Lesson in Croatian ;)

This was in my mind for a few days I couldn’t write, but I didn’t thought I would “come out” with it yet… But then I read today’s Prompt and decided… why not?

One of the reasons I love English is that most OF. IT. HAS. A. LOT. OF. SHORT. WORDS.

On the contrary to Croatian where most of it is kinda… longer.

Example A:

I want to buy new sink. The old one is rusty.

Željela bih kupiti novi umivaonik. Stari je zahrđao.

Example B:

Can you do this now?

Možeš li to napraviti sada?

You see.. Longer words. That makes rapping in Croatian a bit tricky haha 😉 But we are far from some languages like German who have really complex words and grammar.

I don’t think Croatian is easy to learn, but again no language is, unless you are a baby – they seem to pick up on these things quite fast. 😉 Croatian grammar has few advantages compared to English; we don’t have to use “a” or “the” for anything, we don’t have double letters anywhere and most important – we have only one pronunciation for one letter. A is always read as “ah” while in English sometimes is “ah” other times is “a” and sometimes is silent. E is here always “eh” and so on. So, when you learn the alphabet – that’s it. No other ways to read.

Hi! There I am, in a shape of a flying bird. 😉

What is the harder part? Well… I’d say the grammar of our verbs is pretty complex. You have for e. “love” and you say I love, you love, they love, I have loved, I will love…. Love does not change. In Croatian it is by the order I have mentioned in the previous sentence – volim, voliš, oni vole, ja sam voljela, voljet ću… The verb itself changes.

Also you may noticed the little fella’ “š” up there. We don’t have y, q or w but we have this happy bunch; č, ć, đ, dž, š. I wish I can explain the difference between “č” and “ć”, but you just really have to hear it. We call the first one hard Č and the other soft Ć. It is the same sound, but in English there is only soft Ć – equivalent to “ch”

The same story goes with “dž” and “đ”. First one is hard, and other is soft. In English there is only “đ” and it is first part of the word jam. That’s the example I could think of. “Š” although it looks scary is just “sh”.

I have to have Croatian grammar in my pinky toe because my profession demands that. If you liked this I can make more. I promise to keep them interesting. I haven’t said anything yet about curse words – something we teach foreigners before they even know how to say hello or two letters acting as one – nj i lj.

The truth is that it is good to know a bit of Croatian because you will be understood in 6 countries (Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia). 🙂

38 thoughts on “Lesson in Croatian ;)

  1. Very interesting! I love meeting people from all over the world and to see their written language. I wish I had the ability to translate it all. Well… I guess I do… Google Translator! Haha! ((Hugs!)) xo

  2. Your post was fascinating. I love to learn about other languages, but I prefer your approach rather than some dry, practice drill of words. It’s nice to know more about the overall way the language works first. Proper English is hard even for people who grew up speaking English, but conversational English seems easy only because I grew up speaking it.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement 🙂 I have in plans to make more of these posts, with basic stuff and knowledge that would be useful for foreigners if they happen to travel here… Expressions like, where is this, or this, or, how I can buy my ticket and etc.
      Also, I will share some fun facts 🙂 I know what kind of posts I like to read, so I try to make it like that 😀

  3. Language and the many,many we have in this world is fascinating to contemplate. When I served in the Peace Corps teaching English at a university in Slovakia, I had to learn the language to the point where I could survive. It was difficult for me. When I asked my students, who were studying at least three other languages, which one was the most difficult for them,they answered, “English! The second hardest is German.” I have noticed the variations on “dobre rano, dobry den” in Eastern European languages.
    When I apologized to a close Slovak friend that I was not fluent enough to tell her a lot of my background, she said, “It is not important because we speak with our eyes, heart, soul, and humor.”She was right! We communicated on all levels.

    1. I like your message at the end, it is true indeed. That is the reason I love dance. It is universal language, communication with another human which every language he speak… 🙂
      I guess it was hard being in the Peace Corps, when were you there?

      1. Dance, music, art, people’s hearts that speak, all are vital to communication. I was in the Peace Corps from 1994-96. It was.as the Peace Corps says, “the toughest job you’ll ever love,” and I had a wonderful experience. If I were younger, I’d do it again!

      2. I can only imagine… It is hard I suppose to see all the pain and suffering but beautiful at the same time because there is something you can do about it and doing it makes everything easier for people who need it. ❤
        Yes it was the same time the war was here (1991.-1995.)

  4. volim this post! thrilled to know that Croatian is spoken in six countries! I am learning spanish. I guess the pronunciation rules match with Croatian. I like two people from Croatia – Eduardo and Modric – both are sublime footballers!

