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what language do croatians speak?

what language do croatians speak?

what language do croatians speak?

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what language do croatians speak?

Croatian or hrvatski is basically a South Slavic language spoken by Croats in living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzogovina, neighboring countries like Serbia, Italian region of Molise and Croat communities around the world. The western Stokavian dialect is the dialectal base of the standard Croatian language. The language also includes two major dialects which are the Cakavian, and Kajkavian; also the Croatian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. Together with Serbian and Bosnian, they belong to the Central South Slavic diasystem also known as “Serbo-Croatian”.

The origin of the written language is believed to have started in the 9th century when the liturgy adopted the Old Church Slavonic as its language. These two variants then became a part of the Glagolitic service until the middle of the 9th century.

The modern standard language is the product of more than nine centuries of literature written by mixing the vernacular language with the Croatian Church Slavonic, though the latter was abandon as a language by the middle of the 15th century. During this time the writers of religious poetry, translators and editors slowly introduced the vernacular in their works. This explains why the vernacular language alone has become the embodiment of the country’s literature that still exists for more than five centuries.

According to official census at least 96% speaks Croatian while the 4% speaks Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak or other languages.

what language do croatians speak?
what language do croatians speak?

Croatian Language

(Croatian: Hrvatski jezik) is a language of the western group of South Slavic languages which is used primarily by the Croats. It is a southern variant inside the Slavic language family. Other languages in this group include Serbian, Bosnian and Slovene (language spoken in Slovenia).

Croatian and Serbian used to be considered as one language (sometimes called Croatian-Serbian or Serbo-Croatian) until recent events in former Yugoslavia. Bosnian language was also classified within the general “Serbo-Croatian” group. I wouldn’t recommend mentioning anything Serbian in front of a Croat, we are very touchy about that.

From a linguistic point of view, structurally and lexically all these languages are actually so similar that can be describe as dialectical variants of the one language.

Our language is based on the Ijekavian pronunciation of Štokavian dialect (with some influence from Čakavian and Kajkavian) and written with the Croatian alphabet.

The Croatian language in a nutshell

Spoken by approximately 6.7 million people in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina, and other neighboring countries, Croatian is a South Slavic language of the Indo-European family. Also known as Hrvatski by the natives, it is the official language of Croatia and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union.

Old Church Slavonic, the ancestor of the Croatian language, appeared in the Balkan region sometime between the 6th and 7th centuries with the Slav migration. Eventually, between the 12th and 16th centuries, Old Slavonic evolved into two branches: East South Slavic and West South Slavic. The Slovene, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Serbian and Croatian languages we know today are all derived from the West South Slavic group.

As it happened with a lot of other languages in this geographical area, a succession of occupying powers later enriched the vocabulary of the Croatian language with some new German, Turkish and Italian words.

Standard Croatian – the language you will hear on the streets of Zagreb and Dubrovnik today – is based on Shtokavian, the most widespread dialect of Serbo-Croatian.

what language do croatians speak?
what language do croatians speak?

Do croatians speak english?

The majority of Croatians speak at least one other language. According to a recent poll, some 80% of Croatians are multilingual and, of that group, 81% are English-speakers.

Language ability varies by region. In Slavonia only 51% speak a foreign language while in Istria a full 95% speak another language.

Of those between 15 and 34, a whopping 95% speak at least one foreign language, with English being the predominant tongue. For the elderly, not so much. The over-65 set is about half monolingual with German the most popular second language.

Common mistakes foreigners make speaking Croatian

Where would we be without making mistakes in a foreign language? I have committed my fair share of linguistic faux pax over the years. From trying to cross the Black Sea by spoon in Russian to urinating a book in Croatian. If you don’t have a go, you will never learn.

So what are the most common mistakes foreigners make when learning Croatian? We asked a Croatian language teacher who specialises in foreigners learning. That article inspired a particularly useful contribution from a foreigner who was learning Croatian. 25 tips on learning Croatia from a foreigner who is trying.

Minority Languages of Croatia


The Serbian language is closely related to Croatian. The language is taught in a few schools, especially in the counties of Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srijem. Croatians firmly rejected the use of Serbian as the official language through violent protests in 2013. However, Croatian laws granted Serbs the right to use their native language for official purposes in areas where they formed a third of the population. Unlike Croatian, which uses the Latin alphabet, Serbian uses the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.


