Learning new languages has always intrigued people from times immemorial. Each language is defined by its vocabulary, grammar, and unique pronunciation. One of the most exciting languages you can think about learning is Croatian.
Despite being spoken by less than 1 percent of the world’s population, it is a compelling language to learn. So, how do you learn Croatian?
Learning Croatian is not as complex as you think. You will require dedication and hard work to learn Croatian. The grammar in Croatian uses 7 cases, which may make it a little tricky to understand. Nonetheless, let us find out how to learn Croatian.
1. About Croatian Language
The Croatian language is a variety of Serbo-Croatian Pluricentric languages. Croats mainly use this language as an official national language. Croatian is spoken by natives of the Republic of Croatia and its surroundings in Southern Europe. It is one of the recognized languages of the European Union.
2. How to Learn Croatian?
Akin to other languages, there are many ways to learn Croatian. But, you must set up specific goals that are to be met with time limits before you start learning. This will aid you in monitoring your progress and keep you motivated as you achieve each goal.
Here is our recommended 07-step method specially designed to answer your question about learning Croatian.
2.1. Step 1: Enroll in a Croatian Language Course
The first step is to identify a good Croatian Language course. You can either opt for an online course, which is widely available over the Internet or choose to join a class. There are many educational service providers over the Internet. These academic service providers offer various courses to learn any language.
You can enroll in a course of your preference. Many of these courses cover all aspects of learning Croatian. Moreover, these courses provide a healthy environment for the participants to learn Croatian. You can also find many free YouTube channels with numerous episodes to help you learn Croatian.
If you decide to choose a free course from YouTube or any other social media channel, be sure to check the reviews and comments to avoid wasting time. You may opt for paid courses on these channels if you find their teaching techniques satisfactory.
Notwithstanding, these online courses will provide you with classes and instruction for reading, writing, and speaking. For paid methods, you can use English in the beginning to clarify your doubts. However, as the course progresses, the use of English will be frowned upon.
2.1.1 Online Course
The online course gives you flexibility for your time. You will be provided with course-related videos on your portal, and learning will require your time and dedication. A nominal fee is charged for these courses depending upon the duration of the system.
2.1.2 Offline Course
Besides the online courses, you can also enroll in offline classes. Offline learning facilitates face-to-face interaction with experts and professionals. Moreover, it provides real-time doubt-solving and explanations. Learning becomes more accessible when fellow learners surround you.
Language institutes, universities, and colleges may provide these offline facilities. You may, however, be required to dedicate time every day or during the weekends to attend these offline courses. Usually, Offline methods are more expensive than an online course.
Both online and offline courses have their pros and cons. We recommend you choose a method that suits you the most.
2.2. Step 2: Correct Yourself When Realize
The second step kicks in when you start practicing your lessons. You must continuously and dedicatedly correct yourself when you make mistakes. Also, you will either be required to have a friend who knows Croatian or an expert or professional to help you convert. You must also endeavour not to repeat the mistake the second time.
The step may sound simple, but finding mistakes is not an easy task for a beginner. You may not be able to realize that you are making mistakes until highlighted by others. Also, it is difficult to accept the error and correct it before it becomes a habit. You can practice step 2 either during your offline classes with your professor or your classmates. You will be lucky if you have a Croatian friend to help.
2.3. Step 3: Learn from Everything Coming in Front of You
Step 3 of learning Croatian starts once you know the essential reading and writing. Homework is amongst the four skill sets of language. You must continuously try to read as much as you can. This increases your reading efficiency in the Croatian language.
You can start with small magazines or short stories and then progress to fiction. Reading will improve your grasping power over the language. Further, it can make you fluent with correct pronunciation.
You can also test your knowledge by translating various texts into Croatian. This will help you improve your understanding of the basic Croatian you may require to survive in a Croatian-dominated city. These texts can be as simple as a menu card or a notice on the notice board. To increase the difficulty level, you can also try translating a paragraph from English to Croatian.
2.4. Step 4: Read Croatian Newspaper
Once you get a good grasp of your reading skills, it is time for step 4. A Croatian newspaper provides an excellent opportunity to improve your reading skills. Also, it is an enriched source for enhancing your vocabulary.
While reading a newspaper, you can mark difficult words with a pen or marker and refer to the dictionary later for their meaning. Also, you can work with these challenging words to improve pronouncing and usage of these words.
24sata and Jutarnji list are the most common and prominent Croatian newspapers. These newspapers are readily available in the market. You can take a subscription to any of these newspapers online, too.
2.5. Step 5: Listen to Croatian
Steps 4 and 5 of learning Croatian can be started concurrently. It involves active listening to the Croatian language. We know what we see, listen, and read. Listening to any language will make your brain process and attempt to translate it into data it can understand and act upon. Therefore, listening plays a vital role in learning any language.
You can choose from basic spoken Croatian audio to music albums or watching movies. Listening to the music and letting a sight over the lyrics will also help in learning Croatian. It will help you to understand the correct pronunciation of different words.
If you have reached a particular stage of understanding the language, then try listening to Croatian news through TV or online modes. This helps in increasing grasping power besides increasing knowledge. You may initially find it challenging to understand what is being spoken. But over time, you will find the difference yourself.
2.6. Step 6: Speak Croatian
Speaking Croatian is the best way to understand how much you learned. After attaining a particular understanding of the language, you should start practicing it. The best way to do that is by speaking to each other. This will help you improve grammar, sentence formation rules, pronunciation, and vocabulary.
As you speak, you will realize the influence of your mother tongue over the Croatian accent. You can improve accents and pronunciation at the early stage of learning before it becomes a habit. If you do not have a Croatian-speaking friend, you can try speaking out loud in front of the mirror. This will help you learn faster and improve your self-confidence when speaking in public.
