We'll also give you some tips on getting to grips with longer Croatian words before introducing you to the longest word in the Croatian language!
Don't be tripped up by familiar-looking words such as Europa. It's easy to fall back on pronouncing the double vowel (in this case eu) as a single sound, but remember the simple rule we mentioned in our post on basic pronunciation: 1 letter = 1 sound ... so: 2 vowels = 2 sounds!
Take note: there’s no such thing as a silent r in Croatian. The letter r in Croatian is pronounced similarly to in Scottish or Irish English.
Correctly pronouncing r is often important to being understood. For example, the final r distinguishes the word kuhar (a cook) from the word kuha (he/she cooks), or slikar (painter) from the word slika (he/she paints). In words such as ormar (wardrobe/closet) or bravar (locksmith) both r sounds can be heard quite clearly.
Whenever you come across a long, complicated Croatian word, the first step is to break it up into syllables.
The number of vowels in a word determines the number of syllables, so for example, the word industrijalizacija comprises 8 vowels and therefore consists of 8 syllables: in-du-stri-ja-li-za-ci-ja. Don’t be ashamed to use this method – it really helps!
So are you ready to test your knowledge of Croatian pronunciation by attempting to pronounce what is officially the longest word in Croatian?
Ready, steady, go!
The longest word in English refers to a lung disease that is otherwise known as silicosis and has an impressive 45 letters:
And we have Germany to thank for what is unofficially the longest word in the world, which translates as beef labeling supervision duties delegation law and boasts a staggering 63 letters:
And to briefly split some hairs:
otorinolaringologija – otorhinolaryngology
pluskvamperfekt – pluperfect (one of Croatian tenses)
brodogradilište – shipyard
najnezainteresiraniji – the least interested
kontinentalnost – continentality
deprofesionalizacija – deprofessionalisation
neekonomičnost – lack of economy
protudjelovanje – counteraction
neiskorjenjiv – inexterminable
deindustrijalizacija – deindustrialisation
prekvalificiranje – retraining
proturječje – contradiction
protuustavan – unconstitutional