Croatian For Travellers

A Few Words About Croatian Pronunciation

Croatian pronunciation is relatively easy! Croatian words are pronounced exactly how they are spelt. This may not be such great advice to those who are having trouble reading Croatian but it is just a reminder that all letters and syllables in words are pronounced and there are no silent letters. (Unlike in English!)

As a general rule of thumb, Croatian vowels are short. You can see in the table below and approximation of how to pronounce these letters.

Croatian Alphabet

There are 30 letters in the Croatian alphabet. They are

a, b, c, č, ć, d, dž, đ, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, lj, m, n, nj, o, p, r, s, š, t, u, v, z, ž

There is no q, w, x or y in the Croatian alphabet.

Croatian Pronunciation of Letters

Any letters not included in the table below are pronounced the same as in English.

Letter in
Croatian alphabet
clike ts in lets 
(considered a ‘hard’ c)
 like ch in church
(considered a ‘soft’ c)
 like ch in cheese
similar to J in June 
đ like j in jam
glike g in game 
h like h in ham
 like y in yacht
lj  like l in lure
nj like the Spanish ñ
š like sh in sheep
žlike s in measure 
 like a in sofa
 like e in met
like ee in feet 
like o in dog 
 like oo in boot

Pronunciation of places names in Croatia

How about practising and trying out the Croatian pronunciation of some famous places in the country? Give it a go!

Zagrebza-greba short a and with a trilled r
Dubrovnikdoo-brov-nikemphasis is on first syllable, not the second! 
Splitsame as in English! 
Rovinjroh-veenwith a trilled r 
Porecpoh-rech with a trilled r 
Makarska mah-car-ska  
Zadar za-dara short a and with a trilled r
Sibenik shi-ben-ik 
Hvar Slightly dfficult to explain…try ‘var’ with an h sound at the beginningNOT Ha-var! 
Bracbrachwith a trilled r 
Vis as written! 
Korcula cor-chu-la 
Krkakr-kahwith a trilled r 
Brijuni bree-you-nee 
Trogirtroh-gearwith trilled r-s