More Croatian

Helen looked at my Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian textbook sitting on the table.

“Do you really think you’ll use this?” she asked when I told her it was mine. “When I went to France, even though I was taking French at the time, I was too afraid to try to say anything.”

I understood what she was saying. “I think there are some useful phrases,” I replied. “In my last set of words, I learned ‘I understand’ and ‘I don’t understand’ — it’s like, hmmm…” I tried to remember. “Rooma-zooma….?”

“Ramen noodles?” she asked.

“No, it’s roomy-something. I have time to practice though. I just learned it.” I replied.

I practiced it later on my walk. Razumijem — pronounced ra-zoo-me-yem. I guess it’s sort of like Ramen noodles.

Ne razumijem — means I don’t understand. That one will come in handy, I’m sure.

Also, Gdje je kupaonica? — Where’s the bathroom? — very important. Except that one is pretty hard for me to pronounce.

Try it, English-speaking friends, say “guh-duh-yay yeh coo-pa-on-itz-ah” really fast. It rhymes with pizza, in case I’m not writing it phonetically correctly.

Last night as I walked, I practiced my Croatian, ruminating on the rhyming words. I came up with a poem.

Cesta, ulica
Gdje je kuaponica
Kada?
Sada.
Kava?
Hvala.
Oprostite.
Sviđa me se.
Dječak, djevojčica

Road, street
Where is the bathroom?
When?
Now.
Coffee?
Thank you.
Excuse me.
I like it.
Boy, girl

The more I practice, the braver I’ll be when I get there.

Hopefully I won’t say something stupid.

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6 thoughts on “More Croatian

    • It just feels very selfish. “I’m coming to visit your country. I expect you to speak my language.”

      Even if I never utter a word in Croatian, I’ll know that at least I tried to learn.

      • Well, I would like to talk ALL the languages in the World…. but I don’t think I have time to learn all of them. So, besides English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese… I want to learn French… and for the others… so far… I will be happy to know how to say Hello and Thank You 🙂

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