Croatian is a South Slavic language spoken by about 5.5 million people, mainly in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and the neighbouring countries. The Croatian Latin alphabet was mostly designed in 1835 by Ljudevit Gaj, a Croatian linguist, based on the Czech and Polish alphabets. Today his alphabet (see above pic) is used in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and variations of his alphabet are used for Slovene and Macedonian.
The oldest texts in Croatian date back to the 11th century and were written in the Glagolitic alphabet, mainly in Croatia. The earliest text in the Latin alphabet dates from 1345. The Glagolitic alphabet was eventually replaced by the Latin alphabet in Croatia.
Up to the mid 19th century there was no standard written form of Croatian, but there was extensive literature in different dialects.
The Croatian Latin was mostly designed in 1835 by Ljudevit Gaj, a Croatian linguist, who based it on the Czech and Polish alphabets. Today his alphabet is used in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, and variations of his alphabet are used for Slovene and Macedonian.
Croatian contains many words of Latin and German origin. Many new Croatian words are created by combining and adapting existing ones.
Croatian is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin.
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