| Dr. Branko Franolić, distinguished Croatian scholar, a member correspondent of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, spent most of his life far from his homeland, in England, France, Canada and elsewhere. He defended his doctoral thesis at famous Sorbonne in Paris. He left behind him numerous important books and articles dealing with various aspects of Croatian history and culture. |
Branko Franolić (1925-2011) was born in Rijeka, Croatia, and died in London, UK, where he had lived for almost four decades, since 1974. He studied French, English and Italian languages at the University of Zagreb. In 1952 he emigrated from ex-Yugoslavia, and since then spent most of his life far from his homeland, in England, France, Canada and elsewhere.
In 1977 he defended his doctoral disertation Les mots d'emprunt français en croate (Words of French origin in Croatian) at famous Sorbonne in Paris. During many years he lectured French language in England and Canada, and English in France. For sixteen years he was lecturing at prestigious University of René Descartes at Sorbonne. In Canada he lectured Croatian language at Atkinson College of the York University in Toronto.
Dr. Franolić had always stressed the importance of collecting data about achivements of Croatian culture, and donating books to most important libraries in the world, among them to the British Library in London. He himself did enormously in order to dissaminate information dealing with Croatia's past and present via his numerous public appearances, lectures, books and articles.
I had a privilege to meet Dr. Branko Franolić on several occasions in Zagreb. Each encounter brought many fruits, some of them still waiting to be visible in the future. Let me illustrate them by several examples.
An extremely interesting biography has Bartol Gyurgieuits (Bartol Jurjevic or Gjurgjevic, born in the region of Turopolje near Zagreb, known for nice wooden churches, 1506 - 1566?), a participant of the tragic battle on the Mohac field in 1526, where he was captured by the Turks and lived as a slave in many parts of the Turkish Empire. After 13 years of slavery he managed to escape. Since that time he travelled a lot throughout Europe, agitating for the creation of a strong union against the Ottoman Empire. His numerous writings in the Latin language were published first in Antwerpen (1544) and then extensively reprinted in many other languages: Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Dutch (Flemish), Hungarian, Polish, Czech etc. These extremely interesting testimonies about the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire can be found in the libraries of almost all larger European cities:
Bartol Gyurgieuvits: Libellus vere christina lectione dignus diuersas res Turcharum brevi tradens, Rome, 1552, content: De Turcarum ritu et caeremoniis, De afflictionem tam captivorum, Vaticinium infidelium de Christianorum cladibus et calamitatibus, Deploratio cladis christianorum ad potentisimos monarchos; the book contains "Our Father" in the Arabic in written in Latin characters (from the 2006 exhbition in NSK, Zagreb)
Most of his writings contain small dictionaries of the Croatian (which he calls Slavonian), Turkish, Persian and Hungarian languages. As a part of his "De afflictione...sub Turcae" (1544) he wrote the first known Croatian - Latin dictionary (with the basic prayers: Our Father, such as Hail Mary, Credo), which is also the first known dictionary among the Croats. He is also the author of the practical Italian - Arabian - Hebrew - Chaldean dictionary, added to the description of his pilgrimage to Yerusalem when escaping from the Turkish slavery. It was written in Italian: "Specchio della peregrinazione delli piu notabili luoghi della Terra Santa", and the author signed it as Georgievicz de Croatia.
He also mentioned a Croatian Script, which is "different from any other script in the world" (Glagolitic). He indicates that the Croatian language is spoken among others on the Constantinople court of Turkish sultans. Gyurgieuivits' works are also of interest for the study of Islamic music. He was not only the first Croatian author, but also the first Slav author whose writings were popular throughout Europe. For more information see [Zoric].
The Englishman Hugh Goughe wrote "The Ofspringe of the House of Ottomane", published in London in 1570, which is a translation of Gyurgieuits' book "De origine imperii Turcorum". In Goughe's book there is a dialogue in Croatian with a parallel English translation, alongside with two prayers in Croatian (Our father and Hail Mary).
