Pure words, the silver in the fire clean from the dirt

In the last thirty years, I have reacted to the challenges of the media only a few times. I realized, in time- I believe, that the effort was useless since the medias exist and act upon their own logic, which I do not wish to discuss at this time.

And for this same reason I do not look through any of our journals. Life, as it is, is already very complicated and filled with worries and turbulences. And our, Serbian journals – how Serbian are they really? – agitate and push into deep despair. I ask my friends who tour the websites of the Serbian journals repeatedly and get upset afterwards, if they do not have enough of their own worries without reading the Serbian news.

However, I do regularly visit the website of the Serbian Patriarchate edited by the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church. I feel that as my obligation because I have to be informed about things that happen in my Church.  Sometimes I come across my old friends and then I reminisce the old times and the past events.

I am very often irritated by the writing mistakes that are very common on that website. Rarely can I find a text to which I cannot make a major objection. I let it be thinking they probably had to write it in a rush, and then editors most likely had to publish it in a rush. News has value only if it is the most current news.

Lately, and unfortunately more frequently, I am coming across an occurrence that truly upsets me. It is the tarnishing, the muddling or better yet the contamination of the Serbian language with foreign words- or loan words.

I said, I do not react to the challenges of the media, but I am boiling inside indeed. However, I did react a few months ago. There was an article about “donatorskoj” dinner, and generous “donatorima”, and in the end there was an invitation for “doniranje”. At that “donatorstvo” and “doniranje” I had it enough and I asked the editor to not put the loan words where we have, thank God, such beautiful words which are honoured by a long time utilisation.

As you can see, I, myself, use some foreign words, because no matter how hard I try I cannot find a good Serbian word for English words like “sajt” and “kloniranje” and similar.

I wish he/they had at least blinked at my request. He/they probably thought here’s another old dinosaur of language, the old nagger that lives in the past.

Therefore, he/they continued in their usual ways.

Sometime, in mid May of this year, the organization called Religious Charitable Care of the Serbian Orthodox Church invited people to help feed the hungry via the website of the Patriarchate and the title of the invitation was: “Donirajte za crkvenu kuhinju”.

And as much as I would if I could answer any call to help feed the hungry, invitations to “doniranje” like this one, make my blood boil.

Since my previous request to the editors was like water off a duck’s back, I now, publicly invite them and ask them to be more careful in keeping the purity of the Serbian language and to not let the loan words take place of our Serbian words. That obstreperous word “donirajte” I would replace with our words: pomozite, priložite, darujte, podarite and similar. And for the English word “donation” as a noun, we have beautiful Serbian words: dar, darak, prilog, poklon, podarenje to name just a few.

At the time, when I first came to this country, I chuckled whenever I heard “Serbish” a newly created language of our, mostly uneducated people. Whenever they could, they would give to an English word a Serbian form and that became a new “language standard” for them. It was also a topic of many articles and, if I am not mistaken, there was a PhD thesis given on the analysis of this language phenomenon.

I remember, one time, the president of the parish where I served at the time, and I had to go to Toronto. When I asked which car we should take, his wife answered promptly that her husband’s “kara” is bigger than mine, therefore, it would be wise that we “drajvamo” his “kara” to Toronto. That was then, and that is still present to this day, and that “karanje” and “drajvanje” could be understandable for this time and place, but “doniranje” and other language scams cannot and must not be acceptable when they come from Serbia, especially coming from the Serbian Patriarchate.

Here, it is more a matter of necessity and the lack of education; there, it is a matter of simple upstarts. Milisav Marojevic described them like this: “They run away from their own identity, because their ancestors were shepherds, goatherds, and swineherds, but Englishmen they will never become. They are not ours anymore, and they will never become theirs.”

I do not want to preach about the importance of the language for one nation. That topic has been discussed many times, maybe even too many.

The same editor/s, on February 28th, of this year, published a notice from Australia with a statement “ the Orthodox Christianity and the Serbian language are the keepers of our nation”.

For the wise one-enough said.

We look at the current world’s turmoil with fear and anxiety. It is becoming very clear to us all that the “world-power”, the “superpower”, the bully, will cause some major evil with its imperialistic assaults on poor nations. I cannot confront them.

Naïve, as you can see, I believe that I can, and that I must confront their language imperialism.

So I beg, one more time, the editor/s of the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church to leave the Trojan Horse of the American language imperialism and to use word priložiti instead of “donirati” and doprinosi instead of “donacije” – so they can donate their knowledge to keeping the Serbian language alive.

The Holy Script is our language model and the website of the Serbian Patriarchate should be the model of our language correctness.