You’ve just moved to Croatia or visited our beautiful country during your summer vacation? You met a Croatian who stole your heart or your job position has just been relocated to one of our cities? No matter what your personal and/ or business link to Croatia is, we challenge you to learn some Croatian with us!
Rumor has it that Croatian is complex and impossible to learn. Well, of course that’s not true! We do admit that Croatian has seven cases and therefore is not the simplest language you can imagine… but once you start, you are going to see the beauty in it, we promise. 🙂
Let’s start and take you on the quick speed dating tour of Croatian entitled: What does every Croatian learning enthusiast have to learn first? Follow our steps and fall in love with Croatian even more!
Bok! and Dobar dan! are two most common greetings you’ll hear in Croatia. The important thing is that the first one is used in informal and friendly conversations, while the latter is used in formal surroundings. There are also: Dobro jutro! and Dobra večer!, used to wish someone a good morning (jutro) or a good evening (večer) and: Laku noć!, to wish someone sweet dreams!
After greeting, there comes meeting! To ask someone about their name in Croatian, you can use: Kako se zoveš? (What’s your name?) And if you want to introduce yourself, all you have to say is: Ja sam… or Zovem se… (and insert your name). You’ll also learn that Croatians tend to be polite, so every time we introduce ourselves to someone, in the end you’ll usually hear the phrase: Drago mi je!, meaning, of course: Nice to meet you!
And now you’re pretty much ready to start living like a local. We know that to say that Croatians are big coffee lovers doesn’t really sound innovative or groundbreaking – after all, who doesn’t like coffee? But, to tell you a secret, it’s not really about the coffee! Even though we do adore that warm godlike beverage, if you ask someone to go for a coffee, don’t be surprised if they don’t order coffee at all. Yes, they may order tea, juice or even a beer. 🙂
#Ask for coffee!
However, going to a coffee place (kafić) and drinking kava (or čaj (tea), sok (juice) or pivo (beer)) is an essential part of Croatian lifestyle and culture.
One of the most important phrases you’ll need to know to fit in, therefore, are: Idemo na kavu? (Should we go for a coffee?) and the possible responses: Da! and Naravno! (Yes! and: Of course!)
There’s always time for coffee, but if you really have to turn that offer down, you can say: Oprosti! or Žao mi je! (I’m sorry!) Ne mogu. (I can’t.). If you are polite, Croatians are going to forgive you, but don’t forget to add: Drugi put! (meaning: Next time!) 🙂
#Spill the tea!
When on kava, there are certain rules and etiquette. First, you have to pick the best table in the coffee place – you want to make sure you have a lot of sunshine (puno sunca), but also the best view (najbolji pogled). If you order coffee, the chances are you’re getting it with a glass of water, but we still like to say: ‘’Može kava s mlijekom i čaša vode?’’ (Can I get a coffee with milk and a glass of water?). After you’ve settled, it’s about time to choose your first topic. Croatians are up to pretty much everything, from complaining and gossipping to deep and philosophical conversations. The only thing you have to bear in mind is: you’ll probably have the time to cover all of the existing topics – as it is well known that the average Croatian coffee date (or simply kava) probably doesn’t last less than 2 hours.
After you’ve had your first 2-hour kava, it’s time to arrange a second one! And don’t wait too long! When in Croatia, you go on coffee dates every day, sometimes even during the working hours. 🙂 The lexical items you’ll need after coffee drinking are: Vidimo se! and Čujemo se! (See you! and: We’ll keep in touch!) And when you’re leaving the coffee place, the polite Croatian phrases you can use to greet the waiters are: Hvala, doviđenja! or Hvala, ugodan dan! (Thank you and goodbye! or Thank you, have a nice day!)
If you are now totally in love with Croatian language and/ or lifestyle, join us and learn more phrases and expressions with us! Check out our Croatian for foreigners courses here! Vidimo se!
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