Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian : da

harakiri

Senior Member
Japanese
The following sentence is from "Na drini ćuprija".

Nego, nas smo se nekolicina dogovorili da idemo noću, u gluho doba, i da obaramo i kvarimo, koliko se može, što je napravljeno i podignuto, a da pustimo glas kako vila ruši građevinu i ne da mosta Drini.

My question is about "ne da mosta Drini". It's possible to guess what it means from the context, but I prefer understanding this phrase grammatically.

"mosta" is of singular, genitive. As well, Drini. How about "da"? First I thought that some verb was hidden, but I felt odd.

In Wiki, I found the following explanation.
(archaic, literary, religious) lest
Onaj koji se bori protiv zla treba paziti da time i sam ne postane zao. ― He who fights evil need care lest he thereby become evil himself.

"a da pustimo glas kako vila ruši građevinu i ne da mosta Drini." can be translated as "and let the gossip go like that a fairy destroys this construction lest become the Bridge Drina."

I feel that "biti" may be omitted in the old fashioned language... No idea... Am I right?
 
  • Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    I have a feeling this is the verb dati, happy to be corrected by a native speaker though!

    Drini is in the dative, so I interpret this as "she doesn't give the bridge to Drina".
     

    harakiri

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Oh, Drini is dative. Yes... Sometimes I mix up things with Russian... :p a e i u...

    And "da" can be 3rd person singular (on), present tense of "dati". Mr. Panceltic seems right.
    However, "mosta" is singular, genitive... How should we understand? Possible to use mosta as accusative? :confused:
    It might have been used even as accusative before?

    Hvala! :)
     

    harakiri

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I have not learned any Slavic language in the school... But I suppose that I find the answer. The genitive form can be used to emphasize the denial instead of accusative. So totally Mr. Panceltic is right, I am nearly sure. :cool: Am I right now?
     
    Last edited:

    LookSharp

    Member
    Italian
    "Ne da" is definitely "ne+dati" here, so "won't let" or "doesn't allow" generally. [That Wiki entry is confusing because da used in that example is not at all archaic - lest in English may be somewhat archaic. In ordinary Serbo-Croatian it is an ordinary pronoun.]
    "Drini" is dative, yes.
    As for the English translation, that's a bit of a challenge. This is an idiom that English doesn't replicate. Maybe an equivalent would be "and won't allow a bridge on the Drina".
     

    harakiri

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes, I got it. :) Hvala! ;) Actually we communicate here in English, but sometimes we try explaining things out of the sense of English. :) It's quite interesting. Personally I try translating things in Japanese. Sometimes I don't need the interruption of English to think about your language for my better understanding. Especially adding some instant subject in each sentence is the boring duty in English, but in Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, and even in Japanese, we don't have such a strict rule. We have our nice flexibility. For example, the English translation of "Crveni petao leti prema nebu" is partly very ugly with full of "he", even though we don't see such a pronoun often in the original text. It's a sad destiny of English. He-he-he!!! :p

    On the other hand, in Japanese, even no need to distinguish the first, second or third person / persons in the verb. So I have to follow up such surprising habits to distinguish "nervously". :p Well, instead in Japanese we see different phenomena. For example, there's the phase transition between "You" and "I". "You" may become "I", and "I" may become "You". One may start talking in the sense of the other with the subject "I". "I, am I fine?" may mean "Are you ok?" Of course, not always, though. Moreover, we have hundreds of different words of "I", "You". :eek:
     

    LookSharp

    Member
    Italian
    Oh yes, different languages are like different modes of thought. And translation forces you to realise this all the time. Although English is easily my favourite language, writing or speaking Serbo-Croatian is nice in its own way. There are special forms of curtness in all languages, and in S-C, and as you say in Japanese, we get to imply the subject rather than name it all the time. This makes it possible sometimes to say a single word, or two or three, that would require double or triple the words in English translation. And that's nice if you appreciate it :)

    It's remarkable that you are so good in a South-Slavic language coming from such a distant one as Japanese. I couldn't imagine myself starting off with an East-Asian language; I wouldn't have the courage. I admire those like you who do :) Here in Italy I deal with Italians who study Serbo-Croatian. They're often surprised by how easy it is for them to start off and master the basic pronunciation. For you it must be different
     

    Lazar_Bgd

    Member
    Serbian - Serbia
    A belated comment: this means "it (the fairy) does not let the Drina have it (the bridge)".

    Ne da mira komšijama = He does not let his neighbours have some quiet (i.e. he makes noise).
     
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