Serbia, to the point where not knowing it will be a problem to daily life here.
Actually I was very surprised to learn that the Croats oftentimes don't know it at all. Like, don't they read anything from Serbia?
I suppose all the serbian books get transliterated over there? Most books here are in cyrillic and also newspapers, but there's also some in latin, and it's not a big deal.

All tabloid newspapers in Serbia (Alo, Kurir, Informer) are published in Latin. Majority of books in Serbia have been published in Latin for at least 4 decades, precisely to catch Croatian and Slovene markets, statistics are well known. Textbooks are one exception, but textbooks from Serbia were never used in Croatia, school systems were always different.

However, it's true that Croatians mostly don't read books from Serbia. There are not that many original works, and all foreign translations are always done independently in each country (there's sometimes one translation for both Croatia and Bosnia).

All other imported stuff (like, food) has special packaging for each market. Likewise, Croatian exports to Serbia have packaging for the Serbian market.

Of course, all people in Croatia who have some interest in Serbia can read Cyrillic as well.
3 x
Check Easy Croatian (very useful for Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian as well)

User avatar
Radioclare
Brown Belt
Posts: 1084
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:59 pm
Location: England
Languages: Speaks: English (N), Esperanto, German, Croatian
Learns: Russian
x 3127
Contact:

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Radioclare » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:39 pm

Daniel N. wrote:
overscore wrote:It is used a lot in Serbia, to the point where not knowing it will be a problem to daily life here.
Actually I was very surprised to learn that the Croats oftentimes don't know it at all. Like, don't they read anything from Serbia?
I suppose all the serbian books get transliterated over there? Most books here are in cyrillic and also newspapers, but there's also some in latin, and it's not a big deal.

All tabloid newspapers in Serbia (Alo, Kurir, Informer) are published in Latin. Majority of books in Serbia have been published in Latin for at least 4 decades, precisely to catch Croatian and Slovene markets, statistics are well known. Textbooks are one exception, but textbooks from Serbia were never used in Croatia, school systems were always different.

However, it's true that Croatians mostly don't read books from Serbia. There are not that many original works, and all foreign translations are always done independently in each country (there's sometimes one translation for both Croatia and Bosnia).


I've only been to Serbia once (in 2014) but I really struggled to find books to buy in Cyrillic. I looked in a couple of bookshops in Niš and in Belgrade and my impression was that upwards of 75% of books being sold were in the Latin alphabet. I couldn't find any books to buy in Cyrillic at all in Niš. I found some in Belgrade, but I had a choice between a couple of shelves of children's books or one shelf of what looked like literary fiction. Literary fiction in Cyrillic was way above my level at the time so I bought some children's books :lol: I was disappointed though, because I'd wanted to buy some easy adult fiction to practise my Cyrillic reading skills and absolutely all the mass-market paperback fiction was in Latin. In Niš I bought a pile of Ken Follett books, for example, which were definitely Serbian translations rather than Croatian, but in Latin.

Obviously that's a few years ago and I only visited a very small sample of bookshops. But overscore, if you have recommendations of bookshops in Belgrade where all the books are in Cyrillic then I'd love to know about them for next time I go to Serbia :)

Overall I had the impression that use of Cyrillic was declining in Serbia. I'm sure I've read some articles suggesting that the growth of the internet was making use of Latin more prevalent and that the government was trying to introduce laws to encourage people to keep using Cyrillic... but I can't remember where I read them, so I may be wrong :lol:
2 x

Daniel N.
Green Belt
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:44 pm
Languages: Croatian (N), English (C1), German (beginner)
x 647
Contact:

Re: Overscore's log

Postby Daniel N. » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:47 pm

There's one more thing, I basically grew up reading Politikin zabavnik and other kids' magazines from Serbia. Back then, almost all such things were published in Serbia. But they were all either published only in Latin, or, like Politikin zabavnik, had 2 versions, one in Cyrillic to be sold in Serbia (and presumably Macedonia) and the other in Latin for other markets, despite being published in Belgrade. They still used Serbian vocabulary and Ekavian forms (there was no translation for Croatia) but were printed using Latin characters. I also have a lot of popular books translated in Serbia on my shelf (I'm taking about 1980's) -- and they are all in Latin. So an average person in Croatia had really no need for Cyrillic in everyday life, even in the days of Yugoslavia. Today, of course, there's some translation (left - the Croatian version, right - Serbian one):

Švicarska.jpg
Švicarska.jpg (114.92 KiB) Viewed 109 times

I was in Novi Sad a month ago, for a week, and very, very few stores or restaurants have names in Cyrillic. Their main shopping center is called "BIG Shopping Center" and there's not a single store in it with its name in Cyrillic. There were some public signs in Cyrillic, of course, but even in street names, Latin was as at least present as Cyrillic. Most graffiti were in Latin. Almost all improvised notes (apartment for sale, I'll be back in 10 minutes, closed for holidays, lock the front door...) were in Latin. Of course, it's probably a bit different further south.
1 x
Check Easy Croatian (very useful for Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian as well)


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests