BCS - r(ij)eč je o / radi se o

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Tassos, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Hello and sretna/srećna nova godina!
    Onlinerecnikcom lists the expressions of the title as synonyms.
    Is that so or are there any differences?
    Btw the first one is one of the most frequently encountered expressions in Croatian articles (sometimes without the 'je') - although I have seen it in Serbian articles too...

    Hvala svima!
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I don't sense any particular difference, either in meaning and connotation, or in geographical distribution. "Reč je o" is somewhat more formal: for example, if I'd ask a friend about a movie, I'd say "O čemu se radi u filmu?"; "O čemu je reč" would sound stilted.
  3. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    OK clear, but you've confused me a bit with the use of u + Loc for "film".
    If the meaning of your phrase is "What is the film about?" and given that the expression "radi se o" is subjectless, shouldn't the word "film" be in the dative without a preposition, as the logical subject (not my words, R.Alexander's) of the sentence?
    Or is it a set phrase and must be learned as such?
  4. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    I could imagine different situations where I would prefer one over the other. If I wanted to inquire about the conversation two people are having, it would be: O čemu je riječ? = O čemu razgovarate? And I think generally in situations where people talk, it is better to ask like this, e.g. O čemu je riječ na sastanku, sjednici, debati etc.

    When it comes to films, plays, novels, and so on, they all have a plot (radnja), so I think it is more idiomatic to ask o čemu se radi u filmu, predstavi, romanu...
    One can say 'O čemu je film?' and then it is a literal translation of 'What is the film about?'.

    P.S. Google gives these results: "reč je o" - 4,500,000; "riječ je o" - 45,700,000. So it seems possible that there are preferences in Croatia.
  5. Vanja Senior Member

    Srećna Nova godina! :) (Zašto ste zaboravili vas dvojica da mu čestitate?:D)

    O čemu je (zapravo) reč? reminds of formal conversations and debates. I would say it's used in the context: What is the problem? What the matter is? What is the issue here? The general idea of this is...?
    (When it's said in a monolog or at the beginning of a conversation, or asked by someone - TV presenter, professor....)

    If you find yourself in the middle of conversation (often hullabaloo) and you have no idea what the people in a meeting/on TV etc. are talking about, O čemu je reč?= Priča se o čemu?

    O čemu se radi?
    is pretty common, rather informal, when one talks about film, novel, as in Mag's example.
    Radi se o ... can also be used when pinpointing a problem or gist

    O čemu se radi (gde?)- u filmu/romanu.... = in the book, in the film, in the story....
    O čemu je film? What's the film about? (the same meaning)

    I don't know what confuses you here....:confused:
    (*different colors different word cases).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  6. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Well, many times when you are learning a language very different than yours, you tend to compare expressions and phrases with the equivalent in your native language. While a lot of times there is a good percentage of correspondence between the two languages (Kako si mi ti for example, impossible to translate in English, can be translated word-for-word in Greek) here it is not like that. In Greek we use expressions similar to radi se o/riječ je o with the noun in the nominative. So when I read u + Loc it was unexpected and I wanted to know why, that's all...
  7. Vanja Senior Member

    U + lokativ = mesto nalaženja (statički, pozicija)
    U + akuzativ = mesto završetka radnje (dinamički, kretanje)

    Moji roditelji su u kući. (lokativ)
    Moji roditelji su ušli u kuću. (akuzativ)

    Predloge u, na, po, o lokativ deli sa akuzativom.

    lokativ akuzativ
    Polica se nalazi u zidu Gledam u zid.
    Moja knjiga je na polici Stavio sam knjigu na policu.
    Crtao je po knjizi. Otišao je po knjigu.
    Pričao je o njemu Ogrešio se o njega.

    More about lokativ
  8. Anicetus Senior Member

    Nope. I guess Ronelle's remark must refer to sentences such as hladno mi je, but it doesn't apply to all subjectless sentences. In fact, all examples of a logical subject in dative I can think of right now (not necessarily in subjectless sentences) denote the person who is concerned with the predicate, for example: film joj se sviđa, treba ti san, valja mi pogledati film...

    Anyway, when referring to plot, raditi se can also be used with a grammatical subject, for instance: o čemu se radi film?
  9. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    In this case, u filmu is just a regular locational phrase (odredba) rather than some kind of exotic indirect object: What's going on? -- Where? -- In the movie.
  10. Vanja Senior Member

    Maybe in Croatian, but this example sounds odd and unpaired in Serbian. I know that the reflexive pronoun is far more used in Croatian, but this sentence simply with "o" and "se" ne štima.

    If you ask: O čemu se radi film? The answer would be: Film se radi o.... which is one "confusing" construction. This could be understood as Radi se filmAcc o ... (FilmNom se radi o... is impossible since film ne radi samog sebe.)

    The movie about X is being shot (in Zagreb)..... Film o X se radi (u Zagrebu)......
    or Film se radi na deset lokacija...(example)
    U filmu se radi o...
    Sve u filmu se radi o....
    Film govori o....
    Film se vrti oko...

    Film se odvija oko...
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  11. Anicetus Senior Member

    I didn't make that up, see for yourself. :)

    By the way, filmNom se radi isn't impossible. You can say kuća se gradi, but kuća ne gradi samu sebe either. However, using raditi in the sense of "make" like this (that is, praviti) does sound a little bit "wrong" to me, even though some people do it.

    Eh, anyway, I do find u filmu se radi o to be a nicer formulation.
  12. Vanja Senior Member

    No, no, no - that was Croatian... zloupotreba već preopterećenog i sirotog glagola raditi. ;)

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