Learning the Lingo

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We have just had a holiday in Porec, in Croatia and liked it very much.  Porec is pronounced ‘porridge’, which gave my husband the dubious pleasure of declaring every time we arrived by boat ‘we are slowly turning into porridge’.  We arrived by boat quite a lot because our hotel was on an island. The people were very friendly, they  tend to greet you in German or Italian (because that’s what most of their visitors speak);  a lovely clean place (ten out of ten for spotlessly clean loos!); beautiful scenery, clear water, good food, not expensive to eat out, plenty of warm sunshine.  Couldn’t fault it as a holiday destination. Only a 2 hour flight from Birmingham.

Learning the lingo wasn’t easy. I do like to try to be polite but my attempts at ‘Hvala’ (thank you) were mostly greeted with bemused looks. If I could have mastered the pronunciation, I should have added ‘Ne govorim dobro hrvaski’ (I don’t speak Croatian’) but I think that was already perfectly obvious!

The strangest word was ‘Bog’!

Apparently this means ‘hello’ in Croatian. Oddly enough it literally means ‘God’.  Curious and rather thought provoking, don’t you think, that a greeting word should draw the Almighty into every encounter.  Sadly no-one ever said it to us and it did seem a rather odd word to throw at random strangers so we never risked it.

Next stop: portuguese.  I hope to travel to Mozambique in a few months time and am trying to master the basics. On paper it looks like Spanish but it sounds like ‘Spanish spoken by a Russian very fast’.  Looking at it written down I can get the gist quite easily (I once spoke Spanish fluently) but learning to actually speak it….. this is going to take some time.

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