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Thread: Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

  1. #1
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    Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

    Dear foreros:

    who makes shoes and who mends them? Are these words synonimous and are they used the same way in all ex-YU?

    Hvala.

  2. #2
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    Re: Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

    I think they're all synonymous; they don't distinguish making and fixing of shoes.

    I'm not too familiar with Croatian practice, so take my assessments there with a grain of salt, but here you go:

    Obućar is the standard, common word across all BCS languages and registers for the craftsman.
    Šuster is a Germanism, sometimes used colloquially, mainly in Serbia, but substandard and mildly archaic.
    I perceive postolar as Croatian-only, but regional and/or archaic.

  3. #3
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    Re: Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

    Actually, postolar is a standard Croatian word, and the most common one heard where I live (Western Croatia). It's one of the rare words in the standard Croatian vocabulary taken from a non-Štokavian dialect. It comes from postola, which is the Čakavian word for shoe - cipela in standard BCS. Which means the standard word for the tradesman who makes/fixes shoes comes from a word for shoes not accepted in standard Croatian. A similar case is that of sat (standard for watch, clock) and urar (standard for watchmaker, comes from ura, regional word for watch/clock).

    I was about to say obućar doesn't exist in standard Croatian, but a reliable dictionary (HJP) lists it as one of the standard variants, so it must be that I just hear/see it very rarely.

    Šuster is only a regionalism (and a Germanism, as Duya said), but a very common and widely spread regionalism. I could be wrong, but I'd say it's at least as common in conversation in Croatia as postolar, depending on the region.

    Either way, whichever you use, you'd be understood in Croatia.

  4. #4
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    Re: Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

    Thanks, !netko!. In all cases, the man makes shoes (with deep knowledges) and/or sells shoes (with a shop) and/or repairs shoes (changes soles and nothing else)? There is no distinction between a shoemaker and a humble cobbler?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: Croatian: šuster/postolar/obučar

    No distinction between the two with postolar and šuster.

    I checked HJP's online dictionary, and their definition of obućar is "onaj koji izrađuje obuću; postolar" (one who makes shoes, postolar), whereas their definitions for both postolar and šuster explicitly mention fixing shoes as well. So maybe in Croatian obućar denotes specifically a shoemaker, as opposed to a cobbler? I'm not really sure, though, especially since they give postolar as a synonym. Hopefully someone more knowledgable about this than I am comes along

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