English idioms that are a little different in Croatian

Bull in a china shop
Image by Of Wealth

Every language has its own sayings, cliches, parables and idioms. Some overlap between languages and some are unique to a specific culture that stretch over generations. Croatian is no exception.

In my time living here, I’ve heard a handful of idioms that are really close to ones I use in English, but are just a little…different. They were a bit startling to hear the first time because they sound ridiculous. But when you think about it, all idioms sound ridiculous no matter the language.

Idioms are a group of unrelated words whose meaning is unrelated to the individual words. It’s a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” kind of situation. Most people use idioms when speaking, regardless of whether they know they are or not. As part of your assimilation to life in Croatia, using these idioms can give you a new avenue for communicating in Croatian.

Give some of these a try at your next opportunity.

5 English idioms that are a little different in Croatian

Image by Reddit

#1 When in a difficult situation

English: in a pickle

Croatian: u banani (in a banana)

#2 When someone breaks stuff or causes damage in situations that require delicacy

English: bull in a china shop

Croatian: slon u staklarni (elephant in a glass house)

#3 When a situation is made to sound worse than it is

English: mountain out of a molehill

Croatian: od muhe radiš slona (you are making an elephant out of a fly)

#4 When something is really easy

English: a piece of cake

Croatian: mačji kašalj (a cat’s cough)

#5 When something is impossible

English: when pigs fly

Croatian: kad na vrbi rodi grožđe (when the willow bears grapes)

Check out our other Croatian language learning lessons here.

Have you learned any fun Croatian idioms? Share them in the comments.



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