Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Sve naj naj

Something I’ve seen a couple of times on Facebook on some Serbs’ pages is birthday wishes that start with the usual “srećan rođendan” (for some reason, 95% of the messages are in Latin, rather than Cyrillic, script—I wonder why that is? And, more often than not, in plain ASCII rather than Latin Serbian) and then continue “sve naj naj!”

That amuses me a bit, because, as far as I know, “naj” isn’t even a word, but just a morpheme used in forming the superlative—as if you had wished someone “All the st!”

I suppose then everyone can fill in their own desires: all the best, the happiest, the prettiest… or, if you’re a bit on the morose side, the worst or the ugliest :)

I suppose that if that abbreviation expands to anything specific, it’ll be something like “sve najbolje i najlepše” (literally, all the best and prettiest), since one of those adjectives seems to be the most common among those who write it out.

…I just found that Google Translate can translate “sve naj”; it makes it “all the best”. Heh. Guess it found the abbreviated version often enough in the right contexts to give it a meaning through statistical translation.

Tags: language
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