Learning Croatian on a Dalmatian island is not recommended, unless you find a teacher who can teach you classic Croatian rather than the local dialect. It was a lesson I learned at great cost when I went to Zagreb some time later, only to find out that my shiny new Croatian words were actually unintelligible to most people who were not from Hvar.
Add to that the famous Dalmatian Grunt, perfected by the one and only Frank John Dubokovich, and the concept of a video series on Hvar dialect was born. As previously mentioned, the original YouTube series dating back to 2011 was taken down for some reason, but some of it has survived on an old camera.
Today’s lesson is probably my favourite, focusing on articles of clothing in Hvar dialect. Over the years, the lessons achieved something of a cult status on Jelsa’s main square, and various people were quick to add their expertise, sometimes even to contradict the great Professor Frank John Dubokovich, Guardian of the Hvar Dialects.
The other problem, which was probably linked to the number of cold ones consumed prior to recording, was that filming (always one take only) often coincided with the ringing of the midday church bells. This week’s episode descended into chaos, with a combination of those bells, as well as the linguistic intervention of the Three Wise Men, including legendary Jelsa winemaker, Andro Tomic.
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Looking to improve your Croatian as a foreigner? 25 Mistakes Foreigners Make When Speaking Croatian.