How well I recall the first time that I heard it ….. Oni dolaze s otoka.
What!? They coming with an island? That sounds difficult. They must have quite a big truck! And I hope that they are not intending to come with that island named Australia ……
And then I thought … Hang on! If they are coming with an island, shouldn’t it be Oni dolaze s otokom? You know, instrumental case for “with”.
I needed help. One more question for my teacher Mateja at SpeakCro. She explained.
Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! I didn’t know that! Here is how it goes ..
“I am going to Croatia” is, in Croatian, Idem u Hrvatsku. [Focus on u]
And “I am coming from Croatia” is Dolazim iz Hrvatske. [Focus on iz]
And, another exemplar pair ….
“They are walking to the town centre.” is Šetaju u centar. [centar, after u is in akuzativ]
“They are walking from the town centre.” is Šetaju iz centra. [centra, after iz is in genitiv]
And so, of course, Mi idemo u Imotski, i oni dolaze iz Imotskog.
Well that much seemed easy enough … The preposition meaning “to” is u, and the preposition meaning “from” is iz.
Ali, požuri polako!
Mateja reminded me (I was embarrassed that she had to!) that sometimes in Croatian, the preposition that we use for “to” is na.
Idem na sveučilište. I am going to the university.
Ide na plažu. He/she is going to the beach.
Idemo na koncert. We are going to the concert.
Idu na otok. They are going to the island. [In each case, the noun after na is in akuzativ]
Elsewhere, I have a post Learning Croatian: Which preposition “u” or “na”. [Click to go]
And what about: “I am coming from the university”?
DRUM ROLL … Da da, da da, da da!
Dolazim sa sveučilišta. !!!!!!!
Mateja told me that in those situations for which we use na in “going to”, we use sa (or s) in “coming from”. I didn’t know that! And it does not mean "with".
And following sa/s, the noun is in genitiv.
Odlazimo trajektom s otoka Hvara (iz Sučuraja)
We are leaving by ferry from the island Hvar (from Sučuraj)
Tužan sam! We had a wonderful holiday with friends in Jelsa, and my father's village Zastražišće. The time has come to depart from the village of Sučuraj on the eastern tip of otok Hvar.
Trajekt dolazi u Drvenik.
The ferry comes to the town of Drvenik, on the mainland. Behind Drvenik is the Biokovo mountain range.
Simple: iz goes with u, and s/sa goes with na:
To take things just a little further ...
Odakle su Nevenka i Nenad? Where are Nevenka and Nenad from?
Nevenka je s otoka Brača, i Nenad je iz Zagreba.
A gentle challenge:
The videos above portray a ferry trip from otok Hvar to the town Drvenik. How would you translate a description of the return trip: "We left from Drvenik and went to otok Hvar"?
Learning Croatian is so easy! Isn't it?
Answer to the challenge:
Išli smo iz Drvenika i došli smo na otok Hvar.
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