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!