There has been a lot of recent talk about the future of apps like Babbel. Users wonder what languages will be available in the near term and why there is no Croatian on Babbel. But, not only Croatian, many other of the lesser spoken languages in the world. So today, we're going to look at the reasons behind why there's no Croatian on Babbel, reasons why you should learn Croatian to begin with, and what alternatives there are.
What Are The Slavic Languages?
The first thing to say about Croatian is that it is a Slavic language, and it is not alone in this regard. There are 20 Slavic languages, the most spoken being Czech, Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.
The official classification of Slavic languages is that they're on the Indo-European branch of the language tree. It is estimated today that there are 385 million people who speak a version of a Slavic language.
So, are the languages mutually intelligible? The answer is some of them remarkably so. For example, Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Bosnian are essentially the same language, but they were classified differently for political reasons after the Croatian war of independence. As a result, many people still call the language Serbo Croatian.
Learning languages in this part of the world is made more accessible because of this.
Why Is There No Croatian On Babbel?
Russian dwarves it. As we discussed earlier, Russian is another Slavic language, and it is much bigger than Croatian. Croatian has 6 million speakers, Russia has 150 million speakers. If you do the logic on this one, it makes sense, at least financially. It takes just as many engineers and language professionals to design a Croatian course as it does a Russian, and if you can reach 25x more potential customers, you will pick this option.
The Croatian Script is known as Gaj's Latin alphabet and has been around since 1835. Although it is similar to the alphabet we use in English, it has differences. Note: a b c č ć d dž đ e f g h i j k l lj m n nj o p r s š t u v z ž
Reasons To Learn Croatian
This is a personal favorite of mine. I'm a massive Game of Thrones fan, and Croatia was one of the shooting locations. In fact, the main shooting location was Dubrovnik which stood in for King's Landing, the seat of the Lannister family.
Croatia is amazing to look at and be in! There are 8 national parks, 11 nature parks, and 2 nature reserves. There are also 1200 islands, islets, and crags surrounding the coastline. It gives you extra incentive to learn a language when you know the country is beautiful.
Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods. A little about what the intangible cultural heritage list is. They aim to protect the unique traditions of a culture. The list currently has 584 elements, and Croatia has 17 of them! For more information, check out this list.
This is one for you dog-lovers. Dalmatians come from Croatia! Although there is some consternation that dogs that appear in commercials are now bred in Serbia, you will still see plenty of dalmatians on the streets of Zagreb. Make friends, pet some dogs, speak the language!
Zagreb is an amazing historic city, and it's cheap for people from Northern Europe or America. You can take easily take a vacation here for quarter of the price you would in say Paris or London.
Alternatives To Babbel
My first port of call when learning a language is always Youtube. Learning languages through video completely changed how I approached the task. And there's also the added benefit of feeling like you're part of an active community. When you have people encouraging and cajoling you, it feels much better to be alone in your room, or worse, in a classroom when other kids think you're a nerd for trying hard! There's also the fact that languages are fluid and dynamic things. The vocabulary you learn today is not necessarily valuable tomorrow. Think about how fast technology becomes outdated. The best I've been able to find on Youtube is a channel by Royal Croatia Tours. Although they mainly focus on Croatian culture, they also have lessons on basic Croatian.
Simply Learn is a phrasebook from Simya Solutions, the makers of Ling. It is perfect for all those times you find yourself lost for words in an awkward situation, whether asking for directions, ordering a drink, or checking into a hotel. It is the perfect tool when approaching native Croatian speakers.
Call to all language learners:Ling is the best app to learn lesser-known languages. We've taken what the likes of Babbel and Duolingo created and made it better. We have the kind of gamification elements users have come to expect from a high-quality app, but not only this. We have listening exercises from native speakers in over 60 languages. And with our patented chatbot technology, it'll feel like you're learning Croatian words with a real Croat.
If you enjoyed this post and figured you would love to learn more about language learning tips, please do check out our previous posts, like our reviews for Pimsleur Vs. Mondly and Drops Vs. Busuu.
Thanks for reading. Come over and learn a new language today.