How To Learn Serbian For The First Time

It takes a lot of effort and dedication to learn a new language for the first time. So, I will give you 4 important things to consider before starting and 4 tips on how to learn the Serbian language the easy way.

Serbian is a very beautiful and rich language, and that fact says a lot about the Serbian people.

I’m not gonna lie to you, it takes a lot of effort and dedication to learn Serbian for the first time. As for all other languages, there are only two ways of learning Serbian, which is generally accepted and most often applied in practice.

The first way is to try to master this language on your own. Another option is to enroll in a Serbian language course.

Let’s make one thing clear, you can take as many private and individual classes as you want, but you will achieve little if you don’t work on progress on your own.

Many different variables need to be considered before getting the answer to the question of how to learn Serbian:

Alphabet

Two alphabets are used in the Serbian language: the Cyrillic and the Latin. The two alphabets are almost equivalent. The only difference is in the glyphs usage.

Cyrillic is a traditional script in Serbian, in the form given by Vuk Karadzic. His principle was completely implemented in Cyrillic: “one letter per sound” in the 19th century. You can trust what you hear and what you read. Each letter is one sound, each sound has its letter, and there are only 30 of them. Its standardized form is clearly audible, and the words and syllables are very distinguishable.

The Latin alphabet is also phonetic, but some double letters are pronounced as one sound. Luckily for foreigners, it can be found everywhere (menu in restaurant or bar, train stations, bus stations… ) and they don’t need to learn Cyrillic to be able to function if they visit Serbia.

Where Foreigners Mostly Make Mistakes

From meeting people all over Europe and the world, both on trips and meeting them in my country, I try to convey the spirit of Serbia and, among other things, introduce them to our language. Many of them had a problem with learning numbers, and especially pronouncing words that contain the sounds: ć, č, đ, š, dž, lj, or nj. As they repeated the word a few times, aware that they were mispronouncing it, they spoke louder and louder. Such situations often made us laugh to tears.

Vocabulary

Serbian is a European language, but there are not many similar words to other languages from Europe, except other Slavic languages. This shouldn’t be a surprise. No one can tell exactly how old some languages are, but we can guess that Serbian is pretty old, and we know that when we compare it to other Slavic languages.

Cases

Serbian has seven cases, just like Latin. Words that can be declined through cases are the following: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and numbers. But that is not all, as all of these words have grammatical gender and number. There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neutral, and two numbers: singular and plural. Every group of words has its own declension form, and there are even several different forms among these groups.

4 Tips For Learning The Serbian Language

Motivation To Learn A Foreign Language

One of the essential things we need to do to speak a foreign language is to develop the need to learn it. If we are not motivated, sooner or later, we will stop learning. It is strange when we need a new word, and we cannot fully express our thoughts. When we are motivated, we will immediately want to learn it.

Then we come to the question of how to learn a language. One thing is for sure: no perfect or universal method will satisfy absolutely everyone’s needs. So each of us must discover and develop our own method, which should be a mixture of several different learning styles.

Organization Of Language Learning Time

It’s true that we live in a world in which time is considered precious. Many of us feel that we don’t have enough time for our family, let alone for learning foreign languages.

However, we waste a lot of time in transportation, while waiting in line at the checkout, while waiting for a program to be installed on a laptop, or simply in frequent and unnecessary leisure, whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not.

In order to not feel like we are wasting time, we can use it to learn new words or repeat old ones by, for example, listening to audiobooks in the elevator or a traffic jam.

How To Learn Serbian Words And Phrases

You should avoid remembering individual words (by all means) because in that way our speech will sound fragmented and unconnected. It is best to remember phrases or whole expressions. It is very useful to think in whole sentences and with the feeling, they evoke in us.

We have to make our own examples with new phrases and grammatical units, those that are close to us. A very important thing is to get into the habit of making associations in your head, to graphically represent words to yourself. If we make fun phrases, we will learn new words faster.

However, without repeating and using all these phrases, our knowledge will be partial and temporary. You can use the Ling App to learn new Serbian words and phrases in a fast and fun way.

Make Mistakes

This is where we come to the most important moment, speaking. We need to talk as much as possible and make as many mistakes. Mistakes are an integral part of learning and that is something we have to accept.

No one manages to learn a foreign language without making a mistake at some point. At first, we don’t have to worry about using the wrong time, case, or expression. It is important that we try to talk and understand each other, which is the primary purpose of language.

Final Thoughts

With a good professor, appropriate literature, hanging out with friends whose mother tongue is Serbian — success is guaranteed. Patience and willpower are very important, as well as goal setting at the start. Although many people say that it is difficult, the Serbian language is beautiful, sonorous, and fluent to foreigners.

It is much more reliable to learn a language with a mentor, but there are also those who think that they will learn Serbian best in everyday contact with people. Using language learning apps can also be of great help if you want to master Serbian.

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