Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was in Australia in mid-August 2017. She gave a talk at Macquarie University, Sydney, which has Croatian language programs.
Amongst other things, she talked about the importance of language in defining culture. She referred, as an example, to a belief that German people do not interrupt each during conversation.
She attributed this to the fact that German sentences have the verb at the end of each sentence, so listeners don't really know what the talker is saying until they finish their sentence.
Is that really true? It makes some sort of sense, I guess.
Gertrud says a sentence. Hans listens patiently.
On the other hand, word order in Croatian sentences is rather flexible, so conversational behaviour is quite different.
Marko, Marta, Blaženka i Ante. Croatians often all talk at the same time – and rather loudly.
I guess that means that everybody is listening to everybody at the same time? Remarkable!
And Aussies? Well they seem to behave during conversations somewhere intermediate between the behaviours of Germans and Croatians.
In Australia, whoever is talking wants the listener to behave like a German. But they don’t!
Barbara talks to Andrew, who is impatient.
Andrew can't hold back. He interrupts, and Barbara is angry.
I wonder if Croatians who go to live in Germany change their behaviour after learning the local language?
And do Germans change their behaviour when they are learning Croatian? Pitam se.
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