Source: Branko Franolic: Georgijevic's Description of Turkish Ways and Customs: Unique Work Published in London in 1570, Croatian Times, London 1977 (many thanks to Dr. Franolic for sending me this article)
Let us present again Lord's Prayer in Croatian using contemporary orthography.
Note that the word order of Croatian follows the word order of English version of Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer in Croatian with the usual word order would be as follows (compare with the Croatian Glagolitic Lord's Prayer, which is very close):
There is also a small vocabulary of Croatian language, Vocabula Sclavonica, containing 52 words and phrases. Gyugyieuits himself is called the "first Croatian lexicographer" in this book. The British Library in London holds as many as 44 copies of various Gyurgiveuvits' books.
Regarding early dictionaries of the Croatian language, let us mention a German knight Arnold von Harf (1471-1505) who visited the Croatian lands along the coast during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1496-1499. His book "Die Pilgerfahrt des Ritters Arnold von Herff von Cöln", published in Köln in 1860, includes a short conversational dictionary of the Croatian language containing 56 words and basic expressions. He also visited the beautiful, strong and freedom loving city of Dubrovnik (as he says), for which he states to be in the Croatian Kingdom - in den Koenynckrijh van Croatijen.
It is interesting that a table of the Glagolitic Script was included as early as in 1664 in a book prepared by Richard Daniel and published in London. It represents a catalogue of various Scripts in use in the Christian world. The Glagolitic Script presented there is called expressly the Croatian hand or Alphabetum Charvaticum. The book contains also the table of Croatian glagolitic quick-script, which Daniel calls Sclavorum Alphabetum, and Croatian - Bosnian cyrillic (many thanks to Professor Ralph Cleminson for this information). The book is entitled Daniels Copy-Book: or, a Compendium of the most usual hands of England, Netherland, France, Spain and Italy, Hebrew, Samaritan, Caldean Syrian, Aegypitan, Arabian, Greek, Saxon, Gotik, Croatian, Slavonian, Muscovian, Armenian, Roman, Florentine, Venentian, Saracen Saracen, Aethiopian, and Indian characters; with all the hands now most in mode and present use in Christiendom... See [Franolic]. Here are two parts of the title page of Daniel's Copy-Book:
Branko Franolić: Filip Vezdin's Contribution To Indic Studies In Europe At The Turn Of The 18th Century
Translated into Italian by dr. Luca Leone.
The first etimological dictionary among the Slavs is Pravoslovnik by Petar Katancic (1750-1825), which has 1,473 pp (later renamed Etymologicon illyricum by Grgur Cevapovic). The manuscript contains 53,000 entries from A to Svemoguc. See [Franolic, p. 30].
The winner of the INA award for 1996 prof.dr. Branko Franolić
Prof.dr. Branko Franolić, the Croatian scientist, professor and public worker in France and England, was born on 2nd July, 1925 in Rijeka. He is a coresponding member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and resides in London.
Esteemed and acknowledged in the world of linguistics, with a wide circle of acquaintances in the intellectual, scientific and political circles of Great Britain, France, the USA and Canada. On the "most difficult ground" for Croatians, in Paris, and then in Londn and Canada, dr. Branko Franolić was among the first to have his scientific and research work in great libraries, archives and collections all over the Europe, and then also in the New World, and with his scientific appearances and publications, to force the way through the barriers of ignarance and falsehood about the Croatian language and the Croatians.
In universities, in scientific papers and in the intellectual circles of the franco-, anglo-, germano- and italophone worlds, he has patiently and persistently promoted the thruth and passed on little known and unknown facts about Croatian cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity, as well as about the cultural relationships between Croatia, France, England, Germany, Italy and other countries.
As a result of his scientific studies and articles, published in the "great" languages in world-famous linguistic journals, and in particular in his numerous books, which can be consulted in all the outstanding libraries and universities around the world, dr. Branko Franolić has not only obtained "citizenship" for Croatian linguistic, cultural and historical identity, but has also made the right to the authochtony and acknowledgment
of the Croatian language a point of issue within the European and even the global scientific scene.
