History Of Croatian Language: 5 Powerful Periods

history of Croatian language - A photo of a an old map

Dobrodošli! (Welcome!) Have you ever thought about the creation of a language and how its evolution through the years impacts every single word and phrase? It’s mind-blowing to consider how the past adds to each unique language! Why not check the history of Croatian language and see what it can offer?

Croatia is a land of stunning landscapes and a unique and captivating culture. The Croatian language serves as a reflection of its diverse past. From ancient times to its modern form in present-day Croatia, let’s learn more about the Croatian language by checking out its history.

History Of Croatian Language

Learning the history of Croatian language, or any language for that matter, is important for cultural preservation and understanding. It reveals the evolution of linguistic identity, reflecting historical, social, and political shifts. Being informed about the origins and evolution of the Croatian language brings forth linguistic pride, enables better communication, and contributes to preserving Croatia’s rich heritage.

So come, let’s take a walk down the history pages and see what all ensued in the bygone era to give the Croatian language the shape that it holds today.

1. The Early Roots

Our journey takes us back over a millennium to the ninth century when the Croatian language first emerged. The Croatian language is one of the Slavic languages, influenced by native Slavic words from tribes who settled in the region.

I know the Slavic region is huge, but for now, we’re focusing on the South Slavic group. Other countries in this region include Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Over time, from the Serbo-Croatian language, Croatian evolved with its distinct sounds, grammar, and vocabulary. 

history of Croatian language - A photo of tourist enjoying the view

2. The Influence Of Latin And Beyond

As the pages of history turned, Croatia found itself at the crossroads of various civilizations. One of the most significant influences on Croatia was the Roman Empire (as it was most of Europe at this time). 

Latin has a massive legacy that left its mark on Croatian, especially in the domains of law, religion, and administration (Latin alphabet). These Latin influences still resonate in modern Croatian. Who would have thought that, right? They lend a sense of historical depth to everyday expressions and words!

However, the story does not end there. Croatia’s language journey, like Western European languages, has many more influences than the Romans. Due to its geographical location and historical interactions with neighboring cultures, Croatian has absorbed elements from languages such as Italian, Turkish, Hungarian, and German. And also from the Church Slavonic. Wow, that’s a lot of other influences!

3. A Mix Of Cultures And Languages In Croatia

Croatia’s geographical location at the crossroads of Europe made it a true melting pot of cultures and languages. Throughout the centuries, these influences from various cultures found their way into Croatian culture.

Italian, for example, had a significant impact on coastal Croatian dialects due to the proximity of Italy. Turkish and Hungarian words found their way into Croatian through centuries of shared history in the region. Germanic influences, on the other hand, were more prominent in the north and central parts of Croatia. Makes sense, right?

But wait, are you feeling inspired to actually learn the Croatian language after learning its history? Check out these Croatian conversational phrases you can actually use for your next travel to Croatia.

history of Croatian language - A photo of old books

4. Standardization Efforts

The journey towards a standardized Croatian language was not without its challenges. Croatia has faced historical periods during which it came under the rule of different empires, each with its own language. Despite these challenges, Croatian linguists and scholars tirelessly worked to preserve and develop their language into what it is today.

The 19th century was a turning point in Croatian language history. During the Croatian National Revival, a concerted effort was made to standardize the language. Croatian scholars such as Ljudevit Gaj played a pivotal role in unifying the various dialects and establishing a standardized Croatian script.

This effort laid the foundation for modern Croatian. Thank you, Ljudevit Gaj, for contributing to shaping and standardizing the Croatian language. Your legacy is embraced and celebrated to this day.

5. The Birth Of Modern Croatian: Literary Language

The 20th century has brought challenges and triumphs for the Croatian language. The dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s saw Croatia emerging as an independent nation, and Croatian became its official language. Yay! With its newfound sovereignty, Croatian thrived as efforts were made to expand its vocabulary and adapt it to modern needs.

Today, modern Croatian is a dynamic and evolving language. It incorporates many loanwords from other languages to accommodate the rapidly changing world of technology, science, and global culture. Despite these modern influences, the official Croatian language remains deeply rooted in its rich cultural heritage and retains its unique identity.

History-Related Croatian Vocabulary Words

Here are some Croatian words to help you start your language-learning journey with Croatian. They are words related to learning about the history of Croatian language, which you’ve just done! Get out a paper and pen and study this Croatian literary language!

Or if you’re a visual learner like many of us are, there’s an exciting app that’s been making language learning an easy hobby. It is a highly researched language-learning app for a fun and personalized experience.

With the Ling app, you’ll hit your Croatian language goals with a little hard work and daily practice. Did you know that besides Croatian, there are over 60+ foreign languages to learn? So what are you waiting for? Download it from the App Store and Play Store today!

Vocabulary / DictionaryRječnik / Vocabular
Cultural HeritageKulturna Baština

Why Should You Learn The History Of Croatian Language?

As we come to the end of our extensive journey through the history of the Croatian language, we hope you’ve gained a newfound appreciation for this remarkable language. Croatian reflects the resilience and diversity of the Croatian people.

Through occupations, wars, and other hardships, may the language persevere! Whether you’re planning a trip to Croatia or simply eager to explore a new language, remember that each word carries with it a piece of history and culture.

Learn Croatian With Ling!

Want to learn more Croatian grammar besides the few vocabulary words listed above? Now that you know the history of Croatian language, you’re sure to have a better appreciation for the language! The best news is that you can always turn this appreciation into language acquisition with the help of the fun and engaging Ling app. Sretno učenje! (Happy learning!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.