I Speak Good Croatian?!

I Speak Good Croatian?!

We have been in Croatia for almost three weeks now. We will soon travel from Split, which is on the Dalmatian Coast, to Plitvice Lakes and then on to the capital, Zagreb. From Zagreb, we take a train to Belgrade, Serbia. Today I went to buy the train tickets from Zagreb to Belgrade. Even though virtually everyone here in Croatia speaks English, I find it polite to ask. “Dobar dan,” I say. Good afternoon. “Govorite li Engleski?” Do you speak English? In a restaurant, the waiter will usually smile, say “Yes, I get you the English menu.” At the train station, the attendant replied in Croatian – something, something Hrvatski. Then she repeated it in English: “You speak very good Croatian.” I laughed and said “Hvala lijepo” – thank you very much. It’s not that I speak Croatian, but I am getting a lot more comfortable with pronunciation and basic greetings. I find that I pick up a few words a day just taking a quick glance at my SpeakSheet to learn how to say “seven” or “excuse me” or “grilled vegetables.” I got the tickets (169 kuna each – about $60 total), gave her a big smile. She said, “Thank You. Goodbye. Virginia!”
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