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Showing posts from 2013

Let's Practice Serbian Cyrillic Script - Part 2

A student of mine suggested I could integrate practising the Cyrillic script into the grammar test video lessons. Let's give it a try today with the following lesson which is a part of Serbian 102 course:

As usual, the answer key will be here tomorrow :) For more Serbian phrases in Cyrillic with really slow pronunciation check out this course.

Learning Serbian with Songs

While I was creating a playlist of the most well known ex-Yu series for my advanced Serbian students the other day, I stumbled upon this great video of the famous "Slovenska" song by Đorđe Balašević. I'm sure you'll find the perfectly synced lyrics  really helpful. Here's also a link to the translation.
Enjoy it !

Serbian Language for Kids

If you enjoyed learning Serbian by watching Neven or Poletarac or Kefalica, I am sure you will love  "Slovo na Slovo" series, too :)

Places in the City - Video Exercise

If you haven't been to Novi Sad, you'll surely look forward to visiting it after you watch this video by Daniel Erdeg :

You can also practise making simple sentences as I did in the classroom exercise and prepare to do one or few tasks based with this video explanation (if necesarry, check the vocabulary video): Exercise for Serbian 102: What can you see ? Šta vidite ?
Exercise for Serbian 201: Šta se nalazi ispred Vas / s leve ili desne strane ? Šta ste videli ? or Šta ćete videti kada dođete u Novi Sad

Serbian Conjugations in Cyrillic Script

If you have always wondered it there were any videos with conjugations in Serbian with the Cyrillic script, here they come :

With this video you can not only pronounce the Simple present conjugations of the verb "zvati se", but you can also practise its word order and asking and answering simple questions in the second part of the video. Which words are missing there ?

How many sentences can you make in Serbian ?

If you are a beginner in learning Serbian and you want to practise only the most frequent  verbs, I'm sure you'll enjoy this video with:
videti (to see)voleti (to love / like)imati (to have) along with the nouns (in the Accusative case), do watch these videos and try to: ask "what" (šta) questionsor simply talk what you see or you don't see along with it: 

For more speaking practice videos click here. and if you are a more advanced learner of Serbian try to ask / answer questions in different tenses or conditionals. For example: Šta bi uradio kada bi video zeca / mačku...?

Easy Way to Learn Serbian Pronouns

In order to start speaking Serbian fluently, the best way to automatically recall the whole phrases and chunks of language is to listen to films and songs in Serbian (and  preferably sing along). For example, in the chorus of this song you can hear the following phrase over and over again:
Nije za nju, nije za nju nju je ... and I bet you won't make any mistakes in the future if you want simply to say:
...for her = nju... isn't for her = ... nije za nju 

On these pages you can find the :
lyrics of the song (tekst pesme)with the pretty literal translationexercise with the song which I made for my students :) ...and don't forget to make the most of the first Serbian with Songs free e-book!

Breaking Bad - Connotation in Serbian

Here comes another listening comprehension for more proficient Serbian language learners, based on the following video:

Feel free to pause the video and try to answer the following questions:
Koliko Mićko ima godina ?Šta se Mićku zapali i pukne ?Koliko časova hemije mu treba ?Zašto profesor hemije ne može da pomogne Mićku ?Šta profesorka hemije predlaže sve vreme ?Da li on sam upotrebljava ono što pravi ?Ko je nepoverljiv prema Mićku ?Koliko profesora hemije je Mićko do sada pozvao ? Odakle Mićko više ne izlazi ? Which phrases does the teacher use : to say that she can't help himto suggest another solutionto inquire about Mićko's needsto decline his requestto show understandingto end the conversation What is the obvious meaning and what's the connotation of these phrases: ...jel' tu spadaju travnate površine ?... malo sam nagoreo... i ja sam posle miran dva danaZavršio sam ja s hemijom !...ja ne bih to više čačkao...jer kad sam video u kom pravcu sve ovo ide, pravo da Vam…

Advanced Serbian Video Lessons

After watching this video (several times) try to do the following exercises

Razgovor za posao sa SupermenomRazgovor za posao sa sinom Rajka  Mazalice
 and  answer these questions:
1. Kako se zove prvi kandidat za posao ?
2. Koje su njegove prednosti ?
3. Koje su njegove mane ?
4. Koji posao bi on želeo da radi ?
5. Koji posao mu je predložen ?
6. Da li ga je odmah prihvatio ?
7. Koji je prigovor poslodavca dok on izlazi iz kancelarije ?
8. Kako se zovi drugi kandidat ?
9. Koje su njegove prednosti ?
10. Koje su njegove mane ?
11. Koji posao mu je predložen ?
12. Da li ga je odmah prihvatio ?

