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Learning Croatian – Phrase of the Day

You know some basic Croatian, enough to get you by, but there is nothing that will impress more than knowing a local phrase or slang that you can slip into a conversation. Croatia Week has launched its ‘Word / Phrase of the Day’, where we will teach you a variety of words and phrases commonly used in Croatia, but not commonly found in language learning material.

Today’s Phrase:

Croatia Week

“Ja u kupe, a ti u špade…”

“Ja u kupe, a ti u špade…” is an old phrase used in Croatia, again with Dalmatian origins, and is usually used when two people are speaking and one will answer another with something that has no relevance to what the other is talking about. One might say politicians are experts at this when answering questions. The literal translation of the phrase relates to suits of playing cards (Italian) – I am playing Cubs (Kupe), and you are playing Swords (špade).

Example:  Q Unemployment is a record 25%, what are your plans to address that problem?
A. The last government did not make any reforms and as a result unemployment rose …ect..ect….the one asking the question may say “Ja u kupe, a ti u špade…”  because the answer, although slightly related to the topic,  had nothing to do with the question.

Recent Phrases

– 20/01/2014 – Di si bija kad je grmilo
– 17/01/2014 – bogu iza nogu
– 16/01/2014 – stara koka, dobra juha
– 15/01/2014 – da ga nema trebalo bi ga izmisliti
– 14/01/2014 –  nit’ smrdi, nit’ mirise

If you have a candidate for ‘Word / Phrase of the Day’, then submit them to [email protected] to be published.

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