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Croatian – one of the hardest languages in the world

Lexika Ciferník05.06.2018 Meet the World with Lexika Reading time: 2 min.
Croatian flag

Did you know that Croatian is one of the ten most difficult languages in the world? Even though the Slavs may not think so but it ranks high among such languages as Hungarian, Gaelic, Japanese, Albanian, Icelandic, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic and Chinese. Who would have guessed so?

Croatian is a member of the Slavic language group, which is in turn a member of the Indo-European language family. More specifically, Croatian is a South Slavic language. This euphonic language is spoken in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. Moreover, you can also make yourself understood in other countries bordering with Croatia. Croatian uses the Latin alphabet and its spelling is phonetic.

Croatian dialects – known and used even abroad

The Croatian language can be divided into various dialects. They can be distinguished based on the interrogative pronoun what (Shtokavian, Kajkavian and Chakavian dialect) or on the sounds e, je, ije, i (Ekavian, Ijekavian and Ikavian dialect). Standard Croatian is based on the Dubrovnik Shtokavian and Eastern Neo-Shtokavian dialects.

An interesting fact about Croatian is that some of its dialects have been spoken in some villages in Western Slovakia up to the present day. It is a result of the immigration of Croatian colonists who settled in this area.

Middle Chakavian is characterised by its archaic accent that is often described as melodic and free. Among the Slavic languages, it is Middle Chakavian that is the most similar to Proto-Slavic.

Cases, genders, numbers...

Let’s take a look at why Croatian language is considered one of the most difficult languages in the world. In the Croatian language there are seven cases – nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, locative, instrumental; three genders – masculine, feminine and neuter; and two numbers – singular and plural. The word endings of nouns, pronouns and adjectives change depending on case, number or gender that they are in.

In the Croatian language, you can also find words without vowels: prst (finger), krv (blood), trg (square), smrt (death).
And the longest Croatian word is prijestolonasljednikovičičinima with 31 characters. The English translation of this word is “of little heiress apparent to the throne”.

 

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