Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

You’ve probably already heard of the famous phrase, “Latin is a dead language.” Nowadays, though, this is no longer the case. More and more schools are beginning to integrate Latin into their curriculum as a required subject. Similarly, more people are becoming interested in learning the language once again. That said, let’s take a look at why learning Latin has become so popular:

1. English Has a Mix of Latin

This may come as a surprise, but many of the English words we know come from a Latin root word. For instance, the word “antebellum” comes from the Latin roots ante-, which means “before”, and -bellum, which means “war.” Thus, learning Latin can help you appreciate the English language more, which is why there’s renewed interest in learning it.

2. Increased Vocabulary

Since many English words come from Latin, you just need to learn some root words in Latin to help you decipher many English words. The English language has a vast vocabulary that can make it difficult even for native speakers to learn. However, by learning a few words in Latin, you can decode the meaning of many words in English. This makes it important to learn Latin if you’re also serious about learning English.

For instance, you come across a highfalutin word such as “omnibus.” If you know the Latin root omni-, which means “for all,” then you can already get the gist of the word “omnibus” without searching the dictionary for its meaning. In fact, the word “omnibus” means encompassing or covering all of a series or set.

3. Language of the Early Church

The mother tongue of the Christian Bible is, in fact, Latin. So, to be able to understand what the Bible says in its original language, many people found it useful to study Latin. When reading translations of the Bible, many small details could get lost in translation.

Learning Latin would avoid that from happening and help you interpret the Bible as accurately as possible. Did you know that the word “Trinity” is actually a Latin word that comes from tres- (which means “three”) and -unus (which means “one”)? For Theologians, it is also important to learn Latin to better appreciate the meaning of words such as these.

4. Getting a Piece of History

Not only was the Bible written in Latin, but all of the works of renowned writers and thinkers were also written in this language. This includes the written works of Cicero, William Shakespeare, Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Horace, Vergil, Ovid, Aquinas, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Tolstoy, Plato, Hobbes, Dante, Homer, and more.

Learning Latin will help you get closer and allow yourself to interpret the original meaning of the works of all these great people and get a piece of history. More people wanted to learn Latin in order to read the classics in their original language and uncover a different take on these literary works.

latin 2019

5. Entails a Different Discipline

Another reason why learning Latin has become very popular is because of the structure of the language. The Latin language is structured very logically, and learning it will enable you to share a similar train of thought. Mastering Latin will help you become more logical, make sound judgments, and enhance critical thinking. Learning Latin is, therefore, a good exercise to think more systematically.

6. Scientific Names are in Latin

Science is something that is very important and will always be used on a daily basis. When science was just being discovered and developed, Latin was used to describe all the scientific things that were being learned. Because of this, all scientific names are in Latin. To have a better grasp of science, many people, especially those working in this field, started learning Latin as well.

7. Latin Dominates in Law and Government

As much as Latin is used in science, it is also the mother language of law and politics. Many legal terms that are used today come from Latin. If someone is gunning to become a lawyer, then they should study Latin. Many words used in today’s court, such as de facto, pro bono, caveat emptor, referendum, veto, or quorum are actually Latin words.


Basically, Latin is the foundation of the English language and has made its mark before, and even until now. This classic language remains to be studied in different cultures because of its rich culture and construction. Given the reasons above on why it has become so popular, you might also be interested in learning Latin as well. Give it a try if you have some time to spare, and you might just be surprised with the beauty of the Latin language.


Whilst the rest of Europe, and indeed most of the rest of Croatia, is gripped in the wet and grey start to autumn Dubrovnik has been basking in golden sunshine for the past few days.

The popular Sunset Beach Dubrovnik was awash with sunbathers and swimmers yesterday as tourists took the chance to top up their tans before heading home to colder climes. With temperatures in the low twenties it was the perfect day to relax by the Adriatic.

And the sea is still warm, the sea temperature today in Dubrovnik measured a balmy 22.5 degrees. In fact, the sea temperature in Dubrovnik is warmer than almost all northern European capitals. Dubrovnik could be in for more sunshine until the end of October as the Indian Summer blazes on. 

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The property market in Croatia is continuing to blossom with prices rising almost on a weekly basis. And it isn’t only the seaside locations along the Croatian Adriatic that are catching the eye of home buyers, the capital is one of the boom markets.

