There are many reasons why Croatian is a challenging language to learn. Its got 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” in Croatian.
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.
10 Croatian tongue twisters to befuddle your brain
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.
Can you master these tongue twisters? Are there any that you know of that we haven’t included? Tell us in the comments.
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.