Thinking about enjoying your upcoming holiday in Croatia? Add a touch of local flavor to your travel experience by picking up some essential Croatian phrases. In this guide, we have curated a collection of handy words and phrases to enhance your Croatia vacation. Although Croatians are pretty well versed in English and German, they always like to hear a word or two of Croatian being spoken by the visitors! So, why not learn some Croatian before your visit? A fun fact about the language is that it will also work in the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Knowing basic Croatian is a convenient and respectful way to connect with locals, navigate your surroundings, and fully appreciate the cultural richness of Croatia during your travels. We have made a short list of the most common Croatian words for you to learn as they are pretty easy:
da – yes [dah]
ne – no [neh]
hvala – thank you [hvah-lah]
molim – please [moh-leem]
bok – hi or bye [bohk]
Izvoli! – you’re welcome (informal) [eez-voh-lee]
Izvolite! – you’re welcome (formal) [eez-voh-lee-teh]
možda – maybe [mohzh-dah]
oprosti – excuse me (informal) [oh-proh-stee]
oprostite – excuse me (formal) [oh-proh-stee-teh]
Dobro jutro! – Good morning! [doh-broh yoo-troh]
Dobar dan! – Good day! [doh-bahr dahn]
Dobra večer! – Good evening! [doh-brah veh-cher]
Doviđenja! – Goodbye! [doh-vee-jeh-nyah]
Mastering straightforward questions and answers in Croatian can greatly enhance your travel experience in Croatia. Simple questions and answers in Croatian facilitate efficient communication, provide navigational ease, improve dining and shopping experiences, foster connections with locals, and enrich your cultural understanding. Therefore, we’ve prepared some go-to small talk phrases you can learn:
Kako si (ti)? – How are you? (informal) [kah-koh see (tee)?]
Kako ste (Vi)? – How are you? (formal) [kah-koh steh (vee)?]
Ja sam dobro. – I’m fine. [yah sahm doh-broh]
Kako se (ti) zoveš? – What’s your name? (informal) [kah-koh seh (tee) zoh-vehsh?]
Kako se (Vi) zovete? – What’s your name? (formal) [kah-koh seh (vee) zoh-veh-teh?]
Ja se zovem … – My name is … [yah seh zoh-vehm …]
Govorite li engleski? – Do you speak English? [goh-voh-ree-teh lee ehn-gleh-skee?]
Žao mi je, ne govorim hrvatski. – I’m sorry, I don’t speak Croatian. [zhah-oh mee yeh, neh goh-voh-reem hr-vah-tskee.]
Možete li mi pokazati gdje je Zagrebačka ulica? – Can you show me where Zagrebačka street is? [moh-zheh-teh lee mee poh-kah-zah-tee gd-yeh yeh seen-y-skah oo-lee-tsah?]
Oprostite, gdje je WC? – Excuse me, where’s the toilet? [oh-proh-stee-teh, gd-yeh yeh w-say?]
Sviđa mi se ovdje! – I like it here! [svee-jah mee seh oh-vd-yeh!]
Idioms and phrases that have been overly employed to the extent of losing their original impact, surprisingly remain a valuable means of swiftly conveying universally comprehensible messages. In English, we often encounter phrases such as “the grass is always greener on the other side” and “ignorance is bliss.” Likewise, the Croatian language has quite a few too. Therefore, it’s worth remembering one or two!
Sto ljudi, sto ćudi.
Literal: A hundred people, a hundred tempers.
Pronunciation: [stoh lyoo-dee, stoh choodi]
Meaning: Everyone has their own opinion.
Ne miješaj kruške i jabuke.
Literal: Don’t mix pears with apples.
Pronunciation: [neh mee-yeh-shai kroosh-keh ee yah-boo-keh]
Meaning: Don’t confuse different things.
Ispeci pa reci.
Literal: First bake it, then say it.
Pronunciation: [ees-peh-tsee pah reh-tsee]
Meaning: Think before you say something.
Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe.
Literal: When the willow brings grapes.
Pronunciation: [kaad nah vr-bee roh-dee grohz-dye]
Meaning: This will never happen.
Kako ćemo, lako ćemo.
Literal: How are we going to do this? Don’t worry, just go slowly, there is no rush.
Pronunciation: [kah-koh ch-eh-moh, lah-koh ch-eh-moh]
Meaning: To say that someone is “easygoing”.
Neće grom u koprive.
Literal: The thunder won’t go to the nettles.
Pronunciation: [neh-ch-eh grohm oo koh-pree-veh]
Meaning: To say that there is no way that something will happen.
Teško žabu u vodu natjerati.
Literal: It isn’t easy to get the frog into the water.
Pronunciation: [teh-sh-koh zha-boo oo voh-doo naht-yeh-rah-tee]
Meaning: To persuade someone to do something.
Strpljen – spašen.
Literal: Patient – saved.
Pronunciation: [sthr-plehn – spah-shehn]
Meaning: To say that everything is going to be okay if you are patient.
Puno babica, kilavo dijete.
Literal: A lot of midwives, a lousy child.
Pronunciation: [poo-noh bah-bee-tsah, kee-lah-voh dee-yeh-teh]
Meaning: To say that when too many people are involved, it will lead to a bad result. Kind of like “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
Po jutru se dan poznaje.
Literal: The day is known after the morning.
Pronunciation: [poh yooh-troo seh dahn pohz-nah-yeh]
Meaning: The day will be exactly the same as in the morning.
