Croatia is all about relationships. More specifically, it is all about connections. Who do you know and how are you related to them?
The importance and prevalence of the almighty connection is rampantly used throughout the Croatian language. There are several ways that “connection” shows up in the Croatian language.
- “veza” is a noun meaning “a connection”
- “vezati” is a verb meaning “to connect”
- “vezan” is an adjective meaning “tied” or “connected”
- “vezano” is an adverb meaning “regarding”
Once you start listening for it, you’ll find that variations on these words are using incredibly often, especially the slang versions.
Croats like to use the slang phrase “nema veze” which means “nevermind” or “it doesn’t matter” in everyday conversation. It is one of the most widely-spoken phrases, used by all Croats, no matter which Croatian dialect they speak. There are so many situations that call for “nema veze”, sometimes this phrase cannot even be translated into words. In these situations, it is more akin to a hand gesture or a grunt.
We’ve put together a list of the most common ways you can use “veze” or “vezati” or “vezan” or “vezano” to express connection.
How to use express connection in Croatian
1. A strip used to connect something
Zaveži biljku za ogradu s plavom vezom (or “vezicom”).
Tie the plant to the fence with the blue strip.
2. The relationship between objects in space or time, or between causes and consequences
Pokušavam pronaći vezu između avangardne i jazz glazbe.
I’m trying to find a connection between avant-garde and jazz music.
3. Any kind of relationship between two or more persons (business relationship, friendship, family, love affair…)
Kaja i Stipe započeli su ljubavnu vezu prošle godine.
Kaja and Stipe started a love affair last year.
4. Technical equipment and system for establishing communication (internet, phone call, conference call…)
Veza između printera i računala konstantno se prekida.
The connection between the printer and the computer constantly breaks.
5. The possibility to transfer to another transport vehicle when traveling somewhere
Kad putuješ iz Osijeka u Rijeku, imaš li vezu za presjedanje u Zagrebu?
When you travel from Osijek to Rijeka, do you have a transfer connection in Zagreb?
6. Having direct transport to the specific point when traveling somewhere
Imam direktnu vezu od Zagreba do Rijeke.
I have direct transport from Zagreb to Rijeka.
7. A person who transfers communication, a courier, a contact person
Luka će biti veza između marketinga i dizajna na ovom projektu.
Luka will be the link between the marketing and design team at this project.
8. To have a connection for some benefit (for example, to have a job connection)
Mirko je dobio posao u Ministarstvu preko veze. Njegov ujak tamo radi.
Mirko got a job thanks to the nepotism connection in the ministry. His uncle works there.
9. To tell that something is stupid, unnecessary, failed, wrong, or bad
Premijer je održao govor o izbjeglicama. Bio je bez veze. Nije rekao ništa novo.
The prime minister had a speech on refugees. It was stupid (nothing special). He didn’t say anything new.
10. To reach someone
Jeste li stupili u vezu?
Did you get in touch?
11. To tell that “something has nothing to do with something else’
Tvoj odgovor nema veze s mojim pitanjem.
Your explanation has nothing to do with my question.
12. Not to be in touch or contact with something/someone or involved with something/someone
Pitala sam ženu u HZZO-u kako nabaviti novu karticu osiguranja i rekla mi je da nema veze s time. To nije njezin posao.
I asked the woman at HZZO how to get a new insurance card and she said she had nothing to do with that. It wasn’t her job.
13. To tell that something isn’t important or that you don’t care, i.e. “whatever”
Gdje želiš jesti?
Where do you want to eat?
14. To break the relationship with someone/something
Oni će prekinuti vezu vrlo uskoro.
They will break up [the relationship] very soon.
15. To refer to something or follow something
Vezano uz naš telefonski razgovor, zapisala sam sve što si mi rekla.
Regarding our phone call, I wrote down everything you told me.
16. To tie/knit or do some similar handwork
Marla veze stolnjak za dnevnu sobu svako popodne. Bit će gotov za dva tjedna.
Marla ties the tablecloth for the living room every afternoon. It’ll be finished in two weeks.
17. To become close to someone
Ove sestre su vrlo vezane.
These sisters are very close.
18. To depend on someone or something
Beba je vezana za mamu.
The baby is connected to his mother.
19. To tie someone so that they can’t move
Vezao ga je lancem.
He tied him with a chain.
20. To have your hands tied figuratively, not have the freedom to decide something
Moje ruke su vezane i ne mogu ništa promijeniti.
My hands are tied and I can’t change anything.
21. To be quiet, no have the possibility to speak
Vezan mi je jezik i ne smijem pričati o tome.
My tongue is tied and I mustn’t talk about this.
22. To live a very hard life, to be barely alive
On jedva veže kraj s krajem.
He can barely make both ends meet.
23. To say that something is absurd or worthless
Figurative expression: Vezati mačku za rep
Literally translated: To tie something to the cat’s tail
24. To prevent someone from doing something
Figurative expression: Vezati ruke (nekome)
Literally translated: To bind hands (to someone)
25. To ruin yourself
Figurative expression: Vezati si konop oko vrata
Literally translated: To tie a rope around your neck
26. To say “nevermind” or “forget it”
Što si me pitao malo prije?
Nema veze. Zaboravi.
What did you ask me a minute ago?
Nevermind. Forget it.
27. To say “don’t bother”
Zaboravila sam ti donijeti knjigu.
Nema veze. Nije hitno.
I forgot to bring you the book.
Don’t bother. It’s not urgent.
28. To do something without any help from others, without connection or relationship
Ja sam se doselila u Hrvatsku bez veze.
I moved to Croatia without any relationship.