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Croatian: što and šta

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sama_el
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 Message 9 of 17
30 April 2010 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
In Croatian "što" can be a relative or interrogative pronoun like in English. "Šta" in Croatian is the everyday form. While it is true that it can mean "why?" like in the phrase: "A što?" ( A better translation than "why" would be "what happened?" ) this is not part of standard Croatian.
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sama_el
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 Message 10 of 17
30 April 2010 at 1:01pm | IP Logged 
sama_el wrote:
( A better translation than "why" would be "what happened?" )

Apologies, it can mean both depending on the context.
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Danac
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 Message 11 of 17
30 April 2010 at 2:30pm | IP Logged 
sama_el wrote:
In Croatian "što" can be a relative or interrogative pronoun like in English. "Šta" in Croatian is the everyday form. While it is true that it can mean "why?" like in the phrase: "A što?" ( A better translation than "why" would be "what happened?" ) this is not part of standard Croatian.


It's quite exciting to me that people would also use što instead of šta in the meaning of "what", since I would have thought that would be incorrect usage in Croatia. So much for learning language from books only...

I was gradually getting more and more unsure about whether or not što might ever mean why, but I'd like to quote from Anić's "Rječnik Hrvatskoga Jezika" (This is just a short quote, the entry on "Što" goes on and on)

Što (Pril.)Odnosna zamjenica uzrok i cilj u zn. zašto (Što tako postupaš?)

Što (Adverb) Relative pronoun of cause and aim in the meaning of "zašto" (why)
(Why are you acting like this?)

The translation might be a bit off, but you're welcome to provide a more accurate translation. :)

To me, this is standard Croatian at work. It might not be very colloquial, but if it's in 2 seperate dictionaries listed with the possible meaning of "why", I'd gradually stop questioning it.

Edited by Danac on 30 April 2010 at 2:30pm

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sama_el
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 Message 12 of 17
30 April 2010 at 6:36pm | IP Logged 
You should also remember that the dialectal pronouns "kaj" and "ča" can have the same meaning. The rest is settled...
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Danac
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 Message 13 of 17
30 April 2010 at 7:03pm | IP Logged 
sama_el wrote:
You should also remember that the dialectal pronouns "kaj" and "ča" can have the same meaning. The rest is settled...


Oh, of course, they probably would, but I've not really been taught a lot about it. I do know that people use them in certain areas of Croatia, but apart from that I wouldn't know too much about it.
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Delodephius
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 Message 14 of 17
30 April 2010 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
Don't they mostly use 'kaj' in Zagreb?
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sama_el
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 Message 15 of 17
01 May 2010 at 8:08am | IP Logged 
http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datoteka:Croatian_shto_dialects _in_Cro_and_BiH.PNG

This map isn't too detailed but it's still useful.
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Chung
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 Message 16 of 17
01 May 2010 at 5:27pm | IP Logged 
This map may be a bit more detailed:

www.unc.edu/~rdgreenb/dialectmap.gif


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