An extremely good way to learn the language of a country is by listening, learning, and singing along to its music. In this blog, we will be looking at songs to practice Croatian, as well as a brief history of Croatian popular music.
Improve Your Language Skills
A tried and tested method for improving your language skills is through music. Learning a language through song is something we all have done from a very young age, whether through nursery rhymes we learn at school or the music our parents used to play while we were growing up. Listening to Croatian songs, traditional music, folk music, liturgical church singing or Croatian love songs will give you a fun way of better understanding how to pronounce and better speak the Croatian language.
Although it will take time and daily practice, you will be surprised how quickly your Croatian will improve if you follow a few simple steps. First of all, choose several of the most popular songs you enjoy listening to and try to sing along with them. Don’t worry if you can’t sing all of the words at first, just try to get a feel for the rhythm, pronunciation, and different sounds.
Learn The Lyrics
Next, find a copy of the words translated into your mother tongue, numerous websites can provide you with this. Doing this is important so you can compare the way the words and sentence structure are put together.
Once you are familiar with the songs, try writing the lyrics down. This will immediately help to improve your spelling and help cement the words in your mind.
Learn Through Karaoke
If you feel you have a good understanding of what you hear in your most popular songs, why not try to find a video of a karaoke version of the song on a website like Youtube? Reading along with a song while singing is a true test of how well your grasp of the language is coming along.
Below is a link to the song Daleko by Detour, one of many several popular Croatian musicians with the lyrics in Croatian and English. Feel free to choose your own popular Croatian musicians if this particular song is not to your taste – this is simply here as an example.
Daleko by Detour
Nemoj ići daleko – tako su rekli joj.
Nemoj ići nigdje gdje te moje oči ne vide.
Zašto je to opasno – to ni’ko nije rek’o joj.
Slutila je sile koje čekaju ju, odavno.
A što ak’ ja?
Što ak’ ja?
Što ak’ ja želim ići daleko?
Nježan cvijet nije nježan zauvijek,
Ni ova noć neće trajat zauvijek.
Ne talasaj valove tako joj rekoše.
Ne diraj lava, sve dok spava – u redu je.
A zašto je to opasno, to ni’ko nije rek’o joj.
Kad se dignu bure, svi se sakriju da ne vide.
A što ak’ ja?
Što ak’ ja?
Što ak’ ja želim dizat valove?
Nježan cvijet nije nježan zauvijek.
Ni ovaj lav neće spavat zauvijek
Don’t go far away – that what they told her.
Don’t go anywhere where my eyes don’t see you.
Why that’s dangerous – no one told her that.
She sensed the forces awaiting her, since a long time ago.
And what if I?
What if I?
What if I want to go far away?
A gentle flower isn’t gentle forever,
This night will not last forever either.
Don’t make the waves, that’s what they told her.
Don’t touch the lion, as long as he sleeps – it’s OK.
And why is that dangerous – no one told her.
When the winds start blowing, everyone hides away not to see.
And what if I?
What if I?
What if I want to make the waves?
A gentle flower isn’t gentle forever.
This lion won’t sleep forever, either.
A Brief History Of Croatian Music
To help you choose what music to listen to in order to improve your Croatian, let’s take a quick look at some of the traditional music, folk music, and Croatian pop that has helped create the colorful tapestry that is Croatian music.
Traditional Music And Folk Music
Each region of the country has its own unique style of traditional music. Because Croatia is situated in central Europe, its music has been heavily influenced by the countries on its borders, the Balkans, the Adriatic sea, and the Mediterranean.
This style of traditional folk music takes its name from the musical instrument. A tamburica is a combination of the Italian mandolin, the Ukrainian Bandura, and the Russian balalaika. Songs accompanying this instrument have been passed down through the generations. It is often accompanied by traditional dancing and tamburica music is often spiced up by the addition of other traditional instruments.
Found predominantly on the Dalmatian coast, Klapa is a singing tradition in the a-cappella style. The songs are often a celebration of Croatian history sung in harmony by a group of men. The group of singers may be accompanied by other musicians playing instruments such as the double bass, the accordion, and the tamburica.
Useful Music Words In Croatian
After practicing these songs, you’ll probably want to discuss them with your friends. thus, here is a list of a few useful terms you may need for your discussion.
|audience||publika||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]publika[/Speechword]|
|beat||tući||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]tući[/Speechword]|
|composer||kompozitor||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]kompozitor[/Speechword]|
|concert||koncert||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]koncert[/Speechword]|
|duet||duet||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]duet[/Speechword]|
|harmony||sklad||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]sklad[/Speechword]|
|hymn||hvalospjev||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]hvalospjev[/Speechword]|
|lyrics||tekst||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]tekst[/Speechword]|
|musician||glazbenik||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]glazbenik[/Speechword]|
|note||zabilješka||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]zabilješka[/Speechword]|
|performer||izvođač||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]izvođač[/Speechword]|
|record||snimiti||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]snimiti[/Speechword]|
|rhythm||ritam||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]ritam[/Speechword]|
|scale||mjerilo||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]mjerilo[/Speechword]|
|solo||solo||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]solo[/Speechword]|
|song||pjesma||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]pjesma[/Speechword]|
|symphony||simfonija||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]simfonija[/Speechword]|
|voice||glas||[Speechword voice=”Croatian Male” isinline]glas[/Speechword]|
Ganga And Other Traditional Styles Of Music
Ganga is a traditional style of Croatian singing. The Gusle is a string instrument from Dalmatia often used to accompany patriotic and historical celebrations. The Diple is a woodwind musical instrument that has its roots in Istria and The Dalmatian islands.
Croatian pop songs often fuse modern music styles with traditional elements. The pop scene has exploded over the last few decades with acts including the band Grupa 777 and the group Magazin. Among the country’s more popular solo artists are Oliver Dragojevic, Tajci and Severina.
The rock scene began to flourish in the 1980s, and many of the rock bands that established themselves during the decade have gone on to have long-lasting careers. If rock is your type of thing, why not search out some classic albums on Youtube and Spotify by bands like Crvena Jabuka, Parni Valjak and Tutti Frutti Band?
Dance music has become one of the most popular types of music in Croatia today. Heavily influenced by western trance, techno, and house, there are plenty of artists to choose from including E.T. and Colonia, and Dino Dvornik.
Hip Hop And Rap Music
The growth of rap music in Croatia came during the 1990s. Artists include Nered & Stoka, Bolesna Braca, and Tram 11. If you manage to visit the country, it is well worth checking out the listings of music festivals where you can see the acts play live.
Increase Your Music Vocab With Ling
Learning Croatian through music is just one of the ways to improve your speaking skills and develop a relationship with friendly Croatians. Another is to download the Ling App where you will find a wealth of fun lessons, quizzes, and interactive games. The Ling App is available for download right now at App Store and Google Play.