Croatia was among the European Union countries in the second quarter with the strongest rise in residential property prices compared to the same period a year earlier, more than double the European average, estimates from the European Statistical Office showed on Monday.

The prices of residential real estate in Croatia rose by 10.4 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. This further accelerated price growth on an annual basis, after 7.4 percent growth in the first three months of this year.
Only Hungary, by 14 percent, and Luxembourg, by 11.4 percent, recorded stronger year-on-year growth. The group still stands out for Portugal, with a price increase of 10.1 percent.

According to available data from the European Statistical Office, only Italy recorded a 0.2 percent fall in residential property prices compared to the previous year.

And one of the hotspots is the Croatia capital Zagreb, which has seen prices rising almost as fast as Dubrovnik, the most sought after real estate destination in Croatia. Whereas five years ago you could buy a large family house for the same price as an apartment in Dubrovnik this gap has closed considerably.

Condé Nast Traveler is one of the most widely read and recognized travel magazines in the world. Being present in the mentioned magazine in any way certainly contributes to the global positioning and excellent branding of a tourist destination, including Croatia.

Each year, as part of the Readers' Choice Awards, its readers vote online for their favorites in the categories of best countries, cities, islands, hotels, airlines and cruise companies. More than 600,000 readers took part in this year's survey, held from April 1 to July 30.

And readers of the renowned New York travel magazine this year ranked Croatia in the 20th, the most popular country in the world.



"Choosing Croatia among the top tourist destinations in the world is the latest in a series of certifications that our country enjoys the status of a very popular and fast-growing destination in the large and important US market. In addition to numerous awards and recognitions, this is confirmed by the tourist turnover achieved so far in the year, in which American tourists made almost 600 thousand arrivals and more than 1.6 million nights, which represents a growth of high 12 percent compared to the same period last year, " HTZ Director Kristjan Stanicic, emphasizing that when it comes to distant markets, the largest turnover in Croatia is from the US market.

In addition to Croatia, Indonesia, Thailand, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Peru, Greece, Philippines, Italy, Vietnam, Turkey, Japan, Mexico, Tanzania, Israel, Colombia, New Zealand were awarded in the 2019 Best World Countries , Ireland and Cambodia.

In addition to publishing the results in a web edition, the results of the survey will also be published in a printed version of a magazine published in the US and UK.

October has never been more exciting. Actually, it has been for the last five years now thanks to the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Autumn Music Variety cycle. So, for five years in a row DSO has been making Octobers more and more compelling. This is achieved by offering a musical program with a spectrum of musical hearings. From classical music and pop to gypsy jazz music this festival is for anyone that just loves music. No matter what your musical preferences are the DSO is providing a program that will keep you warm this Autumn.

This year’s cycle consists of four concerts and is proud to announce that it’s participants are well known Croatian musicians. Alongside the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, the audience will enjoy Slobodan Begić, conductor, Tomislav Fačini, conductor, Marc Tardue, conductor (USA), Martina Zadro, soprano, Džemal Cakić, trumpet, Stefani Grbić, piano, Dora Kamber, violin and Pero Škobelj, guitar. This music cycle will begin on Sunday 13/10 and will end on Friday 25/10.

On Sunday 13/10 at the Sponza Palace at 8.30 pm the audience will enjoy a chamber concert by violinist Dora Kamber and guitarist Pero Škobelj. They will be playing pieces from Baroque by S.L. Weiss Ciaccona in G major. Following Weiss will be pieces by Austrian composer F. Schubert Arpeggione sonata in A minor. The programme will be continued by Croatian composer which passed away last year M. Miletić with the piece Sonatina for violin and guitar. In conclusion visitors will find pleasure in Argentinean composer A. Piazzola and the pieces, Histoire du Tango, Café 1930 and Nightclub 1960.

Tuesday 15/10 brings a different type of DSO concert. At 8:30pm at the Rector’s Palace the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra’s Pops Ensemble alongside Slobodan Begić, conductor and trumpeter Džemal Cakić will deliver a Film Music program that consists all of the world’s favourite pieces heard in admired movies. The program will include popular themes from movies and shows such as those from Game of Thrones, James Bond, the Godfather, Titanic, Memoirs of a Geisha, Scent of a Woman, as well as well-known Sway, Guantanamera, Manha de Carnaval, The shadow of your smile, The best of Queen, the Beatles forever, Volare, New York New York and many other.


