- Practice with the Croatian alphabet! Score -/-
The Croatian language is the official language in two countries ( Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) and also the language, which is easily understandable in Serbia and Montenegro. If you manage to learn it, you will be able to speak in 4 countries. What are you waiting for? :)
Even though Croatia is a relatively small country, it has three main dialects, which means that Croatians from different parts might have understanding problems. Division would be:
- čakavian ( spoken along the Croatian coast)
- kajkavian ( spoken in Northern and Northwestern Croatia)
- štokavian ( rest of Croatia).
- 1.Learn the letters of the Croatian alphabet
- 1.1.The 5 vowels and their pronunciation
- 1.2.Consonants and how to pronounce them
- 2.A pronunciation guide for letters with two characters
- 2.2.Learn the difference between letters "Č and Ć"
- 2.3.Learn the difference between letters "DŽ and Đ"
- 2.4.Learn the difference between letters "Š and Ž"
Learn the letters of the Croatian alphabet
The Croatian alphabet consists of 30 letters in total and differs from standard Latin due to the following letters.
- every single letter should be clearly pronounced
- there are no silent letters
- some letters have two characters
- letters are pronounced the same regardless of the position
In 30 letters, there are 5 vowels ( a, e, i, o, u) and 25 consonants. Each sound is represented by a single letter as you will be able to hear in the upcoming lessons.
The 5 vowels and their pronunciation
A, E, I, O, U
As in every language, it's crucial to learn the basics of the alphabet. As already mentioned, Croatian has 5 vowels, which are presented in the table below. Comparing to English, you should pronounce it as it's written.
|Letters||Croatian examples||English translation|
|A, a||avion, antena||airplane, aerial|
|E, e||erupcija, eukaliptus||eruption, eucalyptus|
|I, i||igla, ikona||needle, icon|
|O, o||oko, otvarač||eye, opener|
|U, u||ulov, ubod||catch, bite|
Consonants and how to pronounce them
B, C, Č, Ć, D, DŽ, Đ, F, G, H, J, K L, LJ, M, N, NJ, P, R, S, Š, T, U, V, Z, Ž
As already mentioned in this lesson, Croatian has 25 consonants, which will be displayed as follows. Comparing to English, you pronounce it as it's written.
Pay attention not to mix pronunciation of "c" with "k", and to always pronounce the letter "h".
|Croatian consonants||Examples||English translation|
- On ima velik brod. = He has a big boat.
- Zagreb je glavni grad Hrvatske. = Zagreb is the capital of Croatia.
- Dubrovnik je grad okružen zidinama. = Dubrovnik is the city surrounded by walls.
- Ljubav je najlijepši osječaj. = Love is the best feeeling.
A pronunciation guide for letters with two characters
In this lesson you will deal with the usage of these unfamiliar letters in Croatian alphabet which could be quite confusing for beginners. Firstly, we will start with the letters which have two characters: nj, lj and dž.
|NJ, nj - consists N and J||like ni in "minion"|
|LJ, lj - consists L and J||like lli "billon"|
|DŽ, dž - consists D and Ž||like j in "Jefree" ( bit harder)|
- U Njemačkoj živi osamdeset milijuna stanovnika. = Eighteen million people live in Germany.
- Ljubičice rastu u proljeće. = Violets grow in the spring.
- Kad je hladno Marko nosi džemper. = When it is cold Marko wears a sweater.
Learn the difference between letters "Č and Ć"
Even the Croatian native speakers are confused when it's about mentioned letters. What is the difference? When should I use Č and when Ć?
Č is mostly referred as a harsh/hard one whereas ć is soft. The main difference between them is the pronunciation. Unfortunately, there is no exact English equivalent to "Ć" whereas "Č" sounds like ch in words such as "charming" or "matching".
- Često idem trčati u park. = I run often in the park.
- Oko ponoći ja izlazim vani. = Round midnight I go out.
Learn the difference between letters "DŽ and Đ"
The distinction is pretty much the same between "DŽ" and "Đ". As in the previous subtitle, there is no exact English equivalent to đ whereas for "DŽ" is pronounced like j in "joy" ( only slightly harsher/harder). In order to produce "soft" sounds ( ć, đ) your tongue should be placed right behind your front teeth. Regarding the words with dž they are mostly originaly from Turkish and English language.
- Marko je pravi džentleman. = Marko is a real gentleman.
- Mađarska graniči sa Hrvatskom. = Hungary borders with Croatia.
- Džamija je mjesto gdje ljudi muslimanske vjeroispovijesti mole. =The mosque is a place where the Muslim people pray.
Learn the difference between letters "Š and Ž"
Last but not least, "Š" and "Ž" are letters, which are quite easier to understand and pronounce. Comparing to previous letters, there is only one version of "Š" = like sh in "shopping" and "Ž" is like s in "treasure" .
|Croatian letters||Croatian examples|
|Š, š||like sh in "shopping"|
|Ž, ž||. like s in "treasure"|
- Škola se nalazi u centru grada. = The school is in the city center.
- Marko je bio žrtva krađe. = Marko was a victim of theft.
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