Monday, 15 February 2021

People also ask Google: Do They Speak English in Croatia?

February 15, 2021 - Google knows what people are searching for, and there are clues in the 'People Also Ask' prompt. So let's answer - do they speak English in Croatia?

Do they speak English in Croatia?

Short answer: Yes

The majority of Croatians speak at least one other language. According to polls, 80% of Croatians are multilingual. Within that high percentage of multilingual Croatians, a huge 81% speak English.

The next most popular language spoken by multilingual Croats is German (49%) followed by Italian (24%). English is better spoken in Croatia than in any other country of southern and eastern Europe (except Poland).

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Regional differences: Do they speak English in Croatia on the coast and islands?

Yes. Along with the capital city of Zagreb, the coast of Croatia and the islands are where you'll definitely find Croatians speaking English. Tourism in Croatia has been developing since the 1960s. Even when the country was a republic within the federation of Yugoslavia, Croatia was visited by many international tourists.

Young people from all over Croatia travel to the coast to work jobs in hotels, bars and restaurants. Speaking English to a high standard is usually part of the job specification. It is almost impossible to imagine that you would visit any hotel, bar or restaurant on the Croatian coast and find that nobody speaks English. In Zagreb, over 80% of people speak English.

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The rest of Croatia - do Croatia speak English?

Proficiency in speaking other languages varies by region. It is true to say that the further you travel from the most popular tourist trails in Croatia, the likelihood of you coming across people who don't speak English (or who don't speak English well) increases. But, that's not to say they are not multilingual.

In Istria, northwest Croatia, a full 95% of the population speaks another language. Many young people in Istria can speak English, Croatian and Italian.

Over the course of its history, Croatia has existed under the influence of invading or occupying empires. You'll find Turkish words in the language used in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, left over from the time the Ottomans were here. Italy once occupied much of Istria and Kvarner in the country's northwest and, here, you'll find Italian being spoken.

Similarly, Croatia is influenced by its neighbours. But, not all parts of Croatia have the same neighbours. Different neighbouring countries have had an effect on Croatia's different dialects and on the second language Croatians in these regions speak.

In Slavonia, eastern Croatia, and in other, more rural parts of the country's continental regions, you would traditionally find fewer people who speak English. This is because these regions weren't always visited by tourists. But, things are changing. Continental Croatia is opening up to tourism more and more. As a result, more and more people there are speaking or learning to speak English.

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Age differences: Younger and older – Can Croatians Speak English?

Well, yes and no. 95% of Croatians between the ages of 15 and 34 speak at least one foreign language. Bravo! English is by far the most common second language of Croatians in this age group. These days, Croatian children learn the English language continuously over an average of 8 years while at school. They also improve their fluency by playing online games with international players, listening to English language music and watching English language television and movies. Unlike Germany, where TV series and films are dubbed into German for broadcast on national television, in Croatia, British and American films and programmes are shown in their original language, with subtitles underneath in Croatian.

Do they speak English in Croatia if they are above the age of 34? Yes, many Croatians above the age of 34 do speak English, particularly those who have been educated since Croatia gained independence and those who work in tourism-related activities or bigger city businesses. With Croatians who were educated prior to independence, their second language may depend on just how old they are and in which geographical region they live and have worked. In the country's northwest, Italian is the most common second language of the oldest multilingual Croats. Elsewhere, German is predominantly the second language of people in this age range. Some Croatians, depending on their age and education, may even have learned Russian (although you are much more likely to encounter Russian as the second most commonly spoken language if you instead visit Montenegro).

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Two very important things to remember if you're asking “Do they speak English in Croatia?”

If you're asking the question “Do they speak English in Croatia?”, it's probably because you're thinking of visiting the country. Or, you might be thinking about doing business here. If so, here are two handy tips.

1) Don't be put off from going anywhere in Croatia for fear they don't speak English

Often, the further away from the tourist trail you travel, the more authentically Croatian your experience will be in Croatia. Croatia's less well-known regions are a goldmine of incredible gastronomy, breathtaking landscapes and fascinating culture, traditions, arts & crafts.

