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Serbo-Croat language
Thread poster: Srdjan Stepanovic

Srdjan Stepanovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Oct 18, 2009

Hello everybody,

I'd like to raise a question regarding this language. Since the language no longer exists, I think it proper to be excluded from proz.com directories as well. This language was a common name for the dialects spoken in the former Yugoslavia and now that we have 6 separate countries and 5 different languages (Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian and Macedonian) I think it unnecessary to use this language in proz directories and kudoz questions.


Srdjan


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Japanese
+ ...
I know nothing about Serbo-Croat, but Oct 18, 2009

isn't this language still used in old documents, for example like Latin? If that's the case, I don't see any reason why this language should be deleted in Proz directories and KudoZ.

Just my 2 cents.

Yasutomo


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Srdjan Stepanovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
English to Serbian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Serbo-Croat was just a formal name Oct 18, 2009

covering what are now separate and officially recognized languages and therefore I think there is no need to use it anymore. Again, this is only a suggestion

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Differences Oct 18, 2009

Other than a few things I have read, I know nothing of Serbo-Croat language and variants used in the different countries that were once Yugoslavia, but are these languages really all that different? I know that some places use the latin alphabet and some the cyrillic, and it is common in Europe for languages to have their regional differences, but is it not feasible to still keep them in one bag? Or should they be broken up for considerations other than national pride?

In our part of the world, with all our little differences and pecularities, we do not break up languages into Canadian or USA, or Mexican, Argentinian, Peruvian, Chilean, Columbian, etc. They are all English or Spanish.


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:52
English to Serbian
+ ...
Yup Oct 18, 2009

Agreed, it's only creating a confusion and don't see any reason why it should stay.

Henry Hinds wrote:

In our part of the world, with all our little differences and pecularities, we do not break up languages into Canadian or USA, or Mexican, Argentinian, Peruvian, Chilean, Columbian, etc. They are all English or Spanish.


Well, people speak Portuguese both in Portugal and Brazil, but I don't think it's always appropriate to freely mix the differences that surely exist.

[Edited at 2009-10-18 19:27 GMT]


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Srdjan Stepanovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
English to Serbian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Henry Oct 18, 2009

Serbian and Croatian are mutually understandable languages, however, there are differences in wording and dialect.

In Serbia, both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets are used while Cyrillic is the official one.

@Miroslav

Yes, it creates confusion. I was often asked by outsourcers to explain the differences between Serbian and Serbo-Croatian or Croatian and Serbo-Croatian in case of which I usually ask them whether the product is for the Serbian or the Croatian market. If it is the latter, then I'd suggest they forward the project to a Croatian translator.

The languages are similar but not similar enough for me to confidently take on any Croatian translation


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jokerman
Germany
Local time: 07:52
English to German
+ ...
Actually, just the opposite Oct 18, 2009

Srdjan Stepanovic wrote:

I think it unnecessary to use this language in proz directories and kudoz questions.


Srdjan


Acctually, I think that just the opposite is the case. These languages are extremely similar to each other and IMHO it would be very useful and sensible to keep Serbo-Croat as an option and to include all glossary entries made from kudoz questions for Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian into that ONE glossary for Serbo-Croat.

The reason is very simple: When looking for a term in Croatian, the chance is very high that it will be identical with the corresponding term in Serbian or in Bosnian, thus making the search easier and much more user-friendly.

I suggested this to the proz.com-staff about a year or more ago, but no reaction received nor observed.

bests,

igor


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:52
English to French
+ ...
I think it depends wether you translate TO or FROM Oct 19, 2009

As a translator who translates FROM Serbian and sometimes FROM Croatian or BOSNIAN it would be more convenient for me to have one unique glossary - I have in fact learned Serbo-croatian in the 80's.

But I can see the point from the other side's perpespetive.

I suppose ProZ should follow the ISO classification used with internatinal organizations.

