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Do Most People Know How to Speak English in Croatia?

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Croatia is one of Europe’s most visited holiday destinations. Accordingly, all employed in hospitality related services are required to speak English and a few other languages depending on the location.

But do most people speak English?

generations of Croatia’s residents are comfortable with English. Many even speak the language without that famous hard East European accent.

Older generations, residing on the north of the country, that are not directly engaged in tourism are not likely to understand you if you ask something in English.

There are exceptions, of course so don’t get surprised if 70-year-old answers on clean American English.

You see, many returns to Croatia once they retire after living in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. These are the countries with a large number of Croats. Some estimates suggest that there 4 million Croats living and working outside Croatia. Quite naturally, these people are bilingual.

Professionals are required to speak English

You simply can’t be an employee in a tourist-related business if you don’t have a good grasp of the English language. That’s mandatory for every professional in this famous holiday destination.


Besides English, people working with tourists are speaking Italian and German due to a large number of guests from those countries.

In high-end resorts, speaking at least two foreign languages is a requirement to even be considered for a specific job position.

English, by default, is required for all employees at gas stations, restaurants and bars you come across on your travel to the Adriatic coast.

Same applies to hospitals, emergency rescue crews, and police.

So, basically, you don’t have to worry about whether someone will understand if you ask for a direction or some produce on the local market. Rest assured that the person you are addressing to perfectly understand what you’re saying.

Then again, it’s quite possible to run into someone who doesn’t understand the word you’re saying.

If that happens, be creative. Take that smartphone out and use the Google translator. In all these years, hundreds of contributors translated every word of English to Croatian and vice versa.

Only, don’t take it personally if you catch a subtle smile in the corner of the lips of the person you are talking to. Croatian grammar is considered one of the toughest and most complex in the world. There’s simply no machine translator to date that is capable of accurately translating the more complex sentences.

So keep it simple and you’ll be just fine.

Thank you

Your CTC Team, I.K.

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