Last year, approximately 21,000 work permits were issued in Croatia for citizens of Nepal, and one of the biggest challenges for Nepalese workers in Croatia is the language barrier. In order to facilitate communication, the first Nepali-English-Croatian dictionary was created and presented to the Varaždin County Prefect, Anđelko Stričak, by the owner of the foreign workers' import agency, Dr. Joso Vuksan.
"At the end of 2021, we first addressed the topic of integrating third-country foreign workers at a session of the County Assembly. At that time, there were around 2,000 foreign workers in our area. Today, there are about 8,000. The integration of foreign workers is an important social issue; without them, our economy would struggle to survive. Therefore, it is essential to take care of these people. They live and work here, and we need to help them integrate into our society as smoothly as possible,” said Prefect Stričak to Večernji list.
Dr. Vuksan stated that the dictionary includes not only a textual part but also visual descriptions of specific terms. "The creation of this dictionary is one of the significant steps in the integration of foreign workers. The Croatian-English-Nepali dictionary, created for Nepalese citizens, should facilitate communication both in daily life and at work. In addition to basic terms such as 'good day,' 'please,' 'come in,' and 'how are you,' the dictionary also contains sentences used in everyday life, names of body parts, days of the week, seasons, names of emergency services, tools, basic groceries, and more. The visual description of terms complements the textual part for faster absorption of information," he said.
The first Croatian-English-Nepali dictionary was handed over to the Public Open University. Varaždin County is introducing Croatian language courses for foreign workers through the voucher system, and the development of the curriculum is underway. The majority of foreign citizens are employed in construction, manufacturing, and tourism.
The Nepali language belongs to the group of East Pahari languages, spoken by about 14 million people. In Nepal, more than 11 million inhabitants use it, and it is also present in India and Bhutan. The largest number of residence and work permits throughout Croatia has been issued to citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by Serbia in second place, and Nepal in third. India, North Macedonia, the Philippines, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Albania follow. Around 200,000 work permits are expected to be issued this year.