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Vini Zvani Pu
Winnie-the-Pooh in Croatian and Bosnian
A Translation of A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh
Translated by Luka Semenović
Winnie-the-Pooh is the most popular children's book in the world and in Croatia and Bosnia. Croatian is a language read and spoken by six million people in Croatia. It is also spoken in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Austria. Bosnian is spoken by 1.5 million people in Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.
It does not seem to be clear whether Croatian and Bosnian are different languages or two different names for the same language. This same translation has also been listed as a translation for Winnie-the-Pooh in Serbian. Serbian is spoken by 9 million people people in all countries. It is also spoken in Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.
Traditionally, men have fought wars and killed each other over land, money, religion and women. However, the Croatians, the Bosnians and the Serbs have been fighting each other over the alphabet! Croatian tends to use the Latin or Roman alphabet. Serbian uses the Cyrillic Alphabet. As a result, Serbia has tended to be aligned with Russia but Croatia has tended to be aligned with the West. They have even fought several wars over this, starting with World War I.
Croatian and Bosnian are Indo-European Languages. They are called Serbo-Croatian.
This translation of this book into Croatian and Bosnian is by Luka Semenović. Luka Semenović has translated several books into Croatian. She translated Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe and My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara, all into Croatian.
This translation of Winnie-the-Pooh follows the original book closely, but does add the translator's own minor variations.
The purpose of this book is to help Croatian and Bosnian speakers learn English and to help English speakers learn Croatian and Bosnian. To have a translation as close as possible to the original is the most useful.
There are several books about Winnie-the-Pooh in Croatian and Bosnian. The name for Winnie-the-Pooh in Croatian is Vini Zvani Pu or Pu for short. The Rabbit is Zekhop. Christopher Robin is Kristofer Robin.
Ishi Press has reprinted translations of Winnie-the-Pooh into 23 languages thus far. We have published it in Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Persian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Khowar, Kalasha and Latin. We have six more languages lined up.
This translation into Croatian and Bosnian is part of project to translate Winnie-the-Pooh into other languages. The idea is children need to learn to read at an early age and the best way to teach them to read is to provide reading materials that they find interesting. Children around the world laugh when they see Winnie-the-Pooh saying and doing silly things. Since Winnie-the-Pooh is the most popular children's book world-wide, translating this book into the different languages of the world will be conducive to teaching children to read in those languages.
Translations are always difficult. A word in any language will almost never have exactly the same meaning in another language. For example, at the beginning of the English Language original of Winnie-the-Pooh, on the third page there is the following sentence, “He came to a sandy bank and in the bank was a large hole.”
Now you may be wondering, “Was that because somebody has robbed the bank?” Of course, you know the answer. The bank has not been robbed. But if your translator is somebody not familiar with the banking system, he may not provide the proper translation to this sentence. We know the answer because we know that Winnie-the-Pooh did not have a bank account. See how such a simple sentence can confuse people?
We are not translating the entire book. We are only translating Chapter 2, which is the most interesting, most popular and shortest chapter. Winnie-the-Pooh is based on the most popular children's character in the world. Part of the reason for this is Winnie-the-Pooh was based on an actual living bear in the London Zoo named Winnie. Christopher Robin is the name of a real person who was the son of the original author, A. A. Milne. The son had a teddy bear he liked to carry around with him he named Winnie-the-Pooh.
Winnie-the-Pooh is perhaps unique for a children's book in that it is based on real people and historical events. Christopher Robin was a real person. As a child, he had a teddy bear he named “Winnie-the-Pooh”.. The bear was named after a real bear in the London Zoo named Winnie. Winnie had been found in the forest near Winnipeg, Canada. His owner had brought him to England and eventually had donated him to the London Zoo.
Because this book is about real people and events, this places the book in a different legal position than other children's books with cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck which are purely the inventions of their creators. The real Winnie-the-Pooh teddy bear is now on display at the New York Public Library. Elvis cannot be copyrighted because Elvis was a real person, so anybody can write their own stories about Elvis, although you cannot copy somebody else's story. This has helped spread the popularity of Winnie-the-Pooh.