The third Concert of this musical cycle continues with DSO alongside Croatian conductor Tomislav Fačini and pianist Stefani Grbić. They will be playing at the Rector’s Palace at 8:30 pm. Program includes Concert for orchestra (2nd paragraph) by Croatian composer I. Končić, Concert for piano and orchestra in C major, KV. 467 by W. A. Mozart and Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90,'Italian' by F.B. Mendelssohn.

The last Concert of the Autumn Variety Festival will end once again with the Orchestra playing alongside chief conductor Marc Tardue. At 8:30pm at the Franciscan Church, Croatian soprano Martina Zadro will accompany the Orchestra and our conductor. Program consists of a pieces from W.A. Mozart.

Information for the concerts are available on the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra website www.dso.hr, on its social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram and special content can be found by following the hashtags #autumnmusicvariety #dubrovniksymphony. Information about concerts and tickets are also available on the phone number +385 20 417 110, and reservations can be made via mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The ticket prices range from 50 to 300 Kuna. Tickets can also be purchased at the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (St. Dominic 9), the gift shop Dubravka at Pile, the agency of Perla Adriatica at Ploče and Luža Cultural Info Centre. Tickets can also be found one hour before the beginning of every concert at the venue entrance.

It is well known that Croatia is a country of coffee lovers. From the never-ending coffee with friends in a pavement café bar, to a blast of caffeine from a coffee-to-go and the strong kick of Turkish coffee in the morning to wake up, Croatians are coffee addicts.

85 percent of Croatians drink at least one coffee a day, whilst a massive 60 percent consume more than one cup a day. And coffee drinkers have moved with the times. Twenty years ago instant coffee, such as Nescafe, was unheard of in Croatia but now this quick coffee fix is the second most drunk behind Turkish coffee. According to a new survey 70 percent of coffee drinkers like Turkish coffee or expresso the most. With coffee-to-go and coffee from vending machines the least popular.

But it seems that the actual taste of coffee isn’t the main reason why Croatians sip their cappuccino, in fact it is the least important. The main reason that Croatians gulp down coffee is habit, with 41 percent of people asked saying that habit was the main reason. Habit was followed by socialising and to wake up.


This week the gastronomic academy “Majstor Kuhar” founded by Croatian famous chef and academician Branko Ognjenović was opened and with his young team they presented program of the academy. After many years in world of gastronomy chef Branko has announced his active retirement where he plans to dedicate his time mostly to humanitarian work in the charity “Udruga Renato – Chefs Without Borders.”

A team of experts led by Sabina Jalšić, chef Dario Lido (Branko's successor) and Nenad Bratković master of nutrition will lead the academy’s programs. Branko will still be active in each segment of the academy as a lecturer in master class workshops but the young force that have been with Branko since the very start will take over implementing the academy’s goals.


Over 150 friends, chef colleagues, business associates and media representatives came to show their support of the new academy equipped with state-of-the-art technology which will allow lecturers to share information online and enable online courses. Students of the academy will be given the certificate “MAJSTOR KUHAR” upon finishing the seminar. The main mission of the academy is to empower the working market with skilled labour, to reduce the deficit with education and increase the competency in the market, it is the first such academy on the Croatian market that offers professional training in gastronomy.


The premises in which the academy is located is an educational venue equipped with up to date interactive equipment for interactive education on topics such as cookery and nutrition, as well as adapting it to people with special needs, gastro diseases but also organizing master classes. The academy has announced collaboration with other guests from world of gastronomy and enology.


The Social Democratic Party (SDP) parliamentary group has submitted to the parliament amendments to the Act on Sustainable Waste Management proposing that plastic bags and single-use plastic products be banned as of the middle of 2020 already instead of as of 2021, as regulated by an EU directive.

This would lessen the negative impact of plastic products on the environment and human health and contribute to the establishment of a circular economy, the SDP said.

Social Democrat Mihael Zmajlovic told a news conference that the ban on single-use plastic products would significantly contribute to reducing the amount of waste and help Croatia become a clean country which lives predominantly off tourism.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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