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What Language Do They Speak In Croatia?

What Language Do They Speak In Croatia

Croatia, nestled along the Adriatic Sea, is a fascinating blend of vibrant history, stunning architecture, and linguistic diversity. The official language here is Croatian, a part of the broader Slavic language family. However, the linguistic picture is much richer once delved into. This article aims to traverse the linguistic avenues of Croatia, offering a glimpse into its dialects, minority languages, and the influence of neighboring nations on its linguistic tapestry.

Key Takeaway

Official LanguageCroatian
Language FamilySouth Slavic
Commonly Spoken LanguagesCroatian, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak
Language InstitutionsUniversity of Zagreb, Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics

A Closer Look at Croatian

Croatian, the official language of Croatia, is part of the South Slavic language group which also includes Bosnian and Serbian. It’s intriguing to note that while these languages are mutually intelligible to a large extent, each has its own standardized form and official status in their respective nations.

Dialectical Diversity

Croatia’s linguistic landscape is notably diverse with three main dialects:

  1. Kajkavian
  2. Chakavian
  3. Stokavian

These dialects primarily differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and to some extent, grammar. The Stokavian dialect is the basis for the standardized Croatian language.

DialectGeographic Distribution
KajkavianNorth and Central Croatia
ChakavianCoastal Croatia
StokavianAcross Croatia, also common in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro

Influences from Neighboring Nations

The linguistic profile of Croatia has been significantly influenced by its geographical location and historical interactions with neighboring countries. Italian, German, Hungarian, and Turkish have left indelible marks on the Croatian vocabulary and syntax.

Minority Languages and Multilingualism

A notable aspect of Croatia’s linguistic fabric is the prevalence of minority languages. Owing to historical ties and geographical proximity, languages like Italian, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak are spoken among various communities. The Croatian government recognizes 22 minority languages, offering a glimpse into the multicultural essence of the nation.

Language Institutions and Learning

The University of Zagreb and the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics are pivotal in the promotion, research, and development of the Croatian language. Moreover, numerous language schools and courses are available for those interested in learning Croatian or other languages spoken in Croatia.


Understanding the linguistic landscape of Croatia opens a window into its rich history and cultural diversity. With a base of the evocative Croatian language, enriched by a myriad of dialects, influences from neighboring nations, and a tapestry of minority languages, Croatia stands as a captivating exemplar of linguistic richness in Europe.