Croatian language lessons 2020

Every Monday, we publish a new Croatian phrase and word of the week on our home page. At the end of the year, we publish an annual wrap-up.

Here is a wrap-up of our Croatian language lessons from 2020.

Week of January 6

Phrase

“još nešto”
Meaning: Another thing, something else
Usage: Most commonly used by those who work at shops. When you’re purchasing something like bread or meat, after you make your initial request, the shopkeeper will say “još nešto?” as a question to ask if you want anything else. To which you can reply “to je to” meaning “that’s it”.

Word

“pobijediti”
/pobjěːditi/, Verb
Definition: To win, to overcome or conquer
Example: Na izborima je pobijedio Zoran Milanović. ~ Zoran Milanović won the election.
View “pobijediti” in all cases.

Week of January 13

Phrase

“Je li hitno?”
Meaning: Is it urgent?

Word

“imati”
/ǐmati/, Verb
Definition: To have, own, possess
Example: Imam bronhitis. ~ I have bronchitis.
Learn more about “imati” here

Week of January 20

Phrase

“Drago mi je.”
Meaning: I am glad.
Usage: When you meet someone for the first time, it is customary to say “drago mi je” to convey “it is nice to meet you”. You can also use it for any situation where you are glad. For example, “I got a promotion! Drago mi je!”

Word

“vepar”
Noun
Definition: Wild boar
Example: Volim gulaš od vepra. ~ I love wild boar goulash.
View “vepar” in all cases here.

Week of January 27

Phrase

“Drži se.”
Meaning: Take care.

Word

“kabanica”
Noun
Definition: Raincoat; trench coat; cloak
Example: Trebam kabanicu. ~ I need a raincoat.
View “kabanica” in all cases.

Week of February 3

Phrase

“malo sutra, malo morgen”
Meaning: Literally means “little tomorrow”, but in practice means “in your dreams”, “yeah right”, “no way” and “as if”.

Word

“doći”
/dôːtɕi/, Verb
Definition: To come
Example: Doći ću u subotu. ~ I will come on Saturday.
View “doći” in all cases.

Week of February 10

Phrase

“Stat ćemo.”
Meaning: We will stop.
Usage: Used in situations to loosely convey “a little further, this will be over soon”, but can be said in any situation to mean that you will stop or take a break shortly.

Word

“glasno”
/ɡlâsno/, Adverb
Definition: Loudly, aloud
Example: Ljudi u kinu razgovaraju glasno. ~ The people in the movie theater are talking loudly.

Week of February 17

Phrase

“Slon u staklenci.”
Meaning: Literally means “elephant in a jar”, but it is the Croatian equivalent to “bull in a china shop”.

Word

“pamtiti”
/pâːmtiti/, Verb
Definition: To remember, memorize (commit to memory)
Example: Teško je pamtiti glagole na hrvatskom jeziku. ~ It is hard to memorize verbs in Croatian.
View “pamtiti” in all cases here.

Week of February 24

Phrase

“Objesiti mačku o rep.”
Meaning: Literally means “to hang something on a cat’s tail”
Usage: In practice, this phrase is used to mean that something is pointless or doesn’t make sense to pursue anymore or that an opportunity has passed and it is too late.

Word

“zebnja”
Noun
Definition: Anxiety, concern, fear for something or someone
Example: Kad sam u MUP-u imam zebnju. ~ When I am at MUP I have anxiety.

Week of March 2

Phrase

“Ugodan dan”
Meaning: Have a nice day.
Usage: Commonly used when parting ways with someone you don’t know very well, but can be said to anyone.

Word

“kob”
Noun
Definition: Fate, destiny, fortune, luck
Example: Hrvatsko državljanstvo je moja kob. ~ Croatian citizenship is my destiny.
Here are more ways to use “kob”.

Week of March 9

Phrase

“Imate li…?”
Meaning: Do you have…?
Usage: This is an all purpose question you can use at a restaurant, caffe bar or shop to inquire if they have something. For example, “Imate li zeleni čaj?”, which means “Do you have green tea?” The subject should be put into the akuzativ case.

Word

“šef (male), šefica (female)”
Noun
Definition: Boss
Example: Ja sam šefica. ~ I am the boss.

Week of March 16

Phrase

“Vidimo se.”
Meaning: Literally means “we see ourselves” but in practice means “see you later”.
Usage: Used whenever you are parting ways with someone you’ll see again.

Word

“teško”
Adverb
Definition: Hard, difficult, heavy
Example: Bit će teška godina zbog koronavirusa. ~ It will be a difficult year because of coronavirus.