Serbian Idioms and Phrases with Verb "nositi" - Part 3

This is the final part in the series of blog posts about the verb "nositi". The previous ones can be found on the following pages:

Various meanings of the verb "nositi"Idioms and phrases - part 1Idioms and phrases - part 2 Today I am going to give you the explanations and various examples of the following phrases:
Što ga noge nose /  koliko me(te/ga/je/nas/vas/ih) noge nose= at full speed, as fast as possible = as fast as one's legs will carry one:a) MREŽNI MARKETING, prevara ili ne - beži kud te noge nose ! or
b) Kakva greška ! Provocirao grupu navijača,  pa bežao kol'ko ga noge nosePas laje, vetar nosi = idle gossip should be disregarded = the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on; words and feathers the wind carries away; words are but windc) Pusti ti draga priče. Znas onu" PSI LAJU, KARAVANI PROLAZE!"?! Samo se ti smiri i slusaj lekare i sve ce biti u redu. or
dPas laje, vetar nosi or
e) No, svako vredjanje najvise govori o onome ko vredja.Psi l…

Baby Steps in Serbian

In order not to neglect the beginners in Serbian, here's  a video lesson about Jeremija without my voice. If you are a real beginner, do watch the version with slow pronunciation before doing the following tasks:

Say the sentences based on the facts before the answers show upIf that's difficult, try simply to read the answers (help)If that's too easy, try to ask the appropriate questions for Jeremija's answers

Serbian Idioms and Phrases with Verb "nositi" - Part 2

Here come the second part of the idioms and phrases with the verb "nositi":

Koja kokoš mnogo kokodače, malo jaja nosi = he who talks much, does little; the ass that brays most, eats leastExample1: Niko nema prava da gradira vaš (ili bilo čiji) patriotizam. Oni što najviše kokodaču o patriotizmu i trube na sva zvona o veri i tradiciji koje smo mi (kao) napustili, ne znaju ni šta je patriotizam po definiciji. Ima jedna stara izreka (srpska) koja kaže: Koja kokoš mnogo kokodače, malo jaja nosi. Želim vam od srca sve najbolje, gde god da ste, i drago mi je što ste uspeli da se operišete.( a reader's comment on Plus site)Example2: .Znači dolazeće izbore gubiš. Nikaj konkretnoga od ove vlasti ne očekujem, vrijedi ona stara:koja krava jako muče, malo mlijeka daje. Za aktualne bi se to karikirano:koja kokoš jako kokodače, malo jaja nosi. Pozdrav... (an interesting reader's comment from a Croatian site - za naprednije pratioce bloga: da li ste razumeli slični izraz u kojem se …

Serbian Idioms and Phrases with Verb "nositi" - Part 1

What does Verb "Nositi" Mean in Serbian ?

The verb "nositi" in Serbian has many different translations into English :
nositi odeću = to wear clothesnositi  torbu   = to carry a bagnositi dete   = to bear a childnositi se sa problemima = to cope with problems So, while in English there's a multitude of different words representing only one word in Serbian, there's this very productive prefixation system in our language which will make things complicated. But don't worry ! If you start learning the approximate meanings of Serbian suffixes and prefixes, you'll pretty soon be able to infer the meaning from the context, if you know what the basic stem word means. Let me give you an example with the stem " nositi ", as explained above : pre- = over/ across prenositi = to carry over, preneti dete = to bear a child longer than it is due, preneti dete preko bare = to carry a child over a puddleiz- = out of /thoroughly izneti torbu = to carry out a bag, iznositi odeću = to wear some clothes for years, …

