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Hey, so... Croatian?

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16 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Yishay
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 Message 1 of 16
30 November 2008 at 4:03am | IP Logged 
So, I just made it through the interview phase of applying to be a foreign exchange student for a year.

I've been accepted by Spain, and no longer need this post.


Many thanks to everyone who helped and gave me input.

Edited by Yishay on 02 January 2009 at 8:04pm

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fatboy85
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 Message 2 of 16
30 November 2008 at 8:17am | IP Logged 
I've been to Split in the South and it was really beautiful so go for it! I've studied a little Serbian (very close to Croatian) as a Russian speaker and the grammatical systems are similar with a lot of vocab in common. I'm sure that you'd find learning Russian easier having learnt Croatian. You'll also be able to communicate with Serbs and Bosnians if that sells it for you.
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Yishay
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 Message 3 of 16
01 December 2008 at 12:45am | IP Logged 
Thanks a lot. I've always thought of Russian as a language I'd like to learn. And the pictures I've seen of Croatia all look awesome. I'm really excited and almost hope I don't get sent to Spain or Switzerland(which would both still be great).
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SamD
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 Message 4 of 16
01 December 2008 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
Knowing Croatian will probably help you more with spoken Russian than written Russian because Russian uses the Cryillic alphabet. However, the Cyrillic alphabet is not as much of an obstacle for English-speakers as many people fear.

I was in Croatia years ago when it was part of Yugoslavia. I was able to get around with English, German and Italian, but I learned a few words for the purpose of my visit and Croatians seemed pleased that a US visitor would take time to learn any Croatian; your results may vary.
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Chung
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 Message 5 of 16
01 December 2008 at 10:03am | IP Logged 
Yishay wrote:


I've been reading that Croatian is easy to learn if you know Russian, does it work the other way around too? Does knowing a south slavic language make learning Russian a bit easier? Has anyone here been to Croatia?



Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) is indeed easier to learn if you already know another Slavonic language. The relationship works in the other direction as well to a good degree as there's a substantial degree of overlap between most Slavonic languages.

Croatia is nice enough, but prices have been rising slowly over the last few years. It's not as cheap as it used to be. From my experience the country comes off as a cultural borderland. There's a quasi-Mediterranean atmosphere on the coast and islands, a quasi-Central European one in the north, and a quasi-Balkan one in the parts that lie near the borders with Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Most young Croats speak at least one language other than BCS. English or Italian are fairly common choices for them nowadays. Thus if you get really stuck, you can try to communicate in those languages if you can't get the point across in BCS.
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Yishay
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 Message 6 of 16
01 December 2008 at 3:24pm | IP Logged 
SamD wrote:
Knowing Croatian will probably help you more with spoken Russian than written Russian because Russian uses the Cryillic alphabet. However, the Cyrillic alphabet is not as much of an obstacle for English-speakers as many people fear.


Yeah Sam, the Cyrillic alphabet is really the major thing that struck my fancy about Russian. It looks so mysterious, with the iron curtain and the James Bond and all that other media.


You've got it, chung, that's one bad thing about being a U.S. citizen, the dollar's dropping like a rock, and I'm thinking Switzerland might be a little too expensive. I don't know though.
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sapedro
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 Message 7 of 16
03 December 2008 at 4:01am | IP Logged 
Croatian is far easier than Russian, let me tell you.
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samosamnina
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 Message 8 of 16
09 December 2008 at 3:25pm | IP Logged 
Yeah, I learned some Russian in elementary school, and my sister studied it all four years at University (plus four months in Russia) -- so she speaks it well, but with what I know, Croatian is a lot easier than Russian. Russian has little pattern if any to where the stress falls in a word, plus its vowels can change depend on where the stress is in the word. Croatian, none of that to worry about ;) Plus, Russian's what, an East Slavic language or the like? Personally, I like South Slavic a lot more.

Obviously with the Slavic connection, there are similarities, but they don't necessarily mean the same things in both languages. Like, život is life in Croatian, and stomach in Russian. You can understand the connection, but it doesn't translate directly.

Croatian (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian; it's like English in the US, UK and Australia) - is more phonetic than Russian, plus its grammatical system, while different than English, is totally do-able and logical, as there are few irregularities -- just some stuff to get used to. Cases, genders, etc. I'm an American, native English speaker, and while I'm still working on how to get certain things right, I at least don't have an American accent when I speak Croatian, so that gives me hope. You should totally rock it if you're going to be around it all the time; I'm rather envious.

Croatian has more dialects, so depending on where you're going to be, that might be a tad more tricky. Wikipedia is pretty reliable in outlining the basics of things, but take a look at a dialect map to see if you'll be in a Stokavian, Chaktavian or Kajkavian area when you figure out where you'll be.

I've got some Croatian connections, so keep in touch if you want any help, either with the language or whatnot -- sve najbolje! (All the best)


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