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Hvala

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Jun. 19th, 2013 | 10:23 am

I had a difficult time finding Armin Muzaferija's CD for purchace. Yes, there were rips of it available on pirate sites, but I wanted a hard copy.

It turns out that online shopping from ex-Yu countries seems to be easiest through Serbia. I found a Serbian online shop that sells his CD. Their email confirmations were in Serbian (in Latin characters). By using Google Translate, I was able to refine by general understanding of the emails. It turns out that the grammatical structure of the Slavic languge is similar, but there are significant differences in vocabulary.

The shipping confirmation email asked for confirmation once the package had been received. I translated my response from English to Serbian via GT and it was evidently comprehsible, because I received a response back.

As I've been learning about the region, I am becoming more and more aware of how politicized issues of language, orthography, and names have been, and evidently continue to be. I have read that there are Serbians who resent the dominance of the Latin alphabet over the Cyrillic. I learned the Cyrillic alphabet (and not much more than that) from independent study of Russian when I was young and it has stayed with me, so it's not too difficult for me to switch back and forth between it and the Latin alphabet for Slavic languages. I've also noted that Armin's CD is more frequently listed with his first name only: perhaps his last name is too Muslim-sounding for people in ex-Yu countries other than Bosnia.

So, I've learned that "thank you" in Serbian is "hvala." In Slovak, it is "ďakujem."


Peace,

KH

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