Italian is recognized as a minority language in the Croatian Constitution. it native speakers make up only

0.43% of all Croatian citizens. The largest group of native Italian speakers is found in Istria County, where

they make up 6 percent of the population.  Some schools in the county teach Italian, and there is an Italian daily newspaper known as La Voce del Popolo.


Croatia hosts slightly more than 6,000 Czechs who are largely found in Bjelovar-Bilogora County. Czechs use their native language in official matters, as well as the Croatian language. The Czech Ambassador to Croatia was among the top campaigners for the protection of minority languages.

The Republic of Croatia recognizes the importance of using different languages in an official capacity, as well as in schools and the media. Minority languages bring diversity to Croatia and open the country to numerous opportunities. Additionally, protection of minority languages in Croatia’s constitution has led to unity and harmony in Croatia.

what language do croatians speak?
what language do croatians speak?

Croatian language and Serbo-Croat

Is there a difference between the Croatian language and Serbo-Croat? And if so, what is it?

Yes! If you moving around Croatia asking it people speak Serbo-Croat, you will find yourself pretty unpopular. Serbo-Croat was the official language of former Yugoslavia. As with other symbols of the newly

independent Croatia, efforts have been made to shed the country of memories of its former Yugoslav past.

In Croatian language terms, this meant talking up the differences between Croatian and Serbian. The two languages are essentially the same (apart from the fact Serbian also uses Cyrillic), but independence has made them increasingly different.

An airport (aerodrom) became ‘zracna luka’ (literally an air harbour) in Croatian, for example. And Oktober became ‘listopad’ (literally leaves falling).

There are much bigger differences between the dialects of Croatian than between standard Croatian and standard Serbian. Bosnian and Montenegrin are also essentially the same language. Macedonian and Slovenian (also from the former Yugoslavia) are Slavic in nature, but not understood as easily.

Is Serbian And Croatian The Same Language?

It is common to speak the languages “Bosnian”, “Croatian”, and “Serbian”, although they differ in their dialects. Sarajevans can perfectly understand Dalmatians even though they are so different from Croats in Zagreb.

Is Croatian Language Hard To Learn?

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has compiled a list of the hardest foreign languages to learn for native English speakers, including Croatian. If you’re an English speaker who struggles to learn Croatian fast, don’t worry. It will take 1,100 class hours to learn Croatian, according to FSI.

What Language Do Croatians Speak?

Croatian is the official language of Croatia, as well as Standard Bosnian and Standard Serbian, which are two other official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to Burgenland (Austria), Molise (Italy) and

Vojvodina (Serbia), it is also officially recognized in these regions.

what language do croatians speak?
what language do croatians speak?

How Many Languages Do Croatians Speak?

There are three dialects of Croatian: Shtokavian, Kajkavian, and Chakavian. Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Latin is the alphabet used in the language.

Not everyone in Croatia speaks English

If you are physically in the tourism hot spots, as in the dead center of cities like Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, or Rijeka, then yes, many people will speak English. Croatia’s main business is tourism, so those working in tourism (agencies, hotels, restaurants, cafe bars) most likely speak some level of English.

However, not everyone works in tourism and not everyone speaks English fluently. Croatians do learn some level of English in primary school. However, if they don’t speak it every day, they lose it just like everybody else. If they aren’t in tourism working with foreigners or have foreign friends, they would have no reason to speak English and therefore, no reason to know or practice it.

You will encounter all levels of English, from near fluency to understandable to broken to understanding but not speaking to only knowing “please” and “thank you”. Generally (to which there are exceptions) younger people tend to speak English better because of the influx of Western television post-war, while older people don’t speak as much.

The location also makes a big difference. Naturally, English is going to be rare in small villages. However, I live only a 5-minute bus ride from Diocletian’s Palace in Split and English ranges from sparse to non-existent. I like it that way because it encourages me to speak and practice my Croatian. Best not to assume the tourism hubs in city centers are representative of an entire city or country.

The idea that everyone speaks English in Croatia, so much so that you do not need to learn Croatian, is inaccurate.


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