Ivo Skoric on Fri, 30 Apr 1999 11:46:52 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> On language

In this unlikely moment of worldwide scorn for the Serbs, Croatian 
cinematography has decided to show the first "made in Serbia" movie 
in its theaters since the Croatia's independence. However, the move, 
that in eyes of many bureaucrats was close to high treason, was 
mellowed down by confirming the HDZ's favorite assertion of cultural 
separation from the Serbs through having the film TRANSLATED in 
Croatian. So, this was not only the first Serbian film in Croatia 
since the collapse of SFRY, but it was also the first Serbian film 
with Croatian subtitles ever. The translation was however 
inconsistent (the female genitalia were sometimes "translated", 
sometimes not, but both words are in use both by Croats and Serbs 
anyway), and to the end done without much enthusiasm. Of course, the 
main problem was that the film ("Rana" (Wound) by Srdjan Dragojevic) 
was mostly spoken in Belgrade slang, which does not exactly exist in 
Serbian dictionary, and there are no words that correspond to that in 
Croatian dictionary, either. So, the translator sometimes picked up 
Zagreb slang expressions as translations for their Belgrade 
counterparts (bambusati=svajsati). The odd thing is that Belgrade 
slang is sometimes closer to people in Eastern Slavonia or Dalmatia 
than Zagreb slang, so the translation did not really help there. 
Arguably, however, the language spoken in Belgrade (Serbian) doesn't 
seem any further from the language spoken in Zagreb (Croatian) than 
the language spoken in let's say Split (Croatian), stressing that the 
differences inside the Croatian-Bosnian-Serbian language area are 
generally regional and not national.


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