Croatia Languages

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Most materials used in Croatian research are written in Croatian. You do not need to speak or read Croatian to do research in Croatian records, but you should know some key words and phrases to understand the records. Because the Roman Catholic Church was the predominant religion in Croatia, many records are in Latin. Other languages in Croatian records include Hungarian and Italian.

Croatian grammar may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For example, names of your ancestors will vary from record to record in Croatian.

For help in understanding name variations, see the “Names, Personal” section in this outline.


Croatian Alphabetical Order

Aa Bb Cc   Dd D d Ð Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll LJ lj Mm Nn NJ nj Oo Pp Rr Ss Šš Tt Uu Vv Zz 

Pronunciation Guide

Language Aids

The Family History Library has Hungarian, Latin and Italian genealogical word lists.

The following books and dictionaries can also aid you in your research. You can find these and similar material at many research libraries:

Word List

Following is the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) Word List. This word list was formerly known as the Serbo-Croatian Word List.

The Serbo-Croatian language or Croato-Serbian language is a South Slavic diasystem. Serbo-Croatian was standardized as a single language during the era of Yugoslavia, from 1918 to 1991. During this period Serbo-Croatian was one of the three official languages, alongside Macedonian and Slovenian. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Serbo-Croatian language broke into its constituent parts, with Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian becoming distinctly recognized languages. Currently in Montenegro there is a movement to have Montenegrin recognized as its own language, as well.

This list contains BCS words with their English translations. The words included here are those that you are likely to find in genealogical sources. If the word you are looking for is not on this list, please consult a dictionary.

Croatian is a Slavic language related to Russian. It is used in genealogical sources throughout Croatia.

Language Characteristics

In Croatian, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they are used in a sentence. Who-whose-whom or marry-marries- married are examples of words in English with variant forms. In Croatian any word may change, depending on usage. This word list gives the standard form of each Croatian word. As you read Croatian records, you will need to be aware that most words vary with usage. The endings of words in a document will often differ from what you find in this list.

Additional Resources

This word list includes words most commonly found in genealogical sources. For further help, use a dictionary. Several dictionaries are available at the Family History Library in the European collection. Their call numbers begin with 491.85321. See the "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries" section in this outline.

The following dictionary is available on microfilm for use in Family History Centers:

Additional dictionaries are listed in the Locality section of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Key Words

To find and use specific types of Croatian records, you will need to know some key words. This section gives key genealogical terms in English and the BCS words with the same or similar meanings.

English Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
age doba starosti, vijek
baptism krštenje, krst
birth rodjenje, rođenje, rođeni
bride mlada, nevjesta, nevesta, mladenka
burial/funeral pogreb
Catholic katolički
census popis (popis duša - census of souls)
child dijete, dete, djeteta, deteta
christening (see baptism)
confirmation potvrda
day dan
death smrt
engagement vjeridba, veridba
father otac, oca
godfather kum
godmother kuma
groom mladoženja
husband suprug, muž
index indeks
Jewish židovski
marriage brak, (of man) ženidba, (of woman) udaja
marriage banns oziv
marriage ceremony vjenčanje, vjenčani
marry, to (for man) ženiti (se), oženiti (se)
marry, to (for woman) udavati (se), udaje (se), udati (se)
month mjesec, mesec
mother majka
name, given ime, imenovanje
name, surname prezime
parents roditelji
parish župa, parohija
Protestant protestantski
residence mjesto, mesto, stanovanja
spouse bracni drug
week sedmica, tjedan, tjedna, nedelja
widow udovica
widower udovac, udovca
wife supruga, žena
year godina

Additional word list: