Croatian Language Basics
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Croatian Language Basics

Your Croatian getaway is getting closer.   Flights, cruises and everything in between is locked in. This experience is going to be nothing less than unforgettable. There’s just one thing left to do and we’re here to help. Read on for some Croatian language basics to get you around this beautiful country:

Speaking Croatian

Compared to most European languages, Croatian can be a bit tricky. Most letters are the same as the English alphabet, however there are a few that are completely different such as č, ž and Lj, in addition Q, W, X and Y are non-existent in the Croatian alphabet.

Pronunciation is mostly phonetic, however there are quite a few exceptions but let’s not worry about those just yet.

The Croatian language has formal and informal forms.  All you need to remember is to use the formal form when speaking to someone older than you or someone that you don’t know as a sign of respect.

Most locals won’t mind if you mix up informal and formal forms, they will usually just be happy that you’re making an effort, which is appreciated wherever you go.

Some Common Phrases

Here is a list of common phrases you may need to use while exploring the stunning coast and landscapes of Croatia.

When greeting your guide or other locals use:

“Bok” (bohk) meaning, “Hello”

“Bok” can be followed by:

“Drago mi je” (dra-goh mee yeh) meaning, “Nice to meet you”

“Kako ste?” (kah-koh steh?) Formal meaning “How are you?”


“Kako si?” (kah-koh see?) Informal

To respond to “Kako ste?” you can use:

“Sam dobro, hvala” (doh-broh sahm, hva-lah) meaning “Fine thank you”

To thank someone, you would say:

“Hvala” (hva-lah) meaning, “Thank you”

Common signs you may see while on holiday include:

“Otvoreno” (OHT-voh-reh-noh) meaning, “Open”

“Zatvoreno” (ZAHT-voh-reh-noh) meaning, “Closed”

“Izlaz” (EEZ-lahz) meaning, “Exit”

Some other phrases you may need to use while exploring Croatia are:

Oprostite(oh-PRO-sti-teh) meaning “Excuse me”

“Žao mi je” (zhow mee yeah) meaning, “I’m sorry”

“Doviđenja” (doh-vee-JEN-yah) meaning “Goodbye”

“Da” (da) meaning “Yes”

“Ne” (ne) meaning “No”

“Govorite li engleski?”(GOH-voh-ree-teh lee EN-glees-kee) meaning “Do you speak English?”

“Upomoć!” (OO-poh-mohch) meaning, “Help!”

“Gdje je WC?” (gdyeh yeh weh-tseh?) meaning, Where are the toilets?

“Koliko ovo košta?” (KOH-lee-koh oh-voh koh-shtah?) meaning, How much is this?

“Molim” (moh-leem) meaning “Please”

Now that you’ve got your tongue around some Croatian language basics, it seems you’re well and truly ready to embark on your Croatian adventure.

Sretan Put! ((Wishes of a) pleasant journey!)

References: Thanks to Wiki Travel and Chasing the Donkey