https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewSch565687

Croatian as a Duolingo Language

My heritage is comprised of half-Italian, half-Croatian. I am fortunate to have Italian as a language on Duolingo, but Croatian seems to not have enough recognition for it to be a language on here. Not too many people on my Croatian side of the family speak the language, and if I wish to preserve my culture, I want to learn the language.

We have Irish and Klingon on here for crying out. There are about 1.2 million native speakers of Irish, and Klingon is a fictional language from Star Trek. There are millions of people who speak Croatian, and many in the Balkans can understand it. Throughout Eastern and Western European Slavic nations, natives can understand the idea of Croatian when spoken to by Croats. It is similar to the other Slavic languages on Duolingo such as Czech, Russian, and Ukranian.

I know there are people out there who speak fluent Croatian, so I urge those to help out the community and teach others the wonderful Southern Slavic language that is Croatian.

6 months ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/PatSchiebz226
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I plan to study a language that is not available on Duolingo and make Tinycards for it. I could do Croatian. It’s only a possibility, I’m invested in Norwegian and Portuguese right now.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michalina1917

Support for this idea! I'd love to learn Croatian! My languages to learn list is 90% Slavic languages, haha~

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PannasOwen
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Yes please.. or should i say da molim?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KrisWest8
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I'd like to see Croatian on Duo. I'd be interested.

As to the broader topic, I do think Duo should look at offering more dialects within each language in general. That would be a good longer term goal.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wyqtor
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Yes, especially Arabic, for which the dialects are more like separate languages.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/norbertwm
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Molim vam puno, živim u Ljubljani ali je puno ljudi uz Bosne, Hrvatske, Srbije, Makedonije, i oni svi govoriju Srbski-Hrvatski. Slovenci može razumiti jih, zato i ja učim hrvatski. Bila bih super imeti Hrvatski na Duolingo, trebam ga!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Doy_Toy

I speak a little Croatian, and it is a good language to know. I speak Bulgarian completely fluently. The Balkan Slavic languages are very similar, and I can understand almost any of the millions of Slavs in the world. I am very disappointing that their is no Balkan Slavic languages on Duolingo.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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Creating only a Croatian course would anger the Serbs here, and a Serbian course would do the same for the Croatians. The solution should lie in creating a Serbo-Croatian course I think, but that would bring its own complications with it. I hope that one day such a course will be introduced though, ideally one in which you can use either the Cyrillic or the Latin script, a bit like using American or British spelling in the English courses here on DL.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinianJeff
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I consider this whole thing to be very, very overblown.

Every Duolingo course has to pick a particular country or region's dialect to focus on. The "English" course is American, the "Spanish" course is Mexican, the "Portuguese" is Brazilian, the "French" is Parisian, the "Chinese" is Beijinghua, the "Arabic" will be Egyptian, and so on.

The Serbo-Croatian course will have to pick one of the three (actual) dialects to focus on, and the obvious choice is Štokavian since it's the prestige dialect of all four countries and by far the most common.

The next choice after that is whether to go with Iekavian or Ekavian spellings/pronunciation of words (e.g., "mlijeko" vs. "mleko"). Iekavian is the dominant form in Croatia, FBiH, and Republika Srpska. Ekavian is dominant in Serbia. (I don't know which they use in Montenegro.) I would argue for Iekavian because 1.) it's more common in every place English speakers regularly visit except for Belgrade and Novi Sad, and 2.) you can just convert "ije" to "e" in your head while you're speaking if you really care.

Finally we have to pick a writing system. This should obviously be Latinica, which is universal to all the countries including Serbia... if you go to Belgrade, you see as much Latinica as Ćirilica these days. Outside of Serbia, meanwhile, it's all there is. Ćirilica can be taught as a bonus skill if Duo ever gets those working again, but really it's not that hard. Anyone who learns Serbo-Croatian in any form and who travels to Serbia will learn to read it whether it's part of the Duo course or not.

So Iekavian Štokavian with Latinica. Some people would call that "Croatian", but it's really much broader than that. I guess you could do like the Spanish course and teach multiple words for "airport" and whatever else.

