Sunday, June 28, 2009

MAL for Serbian

Recently I came across this great site called MAL (Master Any Language) with flash cards, games and lists of words in Serbian and English. It is obviously in an early phase, and there are a few mistakes, which really made me laugh. For instance, for the word 'train' we use 'voz', never 'komora' or for 'hot' we say 'vruć' not 'gorući', and for the part of the body called 'calf', we use 'list', never 'batak' (this is used for poultry or for women's legs in sleng, usu. in Pl 'koji bataci', but this is not suitable translation for a flash card at an official language learning site) :o) Nevertheless, I am sure these mistakes will be corrected.

"noga" or "list" not "batak"!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Clothes in Serbian 2

Part two combines asking questions from part no. 1 (gde je / gde su) with answers (ona je u + ormanU (suffix '-u' for masc. nouns denotes the locative case). Take a look at the example examples:

1. CIPELE (Fem - Pl)
a. Gde su cipele? (Where are the shoes)
b. One su u ormanu. (They are in the cupboard)

2. KUPAĆI KOSTIM (Masc. - Sg)
a. Gde je kupaći kostim?
b. On je u ormanu.

5. ODELO (Neuter - Sg)
a. Gde je odelo?
b. Ono je u ormanu.

Now you can continue:

3. JAKNA (Fem - Sg)
4. CIPELE (Fem - Pl)
5. ODELO (Neut - Sg)
6. ŠAL (Masc - Sg)
7. HALJINA (Fem - Sg)
8 / 10. GAĆE (Fem - Pl)
9. POTKOŠULJA (Fem - Sg)
11. RUKAVICE (Fem - Pl)
12. ŠORC (Masc - Sg)
13. ČARAPE (Fem - Pl)
14. ČIZME (Fem - Pl)
15. PRSLUK (Masc - Sg)

Sg Masculine (he) ON
Sg Feminine (she) ONA
Sg Neuter (it) ONO
Pl Masculine (they) ONI
Pl Feminine (they) ONE
Pl Neuter (they) ONA

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Personal Pronouns in Serbian

Personal pronouns in Serbian

Once you start learning Serbian you will be taught the most basic words, usually together with the verb to be, and these are the personal pronouns:

  • Ja = I
  • Ti = you (for one person, informal = for members of the family, people we know well, younger people than we are)
  • Vi = You (for one person, formal = used at work, in formal situations, with people you don't know or want to show respect. Children use this form to talk to adults. This form is not common among the members of the family, though.)
  • On = he
  • Ona = she
  • Ono = it
  • Mi = we
  • Vi = you (more than one)
  • Oni = they for masculine
  • One = they for feminine
  • Ona = they for neuter
You can hear the pronunciation of the personal pronouns in Serbian in the following video where Jeremy practices the verb to be:

Present Tense Conjugation in Serbian

April u __________ by Zdravko Čolić

Listen to this lovely song and fill in the gaps. In order to be able to determine the right form, the corresponding subjects are highlighted red. If you need more info or practice on "u + location", check out the new blog post about the Locative case.

______________ (prolaziti) i ______________ (vraćati) se s lastama
Sunčani i nasmijani dani
_________ (biti) u mojoj duši proljeće,
da l'
_________ (biti) djevojka il' žena sada ti?

April u Beograd__ uzaludno
(ja) ______________ (tražiti)
Usne jedne djevojke sto se divno
______________ (maziti)April u Beograd_ ____________ (milovati) joj kosu
Ispod Savskog mosta
to ____________ (biti) možda ona
Al' je
drugi _______________ (ljubiti). ______________ (prolaziti) i ______________ (vraćati) se s lastama
Sunčani i nasmijani dani
_________ (biti) u mojoj duši proljeće,
da l'
_________ (biti) djevojka il' žena sada ti?

April u Beograd__ jedno prošlo doba
(ja)_______________ (nositi) ga u mislima iz vojnickih soba
April u Beograd__ umorno se
______________ (smešiti)
Ispod savskog mosta dok se sumrak ___________ (spremati)
vise mene
_______________ (nemati).

Locative in Serbian

Locative in Serbian

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Part one:

Prolaze i vraćaju se s (with sparrows)
Sunčani i nasmijani (plural of "day" = dan)
opet je u proljeće, (my soul)
da l' si djevojka il' sada ti? (woman)


April u (Belgrade) uzaludno tražim
Usne jedne djevojke sto se divno mazi.
April u (Belgrade) miluje joj (hair in Acc.)
Ispod savskog mosta to je možda (she)
Al' je drugi ljubi.

Part one again

Chorus (a bit changed):
April u , jedno prošlo (age)
nosim ga u (thoughts) iz vojničkih soba
April u umorno se smeši
Ispod savskog mosta dok se (dusk) sprema
više mene nema.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Clothes in Serbian 1

If I write down the words in Serbian for items 1 to 15, could you please ask 15 questions starting either by 'GDE JE...' or 'GDE SU...' (Where is... Where are...). Look at the example 1. and 4.
1. Gde je kapa?
4. Gde su pantalone?
You can write the answer in the comment, or practise asking questions by listening to the newly set up Youtube, LearnSerbian :o)

  1. KAPA
  3. KAIŠ
  5. ŠAL
  6. GAĆE
  9. ŠEŠIR
  10. PATIKE
  11. JAKNA
  15. MAJICA

Monday, June 1, 2009

Language learning tip - reading

Comparative reading exercise using the BBC website. First choose a popular story from BBC Serbian & then choose the same story the English (French) or whatever language you use.

It is not quite parallel text reading but it will help you in gaining more of a gist of the story in Serbian. An example is:


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