Dubrovnik Info

Croatian Language

The Croatian language belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. It is the official language of the Republic of Croatia, and is also spoken by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro (Bay of Kotor), Austria (Burgenland), Italy (Molise), Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, and by Croatian émigrés in Western Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

It has three dialects: Štokavian, Kajkavian and Čakavian, named after the interrogative pronouns što?, kaj? and ča?. Today’s standard literary language is mostly based on New Štokavian forms of Ijekavian pronunciation and is written using the Roman script. In the centuries following the migration of the Croats (6th and 7th centuries) Croatian developed primarily under the influence of Latin as the language of Western Christianity, while from the 10th century onwards, the influence of Old Church Slavonic played an important part, as it rapidly assimilated the features of its close relative, the native Croatian language (the Croatian version of Old Slavonic). In written documents, Croatian started to replace Old Slavonic in the 13th and 14th centuries and by the end of the Middle Ages, had replaced it completely.