Serbo-Croatian Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, B b, C c, Č č, D d, Đ đ or Dž dž, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, Lj lj, M m, N n, Nj nj, O o, P p,
R r, S s, Š š, T t, U u, Ŭ ŭ, V v,
Z z, Ž ž


Serbo-Croatian has 31 Latin (or Roman) letters, referred to as "Latinica." This alphabet is in general use in former Western Yugoslavia, while in parts of former Eastern Yugoslavia, "Ćirilica" (Cyrillic alphabet) continues to be used. For our purposes, Ćirilica has been transliterated as Latinica, the official Slavic phonetical Latin alphabet proclaimed at the La Haye Slavistic Conference in 1955.

Although these days the language has been separated into Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, the language of any one area is still between 95 and 100 percent Serbo-Croatian. It is a Slavic language (Indo-European), of the South Slavic subgroup.

When vowels are combined, they are pronounced separately. Thus, "hodio" is pronounced hoh-dee-oh and "čuvao" is pronounced choo-vah-oh.

The letters k and p are not aspirated and the letters d, n, and t are dental.

Letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a  - a as in father
E, e  - e as in let; also e as in grey
I, i  - i as in pin; also i as in machine
O, o  - o as in note; also o as in gone
U, u  - u as in duke
Ŭ, ŭ  - u as in sun*
 
C, c  - c as in dance
Č, č  - c as in cello
Ć, ć  - tch as in latch
Đ, đ  - g as in germ
Dj, dj  - dy as in bad year
Dž, dž  - dg as in edge
G, g  - g as in go
H, h  - ch (gutteral kh) as in loch
J, j  - y as in yes
Lj, lj  - ly as in halyard
Nj, nj  - ny as in canyon
R, r  - slightly rolled; when used as a vowel as er in pert
Š, š  - s as in sugar
Ž, ž  - z as in azure
 
DIPTHONGS:
 
Aj, aj  - ay as in kayak
Ej, ej  - ey as in grey
Oj, oj  - oy as in toy


Copyright © 2011 by Dick Oakes