Describing People in Serbian - Part 2

If you liked the first part about how to describe people's age in Serbian, I'm sure you'll enjoy practising following features with the people & places video below:
age (godište)clothes (odeća)

height and build (visina i građa): ... je prosečne visine = ... is average height.... je visok = ... is tall.... je nizak = ... is short.... je debeo / punačak =... is fat / overweight... je mršav = ... is thin... je vitak  = ... is slim
hair (kosa):duga kosa: ... ima dugu kosu = ...has long hairkratka kosa: ... ima kratku kosu = ... has short hairkosa srednje dužine ... ima kosu srednje dužine = ... has medium-length haircrna kosa ... ima crnu kosu = ...has dark hairplava kosa ... ima plavu kosu = ... has fair haircrvena kosa ... ima crvenu kosu = ... has red/ginger hair(svetlo / tamno) smeđa kosa ... ima (svetlo /tamno ) smeđu kosu = ... has (light / dark) brown hairseda kosa ... ima sedu kosu = ... has gray hairkovrdžava kosa ... ima kovrdžavu kosu = ... has curly hairtalasasta …

European Day of Languages in Serbian

Many thanks to all the faithful followers of this blog for celebrating European Day of Languages every day :) I'm not a big fun of one-day praznik-a, but let me share with you some great resources for learning Serbian which cover this topic:
Proslavite Evropski dan jezika - Serbian version flyerCelebrate the European Day of Languages - English version (check for flyers in other languages)An RTV ArticleToday's video about this topic:

An excellent 2012 video on this topic:

Can you watch it several times, if necessary, and jot down at least three reasons why learning different languages is important, according to the interviewees ?

Word Order in Serbian - Negation in Present, Part 1.3

If you are following the Word Order in Serbian series of blog posts, you surely remember that the first one was about simple verbs (not -se verbs) in the Present Simple tense. This time, I'll cover the same set of sentences in the same tense, but with their negative forms:
One word verb: NE pevati (not sing)Present tense OF "I sing / I'm singing."

Subject (S) + predicate (P)
Ne pevam. NJa ne pevam. Ti igraš, a ja ne pevam. N Ti ne igraš i ja ne pevam. N Profesor je čuo kako ne pevam i dao mi je jedinicu ! NPriznajem da ne znam da pevam. NS + P +  direct object (dO) Ne pevam pesmu. NJa ne pevam pesmu.Vidiš li  da ne pevam tu pesmu ?  NSvi čuju da ja ne pevam pesmu. 
S  + P + dO + adverb of time (AoT)

Ne pevam pesmu svaki dan. NSvaki dan ne pevam pesmu.Moji profesori svaki dan vide kada ne uradim domaći. N
S + P + dO + AoT + AoP (adverb of place)
Ne pevam pesmu svaki dan  kod kuće.  NNe pevam pesmu kod kuće svaki dan. NSvaki dan ne pevam pesmu kod kuće. NKod kuće obično ne pe…

Learn about Serbian Verbs with Children's Songs

Another great song which all the devojčice i dečaci sing is "Ivin voz" by Dragan Laković . It's also perfect to introduce a complex lexical system of the Serbian verb (which mirrors English phrasal verbs as well as perfectve /imperfective aspects ) :

The Cyrillic script version:
Ћиху, Ћиху, ћиху-ху...

Из куће је излетео на улицу Ива
сав задихан захуктао к'о локомотива.

Видели га другови, па за њим и они
потрчали, захуктали к'о прави вагони.

Ћиху, Ћиху, ћиху-ху...

Сад улицом тако јури та чудна колона
то воз Ивин путује са седам вагона.

The Latin script version:
Ćihu, Ćihu, ćihu-hu...

Iz kuće je izleteo na ulicu Iva
sav zadihan zahuktao k'o lokomotiva.

Videli ga drugovi, pa za njim i oni
potrčali, zahuktali k'o pravi vagoni.

Ćihu, Ćihu, ćihu-hu...

Sad ulicom tako juri ta čudna kolona
to voz Ivin putuje sa sedam vagona.