He has succeeded, moreover, in establishing departments and sections on the Croatian language and its history in great libraries and scientific institutions in London. He has participated in about thirty radio broadcasts on the British national radio BBC, discussing the linguistic problems and British-Croatian cultural relations. He has also held a series of lectures on Croatian themes at many universities and scientific institutions in Canada and the USA.
In association with the Croatian Information Centre (HIC), in 1996, dr. Franolić published the first volume of the comprehensive and fundamental bibliographic work "Books on Croatia and Croatians recorded in the British Library", vol 1: general references and descriptive works: history, places and towns (246 pp.).
Since the beginning of the democratic changes in Croatia, dr. Franolić has been engaged, in particular, in the defence of Croatian rights and interests, and thus he was an active participant in a great number of scientific and political encounters, discussions, round tables and radio and TV broadcasts all over the world. Prof. Branko Franolić is one of those Croatians who has greatly contributed to the promotion of the Croatian language and culture in the world. This award is an expression of gratitude for all the diligence, love and efforts he put forth in this cause, as well as an encouragement to proceed in this manner in the future.
Ranko Marinković, member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, president of the jury
Dobitnik Nagrade INE za promicanje hrvatske kulture u svijetu za 1996. bio je znanstvenik te profesor i javni djelatnik u Francuskoj i Engleskoj prof.dr.sc. Branko Franolić. Rođen je 2. srpnja 1925. u Rijeci. Dopisni je član HAZU sa stalnim boravkom u Londonu – cijenjen i priznat u svijetu jezikoslovne znanosti u znanstvenim krugovima Velike Britanije, Francuske, SAD-a i Kanade. Godine 1952. zatražio je i dobio politički azil u Velikoj Britaniji tako da je najveći dio znanstvene karijere proveo u inozemstvu. Anglistiku i amerikanistiku diplomira 1957. pri Visokom učilištu Slobodne Europe u Strassbourgu. Doktorira na francuskoj Sorboni 1977. tezom o francuskim posuđenicama u hrvatskom jeziku.
Profesor Franolić bio je među prvima koji je svojim istraživačkim i znanstvenim radom u velikim knjižnicama, arhivima i zbirkama diljem Europe, znanstvenim nastupima i publikacijama probijao barijere neznanja i neistina o hrvatskom jeziku i Hrvatima. Usto, uspio je da se uvedu odsjeci i rubrike o hrvatskom jeziku i njegovoj povijesti u istaknutim londonskim knjižnicama i znanstvenim ustanovama. Brojna su djela profesora Franolića kojima je zadužio našu znanost. Ovom prilikom iz opsežne bibliografije radova istaknut ćemo one najvažnije: Utjecaj francuskoga jezika u Hrvatskoj - društveno-povijesni aspekti, Studija o Ruđeru Boškoviću i Engleskoj, Razvitak hrvatskog i srpskog jezika, Kratka povijest hrvatskog književnog jezika, Hrvatski književni jezik, Povijesni pregled hrvatskog književnog jezika, Jezična politika u Jugoslaviji, Prilog Filipa Vezdina indijskim studijama na zalasku 18. stoljeća u Europi, Hrvatski glagoljički tekstovi u Općem katalogu Britanske knjižnice, Knjige o Hrvatima i Hrvatskoj I., II. i III. u Općem katalogu Britanske knjižnice, Pregled hrvatske bibliografije 1960. – 2003. itd.
Profesor Franolić objavljivao je brojne radove i u istaknutim europskim časopisima, a veoma često je nastupao i nastupa u radijskim i televizijskim emisijama a napose kao predavač na visokim učilištima, savjetovanjima, kongresima. Napose je to činio tijekom Domovinskog rata. Zauzet brigom o opstanku i razvitku hrvatskog književnog jezika, u svijetu u kojemu, kako to spominje, svake godine nestaje dvadesetak jezika, profesor Franolić drži da će ostati samo oni jezici koji imaju milijune govornika i oni koji imaju dugu povijest pisane književnosti.
