Learning Croatian - The Hardest, Easiest & Best Parts of the Language (for Native English Speakers)!

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I've been learning Croatian for a while now, and it's definitely not an easy language! In this vlog, I'm sharing the hardest and easiest/best parts for me, about learning Croatian from scratch. I don't have any Croatian roots, but I now have a Croatian husband, and three Croatian-Canadian kids :)

Here is what I found to be the hardest parts to learning Croatian:

1. Genders - In English we don't have genders for words, so that's something I find very difficult in Croatian. Croatian has 3 genders - feminine, masculine, and neutral. You always have to think about matching the adjective with the noun, and you have to know the word's gender ahead of time, in order to properly match them. It's just something that native English speakers have a hard time with, because we don't have a feeling for each word, and whether it's feminine, masculine, or neutral gender.

2. Cases - In English, we don't use cases like in Croatian. I find this the most difficult part of learning Croatian, because there are 7 cases, meaning every noun can change 7 different times depending on how it's used. It's definitely not something I'm used to. I'm working on it, but absolutely still have many mistakes!

3. Double negatives - This is something new, because double negatives in English just don't make sense. They make the sentence positive again! It's just something I have switch in my head when I'm speaking, in order to properly put together double negatives.

4. Tricky letters - Croatian has many tricky letters in their alphabet. The hardest ones for me are the č and ć. They're not hard to pronounce, it's just difficult to tell which one is which! They're very similar, so I often mix them up when I'm spelling words. I have the same problem with dž and đ. The hardest letter for me was lj. It's something completely different than anything we have in English, and it was very hard in the beginning to pronounce.

5. Prefixes - In English, prefixes often change the meaning of a word to make it mean the opposite. In Croatian, there are sometimes many words that look similar from the middle to the end, but a little prefix on the beginning completely changes the meaning of the word. In the video, I give an example of 9 words that are the same, just with different prefixes and then different meanings.

The easiest and best parts of Croatian language:

1. Each letter has only one sound - this is great, because in English, many letters have more than one sound, making it complicated to read and write for foreigners. In Croatian, it's never tricky to spell or read a word, because you can just sound it all out, letter by letter!

2. Word order - In English, there aren't many ways you can mix up words in a sentence. In Croatian, it's much more flexible and creative. Of course there are rules around how words should be put in order in Croatian, you don't have to follow them if you're in a casual conversation. It's great, because you can have 10 ways to say one sentence (and that's thanks to the cases - at least they have one benefit!)

3. Pronouns - In Croatian, you don't really ever have to use pronouns. In English, they're a must, or no one will know who you're talking about.

4. Multilingualism - Once you know Croatian, you automatically know Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin. It's amazing, because the languages are pretty much the same, and if you travel to one of those countries, you already know the language and can speak with the people there.

5. Sound of Croatian - Croatian has a very nice sound. It almost sounds like a song when I hear people talking around me. I also think it's adorable when I hear my kids speaking Croatian.

All in all, Croatian is a beautiful language and I'm happy to be learning it! It's a tough language, but it's also very nice!
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