Some basic Croatian to use on your holiday in Croatia
- The absolute basics
- Staying in a Croatian hotel
- Speaking Croatian in a restaurant
The absolute basics
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.
Some basic Croatian vocabulary
Common Croatian words and phrases
Some useful Croatian sentences
Don't get confused by Croatian small talk!
You might hear someone asking Gdje si ti? (Where are you?) when meeting a friend, when they can quite clearly see where the person is ...
... or ask their friend Jesi ti živ(a) (Are you alive?) although the person is evidently safe and sound right before their very eyes.
Don't worry: as you might have guessed they're not really asking about the person's whereabouts or whether they're still breathing. Both of these questions are simply another way of asking Što ima? (What's up?).
Staying in a Croatian hotel
Do you 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!
Useful Croatian phrases for a hotel stay
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 (tip: If, after a nostalgia-filled overnight stay, you're in the mood for nature: Risnjak, one of Croatia's eight national parks, is only an hour's drive from the Kvarner Hotel).
There are lots of candidates for the most expensive hotel in Croatia: as one might expect, many of the top ten 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 €10,000 per night!
Speaking Croatian in a restaurant
Going out for dinner? Many restaurants in Croatian provide tourist menus in English but if you stray from the beaten track you might need to make sense of a menu in Croatian!
We're here to help with a list of basic words and phrases!
By the way, you can read more about Croatian food, cuisine and cooking here.
Useful Croatian words and phrases for a restaurant visit
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.
Should you leave a tip for the waiter?
When paying in a restaurant, you can simply say U redu je! (That's okay), to let the waiter know that you don't expect to receive any change, i.e. that the waiter is free to keep the difference as a tip!
Our learning coordinator Anđela is here to help!
We’ll be happy to tell you more about our language school and the learning options we offer. Feel free to contact Anđela directly for a chat about any questions you might have!