Week of March 23

Phrase

“Baš mi je drago što smo se sreli.”
Meaning: Literally means “nice to meet you”, but used to mean “nice to see you”.

Word

“popodne”
Noun
Definition: Afternoon
Example: Možemo ići u kino popodne. ~ We can go to the movie in the afternoon.
See examples of how to use “popodne”

Week of March 30

Phrase

“Kako ćemo?”
Meaning: Literally means “how will we?”, but used to mean “how will we do this?”.
Usage: It can be used in many scenarios, not just as a question but as a rhetorical statement.

Word

“prisluškivati”
Verb
Definition: Eavesdrop, overhear, listen in
Example: Prisluškujem da naučim hrvatski. ~ I eavesdrop to learn Croatian.
See examples of how to use “prisluškivati

Week of April 6

Phrase

“ima/nema dvije čiste”
Meaning: Literally means “two clean thoughts”, but used to refer to someone’s sense or lack of sense.
Usage: It is most commonly used as “nema dvije čiste” to mean that someone does not have sense.

Word

“hodati”
Verb
Definition: To walk, march
Example: Jučer sam hodala oko mojega kvarta. ~ Yesterday I walked around my neighborhood.
See more examples of how to use “hodati”.

Week of April 13

Phrase

svaka čast
Meaning: “Well done” or “good job”
Usage: It can be used to genuinely mean “well done” or it can be sarcastically used in response to something being screwed up, like a slow clap.

Word

zdravlje
Noun
Definition: Health, wellness, sanity
Example: Želim vam dobro zdravlje. ~ I wish you good health.

Week of April 20

Phrase

“sve dobro”
Meaning: All good
Usage: Can be used as an answer when some asks you how you are (kako si, kako ste, šta ima, kaj ima). Can also be used to ask how someone is doing by adding a question mark, like “sve dobro?”.

Word

“stranac”
Noun
Definition: Foreigner, stranger, alien, non-citizen
Example: Ja sam stranac u ovoj čudnoj zemlji. ~ I am a foreigner in this strange land.

Week of April 27

Phrase

“Tko to more platit”
Meaning: Who will pay for this
Usage: Used to convey that something is priceless, or that it has so much value, it should cost a lot. If you are laying on the beach, gazing at the crystal clear sea with the islands in the distance, you could turn to your friend and say “tko to more platit”.

Word

“nikada/nikad”
Adverb
Definition: Never
Usage Tip: “Nikada” is always used in combination with another negative.
Example: Nikad neću napustiti Hrvatsku. ~ I will never leave Croatia.
See examples of how to use “nikada”

Week of May 4

Phrase

“samo malo”
Meaning: only a little
Usage: Can be used in a variety of ways. If you need to get by someone, you can say “samo malo” as a prompt for them to move.

Word

“otvoren”
Adjective
Definition: open
Example: Otvoreni su frizerski saloni. ~ Hair salons are open.
See more examples of how to use “otvoren”.

Week of May 11

Phrase

“Sretan rođendan”
Meaning: Happy birthday

Word

“poklon”
Noun
Definition: gift
Example: Volim poklone. ~ I love the gifts.

Week of May 18

Phrase

“Bilo pa prošlo”
Meaning: Literally means “it was and then it passed”. It is an equivalent to “water under the bridge”.

Word

“prijatelj/prijateljica”
Noun
Definition: friend
Usage Note: “prijatelj” refers to a male friend, “prijateljica” refers to a female friend.
Example: Moja prijateljica radi za općinu. ~ My friend works for the municipality.

Week of May 25

Phrase

“Odakle ste/si?”
Meaning: Where are you from?
Usage: If you speaking to a stranger or an older person say “Odakle ste?”. If speaking to a child or someone you are familiar with, say “Odakle si?”.

Word

“Živjeli”
Exclamation
Definition: Cheers
Example: Karantena je gotova. Živjeli! ~ Quarantine is over. Cheers!

Week of June 1

Phrase

“Naručili smo”
Meaning: We ordered
Usage: If you are at a caffe bar or restaurant with friends and a server comes to take your order after you’ve already given your order to a different server, you can use “Naručili smo” to communicate that you’ve already ordered. If by yourself, you can say “Naručila sam” if female and “Naručio sam” if male.

Word

“sinoć”
Adverb
Definition: last night
Example: Sinoć je kišilo. ~ It rained last night.
See more examples of how to use “sinoć”

Week of June 8

Phrase

“Je li prošao…?”
Meaning: Did he pass?
Usage: If you are at a bus stop and you want to ask someone if the bus has already come, then you can use this phrase along with the bus number. For example, “Je li prošao 17?” meaning “Has the 17 passed?”

