- Each time I ask her something, she answers: "I don't know."
- Yesterday I asked her something and she answered: "I don't know."
- Yesterday I asked her something and she answered: "I didn't know."
- Each time I ask her something, she answers that she doesn't know.
- Yesterday I asked her something, and she answered that she didn't know.
- Yesterday I asked her something, and she answered that she doesn't know.
The 1st and 2nd sentence in direct speech translate to 1st and 2nd in the indirect speech. So, where is the stumbling stone? Well, according to "my" logic the correspondence should be 1(direct)-1(indirect), 2-3, 3-2. In the Croatian language, changing the tense in the reported speech, changes the semantics of what the person really said.
My thinking is not quite in line with the "correct" 1-1, 2-2 with 3(indirect) being nonsense as it is currently written (to make it correct, it should be changed to some "more past" tense - "hadn't known"?). This is yet another easy rule that I can accept, but it isn't logical to me (i.e. it is not in line how it works in Croatian).
I can't know whether I'll write more linguistic themes, but I've learned the following: your 1st spoken language deeply models the way you think. I might become a very good user of some foreign language not related to Slavic languages, like Norwegian or English, but I strongly doubt that I will ever really understand it.
And a small joke at the end: What is the most spoken language in the world? Answer: English, as spoken by foreigners.