Interesting verb lexicology:

leteti = to fly, IZleteti = to fly out of huktati = to make a sound like a to train (figuratively: to complain) ,ZAhuktati se  = to…

Describing People in Serbian - Age

In part one of this short series of blog posts on how to describe a person in Serbian, I'll cover just how to describe someone's age, and give you lots of sample sentences, so you can try to describe people in the photo below, focusing on their age ( and a little bit on clothes ):

Godište = Age

beba  = babydete =  childdete koje je tek prohodalo = toddlerdečko = boydevojčica = girltinejdžer = teenager mladić = young man (short "a")devojka = young woman omladina = youthčovek u zrelim godinama = middle-aged manžena u zrelim godinama = middle-aged woman stariji čovek / žena = elderly man/ woman... ima dvadeset pet godina =... is 25 ...ima tridesetak godina = ... is thirty something...ima oko četrdeset godina = ... is about forty...ima pedeset i kusur = ... is fifty odd.... je u (svojim) ranim / kasnim dvadesetim = ... is in (her /his) early / late twenties
Primeri = Examples Na ovoj slici vidim puno ljudi koji su različitog godišta. S desne strane vidim devojčicu u  ružiča…

Best Sites for Learning Serbian

In order to persevere with learning the Serbian language you have to be proactive in finding fun and quality material on the internet. In the morning you can work on more demanding materials, such as :

Short newsWeather Forecast in SerbianFor women (choose the topic you like and try to figure out what it is about :)For men Short Sports NewsFilmsSerbian lessons and exercisesRecepti = recipes and in the evenings always flick through some easy, fun and relaxing stuff :
Vukajlija  = fun vocabulary definitions(urban dictionary) with photosVicevi po temama = jokes divided in topicsFaceBook Grupa: NostalgijaDemotivacija - slike sa kratkim tekstom = photos with short textNjuz - vesti u ogledalu = (more advanced students - fun texts ) Kupindo - check out the second-hand things you can buy and how much they cost

The Meaning of the Verb "slagati se " in Serbian

The verb "slagati se" imperf.(with first "a" being long) /"složiti se" perf.  = to agree * can have a range of different meanings in Serbian and we're going to discuss them today, because I'll need it for my next lesson about Serbian history.

If two colours match, we say "slažu se". For example: Plava se slaže sa žutom, ali se ne slaže sa crvenom (slagati se = to match)If a brother and sister get on/along with each other, we say "oni se slažu". For example: Baš imaš sreće, tvoj  brat i ti se dobro slažete. (You are rally lucky, your brother and you get along very well)If you agree to go out with your friend, you will say: "slažem se". For example: Hoćeš li da idemo u restoran večeras ? Važi, slažem se! (Would you like to go to a restaurant tonight ? OK, I agree!)If two people are at each other's throats, i.e." fight like cat(s) and dog(s)" you can similarly describe it in Serbian as "slažu se kao pa…

How to Pronounce Serbian "LJ" ?

For learners of Serbian as a foreign language often times it's difficult to pronounce the Serbian sound "LJ" or "Љ" correctly. That's because some students tend to pronounce "L" and then "J" separately. If you'd like to make your pronunciation of "lj" perfect, follow these steps:

Try to say "L", as in English word "love". Where is your tongue ? Up or down ?Try to say "J", as in English word "yes". Where is your tongue ? Up or down ?Right, so you noticed that in "L" the tongue is up, just behind your upper  teeth, while with "J", the tongue is down. If you want to say "lj" correctly, the tongue mustn't move from the upward position downwards, because it's one sound.Now, keep your  tongue as if you want to pronounce "J" as in "yes", because it's the right tongue position for the perfect "lj", and at the same time try…

Word Order in Serbian - Part 5

This part is preparing you to practise word order with the words with the reflexive/impersonal pronoun "se". This time I've chosen only the verbs which are widely used when you talking about important life phases, so all the sentences in the videos will be in the Simple Past:
roditi se = to be bornškolovati se = to be schooledupisati se (u školu / na fakultet) = to enrol (a school / university)zaposliti se = to start working / to get a jobpreseliti se = to move (to another city / country)kvalifikovati se (za) = to get qualified (for)venčati se = to get married After practising telling a story about yourself with these phrases: can try to do the similar one based on my false biography, so you have to make all the sentences in the exercise negative :)

