Tetovo, 16 July 2021 (MIA) — After its publication in January, “The Tetovo Vernacular,” an etymological dictionary written as a labor of love by self-taught lexicographer Darko Gavrovski, was officially launched in Tetovo on Thursday. The 647-page volume contains 9,169 entries covering the words’ etymologies as well as the mechanics of their usage and of Tetovo dialect grammar.
According to MIA’s Tetovo correspondent, Gavrovski worked on the dictionary for over two decades.
“This book began as a family hobby in 1995, when my father and I started writing down old Tetovo words in notebooks,” Gavrovski said at the book launch.
“We wrote down 700 words in those notebooks. Now there are over 9,000. In 1996, I started interviewing Tetovo townspeople, the oldest of them born in 1904.”
Gavrovski said he was “fascinated by the passage of time” and felt a duty to preserve the language of his ancestors for the next generations.
Tetovo-born writer Jovan Damjanovski noted that the dictionary was a monumental effort. He said it proved that Tetovo dialect words wouldn’t disappear regardless of their differences from standard Macedonian.
Macedonian conductor Ivica Zorikj, who lives in Tetovo, said the entries were written accessibly, arousing the readers’ curiosity and easily keeping their attention.
“At the same time, Darko has successfully differentiated the specific, autochthonous Tetovo vernacular from the propaganda of neighboring Balkan countries during the 19th and 20th centuries,” Zorikj said.
“The Tetovo Vernacular” also contains 350 photographs and a 24-page bibliography of 600 titles the author has used as references in compiling the dictionary. mr/