Written By Igor Beloš
So you are wondering how to learn Serbian properly. Let’s be honest. Learning a new language is not an easy thing. You have to start all over again, spend hours and hours learning new words and trying to understand the new grammar.
Learning Serbian is not an exception. On the contrary, some say that learning Serbian is actually quite a challenge since the Serbian language has two official scripts and seven different cases.
Yep. Seven cases.
We have put together a small list of things to help you keep your eyes on the road.
Too many people start learning Serbian trying to learn ćirilica (the cyrillic script) right away and focussing on grammar and padeži (the cases) from the very beginning on.
While this is not necessarily wrong, it will most certainly demotivate you very quickly.
The key to not giving up is to start small.
Focus on very basic phrases in the beginning and start with the Latin alphabet. Learn how to introduce yourself in Serbian and lead very basic conversations.
Being able to have just a bit of small talk in Serbian will definitely boost your confidence and give you the motivation to keep going.
Nobody has ever completely learnt a new language in a month or two.
The truth is, if you’re not a complete language genius, it is going to take time.
Do not expect yourself to speak Serbian fluently in just a couple of weeks. Success is not going to come over night. Rather than that, try to enjoy the process.
Be proud of your courage. Be proud of your determination to learn Serbian. And share your process with other people who might be in the same situation.
Check out one of our student’s youtube channel for some inspiration.
Have a Plan
Okay. So, you have decided that you want to learn Serbian. But what now?
The next thing you should consider is making a plan.
Creating a plan forces you to think about the different ways you can achieve your goal. And it gives you a method to keep track of your progress.
Keep in mind that it is important to start small. So don’t create a plan where you need to learn 20 new Serbian words every day from day 1.
Start with a plan that is achievable. Such as listening to Serbian music on your way to work or taking a Serbian lesson every week.
Listen Serbian as Much as You Can
The two best and most fun ways to learn Serbian are listening to Serbian music and watching Serbian movies.
Fortunately, the whole ex-yugoslav region produces a lot of really good music. Find artists that you enjoy listening to and try to understand what they are singing.
It can be especially helpful if you look at the lyrics and translate words that you don’t understand.
Watching Serbian/ex-yu movies or series can be a very fun way to practice your listening skills and enrich your vocabulary as well. You can find many domaći filmovi on youtube for free.
Speak as Much as You Can
If you are learning Serbian, chances are that you have some relative, partner, or friend who is Serbian and who speaks Serbian fluently.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to speak in Serbian with you. They might be hesitant at first but will surely be glad to help you practice your speaking skills with them.
Speaking Serbian with people who are close to you can boost your confidence and help you understand how the language is used in everyday situations.
Take Serbian Lessons
There is a lot you can do to learn Serbian on your own. But how to learn Serbian better than with a good Serbian teacher and regular Serbian lessons.
Having a certain amount of fixed Serbian lessons every week will give you the opportunity to speak and listen to Serbian on a regular basis.
But probably even more importantly, a Serbian teacher will guide and lead you through the process, give you a structured way to learn Serbian and force you to do your homework and practice on your own as well.
Taking regular Serbian lessons will help you advance more quickly and definitely keep you more motivated on your journey.
If you have a hard time finding a proper teacher in your city, online Serbian lessons might be helpful to you.
At BLS, we offer customized Serbian online lessons where you get to learn from experienced Serbian professors who live in Belgrade. Contact us for a free Serbian trial lesson!