Croatians, mainly from the Dalmatian coast, have been emigrating to the far away land of New Zealand since the mid 1800s. A large majority of the 100,000 or so with Croatian connections there today are 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation…
The Croatians generally went out of their way to ‘fit’ into the Kiwi way of life, with most adding an ‘h’ onto their surname to make it easier for the locals to pronounce. Another sign of trying to ‘blend in’ was the effort made to learn the local language. A large number of Croatian migrants to New Zealand would work together, socialise together and live close together, rendering the need to speak English redundant. But many made the effort to try to utilise their new-found skill.
The result, which those in American, Canada and Australia will also be familiar with, is that somewhat of a ‘mish-mash’ lingo has been passed down where the odd English word is thrown into a Croatian sentence.
A humourous video posted today by portal Total Hvar best illustrates the point as a Kiwi-Croatian, Croatian and Hvar local run through a series of phrases in their various dialects.