Professional Croatian Translation
Croatian language is the official language of Croatia. It is spoken by over 4 million people in Croatia, and another 1 million in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The great great great great great great great (you might want to throw in a few more 'greats' in there) grandfather of the Croatian language we all know and love today was born in the 9th century AD and it traces its roots back to Old Church Slavonic. This was the language of the liturgy, but it was very soon adapted to be used for non-liturgical purposes as well. It was not until approximately the 12th century AD that the people known today as the Croats decided to write some stuff down. Well, to be honest, they probably did it earlier, but one of the first discovered monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian version of the Church Slavonic language is Baška tablet, dating from c. 1100. It was written in the Glagolitic script, which looks pretty cool, check it out:
Did you know that the Glagolitic script is the oldest Slavic alphabet? Byzantine monk Saint Cyril invented it in the 9th century as a means of spreading Christianity among the Slavs, and it was preserved only by the Croats, who used it from the 12th to the 20th century.
In the period between the 12th and 16th centuries many other historical text came to be, written both in Croatian Church Slavonic and vernacular Croatian, the most important of them being "The Vinodol Codex"( 1288), "Istrian land survey" (1275), "Missal of Duke Novak" (1368), "Evangel from Reims" (1395), "Missal of Duke Hrvoje" (1404) and the first printed book in Croatian language (1483).
But when did this ‘medieval’ Croatian start to resemble (at least to some extent) the modern one that lives and breathes today? The answer is, of course, during the renaissance – a period of cultural enrichment, both in Croatia and the rest of the Europe. Many great literary works were written during that time, including the epic poem “Judita” which nowadays brings so much ‘joy’ to high school students all around Croatia. It was written in Chakavian (which is one of the three Croatian dialects, alongside Kajkavian and Shtokavian) by Marko Marulić, who is considered to be the father of Croatian literature. Marko was a very cool and smart guy. Plus, he was multilingual – he wrote not in one, but in three languages: Latin, Croatian and Italian. We were so (reasonably) impressed by his achievements and everything he did for Croatian literature that we put his portrait on the Croatian 500 kuna banknote. Another important person for Croatian language and literature was Ivan Gundulić, the most prominent Croatian Baroque poet. His greatest work is the epic “Osman”, another favorite literary piece for Croatian students. He too has his own bank note, the one that most Croats never get the chance to hold in their hands (1000 kuna).
Also, in 1595 we got our first Croatian dictionary (Faust Vrančić: Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europae linguarum—Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmatiae et Ungaricae, Venice 1595) and in 1604 first Croatian grammar (Bartol Kašić: Institutionum linguae illyricae libri duo).
Creating a standard Croatian language was no easy task and it lasted for almost four centuries. What took so long, you may wonder. Well, the situation in the past was as follows: there were three dialects (Chakavian, Kajkavian and Shtokavian based on the pronoun ‘what’, which is ‘ča’, ‘kaj’ and ‘što’ respectively in those dialects). There were also three scripts (Glagolitic, Croatian/Western/Bosnian Cyrillic and Latin script). Finally, in the early 19th century there was this guy called Ljudevit Gaj (it’s a rhyme!) who led the Illyrian movement which chose the Shtokavian dialect based on Latin script as the basis for a standardized written Croatian language.
So what’s the situation in Croatia now? We still have three dialects. Chakavian is spoken mostly along the Croatian coast and on the Adriatic islands, Kajkavian is spoken primarily in northern Croatia, and the rest of the region generally utilizes the Shtokavian dialect. But now we also have one official standardized Croatian language, which is the official and literary standard of Croatia and one of the official languages of the European Union.
One cannot speak about Croatian language without mentioning its close relationship with Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, as all three nations were once part of the former country Yugoslavia. Due to the complex political situation in Yugoslavia, there were three official languages: Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian and Macedonian. However, Serbo-Croatian was used to refer to predominantly Serbian, whereas Croatian was referred to as Croato-Serbian. Serbo-Croatian split into four languages after the breakup of Yugoslavia: Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian. Although these languages are all very similar in the spoken form, they also differ in a number of ways, with the primary difference in the script: Croatian is written exclusively using Latin script (Gaj’s alphabet), whereas two alphabets are used to write Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian: Serbian Cyrillic and Latin (also Gaj’s alphabet).
Even though the speakers of these four countries can converse and understand each other without any difficulties, it is not possible to translate into Serbo-Croatian today (in order to cover all four markets or for whatever other reason). Also, it is very difficult for a native speaker of any of these languages to translate into the other three because their evolution since the breakup of Yugoslavia was significantly different and it takes a native speaker to understand and follow the rules.
We at Mirara Translations understand how well-delineated these languages are and that is why we have only native Croatian speakers translate into Croatian.
We hope you enjoyed this trip through the past. Sorry for the bumpy ride and big time jumps, our time machine is a bit rusty. We're working on it.
Recruitment requirements for our Croatian translators
1. The linguist must be a native speaker of Croatian language.
2. The linguist must have at least one language and/or translation higher education qualification or other higher education qualification plus two years’ experience in the translation industry or five years’ experience in the translation industry without higher education qualification.
3. The linguist must have broadband access to the Internet and be connected and available within working hours.
4. The linguist must have a licensed copy of and regularly work with at least one CAT tool.
Contact us now to have your source text translated into Croatian. Provided you are in our galaxy, we will get in touch within the next hour. If you are in a galaxy far, far away, it may take longer for our response to reach you, but you can rest assured that it will be prompt, intelligible, and with no hidden agenda.