10+ Basic Croatian Words: Your Friendly Guide

Table with paper, glasses and a laptop and a woman studying Basic Croatian Words with the Ling app

Interested in learning Basic Croatian Words to maximize your vocabulary? Then this article is perfect for you! In order to speak Croatian fluently, knowing the language’s basic words is a must.

In this post, you will learn about Croatia’s essential terms and some notes on the proper Croatian pronunciation. Moreover, we will walk you through some basic phrases that will help you connect with the locals instantly. If you are ready for that, let’s get started!

Introduction To The Croatian Language

At present, there are a total of 12 Slavic languages. Along with Bosnian and Serbian, Croatian is one of the official languages under this language family. These three are closely related linguistically and are considered the Serbo-Croatian language.

Admittedly, Croatian phrases or the Croatian language in itself are a challenge to learn. While it uses the Latin alphabet, learning this requires time, effort, and the proper resources too! However, learning this Slavic language is fun because it is a phonetic language. This means that the words and phrases are written precisely how it is pronounced. This is somewhat similar to when you learn the Tagalog language. Fun, right?

But before we dive into the language fully, such as learning useful Croatian phrases and even the basic Croatian phrases, let us first familiarize ourselves with the language’s basic words.

Tips Before Learning Croatian Words

Before we learn more about the basic words and phrases in Croatian, these are some basic tips and tricks that can help you understand their culture. Thus, it will also help you formulate sentences that fit their language.

When you speak Croatian or when you want to pronounce Croatian phrases easily, remember that in their alphabet, the letter ‘j’ is pronounced as ‘y’. Although this is a phonetic language, this is one of the exceptions.

Another thing to remember is that when you speak to a Croatian national, always keep eye contact. To them, this is a form of respect and your way of being polite. When you greet them, they usually kiss each other’s cheek or give a firm handshake. Croatians value good relationships with one another, and it is innate in their culture to treat each other like family. Moreover, it is important to know this to establish a good impression and relationship with them and not simply learn their language.

Two people sitting at a desk together studying Basic Croatian words

15 Basic Croatian Words You Should Learn

1. Bok

Pronounced as ‘Bohk,’ this is the informal way to tell someone ‘Hello!’ or ‘Goodbye.’ You often hear this among people that have close relationships with one another. In Croatian culture, people often have close-knit relationships with one another. Therefore, using this when you are in Croatia is common.

2. Oprosti (Informal)

The formal way to tell someone ‘Excuse me,” is this word. This is applicable, especially in an office or school setting. Keeping this word in mind will help you navigate Croatia’s local language more easily.

4. Da

This means ‘Yes’ in English. This is one of the useful words that you can use whenever you are in Croatia because it helps answer questions whenever you talk with the locals.

5. Ne

Contrary to ‘Da,’ this means ‘No’ in English. Learning this will not just widen your Croatian vocabulary, but it will also allow you to decline people respectfully.

6. Molim

Molim means ‘Please’ in American English. When pronounced, it sounds like ‘moh-leem.’ You can use this word on different occasions, not just when you are asking someone for a favor.

7. Uživati

Pronounced as ‘oo-zi-va-ti,’ this is the informal way to tell someone to enjoy. You can tell this to your close friends or family. However, refrain from telling this to your superior or boss because you might get in trouble.

8. Hvala

This means ‘Thank you’ in English. There are various ways to say ‘thank you’ in Croatian, but this is the easiest way to say it without sounding rude or condescending to the person you are speaking to.

9. Izvoli (Informal)

This word is the informal way to tell someone that ‘You’re welcome.” Usually, this word is used around people that have known each other for a long time or for people that have very close relationships.

10. Izvolite (Formal)

Opposite to ‘Izvoli,’ this is the formal way to tell someone, ‘You’re welcome.’ You can use this word when you are talking to a vendor selling goods or perhaps someone you are not close with who gave thanks for doing them a favor.

11. Doručak

Pronounced as ‘doh-roo-kak,’ this means breakfast in the Croatian language. When you visit Croatia, and you find yourself wanting to eat breakfast but don’t know what to say, you can start with this!

12. Ručak

Next to breakfast is lunch. The word ‘Ručak’ is the Croatian translation for it. Do you want to eat lunch on the Croatian coast? Saying this word can get you started.

13. Večera

This means ‘dinner’ in English. Although several Croatian phrases or sentences can be more elaborate and specific, you can start with this! This will surely save you in everyday situations and help you learn useful phrases in the future.

14. Voda

Staying hydrated is key! If you find yourself thirsty or dehydrated, the Croatian word ‘voda’ translates to ‘water’ in English.

15. Doviđenja!

Are you saying goodbye to a friend? Just say ‘Doviđenja!’ and you’re good to go.

These are some basic words that can help you get by and expand your Croatian vocabulary. It might be relatively different when you speak English, but it is fun to learn!

Basic Croatian, at first, will be confusing. However, there will be more progress when you get to establish and immerse yourself in the language. From learning five words a day to ten words the next, give yourself time, and you might find yourself watching Croatian movies without subtitles or have the need even to translate them.

Learning Croatian or other languages starts with knowing the words, learning the phrases, and speaking to other people. It is a process that requires so much patience and will to learn. It will also help you watch videos or listen to the music of the language you want to learn. If that is not your cup of tea, then perhaps talking to the people that speak it in their local language would help! This process hits two birds with one stone. First, you learn a new language. Second, you get to make new friends.

Group of 4 people talking to each other to practice speaking Croatian

Other Basic Croatian Phrases

If you want to sharpen your basic Croatian, here are Croatian phrases that also contain useful words!

Good morningDobro jutro
Good afternoonDobar dan
Good eveningDobra večer
How are you? (Formal)Kako ste?
I’m fineJa sam dobro
What is your name? (Informal)Kako se zoveš?
What is your name? (formal)Kako se zovete ?
Nice to meet youDrago mi je
Can you?Možete li?
I am not interestedNisam zainteresiran
Can I see the menu?Mogu li dobiti jelovnik?
How much does it cost?Koliko košta ovo?
Can I pay by card?Primate li kreditne kartice?

Ready To Learn Croatian? Get Ling App Now

The easiness of a certain language heavily depends on your want to learn, your patience, and the time you allot to learn it.

Whether it is a part of your bucket list to learn an official language, travel across Europe, make friends on Facebook, or the ability to read a certain sign on the road, learning is fun. From learning a word to memorizing a certain phrase down to being familiar with the sound, learning Croatian should be enjoyable.

Many people may say that it is one of the most challenging languages to learn, but as long as you have the right tools for it and the discipline to learn it, you’re good to go! The good thing is that the Ling app is under your fingertips and has your back! This app provides the most straightforward interface you can navigate and has a variety of quizzes and activities that can help you learn the language you desire. With the Ling app learning a new language is much easier. Download it now from Google Play Store or App Store!

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