Shakespeare, the Pope and the Way to the ”See”: Lost in Translation in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

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All images courtesy of Tjedan polu pismenosti/Facebook

A wise man once said that a different language is a different vision of life. He couldn’t have been more right…

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, partly because now the tourist season is over, Croatia’s sparkling gems of the English language aren’t as easily found, and partly because the editor in me can’t help but recoil in horror at some of the linguistic car crashes that lie before my eyes. That being said, I wouldn’t be a true Grammar Nazi if I didn’t obsess over it and turn it into an article, nor would I have any English stock in me if I didn’t try to make a joke out of it, so here we go.

If you’d like to read the first two articles in the series of Lost in Translation in Croatia, particularly if you’re into free handjobs, cheap bitches or any kind of viral disease (no, seriously), click here and here.

Ah, Shakespeare, the English mastermind, genius of words and old romantic. The eternal source of literary pride for the English nation found himself in Zadar as his masterpiece ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (San Ivanjske Noći) took to the stage and as such, inherited a different name. In Croatian, it isn’t uncommon to see Bill’s name written as Šekspir or something very similar, which quite honestly is bad enough, but Shaekspir? It’s almost enough to make Romeo and his infatuated girlfriend kill themselves all over again.

Pen Kakes or Pen Kejks (how there is no J in this one I have no idea), also sometimes known as pancakes (palačinke) are something that you could enjoy during the break at Shaekspir’s spectacle in Zadar.

Hopefully I don’t need to explain, but what we were going for here was VEGGIE, as in vegetarian. However, I may be entirely wrong, if I am, then I should warn you that there is probably a lot more meat in here than you’d care to imagine.

SUMMRE IS COMMING! Not sure if this shirt has asked you if you’re ready or not enough times yet, but in case it hasn’t: Are you ready?!

This is a dangerous one. Babies do indeed like the Pope, who wouldn’t like the current Pope? A truly lovely man and a breath of fresh air. But I’m not sure he would support cooking babies, or, cooking something else and allowing a baby to literally eat us all. Unfortunately, presentations, workshops and tastiG rooms are available for not only the baby, but the mother and other in order to witness what seems to be a truly barbaric event. Oh well, to each, their own.

What it actually says it that babies love to eat, we cook for babies, and everyone can eat. There are also presentations, workshops and tastING rooms for babies, mothers, and other people. No enormous legal case in the works here, I hope the Pope will forgive me for thanking God.

Obviously, smallpox didn’t quite taste right in pizza as I so kindly advertised for you last time and I can only apologise if you tried it owing to me and it didn’t do much for you. I’ve heard there are all kinds of medicines out there now that hinder its wonderful effects. In any case, another Italian dish has taken on the controversial ingredient and maybe it will sit a little better in pasta than it does on pizza.

If you bay? Obviously only Foxhounds are in for a discount in this shop.

If this doesn’t prove that all the propaganda about the economic mess in Croatia is false, then I don’t know what will. If you just look at this sign, without having to do anything else at all, you get hired. I think Zdravko Marić is in for an email or two about his apparent ”difficult job market” statements after this sign is seen by more people.

Deep, very deep. A double meaning for sure. Just what you will actually see when you follow this artistically painted arrow is all part of the mystery. Illuminati confirmed.

Whatever he’s selling, I’d recommend you don’t buy it, let alone four of them.

The tenses here are interesting. It’s either incredibly wrong and we should all smirk quietly to ourselves, or it’s a lateral thinking riddle that simply goes above and beyond us all.

Clos moning. Closed in the morning. You won’t get anything here until 17:00. (!!!)

The funny thing with this one is that even in Croatian, if it truly was a ”chicen” burger, it would be pronounced ”chitsen” which I’m sure no worldly ear has ever heard spoken before. In any case, who needs the K? Your intestines won’t care as much as your brain does, unless this has smallpox in it too.

Nothing worse than people throwing their ”garbidge” here, there and everywhere.

My honest question here is where does the ”coholate” end before the marma(e)lade comes in? It doesn’t specify exactly where the beginning and the ENDing is, it could cause potentially catastrophic issues for people who don’t have quick access to a toilet.

There’s nothing wrong with pride in a healthy dose, but just how many Croat women are you?


This one isn’t for the unathletic or the colour blind. Not only have you got to physically run after your parking ticket, but political correctness has gone a bit mad, this is surely pure provocation to those with compromised visual abilities, or simply those who are easily confused?


The festive season is upon us once again, each year it seems to come around faster and faster and one Christmas rolls into the next. Whether you believe ’tis the season to be jolly or you’re a modern day Scrooge, it can never do any harm to send someone your Best Whises in the form of a mug during the season of good will.

DON’T parking here, whatever you do!


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