15 Interesting Facts About the Croatian Language

Things You Didn’t Know About Croatian

People speak the Croatian language from Croatia. It is not the most straightforward language in the world since it is standardized from the Serbo-Croatian language, which is widely spoken in the country. While it is not widely spoken across the globe, you may want to know some interesting facts about it, especially when you’re looking to translate Croatian to English. The following article contains some 15 interesting facts about the language.

Croatian is older than Latin

Some of the oldest texts written in Croatian were from the 11th century in a document called “Istarski razvod.” They were written using a form of alphabet called Glagolitic, which existed before the introduction of Latin. Some of the earliest written texts in Latin were found in the 14th century. The language changed after that to accommodate the adoption of the Latin alphabet.

The Croatian language was called Illyrian

Croatia is made up of a mixed population, which includes Illyrians and Slavs. Although Illyrians also comprise various people who settled in different parts of Europe, the name was only used sometimes to refer to Illyrians, forming the more massive Croatian country.

The standard form didn’t exist until the 19th century

It wasn’t until the 19th century when the standardized version of Croatian was developed. Ljudevit Gaj created it in 1835. He came up with it from the Czech and Polish languages. The alphabets that he introduced are still used to date in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. Some of these alphabets are used in the Slovakian language.

The encyclopedia was used in 1559

While the word encyclopedia came from Greek, it was first used in 1559 by a person from Zagreb known as Pavao. The Slovakian language shared a lot in common with Greek, which is why it is possible that the first person to use it was Croatian.

the Croatian language replaced Latin

In 1847 is when the Croatian parliament passed the motion to make Croatian the formal language of use. Initially, the official dialect was Latin, which was adopted from the beginning.

It was spoken first in 1843 in parliament

Kukuljević Sakcinski was the first person to articulate the standard version of Croatian in Parliament in 1843. This move significantly boosted the need to make Croatian the official language in the country. He encouraged Parliament to approve it since replacing Croatian would be losing the national culture. It also urged people to embrace it, so it was used more often.

The language has one letter words

Unlike in English, where one letter words are only articles, in Croatian, some single letters are words. These include ‘s’ meaning from or with, ‘a’ to mean and or but and ‘k’ meaning to.

It has three dialects

The language has three main dialects, which are then divided into about six minor dialects. The significant dialects include Kajkavian, Čakavian, and Štokavian. The Kajkavian borrows a good number of words and phrases from Hungarian and German languages. The Čakavian contains a mix of Italian while Štokavian also borrows mostly from Italian and Turkish languages, although it still includes a bit of German and Hungarian.

Source of “Toki pona”

The language was used as a source for the “Toki pona,” which is a mini-language. It was designed in Toronto as it looks at the simple concepts that are common in almost all the cultures of the world.

A cob has the most synonyms

The name cob has more than 20 synonyms in Croatia including:

  • batuk
  • bat
  • bataljika
  • baturice
  • ajdamak
  • klasovinje
  • kocen
  • okoma
  • okomina
  • patura
  • klas
  • kic
  • kumina

The longest word has 30 letters

The longest word in Croatian, which translates to the phrase “of little heiress apparent for the throne,” is 31 characters long. Although the word Prijestolonasljednikovičičinima has 32 letters, in this case, “lj” is considered as one letter.

Croatian is rich for unique swears

If you like to swear, then you would have a lot of fun with this language since it is vibrant. This means that you can get creative and come up with unique swears, which are common in the language.

Paprika is Croatian

Paprika is a word that is used for dried and ground pepper. While it is used widely in European languages, including English, the name is Croatian and hasn’t been translated.

Croatian is spoken in other countries

It is one of the languages widely spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Blonde hair is referred to as blue hair

People with blonde hair are called plava in Croatian. However, the translation for it means to have blue hair.

The Croatian language can be quite tricky since even the natives sometimes mix it with the different dialects spoken in the country. However, with the right guidance, you can learn this broad language and expand your knowledge of the people and the culture.