Setting aside the differences between the languages for a second, great Croatian translation can be difficult to find because there just isn’t much demand for it. Croatian is one of the least-used languages in the world with about 5.5 million speakers. That’s not to say the language isn’t beautiful and valuable, but it doesn’t have the same reach and demand of other tongues like Spanish or Mandarin. The language isn’t taught in most English speaking schools, and most people will go through their lives without ever directly encountering Croatian documents, unless they travel to the former Yugoslavia, and do not therefore come across Croatian translation needs.
If you see the written Croatian language there will be a few points of contention that effectively display the language’s difficulties. Like many Eastern European languages Croatian has a tendency to clump together long and confusing strings of consonants within its vocabulary. Combined with the fact that there are subtle yet significant shifts in pronunciation within certain consonant strings that can vastly change the meaning of a word, it’s no wonder that English speakers find the Croatian language so intimidating at first glance.
Croatian also features a number of seemingly subtle grammatical elements that wreak havoc on native English speakers attempting to pick up the basic functioning of the language. One of the biggest and most frustrating of these elements for English-Croatian translation are known as “enclitics.” These are very small words that can drastically change the meaning of a sentence depending on their placement. In addition many words in the Croatian language can appear in long or short forms, and it can be very difficult for new speakers of the language to understand which form is appropriate to use at any given moment.
Even the more standard vocabulary words within Croatian are often difficult for English speakers to learn due to their extremely foreign appearance. Like in German many words in Croatian are composed of a single base word that then gets built off of with prefixes and suffixes that add to its meaning. Learning the most common base words and then understanding how they combine to create new words is essential to understanding the Croatian language.
While learning Croatian isn’t impossible, but putting forth the considerable time and effort required to personally learn the language just isn’t a reasonable goal for most people. Due to the relative rarity and complexity of the language most people find it’s far easier and wiser to simply find a good quality professional when they require Croatian translation services.