Learning Croatian after learning another Slavic language

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by dopehooks, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. dopehooks New Member

    English - Canada
    How easy would one find learning Serbo-Croatian after studying Russian or Polish or even both?

    I obviously understand that there are big differences in grammar and vocabulary, but a friend told me awhile ago that learning Serbo-Croatian before Russian is much easier than vice versa. I'm just trying to gauge how much truth was in his statement.
  2. OEDS-KZ Member

    Russian - Northern Kazakhstan
    Yes, your friend is u pravu. :)
    Serbo-Croatian grammatically is more similar to Polish, than to Russian, but many words are easily learned by heart by speakers of three languages at least: Polish (it may be also Czech or Slovak), Russian (Bulgarian or Ukrainian) and Turkish.
  3. Eunos New Member

    For non-slavic native speaker I can`t tell, but for me Serbo-Croatian language is 95% understandable and I haven`t been studying it at all. Russian has many words that are allmost identical with words from south slavic languages, but their meanings are sometimes completely different. Also you have to know your first slavic language very well, otherwise you`ll mix them up and you`ll have a big mess in your head. Looking very similar at their basis, the small differences make slavic languages very different and tricky.
  4. olaszinho Senior Member

    Central Italian
    From my limited experiences, I can say that Russian is slightly more complicated than Croatian. It is true that Croatian is more conservative, at least morphologically speaking: it can boast several verb classes and tenses, a rich set of endings for nouns and adjectives, seven cases instead of six, as in Russian. For instance, Croatian has different endings for masculine, feminine and neuter plural adjectives: -i – e – a, unlike Russian ы/и, but, on the whole, I find Croatian pronunciation and spelling to be much easier to master: they are generally clear and straightforward: (fewer vowels and no schwa sound, no difference between soft and hard consonants). On the other hand, Russian alphabet is not particularly complicated but it is not phonetic. In my view, one of the hardest features of Russian is mobile stress, most words change their stress according to the case and even between singular and plural forms: вода (water) nominative : воду (accusative). Лес (wood) nominative singular, Леса (woods) nominative plural, and I could add many other examples. Personally, I have studied Russian: it is a beautiful language but, unfortunately, I don’t have many opportunities to practice it. I started learning Croatian after having a sufficient knowledge of the Russian language and, as I said above, I found Croatian quite easy, at least at a very basic level. I realise, however, that a Slavic native speaker may have a completely different opinion.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  5. Gnoj Senior Member

    I'm very little familiar with Polish and Russian, although not completely unfamiliar. Learning Serbo-Croatian after studying Russian or Polish or even both? Very easy, by my opinion. If you put your mind into it, of course. I think Polish and Russian are harder for non-Slavic speaking foreigners than Serbo-Croatian to learn. And spelling and pronunciation is the easiest part of it, unlike in Polish and especially Russian.
  6. simplulo New Member

    English - US
    Expanding on the original post, how would you recommend learning Croatian after learning Russian? Assume I know all the grammatical concepts of Russian (BTW, Russian has seven cases--the vocative lives on as the neo-vocative). Is there a book that describes the Croatian differences concisely?

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