Two years of Croatian

Sup all?

I have taken a slight liberty with this title as I haven’t quite been learning Croatian for two years.

But it’s time for an update on my progress, and I’m heading for the two year mark so if you are sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin …

Keeping a record of progress, and more to the point your thoughts on how things are going is a very useful exercise. This springs to mind as I’ve just read my previous update written five months ago, which for me was enlightening.

Some of the things I wrote still make sense to me and have been successful and others not so much (which I will come to in a minute).

In April, I (metaphorically) stuck my finger in the air and guessed that my Croatian level was a high A2. I now suspect that it was lower that that, and that I have now reached a decent A2 level or low B1. I am not doing exams so it is impossible to be sure.

A lot of Croatian grammar has ‘clicked’ over the previous five months, and my sentences now have fewer errors.

The activities that I am doing, which might or might help you if you are a similar stage to me in your Croatian journey and need to break through to the next level are:-

I have continued to study for half an hour five days a week as a minimum but often for longer) and I listen to Croatian audio a *lot*.

I (prompted by my tutor) rote learned the endings of the various so I can now decline Croatian nouns and adjective properly. I needed to be familiar enough with Croatian before I could do this, so I could (as I wrote previously) see the wood for the trees.

It would have been useful to do this earlier.

Part of my previous advice was to learn language chunks such as ovaj tjedan (this week), zadnji tjedan (last week) or svaki dan (every day). I’m going to carry on with this. It’s incredibly useful with Croatian and I suspect all slavic languages.

At this point in my Croatian journey where swathes of the grammar are making sense to me (ignoring aspects for a moment), the biggest headache is vocabulary acquisition.

Previously, I recommended making a list and only adding three words a day, and I would still recommend doing this where possible. I don’t add precisely three words each day. Some days I don’t add any, and some days rather more than three BUT I’m not adding a lot on a daily basis.

This does tend to keep the list at a manageable level.The thing about vocabulary is that you need to learn (or at least understand) lots’n’lots’n’lots in order to understand what you hear.

I have started listening to SBS Croatian. For me, the encouraging part of this, is that after two years of study, I’m listening to native speech. At some point you have to start doing this. The time felt right for me after two years with Croatian. It will be sooner for my next language – and there’s a spoiler.

I dip into Citaj Knjigu and understand bits and pieces which I’m doing to reinforce the vocabulary that I know.

All in all, I am pleased/happy/chuffed to bits with my progress, and loving the language.

It’s taken me two years to more or less reach a B1 level, and I’m guessing it will take the same again to more or less reach B2.

Yippee …

Besos, Baci i Pax.


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