Now that I have (begrudgingly) returned from Croatia, time for an update on my language efforts.

Unfortunately this will be a short post, as it seems that the English language has invaded Croatia. Almost everyone that we talked to had a grasp of English, even if only some simple words or sentences. This is unsurprising as tourism is their primary industry, but a little disappointing as I was hoping to pick up more Croatian than I did. Another surprise was the number of people who speak German as a second or third language – although apparently the Germans have known about Croatia as a tourist destination for a lot longer than English-speakers.

What I did pick up was useful – dobar dan (good day) was particularly helpful as people would often greet us in the street. Hvala (pronounced ‘hwala’, thanks) was another good one, although often people would say ‘thank you’ to me anyway! Molim (please) was the other most frequently used word. I did pick up some pronunciation tips as well – hv seems to be said as “hw” and Brac (with an accent on the c) as ‘Bratch’. In this sense I didn’t find phrasebooks helpful as it is difficult to get a sense of how something is said just by reading it. It was only after listening to native speakers say words numerous times that I managed to imitate words.

Anyway, I can highly recommend a visit to Croatia – it’s incredibly beautiful and very easy to travel around!