You must realize that it is expected to make mistakes while learning a new language and never hesitate to speak in front of them. Both are ashamed of being made fun of and convert each opportunity into a learning process.
As you progress ahead with learning, you must put yourself to the test. You can try to participate in debate competitions. It will sound challenging for someone learning a language, but it will give you a vast experience. Also, it will improve the ability to analyze the message and respond to it quickly.
You may also try to give speeches at functions. Speaking out in public may expose your gaps in grammar and pronunciation, but it will earn you respect for learning a foreign language.
2.7. Step 7: Write in Croatian
The final step in how to learn Croatian is to start writing. You must write daily for at least 30 minutes. It is the most effective way to learn and correct the mistakes. After writing, you can either undertake a self-assessment or seek help from a professional or friend.
Moreover, you will start enjoying the beauty of the language. When you write and try to express yourself, you will discover new words to express your feelings better. This will bring out the curiosity to learn a new language and thereby help you improve your vocabulary.
Science states that writing has a significant effect on one’s mind. It involves your eyes and sense of touch through your fingers, which will aid the brain in processing two signals to understand what is being written. This will help us in memorizing. There are numerous ways in which you can begin writing. Firstly, you may start to write a diary daily. You may also try to write poems or short stories in Croatia.
When you think and write, you will explore new words to express your imagination. Furthermore, you may write articles and other content that may help in learning Croatian. In addition to this, you can also try writing letters to communicate with your natives and relatives and impress and confuse them simultaneously.
Here are a few fun facts about the Croatian language that you must know before learning. Despite being a European language, Croatian has gained importance over time.
3.1. Where is Croatian Spoken?
The Croatian language is primarily spoken in Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and its surroundings. Croatia is a country situated in Southeast Europe. Croatia shares its boundaries with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, and others.
The country has an approximate geographical area of 56,594 square kilometres. Also, it has a population of about 3.9 million. This language has its origin in the Serbo-Croatian language. The Serbo-Croatian language is a primary language in Southeast Europe. Languages like Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin originate from Serbo-Croatian.
3.2. Easy to Read and Write
The Croatian language is not as complex as you think. You can learn to read and write this language with dedicated efforts and practice. The pronunciation of the Croatian words makes it easy to learn. It is a phonetic language that makes it comfortable to understand terms with pronunciation.
The Croatian language has multiple sounds used for pronouncing its words. While learning the alphabet is a crucial first step, speaking words in Croatian understandably requires more practice and understanding of phonetics. To master the language, one must study grammar, different cases, and pronunciation.
3.3. Time Taken to Learn
If you are a native English speaker, then it may take some time to learn Croatian. The pronunciation and grammar of the language are different from English, so you may take time to understand and master Croatian.
The Croatian language has seven cases that must be understood separately and clearly. These cases are genitive, nominative, dative, accusative, locative, vocative, and instrumental. It can be not very clear at the beginning. You must learn to differentiate and use these cases to master the language.
3.4. Unusual Endings
The Croatian Language is known for unusual endings. You may notice unique and weird endings while listening to a Croatian speaker. Often, you may find it funny how they end sentences. They use different words for the same person in different situations. This can be explained with an example.
For example, if you are with Anna, you would say’ Annom.’ Again, if you are behind Anna, you would say ‘iza Anne.’ Accordingly, it is because the Croatian language has 7 cases and three genders.
As you can see, the word’s ending differs according to the situation. Therefore, you have to focus on word endings. This will help in letting know who is addressed with whom. With time, you may find unusual pleasure in using this language.
3.5. Career Opportunities for Learning Croatian
Knowing an additional language, you will stand out amongst your peers. The ability to speak, read, and write Croatian can open up job opportunities in Croatia through multi-national companies. If you work for an MNC, you may find it easy to deal with clients from Croatia and impress your boss. A certificate in proficiency in Croatia can also help you earn a better paycheck or a dream job in Croatia.
A knowledge of Croatian can help you make a career in mass communication. Mass communication is related to the segment that provides information at large. The ability to fluently handle Croatian can help you to be a news anchor, editor, or speaker. You can get a job as a translator for many companies and business firms.
Secondly, teaching is also a good career option. When you have reasonable control over Croatian, you can opt for a career as a teacher in either online or offline mode.
In addition, you can also work as an editor or content writer. Many companies hire content writers for their websites. You can also write articles for newspapers, magazines, and social media platforms. However, content writing will require creativity and writing proficiency. You should have a unique and attractive writing style.
Furthermore, the cinema industry has vast opportunities. It includes playwriters, singers, storywriters, and lyricists. If you are talented, you can also become a Croatian singer. With creativity and thorough knowledge, you may write and sing your songs.
4. Closing Note
Croatian is a European language spoken in regions around the Republic of Croatia. The language has a past from the 16th century. This language originated from the Indo-European language family of Serbo-Croatian. It is a seven-case language with pronunciation and grammar that are different from English.
Akin to learning other languages, you require dedication and time to learn Croatian. We have recommended a 7-step method on how to learn Croatian, which covers all aspects of learning. The most crucial step among these 7 is the initial step of selecting the right course.
You can choose an online or offline course, but your choice must be based on your ability to spend time and money. A sound system can set a solid learning foundation for you to flourish. Learning a new language has its benefits. You can use the language to upgrade your career or start a new job.
To conclude, it is essential to emphasize that learning any language requires dedication and hard work. But the satisfaction of learning and speaking the language is priceless. I hope we have given you a solution to learn Croatian.