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Wondering how to say hello in Croatian? I’ve got you covered!
Whether you’re planning a vacation to Croatia or pondering a more permanent move, knowing basic Croatian phrases can go a long way.
I’ve been based in Croatia since 2014, but I’ve actually been speaking the language my whole life. Even though I was raised in the United States, Croatian has always been a part of my upbringing—through music, folklore lessons, and conversations with family and friends. I even attended school in Zagreb for a few years, which really cemented my understanding of the language.
While I know my way around more complex phrases, you don’t need to be a language whiz to enjoy your time in Croatia. Mastering the art of a Croatian hello is already a step in the right direction. Plus, the locals love it when you make an effort, and it instantly warms you up to them
In this post, I’ll walk you through how to greet people in Croatian like a local. I’ve included some audio examples to help you get the pronunciation right. By the end of this, you should feel more confident in your ability to start a conversation here.
Let’s get started!
Ways to Say Hello in Croatian Language
When you pop hello into Google Translate, it will automatically translate it to “zdravo” (pronounced: zdrahv-oh) in Croatian.
While zdravo is technically the official Croatian word for hello, some Croatians consider this particular greeting to be a little bit outdated. It’s not quite as common to hear among the younger generation, yet it’s still in use.
That said, here are some alternative ways to say hello in Croatian, whether you’re aiming for formal or just keeping it casual.
Dobar dan – This is a polite and respectful way of saying “hello” in Croatian. Though it literally translates to “good day”, you’ll often hear it in professional settings. This is how you would greet someone when walking into a store or restaurant and also when calling a business on the phone.
Pozdrav – This one is a little less formal than “Dobar dan”. It’s that middle-of-the-road greeting you’d use with people you know but aren’t super close to.
Bok – Your laid-back, everyday “hi” in Croatian. It is a very informal greeting, and what you would use to say hello to friends, family and other people you know well. Bonus: It doubles as an informal “goodbye.”
Ej – This is the equivalent of saying “hey” in English, minus the “h”. It’s super casual and is used among friends, family, and people you know well. You might even hear people combining it with “bok,” like: “Ej, bok!”
Ciao – Borrowed from Italian, but fully embraced by Croatians. This is another casual way to say hello and works well among friends and sometimes even acquaintances.
Živio – A bit of a wild card. Živio is often used to say “cheers” but can also serve as a hello or goodbye in less formal settings.
Di si / Gdje si – This is the Croatian version of saying “what’s up” or “what’s going on.” The phrase literally translates to “where are you,” but it’s used to check in with friends. You might hear: “Ej, gdje si!” which essentially means, “Hey, what’s up!”
Example Sentences Using Hello in Croatian
Here are a few useful Croatian phrases that are commonly used as a greeting or when meeting someone for the first time:
Dobar dan, kako ste? – Hello, how are you?
Pozdrav, drago mi je. – Hello, it’s nice to meet you.
Bok! Di si? – Hey! What’s up?
How Do You Say Hello in Croatian [Audio Examples]
Learning the Croatian language can be tricky. Play the video below to learn the proper hello in Croatian pronunciation:
If you want to further brush up on your Croatian language skills, you could use an app like Ling to learn some basic phrases.
How to say hello in Croatian to a girl?
Saying hello to a girl in Croatian is easy. You can introduce yourself by saying “Bok, ja sam _____” which means “Hello, I’m _____”. Alternatively, if someone introduces you to a girl, you can respond with “Drago mi je” which means “nice to meet you.”
How do you greet someone in Croatian?
There are several ways to greet someone in Croatian, depending on how well you know them. A more formal greeting in Croatian would be “Dobar dan” or “Pozdrav”, while an informal greeting would be “Bok”.
Is it bok or Zdravo?
“Zdravo” is a more formal way to say hello in Croatian. “Bok”, although informal, is more widely used. It is a common way to greet friends, family, or people you know well.
Do Croatians say zdravo?
Some Croatians say zdravo as a formal greeting, but it is not as commonly used as “Dobar dan” or “Bok” (an informal way of saying hello to friends and acquaintances). You may also hear Croatians say “Ciao” as an informal greeting.
How to say hello in Croatian slang?
The slang version of hello in Croatian is sometimes “Živio!”, which is similar to saying “Cheers!” in English.
How to say hello in Croatian informal?
The informal way to say hello in Croatian is to say “Bok” or “Ej”. You would use either of these greetings to say hello to friends, family, or people you know well.
How to say hi in Croatian?
To say hi in Croatian, you would use the informal greeting of “Bok!” or “Ej!”.
How do you say how are you in Croatian?
Depending on who you are speaking to, you might say “Kako si?” (informal) or “Kako ste?” (formal).
I hope you found this post helpful and that you’ve mastered how to say hello in Croatian! With a little practice and the help of the audio examples above, you should be well on your way to being able to confidently greet people in Croatian.
Before you go, check out this post to learn more about the Croatian language.
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💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).
🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
Croatian is the official language of Croatia.
🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.
📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!
🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.
🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
🚗 Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)
💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!
Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.