Croats who emigrated to english speaking countries are the masters at it, but the trend of using words that are of an english base, and giving them a “Croatian” touch is now spreading in Croatia, and it has forced Croatian language expert and author Nives Opacic to write a book on the subject titled Hrvatski ni u zagradama (Croatian not even in brackets).
Opacic even has a name for the language she says is slowly being created: Hrenglish. Slang mentality she says has seen the creation of words that are now a common feature in the Croatian language such as shoppingirati (go shopping), downloadirati (to download), challengirati (to challenge) telephoneirati (to phone), lajkati (to like) and so on.
“We are creating a new language, hrenglish. The base is english, with an extension from a Croatian (hrvatski) root. In the last year it has got out of control,” said Opacic to Novi list.
Opacic says that the problem is when a new word comes into language from the west, such as the word trendy, Croatians simply adopt the word without creating its own. Opacic’s guide gives advice and solutions to Croatian language experts, journalists, students and citizens for replacement words in Croatian that are entering society in english.