The Croatian language can be hard to learn for the foreigners but with some learning and practice, nothing is impossible. Most people in Split speak English, so you will not have problems with communication, but if you want to feel like a local, learn a new language or plan to stay here for a long time, at least some basic Croatian words and expressions will be useful to learn. Later, when you learn the basics, you can always join some language schools to learn the language the best possible.
So, let's start with some common and everyday expressions:
Nema na čemu!
How much is it?
Koliko košta ovo?
How are you?
Kako ste? Kako si?
What is your name?
Kako se zoveš?
Where can a find a post office/ a bank/ a restaurant?
Gdje mogu naci poštu/ banku/restoran?
Where is the nearest beach?
Gdje je najbliža plaža?
Can I pay, please?
Mogu li platiti, molim?
When does the bus for Dubrovnik go?
Kada ide autobus za Dubrovnik?
Where can I buy a SIM card?
Gdje mogu kupiti SIM karticu?
When do you close?
Can I have the menu, please?
Mogu li dobiti menu, molim?
Can I have a glass of water/wine, beer?
Mogu li dobiti čašu vode/ vina/piva?
It is hot.
It is cold.
I like Split.
I want to rent an apartment.
Želim iznajmiti stan.
I have a cold.
I need some medicines for a cold.
Trebam lijek za prehladu.
Where is the hospital?
Gdje je bolnica?
Where is the nearest playground for kids?
Gdje je najbliže igralište za djecu?
I am in a hurry.
Žuri mi se.
I am late.
What is your mobile number?
Koji je tvoj/vaš broj mobitela?
by the seaside
The verb to be/biti in Present Tense
1 - I am...Ja sam
1 - We are...Mi smo
2 - You are...Ti si
2 - You are...Vi ste
3 - He / she / it is...On / Ona / Ono je
3 - They are...Oni / One su
The verb to have/imati in Present Tense
1 - I have...Ja imam
1 - We have...Mi imamo
2 - You have...Ti imaš
2 - You have...Vi imate
3 - He / She / It has...On / Ona / Ono ima
3 - They have...Oni / One imaju
The verb to work/raditi in Present Simple
1- I work...Ja radim
1 - We work...Mi radimo
2 - You work...Ti radiš
2 - You work...Vi radite
3 - He / She / It works...On / Ona / Ono radi
3 - They work...Oni / One rade
You have noticed that some letters have some special marks above them (š,ž, č,ć). In the beginning, don't bother to pronounce them super correctly and in time, you will adjust to them and learn properly.
If you want to learn more than just basics, try to learn every week three nouns, three verbs, and one adjective a day. Only on Sunday repeat everything that you learned and soon, your vocabulary will be rich and you will be able to compose sentences.
Listening to songs in Croatian is also a good way to learn the language. If you want to experience some really good Croatian music and learn the language alone, I suggest listening to "klapa" music. Those songs are performed by a group of people, usually men, with voices only, no instruments. "Klapa" usually sings about love and is really beautiful.
If you want to listen to some live "klapa" songs, you can come to Vestibul. It is situated in the center of Split, near St.Duje cathedral where "klapa" perform their music daily during the tourist season. That space is particularly acoustic so it makes the songs even more beautiful.
Also, reading some local news is a good way to learn the language. You will see that some words will start to repeat so it will be easier to remember them. Some popular local news portals are Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmatinski portal, Dalmacija Danas, and Dalmacija News,
and they inform about everyday life in Split and the surrounding area.
Also, listening to Radio Split, the local radio station, can help you to learn Croatian and you can also listen to some Croatian, mostly Dalmatian, music as well. If you really want to speak Croatian well, the more you are exposed to the language, the better.
If you would prefer to take some lessons online, why don't you try italki? italki is an online language learning platform that connects language learners and teachers through video chat. The site allows students to find online teachers for 1-on-1 tutoring, and teachers to earn money as freelance tutors. Start your journey by exploring the teachers.
Although a lot of people in Split speak English, try to practice Croatian with the locals, it will be fun. You can arrange maybe with them to help you to improve your Croatian, and in return, you can help them to improve their English.
Learning a new language can really be fun, so no matter if you really need it or not in your everyday life, you can try to learn the Croatian language.
If you feel it is too hard or complicated to learn independently, you can join some language schools. Learning in a group is even bigger fun and it will bring you real progress and new friends.
Explore Croatian language courses in the following links: