Croatia is often referred to as one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the Croatian language – as one of the most difficult languages to learn.
The first statement we don’t doubt at all, but the second one – we wanted to check:
Is the Croatian language really so hard to learn?
So, we asked a few questions about learning Croatian to Prof. Mihaela Naletilić, teacher of Croatian language for foreigners at CRO to go, specialized mainly in ONLINE Croatian courses, and located in Zagreb.
Prof.Naletilić has taught Croatian as a foreign language for years now and has been working with people from all over the world who all have the same goal – to learn Croatian.
How difficult is it to learn Croatian really, and what should students expect when they start to learn it?
Learning Croatian is for sure not the easiest goal that you can set for yourself, but like so many other things in life, succeeding in this task depends on the approach – yours, as well as your teacher’s.
I like to say that learning Croatian is a neverending adventure in which you can expect – a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun!
What are the biggest obstacles in learning Croatian?
A lot of times in the first lesson a student says; I will never learn this language!
And I understand this because the first encounter with Croatian can be quite intimidating. Not allowing yourself to get scared by Croatian – is the first big obstacle you can cross!
Or, in the words of one of my students: This morning I woke up and said to myself – I can totally learn this!
The second biggest obstacle any student has to cross – is to adopt the Croatian language the way it is – unpredictable and peculiar in its own way, as a language with many rules, and so many exceptions to those rules, and not to compare it too much with other languages! This is because Croatian is a language like no other.
What are the benefits of online language learning?
Through teaching Croatian ONLINE, I discovered numerous advantages of online learning.
First of all, you save time – you don’t have to even leave your house or office.
You are completely focused on the material, and when guided by your teacher, you go through the learning material easily. I believe that the best way to learn something – is the simple way, and taking an online course is simple and highly effective.
In your opinion, what are the best ways to learn Croatian and what methods do you use?
I strongly believe in an individual approach to each student, and always try to discover the most appropriate way of learning for each student. When learning a language, we should take a look at how kids learn – through play.
Learning should be fun – just like playing is!
What advice can you give to people who are already learning Croatian?
Pričajte, pričajte, pričajte… i još malo pričajte! (Talk, talk, talk…and talk some more!)
Simply – talk! Talk to people on the street, saleslady, your employees, members of your family – and persist on doing it, no matter that people are correcting you all the time or even can’t understand you or are laughing at you!
In order to fix our mistakes, we have to make them first.
Knowing that I helped someone to start speaking such a beautiful and exotic language is a great achievement for me, and there is always that special moment at some lesson when a student starts to actually speak Croatian! At that point, I usually say: ‘Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you are talking Croatian to me!’
That moment makes all the hard work worthwhile.
In CRO to go – Croatian for foreigners, you can sign up for ONLINE Croatian courses, individual or as a pair, as well as Croatian courses in person.