To Learn Croatian…or Not To Learn

By , 08 Jun 2016, 09:36 AM Lifestyle
To Learn Croatian…or Not To Learn Photo by Ashley Colburn

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After more than 20 visits and a brand new Croatian address, it's time for TCN's Ashley Colburn to tackle a seemingly impossible task - learn Croatian. 

After 22 trips to Croatia in 7 years, learning a few phrases each time just isn’t going to cut it anymore.  I decided it was time to learn the language of my second home, especially now that I have a Croatian address. This has been my problem- I understand a lot, but forming a proper sentence is and will continue to be my struggle.  I needed proper instruction for this language that I find to be more than complicated. 

A few months ago I found out about Croatian Language School Easy Croatian and they invited me to finally learn the language with a one on one intensive language class on the island of Lošinj.  I didn’t hesitate and knew that it was time to learn and the location could not have been more perfect. 

Not a bad place to learn...

Croatian Language School is based in London and taught by Croatia native, Linda Rabuzin.  It was amazing to hear about all of the people she has taught through the years- expats, new Croatia business owners, and crazy Americans like me who have no Croatian heritage.  In addition to providing one-on-one language training in Lošinj, Linda also teaches over Skype to her students around the globe.  Every summer, she organizes an immersion trip to a different Croatian town or village so that students can learn local culture and of course practice their speaking firsthand. 

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I soon became determined to learn the language.  The first thing I was introduced to was the Croatian “BIBLE” also known as the dreaded grammar chart.  I quickly realized everything I thought I was saying right through the years (even just ordering coffee) was not correct.  However, it’s better now than later to break these bad habits. 

Exploring nearby Cres...the town of Lubenice

The class was intense but enjoyable and Linda’s way of speaking and teaching gives me hope that one day my Croatian friends won’t speak English to me.  With two blocks of two-hour sessions, we covered a lot each day and then there was the study time.  Learning so much in a short amount of time was a bit of an overload at times, but there was no better place to catch some fresh sea air and go on a hike then around Lošinj.  The location was perfect, not distracting and allowed me to process and use what I learned at the local café. 

Since I will be spending the summer in Croatia, I hope to improve tremendously and have continued Skype lessons twice a week!  While it might be a long road, I know Croatia will always be a part of me and so one day the language will also.  If you see me around this summer- Hocemo na rivu popiti kavu?

If you are an expat, Croatian living abroad or simply in love with the country, contact Linda on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up your intensive language training or Skype lessons! 

All photos by Ashley Colburn

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • On the A1 motorway at Brinje tunnel in direction Split traffic is flowing with delays due to a traffic accident. During the day delays can be expected in roadwork areas. Weather conditions are favourable. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče in Brinje and Mala Kapela tunnels in both directions till 10 June; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Jankomir and Zaprešić junctions 1st-4th km, between Sveti Križ Začretje and Krapina junctions 38th-41st km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac at Kutina-Ilova bridge (106th km), between Kutina and Novska (117th-120th km) in both directions, between Popovača and Križ junctions (79th-78th km) in direction Zagreb; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June. Till 9 June between 9am and 10am, 8pm and 9pm traffic is occasionally suspended for about 15 minutes on Rijeka detour road at Rujevica junction in both directions. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC47 Lipik-Novska state road at Jagma 7am-7pm. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Inbound passenger traffic is dense at Kaštel, outbound at Kaštel and Plovanija. There are delays of 20 minutes. In outbound freight traffic there are delays at Bajakovo (2 km). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate regularly.
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