In this post we'll deal with the pronunciation and usage of those unfamiliar letters in the Croatian alphabet which beginners to the Croatian language often find confusing: č, ć, dž, đ, š, ž, lj, nj.
You might have noticed that some of these weird Croatian letters consist of two familiar letters written together. There are three such letters, namely:
It's important to mention that each of nj, lj and dž are single letters comprising two characters and not two individual letters.
One thing causes a fair amount of confusion with foreigners learning to speak Croatian (and occasionally native Croatian speakers*) is the difference between č and ć, and between dž and đ.
The distinction is pretty much the same between tvrdo dž and meko đ:
*While it's important for students to learn the difference, in fact nowadays many Croatian native speakers make little or no distinction in their pronunction of č and ć, or dž and đ.
In the end, to make your life a little easier, there’s only one version of š and ž!
mjenjačnica – currency exchange office
ljuljačka – swing
šišmiš – bat
slastičarnica – pastry shop
šćućuriti se – to crouch
čačkalica – toothpick
zanimljiv – interesting
Ljubljana – capital of Slovenia
knjižnica – library
sjećati se – to remember