I learned "Croatian" in college. With lots of "ije"s and all that. When I combined verbs, I used [(conj.) + (inf.)], not [(conj.) + da + (conj.)]. And my language tutor was from Sisak, so I'm sure I used tons of Croatian-specific regional vocabulary. But then I went to Serbia, and... everybody was totally fine with it. Nobody cares except politicians.

Most people learning Serbo-Croatian on Duo would be learning it to gain an introduction to the language, or in preparation for a trip to Dubrovnik or Split. But you can use it just as easily everywhere else, including Zagreb and Kotor and Mostar and Sarajevo and Banja Luka and Belgrade and Novi Sad. And if you learn Iekavian Štokavian with Latinica and Croatian vocabulary, you can convert that into Ekavian Štokavian with Ćirilica and Serbian vocabulary in a month. It's way easier than taking the Egyptian Arabic you learned on Duo to Saudi Arabia, or the Mexican Spanish to Chile. I guess it's probably about equivalent to taking the American English to Australia? shrugs

There would be, like, twenty really angry people if Duo just threw their hands up and went all-in on Croatian Štokavian and called it "Croatian" with a Croatian flag and everything. Sure. But, hell, I got flamed by a Brit for defending Duo's use of the word "fun" as an adjective in the Spanish course. There are always going to be a few angry people.

Maybe they can call it "Serbo-Croatian" and use a Yugoslav flag if they really think that's a thing. But either way, Iekavian Štokavian in Latinica is the way to go.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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Thank you for your very insightful answer on this topic. It is fascinating to hear that there is some sort of a prestige dialect, I did not know that.

I guess it's probably about equivalent to taking the American English to Australia? shrugs

Yeah I don't really see the problem either if some of the other languages here on DL are more variable than Serbo-Croatian; Arabic is a very good example of that. However, the choice of AE over BE or Brazilian Portuguese over Iberian Portuguese is fairly easily defended; that doesn't seem as easy in the case of Serbo-Croatian. After all, politics may be just politics, but they have real effects on some people. The amount of native speakers are also somewhat balanced.

Finally we have to pick a writing system. This should obviously be Latinica, which is universal to all the countries including Serbia (...) Ćirilica can be taught as a bonus skill if Duo ever gets those working again, but really it's not that hard.

It seems easier and more useful to make it a mandatory skill early on in the tree, and allow users to use either script after that. In that way, DL stays more neutral, I think. I mean, it would not seem fair if DL insists on AE spelling of words like "gray, color" and the like over BE "grey, colour", so why not adhere to the same principle with the Latin and Cyrillic scripts in Serbo-Croatian?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
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The Arabic will be MSA, not Egyptian...

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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but they will accept Egyptian as well

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinianJeff
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Oops, I saw the Egyptian flag and assumed it was going to be Egyptian.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CadetheBruce
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Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian is already on the list of requested languages here. I fully support people learning their heritage languages, as that's why I learned Scottish Gaelic. And French. And Irish. But my suggestion to you is if you wish people to support you in your own journey to learn your own heritage languages that you respect others' heritage languages as well and not dismiss them because the current speaker population is small by comparison. That's particularly disrespectful towards a language that survived a couple centuries of colonialism trying to wipe it out completely.

As for Kilngon, all I will say is Duolingo has every right to engage any and all language learners, and how the small Klingon team managed to get a course completed so quickly is a great example of people being passionate about languages. Hats off to them.

Again, it's great you want to learn your heritage languages, but understand other people want to learn other languages for their own reasons and it's better to support each other rather than make this into a competition over who deserves to learn a language more.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sie00
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While I think adding Croatian/ Serbo Croat/ Bosnian... would be an excellent addition, I don't like what you said about the Irish language. The Irish language course had a very passionate team and if a team of similar Croatians came together, It surely could happen. Also just to be clear, there aren't 1.2 million native Irish speakers, almost everyone who learns does so as a second language. The incubator is full of useless teams doing no work so It would be great to add a solid team passionate about their culture and language.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ashley811552

I would be very interested. I am married to a Croatian person and the whole family speaks, I would love to be able to communicate with them.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nora_XCII

Vote this discussion, please: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/3447199

I read that it is the one monitored to add new courses!

3 months ago
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