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Croatian translations: Their importance and usage in Switzerland

Croatian translations: Their importance and usage in Switzerland

Did you know that since January 1, 2022, Croatians have had full access to the Swiss labor market?

This increases the probability that the Croatian community in Switzerland will keep growing. But much more makes Croatian culture an integral part of Switzerland and the Croatian language essential for your content.

If you’re interested in the Croatian language and culture, keep reading. We’ll also talk about what to look out for if you need Croatian translations.

How did Croatians come to Switzerland?

Croats started to immigrate to Switzerland in the mid-sixties of the 20th century. The first immigrants were highly educated people, mainly technical experts and doctors.

Another significant number of Croatian immigrants arrived during the nineties. After being a part of Yugoslavia, Croatia became a sovereign state in 1991. Still, a war broke out shortly after, and Switzerland and some EEC states didn’t officially recognize Croatia until 1992. This caused a wave of Croatian immigrants seeking stability and better economic opportunities.

According to the most recent statistics, 28,324 Croatians reside in Switzerland today. However, this number might grow with the opening of the Swiss labor market to Croatians.

Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin: One common language?

Croatian belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. It’s the official language in Croatia, but it’s very similar to Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. This language is commonly called Serbo-Croatian, and we can identify it as Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, or Montenegrin, depending on the speaker’s ethnicity.

There are slight differences between these languages, but did you know that this doesn’t affect their mutual comprehensibility? Croatians, Serbians, Bosnians, and Montenegrins can all understand each other almost perfectly.

What you should know about Croatian

Today, there are approximately 6 million speakers of Croatian. It is one of the many languages spoken in Switzerland and greatly contributes to the country’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters in total. It is based on the standard Latin alphabet but differs from it by not having some letters (q, w, x, and y) and also including some additional ones (č, ć, dž, đ, lj, nj, š, and ž).

Croatian has a simple spelling and reading system, where each letter represents a single sound. Because of this, Croatian words are consistently straightforward to pronounce after a bit of practice.

Although similar to the grammar of other Slavic languages, Croatian grammar might confuse speakers of different language groups. As in most languages, all Croatian nouns have a gender and a number. However, they also have 7 cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, instrumental and locative.

Below are some basic Croatian phrases:

Good morningDobro jutro
Good afternoonDobar dan
Good eveningDobra večer
Thank youHvala
How are you?Kako ste?
I’m fine, thank youJa sam dobro, hvala
Do you speak English?Govorite li engleski?
What time is it?Koliko je sati?

Why do some Croatians have trouble understanding each other?

Despite being a relatively small country, Croatian has three main dialects, which are very diverse. These dialects got their names from the different pronunciations of the word “what.”

Pronunciation of “what”chakajshto
Speaking areaSpoken along
the Croatian coast,
on many islands
and in the Lika region
Spoken in northern and northwestern CroatiaSpoken in the rest
of Croatia

The language varies in different ways, from dialect to dialect. Depending on the location, there are differences in how certain things are called and described. Also, syllables can be swallowed, slurred, or sped through, and some dialects skip over the middle of words!

So if you were wondering why some Croatians have trouble understanding each other just because they’re from different areas, this is why.

Croatian translations: How to choose them wisely

Croatian is a beautiful and complex language. It’s one of the many languages spoken in Switzerland and contributes to our multilingualism and multiculturalism. With the growth of the Croatian community in Switzerland, it’s becoming more and more important for your content.

Its unique version of the Latin alphabet, seven noun cases, and the three dialects set it apart from other languages, but they also make it challenging to translate. Differences between Croatian dialects are obvious to native speakers, but they might not be as noticeable for those new to the language.

This is why native Croatian translators can help create content that resonates with your Croatian audience.

SwissGlobal is an ISO-certified LSP that works with native Croatian-speaking translators who are experts in their respective fields of translation. Our team also includes Croatian-speaking project managers who will help to ensure the highest quality standards for your Croatian translations.

Get in touch with us now for your Croatian translation needs.