After 22 trips to Croatia in 7 years, learning a few phrases each time just isn’t going to cut it anymore. I decided it was time to learn the language of my second home, especially now that I have a Croatian address. This has been my problem- I understand a lot, but forming a proper sentence is and will continue to be my struggle. I needed proper instruction for this language that I find to be more than complicated.
A few months ago I found out about Croatian Language School Easy Croatian and they invited me to finally learn the language with a one on one intensive language class on the island of Lošinj. I didn’t hesitate and knew that it was time to learn and the location could not have been more perfect.
Not a bad place to learn...
Croatian Language School is based in London and taught by Croatia native, Linda Rabuzin. It was amazing to hear about all of the people she has taught through the years- expats, new Croatia business owners, and crazy Americans like me who have no Croatian heritage. In addition to providing one-on-one language training in Lošinj, Linda also teaches over Skype to her students around the globe. Every summer, she organizes an immersion trip to a different Croatian town or village so that students can learn local culture and of course practice their speaking firsthand.
I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I soon became determined to learn the language. The first thing I was introduced to was the Croatian “BIBLE” also known as the dreaded grammar chart. I quickly realized everything I thought I was saying right through the years (even just ordering coffee) was not correct. However, it’s better now than later to break these bad habits.
Exploring nearby Cres...the town of Lubenice
The class was intense but enjoyable and Linda’s way of speaking and teaching gives me hope that one day my Croatian friends won’t speak English to me. With two blocks of two-hour sessions, we covered a lot each day and then there was the study time. Learning so much in a short amount of time was a bit of an overload at times, but there was no better place to catch some fresh sea air and go on a hike then around Lošinj. The location was perfect, not distracting and allowed me to process and use what I learned at the local café.
Since I will be spending the summer in Croatia, I hope to improve tremendously and have continued Skype lessons twice a week! While it might be a long road, I know Croatia will always be a part of me and so one day the language will also. If you see me around this summer- Hocemo na rivu popiti kavu?
All photos by Ashley Colburn