Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey, dude, where are my vowels?

Do you play Scrabble? I do, and sometimes I cart my Scrabble game over to an English friend's house to play. Like many other players, we sometimes draw impossible combinations in English, and I think I will suggest to her next time that we can also use Serbian words, since that's a pretty good way to use those letters that never seem to go together, at least without an a,e,i, o, or u. In Serbian, r's often serve as vowels along with the standard ones, being trilled on the tip of the tongue, not in your throat like the French ones. I've used my American set here, but since letters are given values for their frequency, the values on a Serbian set wouldn't necessarily be the same as the ones you can see here (some have accents on, but of course not here), lying on Morton-Benson's Dictionary.

Here's what they mean:
  • trg--a square, open place
  • krv--blood
  • trk--race, gallop
  • grb--a crest, like a family one
  • prst--finger
  • smrt--death
  • cvrst--strong
  • srz--marrow
  • cilj--a goal
  • rdja--rust
  • grm--a shrub
  • hleb--bread

If you read Serbian, you can read about Mattel's plans for Serbian Scrabble right here, since right now I've only seen 'Skrebl' in what must be a pirated edition.


15 comments:

koala said...

I'm not a scrabbler so I'm not sure names apply but here's one: KRK.

Leif Hagen said...

My wife and mother-in-law are SCRABBLE junkies! They'd take you on any day! (Just make sure you have written rules with them)

Jacob said...

Haven't played Scrabble in years but we used to have a lot of fun with it...

Not being a linguist, however, I can't imagine trying to play it in another language.

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi Bibi -
When I visit my mom, as I am now, we play Scrabble everyday. I don't know if she'll accept those words though...
Please feel free to email me at:
susieofarabia@gmail.com

Chuck Pefley said...

My letters often resemble "qqsttvx" or some-such impossible combination. It certainly would be helpful to be able to use other languages ... but then P might not win and I'd just end up in the dog house. -:))

Bibi said...

Hi, Koala! Nope, no proper names. I left Grk (Greek) out, too, for that reason.

Mara said...

The only place I play nowadays is online: you see immediately if a word is good or not, no need for a dictionary anymore. (It's your turn)

Kirby3131 said...

Goodness I have a hard enough time spelling in English haha

Alexa said...

I might have guessed you'd be a Scrabble aficionado! I play with my cousins (who are ridiculously good), but we do allow double points for a "dirty" word.

Thérèse said...

I can always practice but with 5 consonants in a row! + the French r, it's too hard for me...:-)
What about a Scrabble in cyrillic?

Gaelyn said...

Have always enjoyed a good game of Scrabble. So what's wrong with multilingual?

Selma said...

I'm from Serbia actually, we played with english set of scrabble in serbian, but substituted q, w, x, y for serbian consonants ž, ć , č and š, for other consonants that don't exist in english we made up combinations.

Marie-Noyale said...

Seems so strange a world without vowels..
Interesting post.

James said...

After 22yrs of marriage my wife has never beat me at Scrabble on the other hand I've never beat here at Boggle.

James said...

After 22yrs of marriage my wife has never beat me at Scrabble on the other hand I've never beat her at Boggle.