Learning Croatian to a B1 level


I have now been learning Croatian for approximately four months, and now seems as good a time as any to report back on my progress.

My aim is too reach a B1 level before the summer.

I’d take this with a pinch of salt, but according to my language teacher, I am now approaching a B1 level. In the interests of full disclosure, honesty and so on, I’d be more comfortable with a description of low A2 (on the CEFR scale). Either way I’m happy with my progress, and have another four months or so before the summer (my arbitrary deadline).

I’ve finally found an effective method of learning languages that works for me, and I’m writing this as much for my benefit (so I remember what works) as for anyone who is reading this.

Now I am vaguely aware that in the language learning community there is a debate as to whether you should listen a lot before speaking, or start speaking immediately. Probably due to an inherent laziness and no particular sense of urgency, I’ve never put much emphasis on speaking initially.

I’m also sure that if you want to achieve a high level in a language that it makes no difference when you start speaking. You need to speak a lot to become good at speaking, and speaking from day one guarantees that you won’t understand the answer. Naturally need to listen to a lot of comprehensible input before you have any hope of understanding what people say to you.

So, in the long run, both are equally important.

But, my aim with Croatian, is too reach a B1 level in both speaking and comprehension by summer of this year.  This given the short amount of time forced my hand a bit and I decided to have iTalki lessons (where I speak) ab initio.

If you genuinely want to learn something, regardless if what it is, you need to learn actively not passively. In my  mind that means deciding on your own route, or plotting your own path. It is partly for that reason that I no longer have any affiliate links on Surface Languages (not intentionally anyway). It isn’t that I think all language products are bad, but more that we all learn in different ways and my way will be different from your way and so on.

My strategy so far has been:

Weeks 1 and 2.  I learnt as much as I could using Teach yourself Croatian.

Weeks 3 and 4. I used several different teachers to find one who suited my style.

Months 2 and 3. I have had a weekly one on one Croatian lesson.

During the lesson my teacher writes down the words that I try to use, and  I learn these over the following weeks. This is crucial.

I have listened to simple Croatian texts as I drive to and from work (which takes me about an hour each day).

I have analysed and tried to understand the grammar used in these texts. This is also crucial, as Croatian has a complicated grammar.

Month 4. I have started listening to the Youtube series Easy Croatian (which isn’t easy to understand) to try and get a feel for more natural speech.

I will continue with this for the next two months.

It has also helped that the weather in the west country has been appalling.



Plans for 2019

Sup doods and doodesses?

Plans. Plans. Plans. The end of the year is always a good time for them and here are some of mine.

Plan broj jedan (plan number one).  A new website called Polyglot People.

I have recently started working on this site.  If you click on the link, you will be able to see that as yet, nothing happens:) The clue was in the word recently.

It is designed to teach sentences in different languages.

I decided to do this on a new site and not by merely bolting something onto the appropriate part of   Surface Languages because:-

Surface Languages was never designed to be mobile first (you know for all you cool kidz who use phones/pads etc), and Polyglot People will be, and geek that I am, I wanted (needed) to scratch a programming itch.

I anticipate finishing Polyglot People by the end of March – assuming the  day job doesn’t sap too much of my energy.

Plan broj dwa (plan number two)

Carry on with learning Croatian until I reach B1 level. I still love it.

By the way I have absolutely no idea whether Plan broj jedan and  Plan broj dwa are the correct way of expressing this in Croatian.

I suspect not.

If you are a Croatian reader or someone who knows more Croatian than me, let me know what I should have writen.

I’d wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year but I live in Brexit Britain so it seems unlikely for some of us.

So not too tempt fate, Happy New Year to you all, and I’m crossing my fingers that I am still employed in twelve months (really).



Learning Croatian and more!


It’s been a while, but never fear me and mine are hale and hearty. I’ve had a bit of a roller-coaster of a year which has ended well despite a very unpromising start. I won’t bore you with the details or over-share but I didn’t have any spare emotional or mental capacity. My language learning and this site were totally neglected.

But that was then and this is now, and you want to know about my Croatian learning and what the ‘more’ in the title refers to.

Firstly, Croatian …

I love it!

I really love it:) Even more than Spanish and Italian!!

And definitely more than French;)

I now have a weekly iTalki lesson and have progressed in large dog sized leaps and bounds. I have  understood how to learn a slavic language. Phew. Finally.

Secondly, ‘the more’ refers to a new website I am working on  called Polyglot People.

It will be free and based on sentence based learning (which is part of my learning strategy for Croatian).  I promised that I would share my technique for learning Croatian and I will.

But temper your excitement. I still don’t believe that  there is a one size fits all for language learning – which is why there are no longer any links to language products on this site (not intentionally anyway). We are all different, learn in different ways and have different learning styles.

That said, I’m fairly certain that Polylgot people will be of help to some of you. My aim (and this is very dependent on the day job) is too have the site up and running by the end of May.

In the meantime, I’m back and hopefully more regular (snigger).

Happy Xmas Baci and besos,





I’m learning Croatian

Sup All,

Does anyone read this bog at all? Or do my words fall like leaves in the forest?

In the damp forest.

Enough of that, here is a quick update as to what I’ve been up to regarding languages, since (gulp) January.

I listened to and read a lot of German (der Prozess mainly) during the first few months of this year, and then life and work intruded.  No worries. That’s the way it goes, and I’m lucky to have a job.

And I maintained my Spanish and Italian language exchanges.

Moving on:

Ucim hrvatski jezik (I’m learning Croatian)

Yep. I’m learning Croatian. I’ve booked my first lesson on iTalki in two weeks. I hope to learn from all the mistakes I made when (attempting to learn) Polish and arrive at a B1 level by the middle of next year.

Now, based on my past performance, you may rightfully be dubious as to my chances of success, but this time something has changed in my thinking, and I am sure that I will achieve this.

I have a new method, which if it bears fruit, I will share with you, dear Croatian learning reader.

Besos and baci