    1. Hehe! Divno! (wonderful) It was really wonderful to read something Croatian here 🙂 I will do a basic stuff here, stuff it’s good to know if you’re are traveling or just speaking to a person speaking Croatian. Vast majority speaks English, but we melt when foreigners know Croatian. 🙂
      Oh, tell me about it. Universal language for many reporters in any country was – Šuker? Prosinechki? 🙂
      I love Eduardo and Modrić also, I am kinda mad Eduardo was not in our 11 on the field this World Cup. lets just say I don’t approve of Niko Kovač decisions 😉

      1. sure! I will keep an eye over your language posts 🙂 Yes, football is the universal language! Suker was unlucky to miss the penalty for Arsenal. I feel sad for Edurardo too, such a talent ruined by bad injury! Still is one of the most classy Arsenal strikers!

      2. Yes indeed, we were very sad :/ But his leg is good now I have no idea why didn’t they let him play, waste, such a waste… Oh definitely universal language 😀 My dad is a football junkie and I am a first child which happened to be a girl but that didn’t stop him to teach me stuff and play all kind of sports with little kid that was I 😀 ❤ I love tennis and I am ashamed to admit that I don't follow it as I used to, and handball.

      3. Yap 😀 I think football got away many many people from the street 🙂
        Novak is Serbian player, we had our “golden era” when we won Davis Cup in 2005. with Ljubičić and Ančić. Now, Marin Čilić is making his way very good, he won US Open this year! ❤ And his trainer is Goran Ivanišević, I don't know if you know about him, he won Wimbeldon in his days 😀
        I have no idea how Cricket is played hehe, but we are getting familiar with hockey since we have our team. I think I will go this year on one game 🙂

      4. I’m sorry, I totally forgot about Cilic! You can blame me because I’m more a football loving guy than any other sport!
        Don’t worry about cricket. It is a simple game. If you watch couple of games, you can get your head around the basic stuff in the game. 🙂
        India has a tradition of doing well in Hockey. So there is a huge love and support for the team and the game. Hope you’ll enjoy the hockey game. Watching in the stadium is very different from watching on TV! Have fun 😀

      5. That’s ok 😀

        Yeah I can agree on that, we have a hockey team Medvešćak and I was working in the next hall on Davis Cup and they let me to see the game from VIP for a while and I really liked it. I think I will go this season. 🙂

      1. hey howz life ? Missed you long time darling … wondering if you would like to review my recent book The gang of wonder kids on your blog?.. If yes then kindly get back to me on my email id i.e shetall@gmail.com….:) take care Iva .. love Shetall

      2. Hey Shetall! 🙂 I am really not here or on my computer in general, but when I do come back more often, I can check it out… If that is not to late?

  5. You are right. Learning any language is hard. It takes practise to read and write the language. Then there’s also learning how to speak it formally and in conversational tones. You must be an expert in Croatian and know it very well since you need to know the grammar back to front 😀 So I hope one day when I visit you you can teach me some Croatian..the good bits and words, of course 😉 ❤

    1. Hehehe that would be awesome! 😀 ❤

      Yeah, I will do here some basics, so anyone reading my blog will be able to communicate basic things you need to know when visiting or passing by, 🙂 I will cover them when the timing will be good, probably next year since I have an interview coming up 😉 And some recipes require my attention 😀

      1. Good luck for your interview, I hope it goes well and I am sure your bubbly personality will shine through 🙂 Looking forward to reading more Croatian on here… Sometimes it is good to know the bad words too so we will know not to say them 😀

        Looking forward to recipes as well. Maybe one day you will show us a cake with a happy face on it 😉

      2. Thanks it is done 😀 It is made through technology bc that way I can interview people who live everywhere 🙂

        I was thinking the same thing… What if my name is some bad word in another language? 😮

        Hehehe, I have a recipe with an accidental letter on it XD

  6. wscottling

    Darn it, I hit reply too soon. 🙂 I wanted to say that I like your posts about language, but I’m a nerd that way. 🙂 hahahaha!

    1. That’s ok, two comments beat one comment! 😀
      Then you’re going to be happy because I plan on writing some more on basic “getting around” here, like if you need help or ask when your train/bus is leaving and stuff… 🙂

    1. Yeah we had old Croatian too, we need to read books in it when we are in school 🙂
      I know your old English by Shakespeare, uses a lot of “thou” haha, but I can hardly understand old Croatian 😀

      1. wscottling

        Hehehe. The only people who can read and understand Old English are those who study it. It’s a dead language, like Latin. ^_^ I can only read it with a translator. Shakespeare spoke Middle/Modern English and a lot of people nowadays are beginning to not understand his language either because it’s changed so much since his time.

  7. I learnt Russian for about 12 years and noticed that I could understand our East European people in Switzerland. It is all the same root but differently said. Dobr den, dober dan etc. And the verbs, well I don’t know exactly how it is in Croatian, but the russians have two verbs for the same action (writing: pichet and napichet), according to how it is used – but don’t ask me how. This was a few year ago, but I can still speak it a little.

    1. You are right! I had two men couch surfing a few years back because of a religious gathering of young people all over Europe 🙂 They were Czech and we discovered that we have similar names for months in a year 🙂
      Yes, we say Dobar dan. There you go. 🙂
      I am guessing that is pisati and napisati, first is you’re doing it now, and second you already did it.

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