Hrvatski uokviren engleskim: jezik australskih Hrvata kao prvi i drugi jezik

Translated title of the contribution: Croatian framed by English: the language of Australian Croatians as a ‘first’ and ‘second language’

Boris Škvorc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the position of the other language in a multicultural liberal egalitarian environment. At the centre of attention are problems of so called 'escape to ghetto', on one side, and assimilation on the other side. Both are closely connected with liberal postulate uttered in a phrase: 'freedom of choice'; which, I argue, is very much dependent on discursive frame in given synchronic situation. Croatian language was officially recognized as a community language in Australia in 1979, based on the multicultural politics of the government of the day. Since 1980 it is taught as a part of the high school degree, and since 1983 it is also present at tertiary level as one of the languages other than English (LOTE). This paper discusses the present state of Croatian language in Australia, provides a brief history of its presence on that continent, language shift from Croatian to English and a specific koine that has been developed among first and second generation of speakers, regardless of their cakavian, kajkavian or stokavian background. It also provides an overview on how and where Croatian is taught, the number of speakers of Croatian, major processes that take place in language shift and the processes of cross-borrowing in first, second and third generation users. The central part of the paper discusses questions of bilingualism and language shift in the second generation. It also describes and tries to explain processes in the language that are surrounded with the other language, the 'host language'. In this particular scenario English influences the community language (Croatian) on three levels: on the level of lexical adaptation, syntax and usage of both languages in the form of a very specific language mix (cross-borrowing). In this environment a number of very original and specific processes that are not characteristic to the language in its natural environment are taking place. Due to limited space, only some examples of adaptation from the 'other' language will be provided. Also, a process of naturalizing some phrases, words and constructions is only touched. In the final part, the paper provides some examples and comments on a few 'community translations', mostly from 'ethnic newspapers' which are often very much influenced by the above processes of adaptation and naturalization.
Translated title of the contributionCroatian framed by English: the language of Australian Croatians as a ‘first’ and ‘second language’
Original languageCroatian
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalLahor: casopsis za Hrvatski kao materinski, drugi i strani jezik
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • multiculturalism
  • bilingualism
  • multilingual discourse
  • narration
  • language shift


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