Should I feed the kids, or bury them?
Oh what a difference of meaning one letter makes in Croatian! As I guess it does in every language.
The mistake that I made and describe here is genuine, although I am re-imagining a circumstance …. The story is pure fiction. Ignore the fact that my daughter and I don’t converse in Croatian.
I occasionally babysit for one of my daughters, when she and her husband need to go out. One day they were going out to a movie rather early and were worried about whether they had time to give the kids (my grandchildren) dinner before they left.
Of course I always imagine myself as the knight in shining amour, so I shooed them off, insisting that I would give the children their dinner.
In Croatian, “to feed somebody” is “nahraniti nekoga”.
Still being a novice Croatian speaker, sometimes, the correct word doesn’t quite come to mind ….. You know how the same stem of a verb can have so many prefixes?
Ajde! Uživajte u filmu. Ne brinite. Sve će biti u redu. Sahranit ću djecu.
Daughter and husband looked at each other. “The poor old bugger,” they thought. “He is losing it! Has he become a psycopath? Just in case, perhaps we had better not go out tonight.”
They stayed home. As they escorted me to my car, I noticed that my son-in-law went to the garden shed and was hiding the shovel.
“Why?” I asked myself.
Perhaps those of you who speak Croatian, or who are learning Croatian, might be able to tell me why ….
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