Hvar – say what? Four years on

Happy 4th Birthday to the GoHvar blog! Four years ago on this very day, I published my first blog article Say what? covering the challenge of pronouncing Hvar for native English speakers. It’s actually quite tricky if that particular combination of sounds is not one that you grew up with, and are not used to hearing. Recent research shows that very young infants have the ability to distinguish a very wide range of different sounds, but after about a year, that has been reduced to the sounds they continually hear around them. So they start to tune into the specifics of their local language – of their parents and/or nanny if they have one, and they lose the ability to detect sound combinations they never hear. It’s not simply that we can’t pronounce unfamiliar sounds, we may not actually be able to hear the difference. Now that explains a lot, doesn’t it? Interestingly, the further north in Europe you come from, the easier hvar becomes. It’s actually a word in Old Norse, and you’ll find descendants of that in modern Faroese, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. To them, hvar means where? So I guess Nordic folks have no problem pronouncing Hvar and, by extension, also the Scots who are quite nordic in many ways! How to pronounce Hvar seems to be a popular topic, as that is consistently one of our most viewed articles. I do hope all those people have found it helpful! A big THANK YOU to everyone who has subscribed and supported us over the last four years. We really appreciate it! Much more rambling about this island to come… stay tuned!

Vrboska - Evening Light

Vrboska waterfront – evening light

One thought on “Hvar – say what? Four years on

  1. First of all congratulations !
    Funny to look back at your very first item, four years ago.
    Just today was reading there are (were ?) three major dialects in Croatia, and as far as I know even the islanders have their own words too.
    My mother in law always corrects us when we talk about “vitar” where she wants us to say “vjetar” (wind).
    Another funny aspect of the Croatian language is the lack of a W, which is a “problem” when you drive a VW, ha ha ha.
    So, happy anniversary, jos sto godine !

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