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

  • In 201o, politicians pledged to halt devastation of Earth’s wildlife. Since then, no progress has been made. And despite glimmers of hope, prospects look grim for next month’s top-level meeting in Canada

    In 2010, politicians and scientists made a pledge to halt the devastating reductions in wildlife numbers that had been denuding the planet of its animals and sea creatures for the previous century. At that time, wild animal populations were declining by about 2.5% a year on average as habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, climate change and disease ravaged habitats and lives. Such losses must end within a decade, it was agreed.

    Next month, conservationists and politicians will meet in Montreal for this year’s biodiversity summit where they will judge what progress has been made over the past 12 years. “It will be an easy assessment to make,” said Andrew Terry, the director of conservation at ZSL, the Zoological Society of London. “Absolutely no progress has been made. Populations have continued to decline at a rate of around 2.5% a year. We haven’t slowed the destruction in the slightest. Our planet’s biodiversity is now in desperate peril as a result.”

    Continue reading...

  • The climate emergency is prompting some scientists to suggest extreme measures. But whether you call it geoengineering or biomimicry, others feel interfering with nature will have too high a cost

    Like the apocryphal frog that doesn’t notice the rising water temperature until it’s boiled alive, we as a global society are still struggling to recognise that anthropic global warming is hastening us towards irreversible environmental and ecological catastrophe. While there is consensus among climate scientists about the urgency of the situation, and widespread political acknowledgment that the use of carbon fuels must be reduced, targets have not been met and as the UK’s Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, said, the lack of progress at this month’s Cop27 demonstrates the 1.5C limit is on “life support” and there is growing evidence that we are further along the road to a tipping point than previously thought.

    So advanced is this process that some scientists are beginning to argue that merely cutting carbon is not enough and an emergency measure involving what is known as geoengineering is called for. There have been a number of plans suggested, some more outlandish than others. They range from building giant mirrors in space to reflect away sunlight to painting the roofs of buildings white to help counteract heatwaves in cities.

    Continue reading...

  • Tory MP becomes latest member of party to get behind push to drop moratorium with reports Michael Gove also supports move

    The president of the Cop26 climate summit Alok Sharma has become the latest Conservative party MP to support lifting the ban on new onshore windfarms.

    Sharma has joined his former boss Boris Johnson, who nominated him for a peerage, in backing an amendment to government legislation in an attempt to drop the moratorium on onshore wind.

    Continue reading...

  • Former prime minister says US and Europe will pay biggest share of loss and damage fund, but China must too

    China must pay into a new fund for poor countries stricken by climate-driven disaster on the basis of its high greenhouse gas emissions and large economy, the former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

    “America and Europe will have to provide most, but China will have to contribute more too,” he told the Guardian.

    Continue reading...

  • Cites treaty, adopted in 1963, protects more than 500 species, many exploited by unsustainable or illegal trade

    An international wildlife conference has moved to enact some of the most significant protections for sharks, songbirds and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs.

    The meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) ended on Friday in Panama. Along with protections for more than 500 species, delegates at the UN wildlife conference rejected a proposal to reopen the ivory trade. An ivory ban was enacted in 1989.

    Continue reading...

  • Under-fire water firms, criticised for their part in the scandal, have pointed the finger at the authorities in newly revealed letters

    Water company bosses have blamed UK government inaction for a lack of progress in stopping sewage pollution, newly revealed letters show.

    According to data from the Environment Agency, sewage has been dumped into the seas and rivers around the UK more than 770,000 times over the course of 2020 and 2021 – the equivalent of almost 6m hours.

    Continue reading...

  • ‘Participatory budgets’ such as one project in east London are revitalising areas and improving accessibility

    Children of all ages hang out at the seating area. One group of teenagers from a local school call the sunny bench between two planters their “chill spot”. One family sits out on a shady seat with the baby on warm evenings. People eat their lunch on the benches. Chosen and installed by the local community, the planters are a tiny but thrilling example of what can be done with a quietly radical policy that is being tried by a few councils.

    When Newham council first proposed the idea of a “participatory budget”, a fund for which local people could propose ideas, and receive funding as long as other residents approved, it seemed impossible to imagine what might emerge.

    Continue reading...

  • The story of the damage done to the world’s biodiversity is a tale of decline spanning thousands of years. Can the world seize its chance to change the narrative?

    The story of the biodiversity crisis starts with a cold-case murder mystery that is tens of thousands of years old. When humans started spreading across the globe they discovered a world full of huge, mythical-sounding mammals called “megafauna”, but by the end of the Pleistocene, one by one, these large animals had disappeared. There is no smoking gun and evidence from ancient crime scenes is – unsurprisingly – patchy. But what investigators have learned suggests a prime suspect: humans.

    Take the case of Genyornis, one of the world’s heaviest birds, which was more than 2 metres tall and weighed in excess of 200kg. It lived in Australia until, along with many other megafauna, it went extinct 50,000 years ago. In North America, giant beavers weighing the same as a fridge and an armadillo-like creature called a glyptodon, which was the size of a small car, existed until about 12,000 years ago, when they, too, went extinct. In all, more than 178 species of the world’s largest mammals are estimated to have been driven to extinction between 52,000 and 9,000BC.

    Continue reading...

  • Conservationist says if world leaders do not go to the summit a strong deal to halt and reverse nature loss is at risk

    Chris Packham is urging the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, to attend a key nature summit to protect the planet for the sake of his great-grandchildren because we are “very close to the point of no return”.

    The Cop15 biodiversity summit being held in Montreal from 7-19 December is the nature equivalent of the recent Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, with governments from all over the world expected to agree targets to halt the destruction of the natural world. But world leaders are not expected to attend the once-in-a-decade meeting where the next 10 years of targets will be agreed.

    Continue reading...

  • Kendal, Cumbria: Here in the river we do our best to remove the waste that is at least visible to the naked eye

    On a bright autumn morning, a colourful gathering is taking place on the banks of the River Kent. A team of local river guardians, campaigners and attenders at the Kendal Mountain festival has assembled to help with a regular river clean. We spend a cheery hour clearing the water and the banks of packaging, poo bags, broken hardware, stray underpants and diverse industrial debris.

    Some of what we find has started to erode, corrode or decay, and I’m struck by how fragments of pot, bone, tumbled glass and natural fibre, and even some metals, feel almost wholesome in this context. Not so the plastics. The durability that makes these laboratory-created materials so useful has no match in nature. Most don’t break down in the environment, they just fragment, resulting in a distribution inversely proportional to their size. Hence 95% of microplastics in waterways measure less than 40 microns, too small to be filtered out, and most are wholly invisible. Those smaller than 5 microns are tiny enough to be absorbed into animal and plant tissues though gut walls or roots. We now find them everywhere we look, in blood and flesh, in sap and fruit, in milk and the bodies of the unborn.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds