Start learning Croatian

Guðlæifʀ Alfreðsson
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Start learning Croatian

Postby Guðlæifʀ Alfreðsson » 2017-04-18, 14:45


For some mysterious reasons I find myself really interested in the Croatian culture and the beaches, and all of a sudden I am attracted to the Croatian language. I am sort of tired of learning French and I want to know what it's like to learn a Slavic language whilst I am taking a break, but since there aren't much resources on the internet and it's my first Slavic language, I find it difficult to start and I am currently being a headless chicken endlessly wandering around an empty space. I know how to pronounce words because I have a Croatian mate at school who taught me how to pronounce the words, but he said he didn't know how to teach other people his language so for now I would just leave him alone until I am proficient enough to practice with him. I've also learnt some greetings like Bok, Hvala, Doviđenja (see I even have the Croatian keyboard installed) and Nema na čemu without properly learning the grammar.
Here is my question: Should I start with the grammar, vocabulary or other things? If I start with the grammar, what methods should I use to learn the cases and conjugations? If I start with the vocabulary, what sort of words should I start with? And also, how can I easily get used to the new sentence structure?
Hvala lijepa!!
Last edited by Guðlæifʀ Alfreðsson on 2017-04-19, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Start learning Croatian

Postby Saim » 2017-04-18, 21:26

I wouldn't recommend starting with grammar. Grammar is best learned in context.

If you're going to rote-learn cases, the best way to do it is by memorising sentences. So for accusative you could memorise the following sentences:

To je čovek. Vidim čoveka. (masculine animate)
That is a person. I see the person.

To je kompjuter. Uključujem kompjuter.
That is a computer. I turn the computer on (masculine non-animate)

To je jabuka. Jedem jabuku. (feminine)
That is an apple. I eat the apple.

To je dijete. Vidim dijete.
That is a child. I see the child.

Then try and look for other example sentences. The more you see and use the cases the more automatic they'll become. It's good to get some of the theory down but lots of theory without actual exposure to the language is useless, so make sure you're supplementing any explicit grammar study with learning vocabulary, or general exposure to media (such as music, TV, or internet forums - the "Serbia" and "Croatia" subreddits are quite active and would be easy reading for once you get to an intermediate level, just remember to look at slang dictionaries like Vukajlija and Žargonaut as well).

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Re: Start learning Croatian

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-20, 5:44

Guðlæifʀ Alfreðsson, this might not be the best suggestion, but maybe you could try out Easy Croatian, which is basically a set of videos with a lot of street interviews with bilingual subtitles. It starts with this lesson that just has a lot of basic phrases, which may include some you don't know yet. They have a lot of lessons by now! Just a thought though. :)

Another thing I can suggest is LangMedia. (There's also more advanced material here).

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