If you're heading to a less well-travelled region, people may show slightly more surprise in hearing English spoken because they're not used to it. A small percentage of younger people in continental Croatia may take a little persuasion, patience and kindness in speaking English with you. This is probably because they are shy or not confident about their spoken English. The teaching of English in Croatia is generally very good, but there are some educators who prioritise grammar and pronunciation above the general understanding that is more important to you as a visitor. Perfect grammar and pronunciation don't come easily to every single student of English, which is why you may encounter reticence to speak English from a very small minority of young Croatians. But, almost all will have learned English and will speak the language to some degree (usually, to a much better standard than they believe they do!)

2) Politeness goes a long way – if you're in Croatia, you're a guest in someone else's country

The high level of multilingualism in Croatia and the widespread ability to speak English is indicative of efforts by Croatians to welcome and accommodate visitors. Any reciprocal efforts made by visitors to engage with Croatians in their own language will be met impressively, with surprise and with warmth. You'll endear yourself to Croatians by learning some basic words (maybe even a couple of phrases) before you visit. Dobar dan (Good day), Molim (Please/Excuse me), Hvala (Thank you), Dobro Jutro (Good morning), Imate li... (Do you have...?), Može (May I/Can I/You may/You can/Can do!) are easy, obvious and useful places to start. Do they speak English in Croatia could easily be answered with "Well, do you speak Croatian in Croatia?"

Conclusion: Do they speak English in Croatia?

Yes. They do speak English in Croatia. Most places you will go in Croatia, you will be met by people who can speak English. The vast majority of these speak English extremely well.

If you have any suggestions to add to this resource, please send a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject: English speaking in Croatia. 

To follow the People Also Ask Google about Croatia series, click here

Monday, 18 January 2021

Google Data Centre California Covered by 120,000 Varazdin Solar Panels

January 16, 2021 – Just as the white stone of Croatia was once exported globally to help build some of our most iconic buildings, Varazdin solar panels will be used atop the domes of one of the contemporary world's biggest businesses - the Google Data Centre in California

From the statues of Ivan Meštrović to the white stone of Dalmatian mines (like the famous one that still works on the island of Brac), Croatia has a long history of exports within the fields of aesthetics and architecture. A whole new eco-friendly tag is now being added to that reputation as one Croatian company prepares to send 120,000 Varazdin solar panels to cover Google's Data Centre in California. The purchase is part of the company's drive towards relying on carbon-free energy solutions.

The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will be provided by Croatian company Solvis, who have held a contract with the California-based global search engine for quite some time. The 120,000 Varazdin solar panels will cover newly constructed domes at their Data Collection Centre in California, just a short distance from the company's global headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The contract for the 120,000 Varazdin solar panels and continuing co-operation with Solvis is, according to a recent article in Croatia's Jutarnji List, worth in excess of 10 million Euros.

Search engine Google is currently the most popular of its kind. Although it is based in California in the United States of America, where the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin will be situated, it has properties all over the world. The purchase of the 120,000 solar panels from Varazdin is part of a drive for Google to equip all its buildings in the world with solar panels. Therefore, if the business between Google and the Varazdin company is successful, it could lead to more orders and an extended collaboration with the northern Croatia company.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Google Search Croatia: What Did Croatia Google Search Most in 2020?

December 9, 2020 – It's been a funny old year. Funny as in unusual. Not so much funny haha. The extraordinary nature of the year is reflected in the most-popular Croatia Google search list for 2020, which has just been published. This year's searches hold a stark contrast to last year's.

In 2019, the end-of-year list for Croatia Google search was dominated by results for sporting fixtures, celebrities and entertainment. Although the EU election results and the long-running teacher's strike in Croatia also scored highly in 2019, this year has been dominated by searches of an even more serious and pressing nature.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the number one Croatia Google search for 2020 was Coronavirus. The global pandemic is likely to top lists all over the world. In this country, its ramifications also created several other high-ranking inclusions on the Croatia Google search list 2020.

Software Google Classroom and Office 365 za škole also feature in the top 10 Croatia Google search list 2020, as parents and students coped with the closure of teaching institutions and prepared to learn and receive lectures online. Another piece of online tech that features in the top 10 was ePropusnica, the travel pass required for inter-regional travel and international travel by car during the various stages of lockdown. If these results are anything to go by, Coronavirus has dominated the lives of Croatians in 2020.

Another big Croatia Google search term in 2020 was Zagreb earthquake. For anyone in Zagreb at the time of the first large tremor, this will also come as little surprise – it was the biggest earthquake experienced for 100 years in Croatia, and it came without warning. Though lasting just a few seconds, there was no reaction more immediate than that of city residents, who ran out into the streets partially clothed. Thousands must have searched the term to find out what was happening, and also after many of the hundreds of aftershocks that have followed.