U razgovoru u povodu dodjele Inine Nagrade među inim Franolić je izjavio: „Nagrada poput Inine velika je stvar i zapravo govori o tome da kulturne ustanove i pojedinci moraju surađivati s industrijskim i trgovačkim tvrtkama“, a o hrvatskom književnom jeziku: „ Ako je lani (1995.) priznat novi slavenski jezik – karpatskorusinski, kako se ne bi priznao hrvatski jezik, koji neće nestati ni za 150 godina, nego će se održati među velikim jezicima jer ima svoju pisanu književnost“.
by Brian Gallagher
Dr Franolic is a prominent Croat linguist who has been resident in London since 1974. He is a
member of the Societe Linguistique du Paris.
Dr Franolic received an award from oil company INA for the defence of Croatian language abroad.
He has donated many books - about 2,000 - to UK libraries in particular the British Library but also
to others including the School of Slavonic studies, Oxford, Cambridge. CIL spoke to him about his
recent and current projects.
You’ve been compiling bibliographies on what’s in the British Library on Croatia.
Tell us something about that and your most recent work.
When Croatia became independent it was terra incognita - unknown country. There was hardly any
books on Croatia in the British Library, so I had to fill this gap and this was very necessary for
anybody who wants to write on Croatia or south-eastern Europe, they need a good bibliography.
People are discouraged because there are no books. Bibliographies are very important. I would call them ante room to any scientific research. You cannot do any serious writing without having a bibliography - books on a country or whatever subject.
I remember when Marcus Tanner (author of Croatia - A Nation Forged in War) started to write a book on Croatia, he had hardly any books on Croatia in London, he had to struggle. That’s why the supply of books to libraries is very important. Very often, librarians did not know what was published in Croatia, especially during the war. I had to supply them.
That’s how you came to write the bibliographies?
I realised that bibliographies were very necessary because anyone who wants to write on any aspect of Croatian life or culture or history must have the books. That was why I compiled my latest bibliography, A Survey of Croatian Bibliographies 1960- 2003. In the international world bibliography, published in Munich, Croatia was practically suppressed - because all the information came from Belgrade. So one had to fill the gap since 1960 to 2003. It includes different places, regions in Croatia and subjects - from Astronomy to Zoology.
A bibliography is the first step for research in any writing. This was our Achilles Heel. I met some people who were simply discouraged because no books were available. They wanted to write about Croatia but gave up.
You are working on a new project - ‘An Outline of Literary Croatian’. Can you tell us what this is about?
The Croatian language is still not thoroughly investigated. There are a lot of pre-conceived ideas about the heritage from the 20th Century. There is a Hungarian saying that says a nation lives through its language. The nation is a language, the language is a nation. A very important aspect of this the Glagolitic written language since the early middle ages - the Baska tablet - which is the cornerstone of Croatian literary development.
After the battle of Krbava in 1493 when the Turks invaded Croatia, an interesting detail is that the Glagolitic priest from Grobnik recorded in his breviary immediately after the battle that the Turks sacked whole Croatian lands and crushed the Croatian language - at that time language meant people. So language is people, people are language. It is very important to stress this, that from the middle ages - Glagolitic is slightly neglected - that Croats were among the first people in Europe to write in their national language.
Croats were alone in the Catholic church in the west who were permitted to keep the vernacular liturgy which set them firmly apart from the latin Catholics and ensured the retention of a unique identity. Whereas Catholic priests in France, Italy and Germany read in in Latin, Croatian Dalmatian priests read it in the vernacular so the liturgy could have the same kind of nationalising effect that the vernacular bible had in protestant countries. It was supplemented by new protestant translation of the new testament in Croat, printed in Glagolitic in Germany in the 1560s. This is an important fact that should be stressed.
What you are writing is taking us up to the present day?
Yes, because nowadays there is an assault on Croatian language again as in former Yugoslavia when Croatian was practically suppressed. So it was a very, very long struggle. From the middle ages via the renaissance, Croat writers on the Dalmatian coast had participated most extensively through regular Italian contacts in the culture of Western Europe, and were far from having experienced the intense isolation and intellectual poverty of Serbia - as said by Professor Adrian Hastings (late British historian).
