Like Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian, Croatian is a Slavic language.
Compared to romantic Latin languages like Spanish, French or Italian, Slavic languages tend to sound harsh and heavy. You’ve faked a Slavic accent before…
In Mother Russia there can only be not enough vodka
…or something like that. Anyways, that’s the general dialect that much of the world has assigned to Eastern Europe.
With that in mind, I came to Dubrovnik half expecting to be outmanned by women with Vikingesque accents and mustaches with substance (mine’s still coming in).
Surprisingly though, that’s not the case!
Croatian doesn’t flow like languages with a Latin-root. It’s choppy and slurred and no word sounds the same twice. They’re quick too.
I eavesdrop on conversations all the time – best way to learn the language is to surround yourself with it – and can only try to keep up. Haven’t learned how to ask them slow down yet but have taken the initiative to start learning a few basic phrases.
Here’s my language lesson.
The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters.
No Q, W, X, or Y, and a few additional oddballs that I can’t seem to find on an English keyboard.
English letters can take on various sounds depending on what other letters they’re grouped with.
The E sound in let is audibly different than in bee.
Croatian letters sounds the same no matter where they are placed.
Every letter of the Croatian alphabet is always pronounced the same way, no matter where in a word or sentence it stands…. Therefore, every word is pronounced the way it is written.
Pronunciation of each letter is key to learning how to read and write in Croatian. It sounds less significant than being able to hold a conversation but with city landmarks like Srd (Serge) and Bokeljska (Bo-ke-yes-ka) the skill is more valuable than you’d think.
- English letters sound differently based on what other letters they are paired with
- E in let versus in bee
- Croatian letters sound the same no matter where they are placed in a word, or what other letters they are placed with
Here are your words of the day. Bear with my pronunciation key.
- Bok (bawk)
- means both hello and goodbye
- Dobro jutro (dobro yu-tro)
- good morning
- Dobar dan (dobar dahn)
- good afternoon
- Dobro vece (dobro vay-chay)
- good evening
- Hvala (vah-la)
- thank you
That’s all for today.
Found these gems this week. How neat is that?
That’s pretty neat.