If you are planning to savor the delightful flavors of Croatian cuisine or simply looking to enhance your dining experience, here is the gateway to effective communication. If you are seeking recommendations, ordering your favorite dishes, or expressing your appreciation, these will help you navigate the culinary landscape with a charm. As a result, you may even put a smile on your waiter’s face!
Jelovnik – Menu (yeh-lov-neek)
Doručak – Breakfast (doh-roo-chak)
Ručak – Lunch (roo-chak)
Večera – Dinner (veh-cheh-rah)
Predjelo – Starter (pred-yeh-lo)
Glavno jelo – Main Course (glahv-no yeh-lo)
Voda – Water (voh-dah)
Vino – Wine (vee-no)
Pivo – Beer (pee-vo)
Prilog – Side Dish (pree-log)
Desert – Dessert (dez-ert)
Račun – Cheque/Bill (rah-choon)
Meso – Meat (meh-so)
Riba – Fish (ree-bah)
Kruh – Bread (kroo)
Gladan sam. – I’m hungry. (glah-dahn sahm)
Žedan sam. – I’m thirsty. (zhay-dahn sahm)
Mogu li dobiti jelovnik? – Can I get the menu? (Moh-goo lee doh-bee-tee yeh-lov-neek?)
Ne jedem meso. Ja sam vegetarijanac/vegetarijanka. – I don’t eat meat. I’m a vegetarian. (Neh yeh-dem meh-so. Yah sahm veh-geh-tahr-ee-yah-nats/veh-geh-tahr-ee-yahn-kah.)
Je li sve bilo u redu? – Was everything alright? (Yeh lee sve beh-lo oo reh-doo?)
Sve je bilo odlično! – Everything was great! (Sveh yeh beh-lo ohd-leech-no!)
Hvala, ne mogu desert. Već sam pun/a! – Thank you, I can’t manage any dessert. I’m already full! (Hvah-lah, neh moh-goo deh-zert. Veh-ch sahm poon/poo-nah!)
Želim platiti. Mogu li dobiti račun? – I want to pay. Can I get the cheque/bill? (Zheh-leem pla-tee-tee. Moh-goo lee doh-bee-tee rah-choon?)
Zadržite ostatak! – Keep the change (Zah-druh-zhee-teh o-stah-tahk!)
Planning your stay in a beautiful Croatian hotel is an exciting adventure, and effective communication is key to a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you are checking in, making special requests, or seeking assistance from hotel staff, this guide will provide you with the essential Croatian words and phrases to help you navigate your hotel stay with ease.
Rezervacija – Reservation (reh-zehr-vah-tsee-yah)
Prtljaga – Luggage (puh-rtl-yah-gah)
Recepcija – Reception (reh-tsehp-tsyah)
Ključ – Key (klyooch)
Restoran – Restaurant (reh-stoh-rahn)
Doručak – Breakfast (doh-roo-chak)
Soba – Room (soh-bah)
Apartman – Apartment (ah-pahrt-mahn)
Ručnik – Towel (roochnik)
Imam rezervaciju za danas na ime XY. – I have a reservation for today in the name XY. (Ee-mahm reh-zehr-vah-tsee-yoo zah dah-nahs nah ee-meh XY)
Do koliko sati se moram odjaviti iz hotela? – By what time do I have to check out from the hotel? (Doh koh-lee-koh sah-tee seh moh-rahm oh-d-yah-vee-tee eez hoh-teh-lah?)
Mogu li ostaviti prtljagu na recepciji? – Can I leave my luggage at the reception? (Moh-goo lee o-stah-vee-tee puhr-lyah-goo nah reh-tsehp-tsee-yee?)
Embarking on a cruise is a thrilling journey to explore new destinations, allowing you to create unforgettable memories along the way. Therefore, effective communication while cruising is essential for everything from checking in to ordering your favorite cocktails on the deck. Therefore, we collected the words and phrases you might find most useful for your cruise in Croatia.
Krstarenje – Cruise (krs-tah-ren-yeh)
Brodska kabina – Cabin (brod-ska ka-bee-na)
Paluba – Deck (pa-loo-ba)
Kapetan – Captain (ka-peh-tahn)
Mornar – Sailor/Sailor (mor-nahr)
Ukrcaj – Boarding/Embarkation (ookr-chai)
Iskrcaj – Disembarkation (ees-krai)
Krstareća destinacija – Cruise Destination (krs-ta-reh-chah dehs-tee-naht-see-ya)
Brodska restoran – Ship Restaurant (brod-ska reh-sto-rahn)
Krstarska zabava – Cruise Entertainment (krs-tars-ka za-bah-vah)
Kruzer brod – Cruise Ship (kroo-zer brod)
Bazen – Pool (bah-zen)
Kabinski ključ – Cabin Key (ka-bee-n-skee klyooch)
Brodska karta – Ship Ticket (brod-ska kar-ta)
Sretan put! – Bon Voyage! (sre-thahn poot)
Rezervacija za izlete na kopnu – Shore Excursion Booking (reh-zehr-vah-tsee-yah zah eez-leh-teh nah kohp-noo)
Isplata računa – Settling the Bill (eess-pla-ta ra-choo-na)
Večera s kapetanom – Captain’s Dinner (veh-cheh-rah s ka-peh-ta-nom)
Brodska sigurnost – Ship Safety (brod-ska see-goor-nost)
In conclusion, understanding and utilizing useful words and phrases in Croatia is not only a practical skill but also a way to immerse oneself in the rich culture and warm hospitality of this beautiful Mediterranean country. Learning key Croatian words and phrases can enhance your overall experience and facilitate meaningful interactions. Although these won’t be enough for language proficiency, they will help you build connections, show respect, and truly appreciate the charm of Croatia and its people.
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