[Edited at 2009-10-19 08:14 GMT]


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bergazy  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 07:52
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
Bad for business Oct 19, 2009

Hello everybody!
The idea of Serbo-Croat language is interesting for hard-boiled linguists or some long time ago emigrated translators incapable of accepting the new reality. It can be misleading for clients and harmful for business or for more/less fraternal and tolerant atmosphere on this web site.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia the official language to be used in Serbia is Serbian, not Serbocroatian.
In Croatia, the official language is Croatian, in Montenegro, Montenegrin language. In Bosnia: (1) Službeni jezici Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine su: bosanski jezik, hrvatski jezik i srpski jezik.
Who are we to decline the Constitutions of 4 sovereign countries?
Conception of Serbo-Croat language can be your private fantasy, your very own dreamland but it has nothing to do with the actual situation. Czech and Slovak language are very similar so why don't you try to propose to Proz.com staff to unite those two languages within only one glossary/ dictionary?

Let's behave like professionals

[Edited at 2009-10-19 11:23 GMT]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:52
Spanish to English
I have no knowledge of the languages in question or the region but... Oct 19, 2009

Surely if Early English and Latin are in the directory and if people are still being asked to translate documents in Serbo-Croat, there is a use for it?

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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:52
English to Serbian
+ ...
Nope. Oct 19, 2009

You can translate into Latin, but you cannot translate into Serbo-Croatian. If anyone asks me for a translation into Serbo-Croatian, I would have to ask whether he means Serbian or Croatian.
So, when somebody talks about Latin or Early English, it's clear to everybody what he means; when somebody talks about Serbo-Croatian nobody knows what he means, until further explanation is given.


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bergazy  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 07:52
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
Lack of knowledge Oct 20, 2009

Lesley Clarke wrote:

Surely if Early English and Latin are in the directory and if people are still being asked to translate documents in Serbo-Croat, there is a use for it?


Lesley, "Serbo-Croat" died with Yugoslavia, and this is what any reasonable translator must explain to his/her clients. Trying to reach the market of any country using the wrong language is self-destructive. If you try to sell Toyota to Korean buyers, you will not be able do it without user's manual in Korean, I suppose.


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Ana Irena Hudi
Local time: 07:52
English to Croatian
+ ...
linguistically, Oct 20, 2009

... Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian are often put under a same roof (often referred to as BCS in linguistics) in order to simplify/ illustrate the features of Slavic languages. However, despite lexical similarities and the same grammar (yet different orthography) they really are separate languages, mutually understandable but separate, which has little to do with the national pride but rather knowledge of linguistics.

When it comes to English in the US, Canada, Australia... as well as Spanish in Mexico and Columbia (etc.), it is rather a historical fact (the first inhabitants, colonies etc.) then a consequence of a well-organized linguistic division. Their peculiarities are well defined (and sometimes create hilarious misunderstandings) - if we really want an in-depth analysis, linguistically, we do separate English into British English, American English, Australian English etc. as well as Spanish vs Latin American Spanish ...

I'll be brief - I support Mr Stepanovic's suggestion .


[Edited at 2009-10-20 06:33 GMT]


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Katarina Delic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 07:52
Member (2008)
English to Serbian
+ ...
KudoZ is the problem Oct 20, 2009

I think the biggest problem for every Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian translator is Kudoz. When I first joined Proz, I immediately realized that there was a problem with Kudoz regarding ex-Yugoslavian languages.
The first thing that shocked me was the fact that the majority was asking term help for Serbo-Croat, but there are not that many jobs now for Serbo-Croat. Then I started doing the same thing, but some time ago I decided not to do that because it was not fair. Now I choose English-Serbian and that's it. It is definitely stupid that so many points are assigned for a language that is actually so little translated to and from.
I think that the site staff should find some solution for this problem. Excluding the Serbo-Croat language is probably out of the question, but it would be fine if KudoZ could be handled in a different way.
One more thing - I don't know what the outsourcers mean by 'please make your translation acceptable for both Serbian and Croatian market'. I don't think I can do that properly? Can you?


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Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
ISO 639-2 Oct 20, 2009

bergazy wrote:


Let's behave like professionals


Excellent point, bergazy.
Translators above all people should behave like professionals in linguistic issues.
Shouldn't we stick to standards?
Please have a look at ISO 639-2 standard:

http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php

hrv = Croatian
srp = Serbian

No sign of scr (which used to be Serbo-Croatian-Roman) and of scc (which used to be Serbo-Croatian-Cyrillic) any more.

The change was made upon request of the National and University Library of Zagreb, the National Library of Serbia, the Croatian Standards Institute and the Institute for Standardization of Serbia. The decision of the standardization authority has become effective on June 28, 2008.


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