16 June 2010

More language learning tools

In my quest to learn the Croatian language, I've slowly collected just about every workbook, text book, CD, dictionary, phrase guide, and grammar guide on the planet. Why do I need so many different books? Well, only one or two are written in English. All the other books are written in Croatian....which presented a problem for me, since I couldn't read the directions, and the waiters at the cafe quickly tired of my pesky requests to "please tell me what this says" while pointing to some phrases in my book.

Everyone I talk to who is trying to learn this language is pretty much in the same boat, and often we compare language learning tools. I thought I'd provide a quick list of the books that also come with CDs which aid immensely when trying to figure out pronunciation. There are particular sounds that are hard for an English-speaker to handle gracefully. Here are some city and town names to illustrate: Hvar (um, let's see, it would sound sort of like hhhh-var), Cricvenica (t-s-rick-ven-itz-ah...and roll the rrrr), Oprtalj (oh, never mind ;-)

I got all these books through a bookstore in Zagreb called Algoritam. You can find them at: www.algoritam.hr. See if there's a location near you, or call the main bookstore and see if they can order any of these for you.

This first one is written in English, and comes with 6 audio CDs, plus a good coursebook. It is called: Spoken World Croatian, A complete course for beginners. By Living Language. Cost was around 290 kunas.

The second one is also in English. Called Beginner's Croatian , Hippocrene Beginner's Series, by Aida Vidan & Robert Niebuhr. It is a workbook with 2 audio CDs. Cost, around 240 kunas.

The third one is a workbook that is written in Croatian....but it has a CD that goes along with it. It is called: Ucimo hrvatski, skolska knjiga, by Vesna Kosovac & Vida Lukic. Can't remember the cost...and it might only be available through www.skolskaknjiga.hr

This last one is kind of special and I highly recommend grabbing a copy. It doesn't have a CD and deals with grammar....but it is a book written in English meant to explain Croatian grammar for English speakers. Now that might sound weird...but trust me, if you are an English speaker trying to learn Croatian grammar, you'll know what I mean. The book is called Croatian Grammar, by Vinko Grubisic. It is supposed to be available at Algoritam. They couldn't get me a copy, so I wrote to the author, who directed me to the The Croatian University Press. You can e-mail them to request a copy of this book at: hrvatska-sveucilisna-naklada@zg.t-com.hr

If anyone knows of any other books/CDs/DVDs...available anywhere on the planet, please let me know..


Denn said...

Hey Gabriella,
your difficulties finding decent Croatian language learning resources absolutely ring a bell!

Having spent hours researching what might best fit my needs, I opted for Easy Learning Croatian I+II from Strokes. The price tag had me cringing but so far I can say it was worth the expense. The program comes with conversation, vocabulary and pronunciation trainers which are well implemented and work great. They've got a free demo on their website that allows you to try out their didactic approach.

The program does have a decent grammar but it lacks any exercises to imprint all those nasty conjugations, declensions etc. on one's memory.
Anything you could suggest here?
Thanks and best regards from Austria,

Gabriella said...

Thanks for the info, I'll add it to my library. My suggestion to learn this language is to come and live here! Seriously...I can't figure out any other way. But if I find some new language learning secrets, I'll post them here.

Emilia Baigorri said...

Hi! How much was the book on Croatian Grammar?

Emilia Baigorri said...

Hi! How much was the book on Croatian Grammar?

Gabriella said...

Can't remember how much it cost...it was a few years ago now. But I think it was around 200 kunas.

Emilia Baigorri said...

Thanks a lot for the info. I'm trying to study hrvatski here in Argentina and it is impossible to get a textbook in this country. So I'm gonna have to get them sent from abroad! =(