[Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

LanguageMongoose
Posts: 3
Joined: 2020-03-02, 17:49

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby LanguageMongoose » 2020-03-21, 13:51

Hello

I have question, hoping there's soneone here who can answer.
I just recently started Colloquial Croatian and there is an example sentence that contains a construction that hasn't yet been explained (I also skipped ahead to check it it would be explained later, it appears not to be). The sentence reads:

Popravlja kravatu prije nego što uđe u ured.

I read that nego means "but" following a negative, and I know što means "what", but "first but what" doesn't make any sense to me, so I'm guessing it is a set construction here?

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5617
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Novi Sad
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby Saim » 2020-03-21, 14:34

Yes. Before nouns we have prije on its own and the noun is declined in the genitive, whereas before verbs it has to come in the expression prije nego što. The verb is then conjugated.

The same root gives us the noun ulazak (entrance, the act of entering), and here is a headline that has it after prije:

Kako da sredite finansije prije ulaska u 2020.
how that you.get.in.order finances before entrance.GEN in 2020
How to get your finances in order before entering into 2020.

Compare your sentence:

Popravlja kravatu prije nego što uđe u ured.
he.fixes tie before he.enters in office
He fixes his tie before going into the office.

This is fairly common in Croatian, a similar example that comes to mind is umesto + genitive noun and umesto da + conjugated verb.

Pogledajte kako dron šeta psa umesto vlasnika
look.at how drone walks dog instead.of owner.GEN
Look at how a drone walks a dog instead of its owner.

Umesto da pomogne građanima, on bi da se igra politike
Instead.of that he.helps citizens, he would that (reflexive) he.plays politics
Instead of helping his citizens he wants to play politics

Generally it's not typical for Croatian to allow prepositions before verbs without being accompanied by some conjunction, in the above cases nego što and da, although it does occur in some calques from Italian/German: nešto za piti (something to drink; literally "for to drink") and za poneti (takeaway; literally "for to take").

As for the literal meaning of nego and nego što, nego can also be used for comparisons, besides the meaning you mentioned:

Osećam se bolje nego prije.
I feel better than before.

Then we add što so it can be followed by a conjugated verb:

Osećao sam se bolje nego što sam očekivao.
I felt better than I expected.
Last edited by Saim on 2020-03-21, 16:46, edited 3 times in total.

LanguageMongoose
Posts: 3
Joined: 2020-03-02, 17:49

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby LanguageMongoose » 2020-03-21, 15:41

Thank you for your detailed response!

In light of what you say above, it seems more fitting to think of nego as meaning "than" in that case. I can kind of think of prije nego što as meaning something like "before ...-ing".

I'm curious, in this case would "Popravlja kravatu prije ulaska u ured" work as well (and would it have more or less the same meaning as my original sentence)?

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5617
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Novi Sad
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby Saim » 2020-03-23, 11:41

LanguageMongoose wrote:Thank you for your detailed response!

In light of what you say above, it seems more fitting to think of nego as meaning "than" in that case. I can kind of think of prije nego što as meaning something like "before ...-ing".

I'm curious, in this case would "Popravlja kravatu prije ulaska u ured" work as well (and would it have more or less the same meaning as my original sentence)?


You're welcome! I was a bit worried it might be too much so I'm glad it helped.

As for the sentence popravlja kravatu prije ulaska u ured, yes, my sense is that that's fine and that they're more or less interchangeable. I think the form with the noun might be a bit more common in newspaper articles and public announcements, but it's not especially formal.

LanguageMongoose
Posts: 3
Joined: 2020-03-02, 17:49

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby LanguageMongoose » 2020-04-04, 16:57

Hello again, another question about Colloquial Croatian; there is a part in one of the dialogs where the speaker is listing some things he likes to do on a train and says the following:

Volim gledati kroz prozor dok putujem, pomalo i spavati...

The meaning here should be "I like to look out the window, sleep a little bit...". However, the i here is confusing me, I'd have though the i would go before the pomalo, as in "look out the window and sleep a little bit". In it's current position, it makes me think that it's that he will look out the window a little bit and sleep, but the the comma (and the cadence of the audio accompanying the dialog) make it pretty clear that "pomalo i spavati" is a single phrase. Is it that "pomalo i" + infinitive is another set construction?

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5617
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Novi Sad
Country: RS Serbia (Србија)

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby Saim » 2020-04-04, 19:21

LanguageMongoose wrote:Hello again, another question about Colloquial Croatian; there is a part in one of the dialogs where the speaker is listing some things he likes to do on a train and says the following:

Volim gledati kroz prozor dok putujem, pomalo i spavati...

The meaning here should be "I like to look out the window, sleep a little bit...". However, the i here is confusing me, I'd have though the i would go before the pomalo, as in "look out the window and sleep a little bit". In it's current position, it makes me think that it's that he will look out the window a little bit and sleep, but the the comma (and the cadence of the audio accompanying the dialog) make it pretty clear that "pomalo i spavati" is a single phrase. Is it that "pomalo i" + infinitive is another set construction?


I don't think it's just with the infinitive, pomalo i could be followed by a noun or an adjective here, and pomalo can go without i. The placement of i just doesn't correspond to English "and", as it can also mean something like "also", whereas "and" is often translated with "a" rather than "i" where the meaning implies some sort of contrast and not addition.

You could translate this as something like: I like to look out the window when I travel, and also sleep a bit.

Here are some examples from Wiktionary:

ne možeš istovremeno i tužiti i suditi
you can't simultaneously both sue and judge

i meni se sviđa vaš odabir
I like your choice too

on je ne samo darovit, nego i jako marljiv
he is not only talented, but also very industrious

Here's some from Google:

Igramo stoni tenis, pomalo i košarku
We play table tennis, (and) a bit of basketball (too)

Matematičar koji nije pomalo i pesnik neće nikada biti potpun matematičar
A mathematician who isn't also a bit of a poet will never be a full mathematician.

njegov neobavezni naziv nas intrigira, ali pomalo i plaši
its optional name intrigues us, but it also scares us

I also has some other idiomatic meanings like "even" or as a general intensifier.

tomari
Posts: 4
Joined: 2020-08-04, 6:08
Gender: male

Re: [Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian] Discussion Group

Postby tomari » 2020-09-09, 7:55

If BCS being a single language is based on the standard varieties being based on single dialect and being very highly mutually intelligible, isn't Kajkavian a Slovene dialect and Torlakian a Bulgarian one? How well do speakers of Kajkavian dialects understand Slovene and how well do speakers of Torlakian understand Bulgarian? Are they equally intelligible to speakers of dialects on the other side of the border?

I'm saying that because I've heard that Kajkavian is considered to be a language by some people, but that may be equally as false as it being a dialect of "Croatian" (which makes no sense, as the latter is a standard variety of BCS based on the same dialect as Standard Bosnian and Standard Serbian).


Return to “Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (Bosanski/Hrvatski/Српски)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest