While professional tourist workers speak several languages and older people who rent out apartments to visitors can always use their arms and legs to aid in communicating with their guests, you never know when you yourself will need a word or two of Croatian. So just in case you find yourself in need of the right words, we are bringing you a small online course in the language. Today we give you a chance to wet your feed with an important topic – time.
First things first. In order to correspond well with Croatian time, you need to learn its basic terminology. For starters- the numbers between one and twelve, known to decorate clocks all over the world, Croatia included.
Next to the English below is its Croatian translation.
One – Jedan
Two – Dva
Three – Tri
Six – Sest
Seven – Sedam
Eight – Osam
Nine – Devet
Ten – Deset
Eleven – Jedanaest
Twelve – Dvanaest
And this is how these numbers sound in Croatian:
Let’s skip a few numbers you don’t need to start off with and get to quarters of the hour.
Fifteen – Petnaest
Thirty – Trideset
Forty-five – Cetrdeset pet
They sound like:
Using and combining these terms will make you understandable to Croats you might interact with. For a grammatically correct expression, you need to add “i” (“and”, pronounced “eee”) between these newly learned words. For example, 8:15 is pronounced osam i petnaest.
When dealing with halves of the hours, Croatian has a slightly different approach than English. The word you need to learn is pola, which means “half”. It is used in connection with the upcoming hour, not the one which passed (like it is in English). In other words, Croats won’t say “half past seven”, but rather “half to eight” (pola osam).
Lastly, Croats do not have the practice of distinguishing time in A.M or P.M. intervals. Sometimes, however, they use the following terms for more precise appointments:
In the morning – Ujutro
Before noon – Prije podne
After noon – Poslije podne
In the evening– Navecer
Here is how these terms sound:
So 9:30 p.m. in Croatian is “devet i trideset navecer.”
This concludes our short lesson on Croatian expressions of time. Remember to use them wisely on your vacation – not for making job schedules and charts, but for planning excursions and reservations at fancy restaurants.
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