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Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Chicago, Illinois
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Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Hello.

I'm planing on spending a week in Croatia this summer, and I speak fluently ( Native Speaker) both Russian and English, and some Spanish and German. Which one would be more helpful in terms of getting response from the locals?

The reason I'm asking that I was recommended not to speak Russian in some former Soviet satellites or Soviet republics for historical reasons ( such as in Western Ukraine - I experienced negative attitude firsthand) on the other hand when people realize your are American or you tell them that you are from US, you get prices jacked up right away ( I've seen that happen in South America and Russia, thou in Russia, I was stupid enough to admit it myself, since I don't have and accent ). Also in France ( at least in Paris) if people think you are American, you sometime get rude attitude and blank stairs, but as soon as I add accent to my English, people all of a sudden try to help and remember that they speak very good English, if they think you are Russian. :-)

County Donegal...
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1. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

If you're sticking to the main tourist areas i'm guessing that German will be useful.You'll have no problems with english either but do what i've been advised to do(& i am doing it),Learn some basic words in Croat,the locals appreciate it.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Thanks micdev.

Well picking up "thank you, welcome and please" in Croatian are a given. I was just wondering what is the attitude towards / popularity of Russian, since Russian was a prevalent foreign language to learn and was enforced in most former Soviet bloc countries. Also how popular is English? What I mean is that in Nordic countries ( Norway, Denmark) virtually everyone speaks good to really, really good English. What is the situation in Croatia?

Also I think I might be able to pick out some words with relative ease since I speak fluent Russian, and easily understand some Slavic languages I had exposure to, such as Bulgarian, Macedonian and Ukrainian, but I doubt I'll be able to sustain a conversation. Just wondering if it's a wise decision to try Russian. ( It's not in Western Ukraine)

California
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3. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

English. Former Yugosalvia was not a part of the Soviet Block. They had a form of what we would call communism however was a non-aligned nation, such as Switzerland or Austria are of the "western" nations.

Most all people speak English likely 80% would be my guess. Since Hrvaski is a slavic language you will find many words are related to the Russian language and will pick up many phrases.

There is no disharmony between Croatia and Russia that I am aware of or any lingering elements from the Soviet period. Yugoslavia was fiercely indepent of Soviet control much to Soviet consternation.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
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for Dubrovnik, Zadar, Croatia
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4. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Contrary to Micdev - Croatian's speak very little German! It is spoken mostly in inner Croatia, far from the tourist regions and, culturally, we in Croatia are "divided" in two foreign languages: Italian on the coast and German in inner Croatia (as you can see, it depended on the rule we had for centuries - Venetians on the coast and Germans in the interior)

We had it as optional in schools and obligatory was always English. I am not even sure where you got the feeling that German is more widely spoken than English...

In any case, people who speak German will also, very likely, speak English as it was part of our mandatory education for decades now. Especially with young people, you should have problem communicating in English and you will understand quite a bit of Croatian by being native Russian speaker.

Parma, Italy
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5. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

English is spoken mostly by younger people, Italian also by most of the people in Istria and Dalmatia.

Rijeka
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6. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

You can stick to Engrish but you need fake passport.Hard to be Irish,Scottish,Welsh,Geordie as we know accent from the movies.Can't play Aussie - too many relatives.Kiwi - Lord of the rings hassle.Can' t be from Saath Africa - they will beat seven colors of blood out of you because of vuvuzele.Cannuck - yes,that is your safe ticket!

Politically,ethnically,religiously there was no brotherhood with Russians neither there was much of the language option during school daze.Cold war version 2.1. But their female tennis team melted our hearts. Increased tourism,real estate shopping spree filled up our pockets.

Hands down English is predominant in school and everyday living.But If you do sticking with the tourist areas people giving you service has to speak Austro-German as that is where many people and euros are coming from.

Jelsa, Croatia
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for Hvar
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7. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

My opinion is nearest to the Kefa's , but here is mine:

German still spoken by private owners, as, before the latest war, most of the tourists used to be from German speaking countries.

Few words of English will be understood by everyone and many speak fluently.

Your Russian will help you just a bit to understand Croatian.

Jlsmv, we had unfortunately lived in a totalitary communist country and not in anything similar to Austria(al least not after 1918.) or Switzerland.

Konung,there will be no understanding problems, don't worry. Croatian words will help.

County Donegal...
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8. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Morlaque,maybe you should read my post again

I clearly said that if sticking to the main tourist areas,German would be "useful" & that there would be "no problem with english"

My German comment is based on my own experiences where i have observed hotel,bar,restaurant & other tourist related employees conversing fluently in German with German speaking tourists.

I am not even sure where you got the feeling that i was saying that German is spoken more widely than English.

ireland
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9. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

"Can' t be from Saath Africa - they will beat seven colors of blood out of you because of vuvuzele"

Kefa - I laughed out loud when I read what you had written above - it's very true tho. LOL

My experience also is that the people speak excellent English and they also speak German. From my opinion they seem to get a very high percentage of German tourists and I have seen people converse in German with German visitors and then switch to English for English visitors. It seems to be an extremely popular destination for Germans.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Is English or Russian more helpful in Croatia?

Thank you to all of you guys.

P.S.:

Kefa - " Mah brazer-in-loh is Irrish born and brred in South Afrikah, I don't think I'll have any problems with them laddie" :-)

But you are right - the safest bet is to pretend to be a from the motherland of loonie.