Written by: Olivera Tolimir
Have you finally determined to learn Serbian? That’s great! But now you need to decide on a technique you’ll use. Possibilities are unlimited – group classes, individual classes, learning on your own, or a specific combination of the above. If you’re thinking about learning by yourself but aren’t sure if it’s possible, the answer is – yes, it is!
There are numerous reasons people decide not to take formal classes in a foreign language. One of the main problems is time. When you take group or individual lessons, you must choose 2 or 3 days per week and a term. That wouldn’t be a problem if most people didn’t have many other responsibilities besides the Serbian classes. There are work/school, a sport, a hobby, and so on. So, when you try to squeeze in an extra activity in your busy schedule, it can become a problem. That’s why learning Serbian on your own is a great solution – you can manage your time however you like, without having to adjust to other people’s schedules.
Another problem with taking a foreign language course is usually money, especially if you opt for individual classes.
Because of these reasons, we made you a list of 6 ways to learn Serbian on your own!
Listen to Serbian Music
Listening to Serbian music can do wonders if you want to learn Serbian. The important thing here is to think about the lyrics. Don’t end up enjoying the groove and forgetting why you started listening to a particular song. Of course, choosing the kind of music you like is a must! Combine work and pleasure by selecting the rhythm you enjoy, and then translate the lyrics and try to sing along!
Watch Serbian Movies and TV-Shows
You’ve probably familiar with this advice but maybe still struggle with its implementation.
Many people find it pointless to watch a movie in a foreign language because they can’t understand anything. If you dislike Serbian films for this reason, first find movies that have subtitles in your mother tongue. That way, you’ll be able to follow everything happening on the screen.
If you’re from an English-speaking area, chances are you find movies with subtitles repulsing because you’re used to watching everything in your native language. So, the crucial thing for you is to get used to the subtitles. First, don’t even focus on learning Serbian. Focus on getting used to movies with subtitles.
Start with some famous films that you postponed watching because of the subtitles. We promise you’ll like them so much that you’ll find it worth struggling with reading and following the action simultaneously. Of course, the struggle will exist only at the beginning.
Very soon, you’ll get so used to it that you won’t even remember why you put off watching so many fantastic movies!
OK, but what if you don’t focus on what the characters say as long as there are subtitles? It’s also a common problem because of the expectation that you’ll be able to get everything said in a movie from one watching. If you have this expectation, you’ll probably end up disappointed. But there’s no place for feeling bad!
Of course, you won’t learn all Serbian phrases from one film. It’s a slow and steady process. From the first two movies, you’ll probably learn to say “dobar dan” (good afternoon) and “doviđenja” (goodbye). And that’s fine! With time, you’ll recognize more and more phrases, and your brain will connect them with the corresponding situation on screen! Just don’t give up after a movie or two, and you’ll enjoy getting to understand more with each episode or film.
A good exercise is to choose an often used word and practice catching it every time it occurs. This game will help you subconsciously connect that word with words that often accompany it, and voila – you’ve already learned some new phrases!
Write a Diary in Serbian
You don’t have to write your most hidden feelings and fear in your Serbian diary! Start by writing at what time you got up and what you ate. After a few days, try to describe an engaging event from that day.
If you can’t recall a word, look it up! We guarantee you’ll remember that word faster than those you’re trying to memorize from a notebook. You’ll learn Serbian faster if you create your content than if you study sentences you rarely use.
Use the Help of the Native Speakers
If you live in the Serbian-speaking area, use it! Ask your friends to correct you when you make a mistake, and ask them for words you need in certain situations. You can use this advice even if you don’t live in Serbia, but come here for the holidays. If you’ve decided to visit the Beer Fest next year, ask your Serbian friends and family how to order a drink, or ask for directions.
Don’t let them do the work for you, use a real-time situation to practice your skills!
Take a Self-Paced Course
If you’re a beginner who likes to get things clear before starting to write or talk to Serbs, a self-paced online Serbian course is a perfect solution for you! An online Serbian course is a great choice because you get the best combination of having a Serbian teacher and doing things at your pace. This way, your professional guide makes sure you don’t have to do everything by yourself, but you avoid the stress that goes with the appointments.
Our online beginner Serbian courses contain more than 40 video lessons and 150+ exercises and games to help you practice your skills and learn Serbian. Also, if you’re unsure how to find Serbian movies or don’t have time for feature-length films right now, we made you Serbian videos with English subtitles! Now you can practice everything you need to learn Serbian, and it’s all in one place!
Although completing the course shouldn’t take more than two months, you’ll get two-year access to the material. This way, you can pace your learning process in a way it suits you and your needs.