So, you’re off to hunt Game of Thrones film locations in Croatia and you want to have some basic Croatian in your pocket for when you get there.
English is pretty well-spoken in Croatia these days, especially with the huge rise in tourism and the amazing history of the country drawing people in. That being said, it’s always a smart move to have some basic Croatian phrases ready for everyday situations.
You’ll be amazed at just how much easier your day-to-day shopping and restaurant interactions in Croatia will be when you know how to say thank you in Croatian or hello in Croatian.
To help you prepare for your holiday to Croatia, I’ve made a list of the most common and useful Croatian words and phrases (from English to Croatian). Every phrase here is one that you can definitely use – in your hotel, at a restaurant, in a shop, on the street, in a pub. There are only so many words and phrases you need to know when travelling in another country. They’re easy to learn and all of them will come in handy!
You don’t need to be an expert linguist to travel like a pro in Croatia. Just memorise these Croatian phrases and you’ll be good to go!
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Facts About the Croatian Language
As a Slavic language, Croatian shares a close common history with Serbian and Bosnian, and the three languages are incredibly similar. Croatian is also considered one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So, if you head over there soon, take the Croatian you’ve learned with you!
All languages have their strange quirks, and a lot of them are to do with colour (like how in Japanese blue and green are often interchangeable). In Croatian, people with blonde hair are actually considered to have blue hair!
Croatian Pronunciation (English to Croatian)
Croatian has no q, w, x, or y sounds, and it also has no silent letters. Every letter in every word must be clearly pronounced. So, don’t worry too much about speed. Speak slowly and clearly, and you’ll be okay.
The letter j doubles as a ‘y’ sound, like it does in many European languages. If you see it written anywhere, remember it’s a y, not a j. You’ll also see ‘Dž’ and ‘Ž’ a lot. The first is a sort of hard j sound, like in ‘fudge’.
The latter is a soft j or z sound, just like in ‘pleasure’. One last thing to remember: the letter c by itself is a ‘ts’ sound, not a ‘k’ sound. Remember these pronunciation rules and you’ll be fine!
Here, you can find a list of Croatian words with audio.
Basic Greetings in Croatian
Knowing these simple Croatian phrases and words means you’ll be able to say hello and goodbye to anyone you meet, make friends more easily, and seem more approachable to locals. Being able to blend in is better for everyone, and you can do that with just these few words.
Hello – Bok
Good morning – Dobro jutro
Good day – Dobar dan (the most common phrase and the one I always use)
Good evening – Dobra večer
Goodbye – Doviđenja
Basic Croatian Phrases
Adding a little politeness and friendliness to your greetings and farewells can go a long way. If you’re going to be visiting the same shop or café a few times, you’ll want to be friendly with the staff, so go in with a few friendly basics!
Yes – Da
No – Ne
How are you? – Kako si?
What’s your name? – Kako se zoveš?
Nice to meet you – Drago mi je
Sorry – Žao mi je
Excuse me – Oprostite
Please – Molim
Thank you – Hvala (definitely learn this one!)
I don’t understand – Ne razumijem
Do you speak English – Govorite li engleski?
Where can I find the toilets? – Gdje je zahod?
This is one that you hopefully won’t need, but you’ll be glad to have it if you do! Quite often, we can forget to find information about medical help (like each country’s emergency number) but it’s so worth knowing these things if ever you need them!
Help! – U pomoć!
Fire – Požar
Stop! – Stani!
Call the police! – Pozovite policiju!
Go away! – Pustite me na miru!
Basic Croatian for Eating and Ordering Food
When you go to a restaurant, a lot of questions can get thrown back and forth, so these phrases can save you a big headache when you get to a café or restaurant.
And if you’re out with friends and family or you meet some locals that you want to eat and drink with, remember to say ‘Živjeli!’ when you start drinking. This is the Croation version of ‘cheers!’ and roughly translates to ‘good health!’
Can I see a menu please? – Mogu li dobiti jelovnik?
I’m a vegetarian – Ja sam vegetarijanac
How much is it? – Koliko je to?
Can I get the bill/cheque please? – Mogu li dobiti račun?
That was great! – Sve je bilo odlično!
Breakfast – Doručak
Lunch – Ručak
Dinner – Večera
Water – Voda
Wine – Vino (you’ll want to remember this one)
Read next: Delicious food you have to try in Croatia
Whether you’re in a car or on foot, asking for directions can solve you a lot of confusion and wasted time. Fortunately, you only need the questions, because answers are usually given with a lot of hand signals.
How do I get to the…? – Kako ču doci do…?
Could you tell me where … is? – Możete li mi reci gdje je …?
Left – Lijevo
Right – Desno
Train station – Żeljeznička stanica
Bus station – Autobusna stanica
Airport – Aerodrom
Museum – Muzej
Shopping is a pretty minimal thing, and you can get by with a ‘thank you’ / hvala. But here are some useful phrases just in case.
How much is this? – Koliko je to?
I want to buy this – Żelim platiti
Keep the change – Zadrżite
Numbers are used everywhere, from ordering at a restaurant to prices in a shop or when buying tickets into a museum or onto a bus.
1 – jedan
2 – dva
3 – tri
4 – četiri
5 – pet
6 – šest
7 – sedam
8 – osam
9 – devet
10 – deset
20 – dvadeset
30 – trideset
40 – četrdeset
50 – pedeset
60 – šezdeset
70 – sedamdeset
80 – osamdeset
90 – devetdeset
100 – sto
1000 – tisuća
More stuff you’ll love:
- Croatia itinerary: 24 amazing things to do in Croatia
- Croatia travel guide: The Ultimate Croatia Travel Guide for First-Timers
- Car Rental: The Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car in Croatia
- Facts: 20 Fun Facts About Croatia that You Didn’t Know
- Rovinj: 12 amazing things to do in Rovinj
- Dubrovnik: 10 awesome things to do in Dubrovnik
- Game of Thrones: Croatia’s Game of Thrones locations: Dubrovnik