Hvar dialects revisited

Published in Highlights

'Professor' Frank John Duboković created quite a sensation with his first public airing of Jelsa's very own special dialect.

Frankie Dubokovic with Paul Bradbury Frankie Dubokovic with Paul Bradbury Vivian Grisogono

The introduction of Jelsa's ubiquitous 'Ej!' pronounced somewhere between 'Eh!' and 'Eh-ee!' is a Youtube hit which earned the 'Professor' widespread fame. Long-lost relatives wrote in from far-flung places like Australia begging for an introduction. And a strong following built up into something like a unique FJD Fan Club, ensuring that Frank John is recognized not only on home territory but in many distant places.

Frank John hard at work, assisted by cousin Petar Bunčuga. Photo Vivian Grisogono

The dialect 'lessons' are the brain-child of Hvar's resident English blogger par excellence (well, OK, so he is the only one, but still, he's earned plenty of praise and prizes for his promotional work for Hvar and Dalmatia). Paul Bradbury has the perfect Mancunian deadpan expression, audible although never seen, to act as a counterfoil to Frank John's exuberance. The first 'lesson' was followed by lots of others, with many different unsuspecting innocents cast into the supporting role as the background against which Frank John demonstrates his skills.

Frankie with blogger-turned-film-director Paul. Photo Vivian Grisogono

The lessons are planned and rehearsed to the nth degree - ie almost not at all. That gives them the advantage of spontaneity, but sometimes a descent into chaos and confusion. The uncertainty is all part of the fun, helping to fill in the gaps on winter days when so many normal island activities are suspended.

Frank John deriving knowledge from the wise ones of Jelsa's Bench. Photo Vivian Grisogono

Inspiration and ideas are drawn from all sources, including the wise heads who occupy Jelsa's famous Bench.

Mayor Peronja at work, even during his official coffee break. Photo Vivian Grisogono

On Tuesday February 3rd 2015, the dialect teaching programme reached a new height, probably one which cannot be surpassed, when Jelsa's Mayor Nikša Peronja graciously agreed to take part. It's no mean feat to persuade the Mayor to interrupt his serious duties. Since his election he has worked tirelessly on several very large projects for the improvement of Jelsa's domain, at the same time succeeding in reducing the debt left by previous administrations. His coffee break is seldom an occasion for leisurely idle chat, it's simply a matter of swapping the smart big desk in his office for a tiny cafe table, just big enough to hold the papers he has to read and sign.

Mayor Niksa Peronja celebrates delivery of Jelsa's new rubbish carts. Photo Vivian Grisogono

The Mayor's projects have included major road improvements, upgrading the rubbish collection facilities in line with EU regulations, and a particular success in securing the first commercial seaplane service in Dalmatia, linking Jelsa harbour with Split airport.

Mayor Peronja ready to greet Dalmatia's first commercial seaplane flight. Photo Vivian Grisogono

In agreeing to take part in this particular dialect 'lesson', which was devised by Jelkom Director Toni Damjanić, Mayor Peronja probably had in mind that it would go some way towards cementing Anglo-Hvar friendship ties. It certainly is original, pointing out hitherto unperceived similarities between certain Jelsan dialect words and English. And the difference between those words and the standard Croatian versions. Will it make life easier or harder for tourists? It could go either way, but in any case it has made a lot of people laugh, and laughter is the best international language there is.

Frank John with Deputy Mayor Ivo Grgicevic and Mayor Niksa Peronja. Photo Vivian Grisogono

So, hats off to Blogger Bradders, 'Prof' FJD and OBL, also Toni Damjanić, for bringing sunlight to a cloudy rather dismal day on Hvar! To sum it up with a bit of doggerel:

The man who bears the Mayor's staff

Has shouldered quite a burden,

But still he knows to raise a laugh

And how to get a word in!

© Vivian Grisogono 2015

Media

Did Hvar invent the English language?! Paul Bradbury
You are here: Home highlights Hvar dialects revisited

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Climate campaigners complain of short-termism as country abandons target to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030

    Climate campaigners have accused Scottish ministers of being “inept” and “short-termist” after they scrapped Scotland’s target to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

    Màiri McAllan, the Scottish net zero secretary, confirmed her government had abandoned that target and would also drop legally binding annual targets on reducing carbon emissions, after damning criticism from a UK advisory committee.

    Continue reading...

  • Scientists estimate Vasuki indicus was up to 15m long, weighed a tonne and would have constricted its prey

    Fossil vertebrae unearthed in a mine in western India are the remains of one of the largest snakes that ever lived, a monster estimated at up to 15 metres in length – longer than a T rex.

    Scientists have recovered 27 vertebrae from the snake, including a few still in the same position as they would have been when the reptile was alive. They said the snake, which they named Vasuki indicus, would have looked like a large python and would not have been venomous.

    Continue reading...

