10 Croatian tongue twisters to make your head spin

Croatian tongue twisters
Image by The Hans India

There are many reasons why Croatian is a challenging language to learn. It has 7 cases, 3 genders, 3 dialects with an infinite number of sub-dialects, as well as some special letters and an unsettling lack of vowels that can make pronunciation especially frightening.

In English, we have tongue twisters to help with pronunciation like She sells seashells by the seashore and Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. But did you know that there are also Croatian tongue twisters? They exist and are called jezikolomke or brzalice.

We challenge you to give these tongue twisters a shot! You never know, your Croatian may just get a little bit better. And if not, you’ll at least leave with a little amusement.

The tongue twisters are these…

1. Practice the pronunciation of the letter R

Croatian: Riba ribi grize rep.
English: A fish bites another fish on the tail.

2. Practice the difference between C and Č

Croatian: Cvrči, cvrči cvrčak na čvoru crne smrče.
English: The leafhopper chirps, chirps on the branch of the black pine.

3. Practice the difference between Š and Ć

Croatian: Na štriku se suši šosić.
English: On this washing line, a miniskirt is drying.

4. Practice the pronunciation of the letter P

Croatian: Petar Petru pleo petlju pokraj puta po sto puta.
English: Petar has braided Petar a hundred times with a ribbon next to the path.

5. Practice the pronunciation of the letter Č

Croatian: Četristo četrdeset četiri čavke čuče na čamcu.
English: Four hundred and forty four jackdaws crouch on the boat.

6. Practice the pronunciation of the letter Ć

Croatian: Pile pikće dok do kuće ne dopikće.
English: Chicken clucks until to the house it clucks.

7. Practice the pronunciation of the letter LJ

Croatian: Ljubim Ljubu i Ljubu i ljuljam se.
English: I kiss Ljubo and Ljuba and sway by.

8. Practice the difference between Č and Ć

Croatian: Četiri čavčića na čunčiću čučeći cijuču.
English: Four small jackdaws whistle, crouching on the boat.

9. Practice the pronunciation of S and K

Croatian: Svaka svraka skakala na dva kraka.
English: Every magpie hops on two arms.

10. Practice the difference between B and D

Croatian: Na vrh brda vrba mrda.
English: On the summit of a mountain, a willow is swaying.

View our other Croatian vocabulary posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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