Island News

The Professor Stars on British TV and Gets His Barbie Girl

By 8 June 2017

It is five and a half years since I first sat down with my good friend Frank John Dubokovich over a cold one at The Office in Jelsa. It was a chilly November morning, with not much happening and a long winter ahead. 

With nothing better to do, we decided to record a video of Hvar greetings, in particular the famous Dalmatian Grunt (you can see that video below, now viewed more than 30,000 times), with several people commenting that Frankie's grunting was very similar to their Uncle Ante or Tonci in Australia, whose family had left Dalmatia 70 years ago. 

We recorded another video, and then another, until we decided to rebrand the Weetabix King of Pitve into Professor Frank John Dubokovich, Guardian of the Hvar Dialects. Over the course of 20 or so lessons, the Professor has gathered an army of - mostly young female - admirers, and his fame quickly spread beyond the island's shores.

National television came calling, and the Professor recorded his genius on the subject of wine for a national audience. People started stopping him in the street in Zagreb, and Australia's deputy coach of the national football team jetted in, just to have the opportunity to drink coffee with this linguistic colossus - see video below. 

The Professor's stature grew, as did his willingness to guide tourists through the intricacies of speaking Croatia, and he travelled all the way to Split to educate the masses on how to speak Croatian using only vowels.

And yesterday, another journey for our hard-working Professor, all the way to Zaostrog to record a lesson for UK show The Coach Trip. The Professor had been head-hunted to perform on British television, and there was only one thing the audience wanted - that original Dalmatian Grunt. 


We will post footage as we receive it, but The Professor was not to leave empty handed for his efforts. Always a ladies man, The Professor rarely doesn't get the girl, and yesterday was no exception, with two British Barbie-lookalikes presenting him with perhaps him most unusual gift - his very own Barbie doll, which now takes pride of place in his office, I am reliably informed. 

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