  • In the first of a new series, we look at why people reject so much of the bountiful catches from our seas in favour of the same few species, mostly imported – and how to change that

    Perched on a quay in the Cornish port of Falmouth is Pysk fishmongers, where Giles and Sarah Gilbert started out with a dream to supply locally caught seafood to the town. Their catch comes mainly from small boats that deliver a glittering array of local fish: gleaming red mullets, iridescent mackerels, spotted dabs and bright white scallops, still snapping in their shells.

    Occasionally, they will get a treasured haul of local common prawns – stripy, smaller and sweeter than the frozen, imported varieties in UK supermarkets. So, when customers come into the shop asking for prawns, Giles Gilbert presents “these bouncing jack-in-a-boxes” with a flourish, hoping to tempt buyers with the fresh, live shellfish.

    Continue reading...

  • As nature falls silent in most cities around the world, New Zealand’s capital has been transformed by the sound of native birds returning to the dawn chorus

    Read more: No birdsong, no water in the creek, no beating wings: how a haven for nature fell silent

    Some time in the pre-dawn darkness, the commotion starts. From her bed, Danae Mossman hears the noise building: loud romantic liaisons, vomiting, squeals, the sound of bodies hitting the pool at full tilt.

    Things get particularly loud between midnight and 4am, Mossman says, “when they are getting busy”.

    A kororā, or little penguin, colony live under Danae Mossman’s house – and show no signs of wanting to leave

    Continue reading...

  • Bill would stop private investors, including hedge funds, farmers and municipalities, from profiting off water scarcity

    With private investors poised to profit from water scarcity in the west, US senator Elizabeth Warren and representative Ro Khanna are pursuing a bill to prohibit the trading of water as a commodity.

    The lawmakers will introduce the bill on Thursday afternoon, the Guardian has learned. “Water is not a commodity for the rich and powerful to profit off of,” said Warren, the progressive Democrat from Massachusetts. “Representative Khanna and I are standing up to protect water from Wall Street speculation and ensure one of our most essential resources isn’t auctioned off to the highest bidder.”

    Continue reading...

  • Cost of environmental damage will be six times higher than price of limiting global heating to 2C, study finds

    Average incomes will fall by almost a fifth within the next 26 years as a result of the climate crisis, according to a study that predicts the costs of damage will be six times higher than the price of limiting global heating to 2C.

    Rising temperatures, heavier rainfall and more frequent and intense extreme weather are projected to cause $38tn (£30tn) of destruction each year by mid-century, according to the research, which is the most comprehensive analysis of its type ever undertaken, and whose findings are published in the journal Nature.

    Continue reading...

  • In 2002, high explosives were laid in oil wells across 20 sq km of forest. The firm has gone but the pentolite remains, despite a court ruling, putting lives and the ecosystem at risk

    Living on the banks of the Bobonaza River, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Indigenous communities in Sarayaku have always lived in harmony with nature. The rainforest, says Patricia Gualinga, is a sacred, conscious being.

    So when an Argentinian company was allowed to place a huge amount of high explosive around the rainforest to prospect for oil, the local Kichwa people fought back and eventually took their case to an international court. More than a decade after winning their legal battle, however, the explosives remain strewn around the community’s territory.

    Continue reading...

  • Consumer Reports recently conducted its most comprehensive review of pesticides in 59 US fruits and vegetables. Here the organization shares what it found

    When it comes to healthy eating, fruits and vegetables reign supreme. But along with all their vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can come something else: an unhealthy dose of dangerous pesticides.

    Though using chemicals to control bugs, fungi and weeds helps farmers grow the food we need, it’s been clear since at least the 1960s that some chemicals also carry unacceptable health risks. And although certain notorious pesticides, such as DDT, have been banned in the US, government regulators have been slow to act on others. Even when a dangerous chemical is removed from the market, chemical companies and growers sometimes just start using other options that may be as dangerous.

    Continue reading...

  • As vast solar plants multiply, so does the scrap, set to reach 19m tonnes by 2050. But disposing of the waste often falls to informal traders who risk injury when dismantling broken panels

    Under the scorching sun, a sea of solar panels gleams in the semi-arid landscape. Pavagada, 100 miles north of Bengaluru in southern India, is the world’s third-largest solar power plant, with 25m panels across a huge 50 sq km site, and a capacity of 2,050MW of clean energy.

    India has 11 similarly vast solar parks, and plans to install another 39 across 12 states by 2026, a commitment to a greener future.

    Continue reading...

  • Phoenix broke several heat records last year. Now Grant Park, which has inequitable tree cover, is seeing a tree-planting drive that promises some respite from 100F temperatures

    It was a relatively cool spring day in Phoenix, Arizona, as a tree-planting crew dug large holes in one of the desert city’s hottest and least shaded neighborhoods.

    Still, it was sweaty backbreaking work as they carefully positioned, watered and staked a 10ft tall Blue palo verde and Chilean mesquite in opposite corners of resident Ana Cordoba’s dusty unshaded backyard.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds