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

  • Traffic is heavy on the roads towards the coast and the continent, on the roads to tourist centers along the coast and in ferry ports. Drivers are invited to adjust the driving speed to road conditions and also to keep the safety distance. Today (21/22 July from 10pm to 6am) on the Adriatic road (DC8) in Rijeka in the underpass Žabica traffic will be proceeding over one lane in both directions. Traffic ban on freight vehicles exceeding 7.5 t on some roads in Istria and in the coastal area: -Saturday, 22 July from 4 am to 2 am -Sunday, 23 July from noon (12:00) to 11 pm. There is no traffic ban on the motorways and on the state road DC1. Sections of the roads closed due to roadworks: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb) between Gornji Stupnik and Svetonedeljska street -on the state road 29 from Novi Golubovec (crossroad DC29, DC35) -on the DC502 Smilčić-Pridraga state road. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only: -on the DC1 state road in Knin until 31st July; -on the DC1 state road at Mostanje and on the section Sučević-Otrić. -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road. With the sunny and dry weather, more and more cyclists and motorists are on the roads. Other vehicles (such as cars or trucks) should look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Check your mirrors and be aware of blind spots before turning. While at a stop sign or red light, make a complete stop in order to let bikers pass, and check for unseen riders. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you. Cyclists are not immune to traffic violations: pay attention to red lights and practice arm signaling!
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  • Due to roadworks in Slovenia between Ptuj and the border crossing Gruškovje (Macelj) there are occasionally queues. Expect hold-ups especially during the weekend. Due to traffic density and occasional additional controls, during the day longer waiting times are possible at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • All ferries and catamarans are operating according to the schedule.
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