There are a lot of half - baked linguists, pseudo-slavicists who try to suppress these facts. Very few people looked up Glagolitic missals/books - very important for the whole of (Croatian) literature, used not only in liturgy but also in administration.
It’s important to stress the Glagolitic literature, the work of our protestant writers who continued our traditions, there were fighting Venetian imperialism and encroachment on the Dalmatian coast. They were protestants, but they were first and foremost national priests who were afraid of being suppressed by Venice or the Turks.
We’ll see this article soon?
Yes, I hope so.
IMPORTANT NEW CROATIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY
Dr Branko Franolic has just produced [in 2004] a new and important english language work - A Survey of Croatian Bibliographies 1960-2003. To understand why this is so important for Croatia, I spoke to Dr Franolic.
Why did he embark on this project? "After World War 2, world bibliographies that were published in London and New York mentioned Croatia until 1958 - then stopped. This was due to Belgrade policy, which controlled the flow of information. Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia were mentioned but not Croatia" Dr Franolic informed me. Such policies were to have an effect on academic records of Croatia internationally.
"The 9 volume Bibliography of Bibliographies published by SAUR in Munich (1983-2003) has very few references to Croatia, less than the Former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan, but on a footing with Kyrgyzstan"
"That's the reason to do this bibliography - to cover this gap of 40 years and increase the amount of references."
This bibliography of bibliographies is in a way more complete than the one produced by the National and University library in Zagreb. This is largely due to the fact that a law stating that when a book is published six copies should be deposited with the library is not respected by some publishers and authors. "If a book is not recorded in the National and University library's CIP bulletin it effectively does not exist" said Dr Franolic.
Dr Franolic had to write to many separate libraries in Croatia as well as to state archives and scientific institutes to obtain information about the books held in their libraries. He received much invaluable assistance from staff in libraries in places including Rijeka, Osijek, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and monastery libraries in Sinj, Imotski and elsewhere. Due to Dr Franolic's efforts many bibliographies are now recorded that would otherwise not be.
In approaching libraries, one of the realities of the war came to the fore; the deliberate destruction of cultural material by Serbian forces. The monastery at Kostajnica was destroyed; only one book remained there.
That itself shows how important works such as this are. This bibliography will enable historians and other academics to be able to access Croatia's history more fully.
Brian GallagherSource http://paulstroud.co.uk/croatiafocus/Brian.Gallagher.240504.html
A HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF LITERARY CROATIAN / THE GLAGOLITIC HERITAGE OF CROATIAN CULTURE by Branco Franolic and Mateo Zagar
Book Review by Brian Gallagher. Originally featured in issue 2 of Most/The Bridge, published by the Croatian Chaplaincy, London.
In 2007, Charles Tannock, a British member of the European Parliament suggested that the languages used for Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian and Montenegro when they join the European Union should all be one - i.e. the return of 'Serbo-Croat'. Predictably, this caused outrage in Croatia, which Tannock passed off as being from 'Croatian nationalists'. Mr Tannock would do well to read this book consisting of two essays by the internationally noted scholars Branko Franolic and Mateo Zagar - in particular Franolic's essay on literary Croatian. Tannock would not only be informed about the historic reality of the Croatian language, but also why adopting some version of 'Serbo-Croat' would actually create practical problems for the EU.
Franolic's essay takes us right back to the beginning of the Croatian language, and includes material in regard to such major figures such as Ljudevit Gaj and works such as Faust Vrancic's 1595 Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europae Linguarum. Mr Tannock might be interested to note that the Dictionarium, which ranks Croatian as one of the five 'noble' languages of Europe, predates the first English dictionary by nine years.
Franolic makes clear the strong differences between literary Croatian and Serbian - there are numerous different words such as for bread, air, wave, spoon, electric bulb and so on. Furthermore, technical terms - scientific and legal - are different. This should give those who want a standard to be used for EU purposes pause for thought - it could cause serious legal problems given the many laws and regulations the EU is in the habit of formulating. It would avoid many problems of legal interpretation to simply use Croatian, Serbian etc.
