Planning to spend your holidays in Croatia this year? When in Rome, do as the Romans do, the old proverb goes ... why not take the plunge and try speaking a few words of Croatian on your holiday in Croatia?
We've included the pronunciation of all of the followings words and phrases, so you can listen to how each is pronounced before trying them out for yourself!
Even if you speak absolutely no Croatian, it's worth learning a few words before going on holiday. If you make the effort, even just to say thank you or goodbye in the local language, you might just make someone's day! Oh, and you can read more about Croatian pronunciation here.
da – yes
ne – no
hvala – thank you
molim – please
bok – hi or bye
Izvoli! – you're welcome (informal)
Izvolite! – you're welcome (formal)
Kako si (ti)? – How are you? (inform)
Kako ste (Vi)? – How are you (formal)
Ja sam dobro. – I'm fine.
Govorite li engleski? – Do you speak English?
Žao mi je, ne govorim hrvatski. – I'm sorry, I don't speak Croatian.
Možete li mi pokazati gdje je Sinjska ulica? – Can you show me where Sinjska street is?
Oprostite, gdje je WC? – Excuse me, where's the toilet?
Sviđa mi se ovdje! – I like it here!
Don't get confused by Croatian small talk!
You might hear someone asking Gdje si ti? (Where are you?) upon meeting a friend, when they can quite clearly see where the person is, or Jesi ti živ(a)? (Are you alive?) although the person is evidently safe and sound right before their very eyes.
Don't worry, they are not really asking about the person's whereabouts or whether they're still breathing. It's simply another way of asking Što ima? (What's up?).
Need to book a room, ask about breakfast or tell reception that you've lost your key? Don't panic! Learn just a few words, have the confidence to use them, and you can quickly make yourself understood!
Imam rezervaciju za danas na ime Ivan Perić. – I have a reservation for today in the name Ivan Perić.
Do koliko sati se moram odjaviti iz hotela? – Until what time do I have to check out from the hotel?
Mogu li ostaviti prtljagu na recepciji?
– Can I leave my luggage at the reception?
Hotels in Croatia: Did you know?
The Kvarner hotel in Opatija is the oldest Croatian hotel on the Adriatic. It was built in 1884 and was a famous summer resort visited by the monarchs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
There are lots of candidates for the most expensive hotel in Croatia. As one might expect, many of them can be found in Dubrovnik, but surprisingly, the most expensive (in 2009) was the Kempinski Adriatic hotel in Savudrija, Istria, where a stay in the spacious presidential suite would set you back €10000 per night!
Going out for dinner? Many restaurants in Croatian provide tourist menus in English but stray from the beaten track and you might need to make sense of a menu in Croatian! Our list of basic words and phrases will help ...
By the way, you can read more about Croatian food, cuisine and cooking here.
jelovnik – menu
doručak – breakfast
ručak – lunch
večera – dinner
predjelo – starter
glavno jelo – main course
Mogu li dobiti jelovnik? – Can I get the menu?
Imate li jelovnik na njemačkom (jeziku)? – Do you have a menu in German (language)?
Ne jedem meso. Ja sam vegetarijanac/vegetarijanka. – I don't eat meat. I'm a vegetarian.
Je li sve bilo u redu? – Was everything alright?
Sve je bilo odlično! – Everything was great!
Hvala, ne mogu desert. Već sam pun/a! – Thank you, I can't manage any dessert. I'm already full!
Želim platiti. Mogu li dobiti račun? – I want to pay. Can I get the cheque/bill?
Zadržite ostatak! – Keep the change!
Za predjelo želim juhu od povrća, za glavno jelo teleće medaljone i pire krompir, a kao prilog miješanu salatu. – I would like the vegetable soup as a starter, veal medallions and mashed potatoes for the main course and a mixed salad as a side dish.
Leaving a tip for the waiter ...
When paying in the restaurant, you can simply say U redu je (It's OK), to let the waiter know that you don't expect to receive any change, i.e. that the waiter is free to keep it as a tip!