I remember that moment when my dad told me “Communication is the basis of all relationships. You have to speak the language of our guesthouse guests!“. I was 8 years old and thrilled at this possibility!
I learned German at school, later Italian and English language too. But I wanted to learn more and to practice my language skills and so I started pen palling. I found my pen pal friends in the magazine and newspaper advertisements 25 years ago. Today you can simply join a website (Interpals, Penpalworld,…), create a profile and find someone to write to.
Being a pen pal was a perfect way for me to connect with people from other parts of the world but also to learn foreign languages. These long-distance friendships I’m maintaining now by connecting on Facebook. It is much easier, but there is no such magic as writing a letter or sending a postcard and, of course, waiting for the postman to come. I really enjoyed it as a hobby. After writing letters for many years, I met some of my pen pals. And this is great about pen palling!
Hospitality is all about making guests feel welcome, especially when you’re able to welcome foreign language guest in their mother language. Tourists in Istria usually do not have problems with communication because most of local people speak English, German or Italian. Also, the Italian language is an official minority language with many schools.
Our foreign language is not perfect, but we are always trying hard to improve it. But you can also impress native speakers of Croatian with your knowledge by using Croatian words!
The Croatian language is a South Slavic language, the official language of the Republic of Croatia, with a bit complicated grammar. I recommend learning a few simple expressions. Hope you will find them useful while on holiday in Poreč.
Here are some useful and common words, phrases and expressions:
How do you say… in Croatian? – Kako se kaže… na hrvatskom?
Yes – Da
No – Ne
Please! – Molim!
Thank you! – Hvala!
Thank you very much! – Hvala lijepa!
A reply to thank you – Nema na čemu!
Excuse me! – Oprostite!
I’m sorry! – Žao mi je!
You’re welcome! – Nema na čemu!
I don’t know! – Ne znam!
Where? – Gdje?
When? – Kada?
How? – Kako?
How much? – Koliko?
Today – danas
Tomorrow – sutra
Yesterday – jučer
Monday – ponedjeljak
Tuesday – utorak
Wednesday – srijeda
Thursday – četvrtak
Friday – petak
Saturday – subota
Sunday – nedjelja
What time is it? – Koliko je sati?
Hi! or Bye! – Bok!
Welcome! – Dobrodošli!
Good morning! – Dobro jutro!
Good evening! – Dobra večer!
Good afternoon! – Dobar dan!
Good night! – Laku noć!
Goodbye! – Doviđenja!
What’s your name? – Kako se zoveš? (informal) – Kako se zovete? (formal)
My name is… – Zovem se…
Where are you from? – Odakle si? (informal) – Odakle ste? (formal)
I’m from… – Ja sam iz…
How are you? – Kako si? (informal) – Kako ste? (formal)
I’m fine, thank you! And you? – Hvala, dobro! A ti? (informal) – A vi? (formal)
Have a nice day! – Lijep dan želim!
I love you! – Volim te!
Get well soon! – Ozdravi brzo! (informal) – Ozdravite brzo! (formal)
Leave me alone! – Pusti me na miru!
Help! – U pomoć!
Do you speak English? – Govoriš li engleski? (informal) – Govorite li engleski? (formal)
Yes, a little. – Da, malo.
Everything was great! – Sve je bilo odlično!
A coffee, please! – Kavu, molim!
How much is this? – Koliko košta ovo?
Will you bring us the bill? – Možete li donijeti račun?
I’m lost. – Izgubio sam se!
I don’t understand. – Ne razumijem!
Can you repeat, please? – Možeš li ponoviti, molim te! (informal) – Možete li ponoviti, molim vas? (formal)
Cheers! – Živjeli!
Have a nice meal! – Dobar tek!
Have a good journey! – Sretan put!
Happy birthday! – Sretan rođendan!
I – ja
He – on
She – ona
We – mi
One – jedan
Two – dva
Three – tri
Four – četiri
Five – pet
Seven – sedam
Eight – osam
Nine – devet
Ten – deset
See you in Poreč!! Vidimo se u Poreču!!
Links for other collection of Croatian phrases: