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Learn Croatian With Us: 10 Basic Croatian Phrases

Here are 10 basic Croatian phrases. They’re great if you are just starting to learn the Croatian language or planning a trip to Croatia. The following list of phrases of greetings, goodbyes, wishes, and other words and expressions should come very handy.

Here are 10 basic Croatian phrases for tourists and travelers. Once you get familiar with them, you will be ready for any unexpected situation, and they should be helpful. Learn, travel, and communicate!

It’s no secret that language unites people and builds bridges between different nationalities and cultures. Knowing even just a couple of phrases in Croatian will make friendly locals extremely happy and proud, and even more helpful.

Croatian spelling comes in Latin letters. Therefore, if you know the alphabet, they should be easy enough to read and even easier to understand. It is interesting to note that Croatian takes its roots from the Slavic group of Indo-European languages, therefore it is always easier to learn it if you speak any of the Slavic languages.

Below are some simple Croatian words and phrases that might come in handy:

1. Hello.

There are several greetings in Croatian but the easiest one is ‘Bok’ which can mean both ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’. Some Croats use ‘Ciao’ as well. A more formal way is to say ‘Pozdrav’. If you want to be more fluent and independent, try to say ‘Dobro jutro’ which means ‘Good morning’, ‘Dobar dan’ for ‘Good day’, and ‘Dobra večer’ for ‘Good evening’. Undoubtedly, you will make a good impression using one of these everyday phrases in Croatian.

2. How are you?

This is probably the second thing Croats are going to ask you because they are very polite. ‘How are you?’ in Croatian is ‘Kako ste?’. This phrase is pronounced in three syllables. The more informal way is to ask ‘Kako si?’.

learning croatian with us

3. Fine.

A simple way to say ‘Fine‘ when someone asks ‘Kako ste?’ (How are you?) is ‘Dobro’. Other possible answers would be ‘Odlično’ (‘Great’), ‘Super’. Usually after that you have to ask back ‘Kako ste?‘. Even if you are not fine, we recommend you answer with fine, because otherwise you’ll need to explain

4. Thank you.

You might have already seen this word on every receipt in restaurants and cafés. In Croatia, ‘Hvala‘ stands for ‘Thank you‘.

5. Nice to meet you!

After introducing yourself you may want to say ‘Drago mi je‘ which means ‘Nice to meet you‘. It is important to note that the letter ‘j’ is pronounced as English [y], so do not forget to work on your pronunciation to sound more native.

croatian adventure

6. Excuse me.

One of the politest ways to say ‘Excuse me‘ is ‘Oprostite‘ or even ‘Pardon’. Use it if you accidentally bump into someone on the street or while swimming in the sea, which is pretty common in high season. Another way to say ‘Excuse me‘ or ‘Sorry‘ is ‘Izvinite‘. It is also interesting to note that the ending ‘-te’ in many Croatian verbs is used in formal situations or when you address a group of people. Very respectful nation!

7. Please.

The magic word ‘Molim‘ will open many doors for you! Simple politeness can lead you to Rome, they say. When you want to ask for something, you can use ‘Molim‘ for ‘Please‘. It can also be used as a question in case you did not understand or misheard the speaker, as well as for ‘You are welcome‘ when someone says ‘Hvala‘ to you.

croatian sailing

8. Goodbye.

Usually it is a bad taste to take a French leave without saying goodbye. A simple ‘Bok‘ or the more formal ‘Doviđenja‘ will work for ‘Goodbye‘. Note the specific letter ‘đ’ which is correctly pronounced like English [dʒ].

9. Yes.

Say yes to new adventures, say yes to new dishes, say yes to new acquaintances. In Croatian ‘Yes‘ is ‘Da‘.

10. No.

However, you need to be able to stop and say no to the sixth shot of rakija, for instance, especially if tomorrow is an important day. ‘No’, in Croatian it is ‘Ne‘.

To sum up,

Despite the fact that Croatia is in great demand among travelers, and English has almost become the second language of Croats, not everyone is very fluent in English. The best way out of this situation is to learn a couple of basic Croatian phrases. After all, when you travel, you learn another culture, and with it the language. Of course, you can use Google Translate or similar apps but be careful with it and avoid using it for entire sentences. The translations are not always correct and might get you into more confusion.

These were the top 10 basic Croatian phrases that will definitely come in handy during your Croatian boating adventures.

After you’ve mastered these phrases, you may want to learn some basic sailing terimnology, too.

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