engrbian language

23-XI-2017 07:02:10

Just like in any other country in the world, the prevalence of english as the only foreign language in widespread use (regardless of the many gastarbajter who speak the language of their host country's natives) is creating some kind of a mix with serbian, where many features of the latter are gradually forgotten, words, phrases and whole sentence constructions replaced with english counterparts, and a class of situations is created where it seems inappropriate to use serbian.

I call this mix engrbian language (a newspaper once tried to name it srgleski). The first symptom of engrbian syndrome is the vanishing of diacriticals - people, specially the whatever passes for yuppies and hipsters here, don't bother to install a serbian keyboard layout, or even refuse to use it when available and install american instead. They don't even know whether there's one available on their cell phone. When you read their posts on a forum, it's rife with english borrowed words, phrases etc - sometimes transliterated, most often not. Makes it hard to read at times, because of the overlap of some words, which may mean this or that, depending on how you read them.

Then this goes public - on any message board or shop window or wherever these notices are posted, whoever prints them, doesn't use šđčćž. I've even seen a shop logo done without, in 25cm tall letters.

Most of the items you can buy have labels in english, specially fruit juices. I've once counted, those with names in serbian amounted for less than 5% of shelve space. Companies paying telemarketers have 100% of their names in english (OK, 98%, some sound german), and of course the poor drones pronounce them wrong. The standard notice to announce space for rent now either has two versions, or has "FOR RENT" printed large, and "izdaje se" smaller beneath or completely absent.

update 2017: Among the new features, there's now confusion between middle east and near east. The latter doesn't quite exist in english; sometimes it denotes eastern Europe and Russia. The near east here is what is called middle east in english, because, well, it's near - one can drive there in a day. But the believers in engrbian language now start calling it middle east - which is a term which covers the region between Pakistan and Bangladesh. So it creates some confusion, to say the least.