Croatian lessons — basic Croatian words you should learn
Planning to spend your holiday in Croatia? Why not take the opportunity and try speaking a few basic Croatian words? Even the most basic words might light up your day! Have fun with our Croatian lessons blog!
What language is spoken in Croatia?
No doubt – Croatian! It is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian pluricentric language used by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina, and other neighboring countries. It is spoken by approximately 6.7 million people.
There was a time when Croatian wasn’t around. Latin was spoken until the Slavic dialect was brought over by the arrival of Slavs during the 6th and 7th centuries. Today, the Croatian language spoken in the country is known as Hrvatski to the locals which include 3 dialects; Shtokavian, Kajkavian and Chakavian.
The importance of the language
If you’re traveling throughout the Balkans, you’ll find that the language, for the most part, is very similar. This is due to the Central South Slavic dialect system, also known as Serbo-Croatian, which was used by former Yugoslavia, and combined both Serbian and Bosnian as well. Although they are declared different languages today, you will have the benefit of being able to speak almost 5 languages. 🙂
How to speak Croatian?
The most basic words you could learn are of course greetings.
How to say Hello and Bye in Croatian
First of all, the greeting ‘Hello’ in English is one of the easiest phrases to master in the Croatian language! It simply translates to ‘Bok’ which is pronounced ‘Bohk’.
Moreover, Goodbye in English is ‘Doviđenja’ in Croatian, which sounds like ‘doh-vee-jen-yah’. Use these words when entering your favorite bar or when you’re going to eat traditional Croatian food at Stari fijaker in Zagreb.
If you’re an early bird going to get fresh bread at the local bakery, say ‘Dobro jutro’. It translates to Good morning and is pronounced ‘doh-broh you-troh’.
Entering a restaurant for lunch, say ‘Dobar dan’ and in the evenings ‘Dobra večer’. It translates to Good day and Good evening.
How are you?
‘How are You?’ in English translates to ‘Kako si?’ in Croatian. This is pronounced as three syllables: kah-koh si?
How to say Have a nice meal?
When you’re on a dinner with an amazing view with your friends, say ‘Dobar tek’.
How to say Cheers?
After your nice dinner, say ‘Živjeli’ while enjoying a glass of Croatian wine.
Furthermore, 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!
Two magic phrases: Thank you & I love you
Sometimes a holiday turns into a love story. 🙂
Or sometimes you have family, friends, or a spouse and you want to say ‘I love you’. This translates to ‘Volim te!’
When you go local shopping or if you just want to thank for anything say ‘Hvala’. It translates to Thank you.
In the end, we hope you enjoy our basic Croatian words & lessons blog and you enjoy your Croatian holiday while speaking Croatian even more!
If you want to learn more click here.