Here's the list of biggest Croatia Google search terms in 2020

The most-popular Croatia Google search terms in 2020

1. Koronavirus
2. Google Classroom
3. Office 365 za škole
4. Potres Zagreb (Earthquake Zagreb)
5. Kobe Bryant
6. ePropusnica
7. Izbori SAD (US elections)
8. DIP
9. Joe Biden
10. Masoni (Masons)

The most-popular Croatia Google search apps in 2020

1. ePropusnice
2. Zoom
3. Andrija

The most-popular Croatia Google search events in 2020

1. Potres (Earthquake)
2. Izbori SAD (US elections)
3. Izbori (elections) 

Aside from the inclusion of the Masons (freemasons), the list is understandable on an international level. It perhaps tells us something about how Croatians use the search engine and how well they respect it as a source for delivering credible information. With Coronavirus vaccines now announced and, all hope, the biggest potential earthquake out of the way, for now, it's understandable for most Croatians to be looking forward to the return of more trivial matters dominating their Google searches in 2021.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Where is... Croatia?

Google offers insights into yearly search trends. You can look at global trends, and more importantly and more tellingly you can search by countries.

I looked first into Croatia's search trends and found that other than the World Cup the two most searched terms were Istanbul Convention and The Bride of Istanbul. A layer of sports, a layer of something that was supposed to be a simple continuation of human rights movement aimed at helping women to live a life free from violence turned into heavy ideological battle and layer of Turkish soap operas. Don't really know what to make of all of that.

Anyhow, turning to the search trends in 2018 in USA revealed that the most popular search terms were voting, how to vote, where to vote and hurricanes, as well as the World Cup. I assume that search trends for the USA are the most comprehensive, as I have not gone country by country to verify this claim and offer the most varied results. One of the categories is named “Where is…”. The number one, the most searched place in the USA is Villanova University, whose Men's Basketball team won the NCAA National Championship in 2018.

However, the number two, the second most searched place among the Google users, which is pretty much all the internet users in USA, is Croatia. That's right! Where is Croatia?

Now, what to make of this. We can assume that almost nobody in the USA knows where Croatia is. I would say that this is probably correct to an extent, but not entirely. Americans are generally not famous as the greatest connoisseurs of geography, but then again Croatia is a small country in South East Europe and they generally do not have loads of reasons to look up where it is on the map. Until this year. This year Croatia was a runner up in the World Cup, the second-best football team in world, in the greatest sporting event on the planet.

That prompted millions, tens of millions of Americans to search for Croatia and to learn a thing or two about Croatia. That is simply amazing. Single-handedly, Croatian football players have placed their country at the top of the world’s interest, in a very positive manner, and now we have a statistical proof of that.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article entitled “What is our famous?“, in which I've asked myself and the readers just that, what are we famous for? And besides the natural beauty, which is unarguably a very limited and perishable resource, and not unique by any stretch of the imagination, there was little evidence that others consider us famous for almost anything else. Until football, that is. We are now officially famous as a footballing nation.

I do not pertain to know exactly how to translate this into marketable content which will drive both investments and tourism into Croatia, but it must be one of leading stories, something akin to New Zealand’s All Blacks, which is also famous among other things for its natural beauty, that should be central to the branding of the country.

The message about Croatia’s Vatreni (national football team), and their success, alongside the visual of the checkered dress carries intrinsically within it all the promotion emotions of actualization, success, happiness, elation and has a true human connection. And the future is going to be about emotions, and this story has all the right elements to it. With some of the traditional tourist markets coming back to the scene, after a few years of turmoil, we can’t be relying anymore on the prevention emotions of safety and security and rather non-descript emotion of natural beauty.

People are looking for more, looking for ways to better themselves, to achieve the most out of their human potential, and what better way than to invite them to come to the most sporting country in the world, to the country that has written some of the most amazing sporting stories of the XXI century?

Fixing Croatia's overburdensome bureaucracy, easing one of the most heavily taxed systems in the world and increasing trust in the judiciary should happen alongside as well, but let’s focus now on the promotion of what is easy to promote - the greatest sporting nation in the world.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Total Croatia News Joins the Google News Family

A Google boost for the international exposure of Total Croatia News.

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