January the 12th, 2020 – Considering the fact that the level of fluency in the English language is incredibly high in Croatia, it’s always amazing to see just how many Croatian politicians, ministers, public servants and other officials struggle to get their words out.
Many Croatian politicians do an excellent job of spinning the truth in their native language, so it seems a shame that those who don’t understand Croatian can’t experience the same level of sheer cringe as the rest of us get to on a daily basis.
English is a difficult language, especially when the rules and the grammar are so different from the rules typical of Slavic languages, so it isn’t that absolute perfection should be expected, but one would certainly imagine that Croatian politicians, for all of their bluff and chest pounding, would do their best to learn as much English as they can, especially now that Croatia is holding the rotating presidency of the European Union, placing the EU’s newest member state on a pedestal for all and sundry to gawp at.
We’ve had some funny examples in both English and Croatian, however, and we wouldn’t want to come across like we’re making fun of fails in one language only. Tihomir Orešković, the former Croatian PM, was from Canada, and one of his funniest linguistic blunders was referring to Croatian citizens as buildings in his speech on how he’ll serve them (Služit ću hrvatskim građevinama) as opposed to citizens (građanima).
As for English cock-ups, we’ve had Ingrid Antičević Marinović and her classic line Pipl mast trast as (People must trust us) which was even remixed into songs.
The list goes on and on, and RTL decided to take it one step further and pretend they were RTL from Germany and approach various Croatian politicians at Markov trg (St. Mark’s square) asking them fairly simple questions in English. Some attempted a conversation, others didn’t understand the question, some ignored the reporter, and some literally ran away from her. Yes, ran away.
Watch the amusing and extremely uncomfortable video from RTL Direkt below:
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