Published September 25, 2019
This video was recorded by Cameron Willis and Daniel Bogre Udell in Connecticut, USA. Croatian is spoken in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and throughout neighboring Europe. Standard Croatian is based upon a dialect called Shtokavian, although other Croatian dialects exist, such as Chakavian, Kajkavian, and four Shtokavian varieties. An earlier form of Shtokavian served as the regional lingua franca, and thus has also become the basis for Standard Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin, which are closely related to Croatian. The term Serbo-Croatian used to describe all of the varieties under one umbrella, but is no longer encouraged due to its political implications, and it should be noted that the speakers themselves do not prefer this term. Croatian orthography was standardized during the Illyrian period of the 19th century in which a political, cultural, and linguistic movement sought to unite the various South Slavic communities. This had the effect of adopting an altered Latin script for Croatian literature. The matter of distinguishing Croatian dialects and languages today is complicated by political perceptions and national identities within the region, so that normal linguistic indicators such as lexical similarity and mutual intelligibility are not the primary drivers of language and dialect recognition. Croatian is spoken by almost 6 million people around the world. It is a Western Slavic language belonging to the Indo-European language family.