Word

“istina”
Noun
Definition: truth
Example: Što je istina? ~ What is the truth?
See more examples of how to use “istina”

Week of June 15

Phrase

“Ja sam iz…”
Meaning: I am from
Usage: When some asks you where you are from (Odakle ste?), you answer with “Ja sam iz…” plus your country or city. I say “Ja sam iz Teksasa” or “Ja sam iz Amerike”.

Word

“punica”
Noun
Definition: mother-in-law
Example: Moja punica skuhala je ukusan ručak. ~ My mother-in-law cooked a delicious lunch.
See more examples of how to use “punica”

Week of June 22

Phrase

“Što/Šta se može”
Meaning: What can you do?
Usage: If in Dalmatia, use “Šta” instead of “Što”.

Word

“praznik”
Noun
Definition: holiday
Example: Trgovine su zatvorene jer je praznik. ~ The stores are closed because it is a holiday.
See more examples of how to use “praznik”

Week of June 29

Phrase

“Je li moguće?”
Meaning: Is it possible?

Word

“plivati”
Verb
Definition: to swim, float, bathe
Example: U subotu sam plivala u Mimicama. ~ On Saturday I swam in Mimice.
See more examples of how to use “plivati”

Week of July 6

Phrase

“Kako se kaže…?”
Meaning: How do you say…?
Usage: When you want to ask how to say something in Croatian, you can say “Kako se kaže?”

Word

“umoran”
Adjective
Definition: tired, weary, exhausted
Example: Umorna sam jer je ponedjeljak. ~ I am tired because it is Monday.
See more examples of how to use “umoran”

Week of July 13

Phrase

“nema na čemu”
Meaning: you’re welcome, don’t mention it, not at all

Word

“možda”
Adverb
Definition: maybe, perhaps
Example: Možda ću stići za 10 minuta. ~ Maybe I will arrive in 10 minutes.
See more examples of how to use “možda”

Week of July 20

Phrase

“Koliko košta?”
Meaning: How much does it cost?
Dialect: In Split, you can say “Pošto?” instead, which means the same thing.

Word

“cijena”
Noun
Definition: price, tariff, value
Example: Cijena je previsoka. ~ The price is too high.
See more examples of how to use “cijena”

Week of July 27

Phrase

“Mogu li platiti?”
Meaning: Can I pay?
Usage: Most commonly used when you’re at a restaurant or caffe when you’re ready to pay. You can also say “Može račun” to request the bill and pay, which is less formal.

Word

“račun”
Noun
Definition: invoice, check, bill, account (like a bank account)
Example: Platit ću račun. ~ I will pay the bill.
See more examples of how to use “račun”

Week of August 3

Phrase

“Čujemo se”
Meaning: We’ll be in touch

Word

“sastanak”
Noun
Definition: appointment, meeting, rendezvous
Example: Imam sastanak u 10 sati. ~ I have a meeting at 10 o’clock.
See more examples of how to use “sastanak”

Week of August 10

Phrase

“Hoćemo na kavu?”
Meaning: Are we going for a coffee?

Word

“preksutra”
Adverb
Definition: the day after tomorrow
Example: Preksutra idemo na kavu. ~ Let’s go for a coffee the day after tomorrow.
See more examples of how to use “preksutra”

Week of August 17

Phrase

“Ne razumijem.”
Meaning: I do not understand.

Word

“vidik”
Noun
Definition: horizon, view, vista
Example: Italiju smo vidjeli na vidiku iz Mosora. ~ We saw Italy on the horizon from Mosor.
See more examples of how to use “vidik”

Week of August 24

Phrase

“bez slamke/bez slamki”
Meaning: without straw/without straws
Usage: Use this phrase when ordering a drink to make sure you aren’t given a bunch of unnecessary earth-killing straws.
Example: Hoću limunadu bez slamki. ~ I want lemonade without straws.

Word

“odbiti”
Verb
Definition: refuse, reject, decline
Example: Odbila sam njegov poziv jer ću biti u Zagrebu. ~ I declined his invitation because I will be in Zagreb.
See more examples of how to use “odbiti”

Week of August 31

Phrase

“kiselo grožđe”
Meaning: sour grapes
Usage: Used just as in English, to mean that someone is angry towards something or someone because they couldn’t have it themselves.

