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Who can speak Croatian???

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Scotland
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71 posts
53 reviews
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Who can speak Croatian???

Would like some help with basic words and phrases in Croatian.

Can anyone help me with a 4 week crash course. I have never been to a country before where I do not know how to speak the language.

Definately need to be able to explain we are Scottish.

Amigademaria

Ely, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik
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36,991 posts
78 reviews
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1. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Hello.. I know pimsleur has a pretty good language program for Croatian and in most guide books they will have some words to know and things like that. But in actuality I don't think you need to worry about it a whole lot. I know some basic words in Croatian but rarely do I have to use them. Almost everyone we have encountered in restaurants, hotels, etc know how to speak English. You might get into trouble if you are renting from someones house but otherwise I wouldnt worry about it.

Luton, United...
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72 posts
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2. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Unfortunately/fortunately Croatia is like most other places in Europe in that as manilow says learn the basics, hi, bye, please, thanks, I don't understand, I'm Scottish but do speak English ;-) etc... and you'll be more than fine. Of course I'm pretty thick and easily tripped up, so after I said dobar dan (good day, hello) and they reply in Croatian I freeze and say I don't understand, please speak English :-(

Younger people seem to have English as their main 2nd language and older folks seem to have Italian and then English and German in my very, very limited 1 week experience.

I'd suggest Lonely Planets Eastern European phrase book is a good buy. It includes all the important phrases and words you'd need to use, its small enough to easily fit in a hand bag or jacket pocket and it also has some entertaining phrases.

Because English is so pervasive these days you'll notice alotta people at tourist sites and in restaurants not even bother with the local language and just go with English so making the effort to learn a dozen key words/phrases is gonna put you well ahead of the pack.

Remeber they're more afraid of you than you are of them...wait, thats bears ;-) I'm sure you'll do grand, one last piece of advice would be to ask someone at your hotel/apartment to help you with the proper pronunciation if you not sure. For instance 'Hvala' (thanks) seemed to be pronounced differently in different parts of the country and I always seemed to be a bit off with it.

Rambling over.

Shaker Heights, Ohio
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19 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Best source for Croatian for travelers is Anna Zgorlec web page which is based in UK

http://www.visit-croatia.co.uk/

Robert Jerin

kollander-travel.com/promos/robertjerin2006.…

leeds
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31 posts
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4. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Everybody is right. It's not a problem in Croatia because English, Italian, German will get you all you need, depending where you are and who you're talking to (e.g. young folks everywhere are likely to speak English, old folks more likely to speak German, if you're in Istria everybody speaks Italian anyway...) The problem is to find a course in (serbo) Croatian anywhere in the UK outside London, and even there I suspect it's not easy. I speak from experience. Since the British-Jugoslav Society disbanded, rather inevitably because Jugoslavija had disbanded, languauge tuition outside London disappeared. Really all you can do is get yourself a teach yourself book or whatever. Meanwhile: Mi smo Shcotski (thast's how it sounds, not how it's written properly) will tell everybody uou're from Scotland (though why you should wish them to know this I can't imagine...)

Scotland
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71 posts
53 reviews
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5. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

The reason for specifically needing to know how to say I am Scottish is just a silly tradition that we have. Every year we get T-shirts printed (for the boys playing in sports tournaments) with the Scottish flag and the words "I am Scottish" or similar in the language of the counrty we are visiting. We have found this a great way of making new friends from all countries as we do prefer to mix with people from all over the world not just GB. We did find it very useful in Southern Italy 2 years ago where we found that we were the only foreign tourist in our holiday village and everyone wanted to speak with us. Think we were a bit of an enigma there!! As a result of this tradition we have a legacy of friends from Norway down to Southern Italy and a lot in between.

Try it .

Amigademaria

leeds
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31 posts
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6. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Dear Maria's Lady Friend, Gey guid Scots name that! Only teasing as I'm sure you know. I think your idea is nice, but in which case you'll need the proper spelling, not the quasi-phonetic one I gave you (I thought you wanted to say it, not write it.) This is a bit tricky, because there's a diacritic mark involved, and I can't do diacritics on email, but here goes:

MI SMO SKOTSKI - But over the first /S/ in 'skotski' there's a little v-shaped mark, like a French circumflex upside down, which changes the pronunciation from /s/ to /sh/, which is how they say it.

Nothing to add to all the other advice you're received, which is good, except that my experience is that although Croatians don't expect foreigners to speak their language, and most people you'll meet as a holidaymaker are likely to be pretty polyglot, they are DELIGHTED if you make the effort, in however small a way. Learn a few obvious courtesy phrases, and words for necessities such as beer, wine, and coffee, which you can get out of any guidebook, and nothing will be too good for you.

UK
Destination Expert
for Istria, Rovinj, Pula
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2,728 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Just to say that Serbo-Croat is a phonetic language. J's are pronounced as Y, i.e. as in Yugolsaviya = in Croation jugoslavija. Just as Zelen says if you learn a few words or phrases in Croatian (Hrvatski) people are thrilled. It's a minority language and Croatians are so pleased (even those who speak good English)if you have bothered to learn a little of their language. As far as we're concerned it's meant free drinks or fast service or a genuine interest in us. It's also polite. Ja sam Engleskinja (Ya sam Engleskinya) = I am an English woman.

Good luck. I'd love to see the teeshirts.

Scotland
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71 posts
53 reviews
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8. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

Thanks for all the advice - am currently learning some basic phrases with visit.croatia - T.shirts being printed as we speak - cannot wait - roll on 1st JULY!

Amigademaria (Catriona- a real Scottish name).

9. Re: Who can speak Croatian???

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