Saturday, 27 May 2006

Boatiful Gruž

This bridge over Rijeka Dubrovačka, the inlet to the North of Dubrovnik that leads to the city's port and marina, was opened in May 2002, after a delay because of a dispute over the name. The compromise was that on the Dubrovnik side, it is called Dubrovački Most, while on the other, the sign reads "Dr. Franjo Tudjman Most" - Tudjman being of course the first president of an independent Croatia from the year before its independence in 1991 until his death in 1999 (apologies to any Croatian speakers out there who would prefer to see the character đ that appears in his name!).

The passenger port of Dubrovnik was right outside the hotel I was staying at, and is called (Luka) Gruž, which rhymes with rouge: the saucer on the top of the z makes the sound spellt "zh" in "Zhivago". Coincidentally this "saucer" mark, which in Croatian is apparently called kvaka, which seems to mean door handle, or kvačica, which means check mark or tick (or little hook) - is the subject of a recent post in Language Hat as regards its name in English, which is either haček (from Czech) or, in unicode, caron (the opposite "hat" mark, or circumflex, being called a caret). Croatian has a lot of diacritics, another important one is the "accute" accent that makes a c into a ts as in "Orebić" - which, strangely, does not seem to be used in "Cavtat" even though it is pronounced Tsavtat not Kavtat.


At 27/5/06 21:02, Blogger Stu said...

Do they have a rule where diacritics don't appear on capital letters, or maybe initial letters?

At 28/5/06 00:08, Blogger qaminante said...

I thought of that, Stu, as that is the rule in French, but as they write ŽUPA DUBROVAČKA (, I don't think it can be the case. I also checked the Croatian versions of websites referring to Cavtat in case this was just an adjustment for foreigners, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. It's a mystery - maybe I will have to learn Croatian now to find out. I only started learning Turkish to satisfy my curiosity about something a Turk told me about it being "very similar" to Japanese!
Apologies for the appearance of the text, btw, I copied bits of words from other sites as an easy way of getting the letters I wanted and there must be some conflict between font tags. I've at least managed to get it all the same colour but after nearly losing the whole thing twice, I'm giving up on messing about with the html tags, about which I know nothing!

At 28/5/06 16:13, Blogger language said...

C means /ts/ all by itself; the accent makes it palatal (so that it sounds halfway between /ts/ and /ch/). Hope that's reasonably clear!



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