Word

“spavati”
Verb
Definition: to sleep
Example: Nisam spavala sinoć. ~ I did not sleep last night.
See more examples of how to use “spavati”

Week of September 7

Phrase

“Čestitam”
Meaning: Congratulations

Word

“obično”
Adverb
Definition: usually, typically, commonly
Example: Obično pijem bijelu kavu. ~ Usually I drink white coffee.
See more examples of how to use “obično”

Week of September 14

Phrase

“Ne trebam vrećicu.”
Meaning: I do not need a bag.
Usage: This is a polite way to turn down a bag you don’t need when shopping.

Word

“rezervirati”
Verb
Definition: to reserve, book
Example: Rezervirala sam stol u 20:00. ~ I reserved a table at 8pm.
See more examples of how to use “rezervirati”

Week of September 21

Phrase

“Čuvajmo se.”
Meaning: Let’s take care of ourselves
Usage: Shortened to mean “take care”

Word

“divlja”
Adjective
Definition: wild, barbarous, savage
Example: Danas sam vidjela divlju mentu na Cetini. ~ Today I saw wild mint on the Cetina.
See more examples of how to use “divlja”

Week of September 28

Phrase

“Nema šanse”
Meaning: No way

Word

“donijeti”
Verb
Definition: bring, get, carry
Example: Donesi mi knjigu. ~ Bring me the book.
See more examples of how to use “donijeti”

Week of October 5

Phrase

“Bit će bolje”
Meaning: It will be better

Word

“torba”
Noun
Definition: bag, purse, bag pack
Example: Sviđa mi se tvoja torba. ~ I like your purse.
See more examples of how to use “torba”

Watch Sara say these words on Instagram.

Week of October 12

Phrase

“Samo polako; bez žurbe”
Meaning: Take your time; go slow.
Word

“gdje”
Adverb
Definition: where
Example: Gdje si? ~ Where are you?
See more examples of how to use “gdje”

Watch Sara say these words on Instagram.

Week of October 19

Phrase

“Ne, hvala.”
Meaning: No, thanks.

Word

“gladan”
Adjective
Definition: hungry
Example: Jako sam gladna. ~ I am very hungry.
See more examples of how to use “gladan”

Watch Sara say these words on Instagram.

Week of October 26

Phrase

“Drugi put(a)”
Meaning: Next time

Word

“posao”
Noun
Definition: job, work, business
Example: Dobila sam novi posao. ~ I got a new job.
See more examples of how to use “posao”

Watch Sara say these words on Instagram.

Week of November 2

Phrase

“Vani je hladno.”
Meaning: It’s cold outside.

Word

“voziti”
Verb
Definition: to drive, ride
Example: Volim brzo voziti. ~ I like to drive fast.
See more examples of how to use “voziti”

Week of November 9

Phrase

“Pazi!”
Meaning: Watch out!

Word

“smiješan”
Adjective
Definition: funny, ridiculous, humorous
Example: Tako si smiješan! ~ You are so funny!
See more examples of how to use “smiješan”

Week of November 16

Phrase

“Ne brini.”
Meaning: Don’t worry.

Word

“ništa”
Pronoun
Definition: nothing, none
Example: Ne osjećam ništa. ~ I feel nothing.
See more examples of how to use “ništa”

Week of November 23

Phrase

“Budi dobro”
Meaning: Be good; be well

Word

“vidjeti”
Verb
Definition: see, view, perceive
Example: Vidjela sam Tinu na Rivi. ~ I saw Tina on Riva.
See more examples of how to use “vidjeti”

Week of November 30

Phrase

“Ganjati sreću”
Meaning: To chase the happiness
Usage: To have high expectations and not appreciate what you already have

Word

“prašina”
Noun
Definition: dust
Example: Soba je puna prašine. ~ The room is full of dust.
See more examples of how to use “prašina”

Week of December 7

Phrase

“U susjedstvu”
Meaning: In the neighborhood, next door

Word

“zatvoriti”
Verb
Definition: close, shut down
Example: Molim te, zatvori prozor. ~ Please, close the window.
See more examples of how to use “zatvoriti”

Week of December 14

Phrase

“Puna kapa”
Meaning: Capful; full hat
Usage: To express that you’re fed up with something or someone and you need a break

Word

“visok”
Adjective
Definition: high, tall
Example: Andrea je jako visoka. ~ Andrea is very tall
See more examples of how to use “visok”

Week of December 21 and December 28

Phrase

“Sve najbolje”
Meaning: All best wishes

Word

“pjesma”
Noun
Definition: song
Example: Ova me pjesma podsjeća na Božić. ~ This song reminds me of Christmas.
See more examples of how to use “pjesma”

View all of our annual Croatian language lessons here.

If you want the Croatian lessons in bite-size pieces with audio clips spoken by a Croatian, sign up for our newsletter and get them every Tuesday.

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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