04 June 2010

Need a language miracle...

It seems to me that Croatians are generally in a hurry. They walk fast, talk fast and drive fast (really fast.) In fact, they are so much in a hurry that they don't have time for VOWELS. Seriously.

Here are some typical Croatian vowel-less words: vrt, trg, krv, s (that's right, 's' is a word!) and crv. Then there are words with hardly any vowels: mrkva, trznica, brdska, etc.

Also, the letters 'z' and 'h' and 'j' seem to be extremely popular. In English, you've pretty much got zoo, zebra and zero. That's it. So seldom is 'z' used in English, that when you do get to say a 'z' word, it feels like a special occasion like Christmas or your birthday. 'You're at the zoo? And you've seen a zebra? How special!"

But in Croatian, there's at least one 'z' in every third or fourth word. So you get to say 'z' all day long. No vowels plus all those 'z' words is the easy part of learning the language. Everything else is quite complicated. Not crossing-a-busy-street-at-rush-hour-complicated, but more of a got-caught-with-a-provolone-and-entire-prosciutto-in-your-carry-on-luggage-at-Pearson International-complicated.

I've tried a few lessons at a few different places, and I self-study at home with my CDs and DVDs and language books. But the going is s-l-o-w; like trying to open a can of tuna with a safety pin. I had hoped to be conversationally functional within 12 months. . As it stands, I can sort of get by with my basic vocabulary + waving my hands + sometimes drawing pictures.

I'm actively seeking out a language miracle that involves some sort of language angel popping into my world to gently whisk me through the 7 declensions and beyond.

Until that day (which I hope is soon), it is malo-pa-malo. Mic-po-mic.

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