Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian (BCS): Gd(j)e si?

Emmanon82

Member
Ukraine;Ukrainian and Russian
May be it`s an another "untranslatable" expression ;), I just don`t know , but what is the proper answer to this simple question? What people really wait to hear from me in this case?
 
  • Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    May be it`s an another "untranslatable" expression ;), I just don`t know , but what is the proper answer to this simple question? What people really wait to hear from me in this case?

    Now you're asking a pretty advanced question. :)

    There is no standard answer to this greeting. When I hear it, one option is to not answer to it at all, but merely respond with another greeting, or say the same thing myself, perhaps even simultaneously. Alternatively, I may also respond with something like:

    "A eto..."
    "A evo me..."
    "A evo, jebiga..." [expletive! -- to be used carefully]

    All of these are essentially meaningless expressions saying something like "Here I am." Other people have their own ways of replying, which I usually don't even notice.

    Depending on the way it's said, this greeting can also express a warm feeling of having missed the person you're greeting, or a mild, friendly scolding for neglecting the contact. It is possible to reply with a strongly stressed "Gdje si ti?" to return back a similar message.

    Overall, this greeting is used only in very informal and friendly situations, and it's not even appropriate in all such situations (e.g. normally you shouldn't use it to greet a romantic partner :D). Generally, if in doubt, don't use it!
     

    ienne

    Senior Member
    Croatia, Croatian
    OVDJE = HERE = at your place at the time of speaking, and not where the person who asks you where you are is
    TU= meaning where you are = you answer that if you happen to be at the same place where the person who asked you the question is
    TAMO = THERE = if you happen to be neither at your place nor at the place of the person but some third place farthest away from both you and the person who asked you where you are (this is impossible however)
    If you have studied Spanish by any chance, it would correspond to AQUI, AHI and ALLI, as for distance only.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    OVDJE = HERE = at your place at the time of speaking, and not where the person who asks you where you are is
    TU= meaning where you are = you answer that if you happen to be at the same place where the person who asked you the question is
    [...]

    I think she's asking about what to reply to "Gdje si?" when used as a greeting, rather than a literal question about your location. :D
     

    ienne

    Senior Member
    Croatia, Croatian
    Oh, now I get it, people have greeted me like that and I did not understand that it was supposed to be a greeting. I always thought they literally meant it and wanted to know where I have been in the sense of long time no see.
    I guess I still would not know what to say.
    Just greet them in your own way. Smile? It is supposed to be some
    expression of joy or something. Not really a question. At least so I have been told.
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Especially in Bosnia, another similar greeting is "šta ima?", literally meaning "what is there" or "what do you have"; the corresponding English idiom is "what's up?". It is often accompanied with "gdje si", i.e. "gdje si, šta ima?". The response is either "šta ima?" in return, or "nema ništa, šta ima kod tebe?" ("nothing; what's up with you?").

    ...and I posted all of it as a pretext to a joke :):

    The crisis times. A Bosnian enters a butchery shop:
    - Do you have lamb?
    - No.
    - Do you have beef?
    - No.
    - Do you have pork?
    - No.
    - Pa šta ima?! (well, what do you have?!)
    - Nema ništa, šta ima kod tebe?
     

    ienne

    Senior Member
    Croatia, Croatian
    Duya, that is so true. I have heard it so many times, exactly in that context. Šta ima- nema ništa- šta ima kod tebe. Reminds me of the comedy that I have seen, so I have to laugh. Kajmak i Marmelada.
     

    Tolovaj_Mataj

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    "Kajmak i Marmelada" with Đuro?
    Should watch it some day, I should. ;-)


    Btw, about the initial talk. Here in Slovenia we only use this "Kje si?" when ringing someone's mobile phone. Otherwise we never use this phrase in a context described above.
    Only people with Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian origine use it. Bosnians here pronounce it "Đe si?"
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Just that? :D I'd say, a couple of other sounds as well...

    Along the following lines:
    /'ʃəima:/
    /neə'niʃt 'ʃəima: 'kotebe/

    This is a bit more extreme than my native dialect from Banjaluka, though; more characteristic of the Sarajevo speech. :D We'd rather go for something like /ne:a:niʃta 'ʃtʌima: 'kotebe/.
     
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