As you read this blog post, I will hopefully be enjoying the sun in beautiful Croatia. I’ve never been to the country before and have not encountered the language either.

This had me wondering – how much of a language should you try and learn before a holiday?

In the past I’ve learned bits of Vietnamese, German, Greek and Malay whilst on holiday. Whilst on the plane to Vietnam, I listed to a beginners guide to the language in the form of a podcast. When trying to speak and listen to the language, however, I found I had forgotten most of what I had heard.

With other languages I have picked up phrases whilst in country. These were enough to get by, along with liberal doses of sign language. As a native English speaker, I try and avoid the assumption that others will speak my language, but find that a lot of the time, they do!
Before going to Croatia I will pick up a phrasebook and try and learn some basic phrases and greetings. These websites seem to be a good start for travellers to the country. Obviously it’s not possible for me to become fluent in Croatian in a couple of weeks, but I will make some effort.

How much of the language do you learn before going on holiday?