It is perhaps the more recent history of the Croatian language that will be of interest in light of efforts to maintain Serbo-Croat. Articles appear now and again implying that Croatian is some kind of nationalist fall out from Yugoslavia which had peacefully used 'Serbo-Croat'. Not so - Franolic relates how in actual fact Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Slovenia were given equality of status in 1944 by a Yugoslav declaration of intent but then a process of imposing Serbian was developed.
Croats responded in 1967 with academics and cultural institutions signing a declaration asking for full constitutional recognition of the aforementioned four languages and accused Belgrade of imposing Serbian as the official language in order to repress Croatian identity.
In 1971, the Belgrade authorities launched a major attack against the Croatian language. In that year, the Croatian Orthography for schools was published in Zagreb. Belgrade rounded up 40,000 copies of it before it could be distributed and incinerated the lot. One copy survived - smuggled to London in 1972. It was reprinted and has since become the standard school textbook. Other similar works were also banned.
In light of such history, it is unsurprising that Mr Tannock only mentioned complaints from 'Croatian nationalists' rather than complaints from Serbs. Book burning and so on is also a taboo subject when Yugo-nostalgics talk of Serbo-Croat fondly and Croatian not so fondly. The enquiring mind would no doubt ask why if there is only one language called Serbo-Croat why such barbaric measures are required to suppress works such as the Croatian Orthography.
Mr Tannock and others may point to the usage of BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) at the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as a precedent. BCS was imposed on the countries of the region. A defence lawyer at the tribunal has informed me that there are substantial problems with differing translations, largely to do with words that mean different things in each language - BCS is hardly a good precedent.
The second, shorter, essay by Mateo Zagar is history of the Glagolitic alphabet in Croatian history and culture - it is fascinating and provides a full background to those intrigued by this aspect of Croatian history.
The book itself is produced on quality paper, with a section of illustrations of the glagolitic and literary items mentioned within the essays.
For those who want to know why the Croatian language is distinct and has a long history all its own, this is the book to read and to give as a gift to others. The book itself can be bought from CSYPN via www.amazon.co.uk from anywhere in the world.
Publisher: Erasmus Publisher Ltd & CSYPN (2008) ISBN: 9789536132805 111 pp
Brian Gallagher is a long serving committee member of the Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network (co-publishers of the reviewed book) and is editor of Croatia Business Report www.croatiabusinessreport.com.
Branko Franolić: A short history of literary Croatian", NEL, Paris, 1980.
Branko Franolić: A bibliography of Croatian dictionaries, Nouvelles editions latines, Paris, 1985.
Branko Franolić: "Mia Slavenska on the London Stage," Croatian Times, Issue 20,. October/November. 1997
Branko Franolić: Croatian Glagolitic printed texts recorded in The British Library General Catalogue, Croatian information centre, London (Zagreb - London - New York - Toronto - Sidney), 1994, ISBN 953-6058-04-9
Branko Franolić: Books on Croatia and Croatians: recorded in the British Library General Catalogue, Vol 1, Zagreb, London, New York, Toronto, Sidney, Croatian Information Center, 1996,
Branko Franolić: A survey of Croatian bibliographies, compiled by Branko Franolić, Croatian Information Centre (Zagreb, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney), 2004, ISBN 953-6058-30-8
Branko Franolić: A Historical Outline of Literary Croatian; Mateo Žagar: The Glagolitic Heritage of Croatian Culture, Erasmus Publisher, Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network, Zagreb - London, 2008, ISBN 978-953-6132-80-5
Branko Franolić: Filip Vezdin's Contribution to Indic Studies in Europe at the Turn of the 18th Century. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1991. 22p.
Italian translation of the monograph by Dr. Branko Franolic about Filip Vezdin was promoted in the City Council of Velletri ("Paolino di San Bartolomeo, pioniere dell'indologia nell'Europa di fine Settecento", translated from the English original by Dr Luca Leoni).
Branko Franolić: "Works of Croatian Latinists" - Recorded in the British Library General Catalogue, Zagreb; London; New York; Toronto; Sydney: Croatian Information Centre 1997, ISBN 953-6058-26-X
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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