“It is different from a normal tourist activity, it’s a good thing to get deeper into the culture and of course what better window into a country’s culture than through language,” commented Sophie, one of four young Australian students and tourists who decided to learn Croatian at the Europe House Dubrovnik.
These four students, Sophie, Monica, Rossini and Thea, are on a gap year travelling around Europe and wherever they have been along their adventure they have dipped into the local language. “We have been to Greece and Turkey and whilst there we picked up some phrases,” added Thea.
They found the flyer for the language course in their hostel and immediately grabbed the opportunity to get a taster of Croatian at Europe House Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik was their first taste of Croatia, the group had never been to Croatia before, but they were planning to travel further throughout the country, to Split, the Dalmatian coast and the Plitvice Lakes, along the way. “Dubrovnik is such a beautiful city, the Old City is spectacular,” added Rossini.
People start learning languages for many different reasons – sometimes it is because they simply love how certain language sounds, or they are in love with the certain country, its history, culture, people, literature, music... Sometimes their friends or family members speak different languages. It can all start out of curiosity, as a challenge – especially if you are learning one of the more difficult languages as are Chinese, Hungarian or – yes- Croatian. No matter what is the reason behind it, to successfully “tackle” the challenge of learning foreign languages, you will need to have the motivation, and to keep the motivation – love can be an important ingredient.
And picking up at least a few Croatian phrases and words will help you interact with the people in the city. “We love to be able to pick up a word or two so that we don’t feel completely isolated from the people, and not completely relying on other people speaking English,” said Thea. “Yes, it really feels quite ignorant going around Europe and only speaking English,” added Monica.
So why not let these four friendly Australians inspire you. Take the opportunity to learn some Croatian whilst you are in holiday in Dubrovnik. For the fourth year in a row the Europe House Dubrovnik is organising free-of-charge Croatian language mini-courses for tourists.
Europski dom Dubrovnik / Europe House Dubrovnik (EHD) was founded in March 1995 as a non-profit, non-party and non-governmental association. The founding goals were to affirm the concept of European unification, to inform Croatian citizens, especially young people, on the progress of European integration, to foster their understanding, tolerance and dialogue with the citizens of other states, and to promote Croatia through cooperation with foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations.
EHD organizes educational workshops, lectures, exhibitions, round tables, media campaigns, celebrations for Europe Day, international seminars and conferences. Besides releasing its own publications, EHD also collects and distributes publications on various aspects of European integration, in several European languages.
Association's activities are mostly youth-oriented. One of EHD's current programmes is therefore Regional Youth Info Centre. But the doors of Europe House Dubrovnik are open to foreign visitors of Dubrovnik, too, as the association organizes every summer free-of-charge mini courses of Croatian language. More information about the courses, which, after four seasons, became the landmark of the association situated in an easy-to-find environment of Nikole Tesle Street in Dubrovnik, you can find here.