The Status of Serbo-Croat/Serbo-Croatian

LL   Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:21 pm GMT
I have seen books for "Serbo-Croat" and "Serbo-Croatian" and many other varieties.

Is there anyone who actually speaks "Serbo-Croat" now?
LivingStone   Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:25 am GMT
No, the same way no one actually speaks Hindustani, it's been split into Hindi and Urdu.

Old names: Hindustani, Serbo-Croat
New names: Hindu and Urdu, Serbian and Croatian
LL   Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:29 pm GMT
Does anyone learn Hindustani now?
Ron   Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:03 pm GMT
It is spoken whenever the speaker of either Serbian or Croatian uses word not usual to his or hers language standard.
Some linguistic institutes probably still have SC as a single subject.
sanskrit   Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:49 pm GMT
Does anyone learn or know Nepali?? Is is an interesting language?
LL   Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:08 pm GMT
From Serbo-Croatian to Nepali in four posts!

Nepali reminds me of Hindi. I don't speak Hindi, so I can't call myself an expert-that was my initial guess when I first came into contact with some Nepali words.
Alessandro   Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:39 pm GMT
I remember there was a man in this forum that said to be Croatian/Italian mother tongue (probably from Istria). You have to wait.
xyxyiz   Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:59 pm GMT
I (natively) speak Croatian, and the variants of "Serbo-Croatian" are locally recognized as different languages, even though we understand each other 95%. There are some lexical differences (which are mostly a problem to younger generations) and some minor grammar differences. Basically if you learn one variant and both scripts, you can communicate with everyone. Serbian spelling is easier because it is entirely phonetic, while Croatian not entirely (but still phonetic).

The main linguistic difference is actually in the reflex of "yat" and whether one uses "ekavian" or "(i)jekavian" form. On a stupid example, the difference would be: "Video sam lepe devojke" (Serbian) vs. "Vidio sam lijepe djevojke" (Croatian). [The sentence means "I saw pretty girls"]. Serbian is also easier to write due to that, because in Croatian everyday speech the ije/je difference isn't always clear.

Basically, don't let the politics fool you - linguistically, those are dialects of the same language, not different languages. Still I'd suggest learning either Croatian either Serbian in order to speak one dialect rather than a mixture. When you learn one, it's easy to simply build on the differences the other one.

Those of us who have been exposed even to the minimum of the other variant (traveling, music, etc) usually can switch effortlessly.

Not to oversimplify, but somtimes I have a feeling that Croatian / Serbian difference is just a bit bigger than BrE / AmE difference.
BCS   Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:16 pm GMT
Books for serbocroatian are old books. Nobody calls it serbocroatian anymore if they know first thing about it.
LL   Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:51 pm GMT
Thank-you for your comments, xyxyiz. I've noticed that "Dobar tek" is not used by Bosnians and Serbians, as one example.
BCS   Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:31 pm GMT
Serbian: portUgalija, brazilijanski, italijanski, Svajcarska, Spanija...
Croatian: pOrtugal, brazilski, talijanski, Svicarska, Spanjolska...

devica = virgin in Sr., little camel in Cr.
slovenski = Slavic in Sr., Slovenian in Cr.

Serbian colloquial language is impossible for B/C to understand:

and vice-versa

I hate dancing:

Mrzi me da igram (Sr.); [literally: It hates me to play]
Mrzim plesati (Cr.) [literally: I hate to dance]
that   Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:35 pm GMT
Why don't the call it Yugoslavian or something to avoid the "our name is better" issue?
Moloko   Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:08 am GMT
why Americans and English don't call it Ameringlish to avoid the ''our usage is better'' issue?
BCS   Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:51 am GMT
"Serbian colloquial language is impossible for B/C to understand"

You're exaggerating. I understand everything. Few words may be new to someone who's not been exposed to them before but it's not hard to figure those from the context.
And, find another name.
xyxyiz   Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:25 pm GMT
I understand 100% of the clip provided and I guarantee that any Croat or Bosnian I know of would understand 95%+ (as somebody said, some words may be new, but even those can be understood out of context). The differences are exaggerated and politicized way too much. If we WANT to understand it, we usually can.