View Full Version : Croatian this time...

08-12-2009, 07:09 PM
Okay, two short phrases:

"Take care, child," being said by an older man to a younger woman.
"You, too" is her reply.

The Croatian counterpart that I've found is:

"Cuvajse, dijete"
"Ti takodje."

What I'm checking for is proper tense and gender.

Can I use this or have I blown it?

Thanks to anyone who might help.

08-13-2009, 12:13 PM
Not a Croatian speaker, unfortunately. I just have some ideas since no one's responded yet. First, you might want to check the use of "ti," which I'm presuming is the informal "you." Is her relationship with the older man close/informal or more like distant acquaintance/formal?

To get a proper answer, though, you could ask at Yahoo! Answers. Sometimes you get lucky and a native speaker finds your question. I've tried it before.

Otherwise, try www.forum.hr. You have to register up there where it says "registrirati." Then you might post in the "Književnost" section (for books) or anywhere really. There are tons of people at this forum, so I'm sure you'll get an answer.

08-13-2009, 09:29 PM
Hi Aqualegia!

Thanks for the response! I have no idea if "ti" is an informal "you", or even if Croatian has formal/informal "you".

Thanks for the suggestions and links-- I'll check them out.

If you like Croatian, have you heard Sajeta and Vlado Kreslin's "Rulet" on YouTube?

Thanks again!

08-14-2009, 01:48 AM
Just hope those ideas help.

>>have you heard Sajeta and Vlado Kreslin's "Rulet" on YouTube?

I haven't, but I'll go look it up. Why not? :-) Actually, I know next to nothing about Croatians. I used to do some secretarial work for a guy who had some Croatian business partners, but that's about it.

I do, however, like languages way too much, and I just looked through this list of Croatian phrases (http://www.ielanguages.com/croatian.html). Apparently they do have formal/informal you and verb tenses for each. The ite/iš verb ending pair for formal/informal you is similar to Russian. A fair amount of it seems to be mutually understandable with Russian. In your example, the only word I couldn't understand was "cuvajse." Except the first person present tense verb ending appears to be "m," which is different from Russian, but similar to Hungarian. Veddy, veddy interesting.

Good luck with your work.

08-14-2009, 01:56 AM
Croatian and French? Sounds interesting!

I knew many dear, dear Croatians, but we've drifted apart over the years. I lived just barely across the border into Hungary during the Bosnian War[s]. I think I knew more Serbs and Croats than Hungarians in that town!

Their word for tie is about the same as the word in German, and they have lovely names. Doesn't help you, but it made me smile ;)

I really can find someone to e-mail on this if you get stuck. LMK :)

08-14-2009, 02:49 AM
Aquilegia: Thanks! At this point everything is useful. I love the song. The flow of the language makes sense to me even though I know less about Croatian than you do.

backslashbaby: Oh yeah, Rusyn comes into it as well but I have the MC translating it in her head so I don't have to put it all in Rusyn. She has a doctorate in Slavic languages. (It made sense at the time.) And the French is a given; it was either that or German and I know more French speakers than German speakers.

Let me get through my first draft and see how much I really need translated. I have a new character that speaks Croatian fluently who is on track to becoming a father figure to my MC. Croatian becomes a "secret language" between them. Thanks for the offer; I'll probably be taking you up on it.

Thanks y'all!

08-16-2009, 11:39 PM
Hey there.

"Take care" is idiomatic, and you'll find it difficult to look it up online precisely. Do you mean "bye" or do you mean "be careful?"

It sounds from the verb you're using you want "take care of yourself." Is that right?

I think the verb you're using isn't quite right for that. It looks like cuvaj se needs a noun--what are you watching out for (put into genetive, I think). "Watch out for him" would be "cuvaj se njega."

If you want to say: "Be careful" you'll want to go for "Budi oprezan." For a boy. I BELIEVE it's "Budi oprezna" but it could be "Budi oprezana" for a girl. I don't remember if the "a" is swallowed.

Find a Croatian speaker somewhere. Online dictionaries will only get you so far.

One online option, nonetheless (http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Croatian&to=English).

Note how this online version tells you the answer is "Biti oprezan." I don't think that's right, but I could be wrong. (If so, please let me know.)

Also, formality will play into both that word and into the child's response.

I definitely recommend getting a Croatian reader (as in a live person) if you're going to include much Croatian. (Is there a reason why you need Croatian? Maybe if there's a large group of immigrants from another country who live in your neighborhood, you can switch your Croat to another nationality?) :)

Also, unless this man comes from Sarajevo, you need to be VERY careful in terms of which dialect you have him speak.

takodjer is Croatian
takodje is Serbian

Plus, I'm not sure takodjer (which means also) is the right choice. It might simply be: I vi.

I'm not sure. I studied Croatian but it's been a long time, and I'm not a born speaker.

Good luck!

08-17-2009, 01:56 AM

Thanks so much for your reply!

As to why Croatian? "Rulet" by Sajeta with Vlado Kreslin. I saw the video and this character sprang fully formed into my head.The language had the right sound. Crazy I know but that's how it came about. I also like Slovenian but as little as I can find for Croatian, there is less for Slovenian out there.

Take care of yourself. Beware. Watch out. All that included is what I'm looking for. A mild warning, in other words. The child is actually a grown woman but the man saying it is much older than she.

As far as "I vi" that might work well.

Thanks so much!

08-17-2009, 02:26 AM
I keep posting this link :)


The folks there are very nice. I've learned to tell them up front that it's for a novel. :D

08-17-2009, 04:47 AM
Hey Bahamutchild!

I bookmarked it and will check it out asap!


08-17-2009, 04:59 AM
If you like the sound of the language, check out a CD by Rade Serbedjiya. BEAUTIFUL, lyrical, song and poetry to music. Nedaj se Inez is famous.

Good luck!

08-17-2009, 05:52 AM
Oooh, lovely! Thanks, errantruth!