A Beginners’ Croatian Phrasebook – Simple Croatian Words for Tourists
So you’re thinking of going on a trip to Croatia? Before embarking on this journey of a lifetime to explore its fascinating historic sights and captivating beaches, it is important to equip yourself with a few basic Croatian words for tourists. Having these handy words and phrases under your belt before departing will make your interactions with the local people that much easier!
Whether it is ordering in a restaurant, or needing directions to the nearest restroom, this helpful beginners guide will ensure you have the resources at hand to converse in everyday situations.
An Introduction to the Croatian Language
Croatia is a country that boasts a rich cultural heritage and a unique linguistic identity. The language spoken here is Croatian. It is part of the South Slavic languages and shares a few similarities with its neighboring Slavic-speaking countries such as Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
While the languages found in these bordering countries may see some crossovers in the fundamental building blocks of the language, Croatian does have its own distinct characteristics, influenced by historical and regional factors.
For English speakers here in the US, you’ll be pleased to know that the Croatian language utilizes the Latin alphabet, making it visually accessible to visitors of the country and beginners to the Slovic languages. However, there are a few letters you may not recognize in the Croatian language, these are:
- C – pronounced “tz”
- Č – pronounced “ch”
- Ć – similar to Č but a bit softer, more like “tu”
- Đ – pronounced “j”
- Dž – similar to Đ but a bit harder
- J – pronounced “y”
- Lj – pronounced “lli”
- Š – pronounced “sh”
- Ž – pronounced “s”
It also has a simple phonetic system which closely aligns the sounds and letters of words, making it easy for beginners to quickly grasp the basic pronunciation of Croatian words.
At Adventures Croatia, we know how important it is to fully immerse yourself in the local culture to acquire a truly authentic experience. And one of the easiest ways to achieve this is by conversing with the locals in their home language with a few Croatian phrases.
So, pack your bags and get your explorer’s hat ready as we guide you through the enchanting world of the Croatian language and some of the important phrases to know in our ultimate Croatian phrasebook.
Croatian Sayings – Greetings and Basic Expressions
Croatia, like most countries in Europe, values politeness and courtesy. Mastering a few common Croatian phrases and greetings to show respect and gratitude can go a long way.
Basic greetings and Croatian words for tourists when greeting new people:
- Bok (bohk) – Hello
- Kako si? (kah-koh steh) – How are you?
- Ja sam dobro, hvala (yah sahm doh-broh, hva-lah) – I am fine, thank you
- Drago mi je (dra-goh mee yeh) – Nice to meet you
- Dobro jutro (doh-broh you-troh) – Good morning
- Dobar dan (doh-bahr dahn) – Good afternoon
- Kako se zovete? (kak-koh seh zoh-ve-teh) – What is your name?
- Zovem se … (zoh-vhem se) – My name is …
- Govorite li engleski? (goh-voh-ree-teh lee en-glees-kee) – Do you speak English?
- I’m from….. – Ja sam iz…
- Doviđenja (doh-vee-jeh-nyah) – Goodbye
Croatian sayings to express politeness:
- Hvala (hvah-lah) – Thank you
- Molim (moh-leem) – Please
- Oprostite (oh-pros-tee-teh) – Excuse me
- Žao mi je (zhao mee yeh) – I’m sorry
- Nema na čemu (Neh-mah nah cheh-moo) – You’re welcome
Replies to questions:
- Da (dah) – Yes
- Ne (neh) – No
The locals will appreciate your efforts to use their language – so fret not about mispronouncing a few words here and there! But if need be, most locals tend to have a basic understanding of English and much of the staff found in tourist hubs such as hotels and attractions will be able to help you in English.
For help booking your accommodation and the activities in Croatia, speak to our travel specialist today.
Ordering Food and Drinks:
Croatia is a food-lovers dream! Full of authentic Mediterranean flavors and tantalizing aromas. One of the highlights of your Croatian vacation will undoubtedly be indulging in some of the country’s most delectable dishes.
To help you navigate menus with ease and make the ordering process a little bit simpler, there are a few common Croatian phrases you can use:
- Imate li jelovnik na engleskom? (ee-mah-teh lee yeh-lov-neek nah ehn-gle-skohm) – Do you have a menu in English?
- Koliko ovo košta? (Koh-lee-koh oh-voh koh-shtah) – How much is this?
- Rezervacija (res-ee-vaci-a)– Reservation
Croatian words for tourists to use when ordering:
- Hranu, molim (hra-noo, moh-leem) – Food, please
- Piće, molim (pee-cheh, moh-leem) – Drinks, please
- Pivo / kavu / čaj (Pee-voh / Kah-voo / Ch-ay) – A beer / coffee / tea
- Preporučite mi nešto lokalno (preh-poh-roo-cheh-teh mee neh-sh-toh loh-kahl-no) – Recommend something local for me
- Još jedno (yosh yehd-noh, moh-leem) – One more
- Račun (rah-choon, moh-leem) – The bill
Our Croatia travel specialists have put together a list of the best restaurants in Croatia and a special guide to Croatia’s Michelin Star restaurants that are tourist friendly and sure to leave a lasting impression.
Contact our agents today to find out more information about the best spots in Croatia to eat and drink.
Exploring Croatia and Getting Around:
As you begin to discover Croatia for yourself, knowing how to ask for directions and use transportation will be invaluable.
Here are some useful Croatian sayings that will help you find your way:
- Gdje je…? (gyeh yeh…) – Where is…?
- Kako doći do…? (kah-koh doh-chee doh…) – How do I get to…?
- Autobusna stanica (ow-toh-boos-nah stah-nee-tsah) – Bus station
- Koliko je udaljeno? (koh-lee-koh yeh oo-dahl-yeh-noh) – How far is it?
- Gdje je WC? (gd-yeh yeh WC?) – Where is the restroom?
- Možete li mi pomoći? (Moh-zheh-teh lee mee poh-moh-chee?) – Can you help me?
- Desno (dehs-noh) – Right
- Lijevo (lee-yeh-voh) – Left
And that concludes our Croatian phrasebook and our quick lesson on essential Croatian words for tourists to know before they embark on their travels.
At Adventures Croatia, we’d love to be part of your journey, so if you’re looking to book your next vacation to Croatia, contact our travel specialists today. With everything from private journeys to Croatia with pre-planned itineraries to custom tours which let you create your dream vacation from scratch. We’re here to help you find the perfect tour to suit your vacation needs.
Sretan put! (Bon voyage!)