Common Mistakes in Serbian

One of the most common mistakes students of Serbian as a foreign  language tend to make is to use the verbs of movement "ići " + u, "stići" + u, "vratiti se" + u, "posetiti" with the noun in Dative, instead of Accusative. That's why it's often heard:
Idem u Beogradu (incorrect) instead of
Idem u Beograd (correct) In the case of the listed verbs above (ići = to go to/ stići = to arrive at/ vratiti se = to come back to /posetiti = to visit), the noun which follows them is in the Accusative case (so called the Accusative of goal/aim).

That's why I've created this video with which you can make simple sentences such as:

Idem u London / Budimpeštu (Present Simple)Stižem u London / Budimpeštu (Present Simple word order)Posetio sam London /Budimpeštu (Past Simple)Vraćam se u London / Budimpeštu (Present Simple word order with "se")

Word Order in Serbian - Part 4.5

Now that you've learnt the introductory song by heart (napamet), you are ready for more examples with the word order of the sentences with reflexive or impersonal "se". This time I'll cover the word order in the Simple Present tense with all three forms, affirmative, negative and questions. So, let's start :

Reflexive -se: oblačiti se  (to get dressed) Present tense of OBLAČITI SE is :

Affirmative sentences : Subject (S) + predicate (P)

Oblačim se. NJa se  oblačim. Ti se igraš, a ja se oblačim. N Sedi i gledaj TV dok se ja oblačim. N Komšije su videle kako se (ja) oblačim u kuhinji. N Priznajem da se oblačim u kuhinji. N
Negations: Subject (S) + NE + predicate (P) Ne oblačim se. NJa se ne  oblačim. Ti se ne igraš, a ja se ne oblačim. N Sedi i gledaj TV dok se ja ne oblačem. N Tvrdila sam da se ne oblačim u kuhinji. N Priznajem da se ne oblačim u kuhinji. N
Questions: Subject (S) +  predicate (P)
Da li se oblačiš ? NDa li se ti oblačiš ? Oblačiš li seJel' se obla…

Past Tense in Serbian

Let's make a short comparison of the Present Simple and Past Simple in Serbian with this "drinks video" :)

Šta obično piješ / pijete tokom dana ?Šta obično piješ / pijete kada izađeš uveče ?Šta si juče pio  / pila ? / Šta ste juče pili ?*


What do you usually drink during the day ? ("piješ" informal, "pijete" formal)What do you usually drink when you go out at night ?What did you drink yesterday ? ("pio" for masculine singular, "pila" for feminine singular, "pili" for the second person singular, used formally, or for the second person plural, when you are talking to more people)

Asking Questions in Serbian - Present Simple

Let me show you one more video in the series called Easy Texts in Serbian. This time you have to ask direct questions about the word which is in red.

For example: "Zovem se Tanja" - your task is to ask:

"Kako se zoveš ?" informal "Kako se zovete ?" formal

For the following questions start with these question words:

Gde ... (where)Kako ... (how) Koliko godina ... (how old)Kakvi ...  (

Idioms and Common Phrases in Serbian

After publishing yesterday's post it struck me that you might not  be aware of the  meaning of the phrase "ravno mi je sve".That's why I chose the word RAVAN = flat / even / equal as the topic of today's post:

nekome je sve ravno ( do Kosova )= it's all the same ; it makes no difference example: Uradi kako ti je drago - meni je sve ravno (do Kosova) !  translation: Do as you please - it makes no difference to me !
example from the song: Ravno mi je sve : because of the word "mi" this phrase means that he is indifferent, while the sentence before he means literally "ravno, nigde brda" = flat, no hill around  ravan kao dlan = as flat as a pancake  example: Vojvodina je ravna kao dlan. (Vojvodina is as flat as a pancake.) na ravnoj nozi = on an equal footing; on equal terms example: Razgovarali smo o svemu na ravnoj nozi (We talked about everything on equal terms) na ravne časti = share and share alike; even Stephen  example: Sve što zaradimo de…

Word Order with "se" in Serbian

Here comes a gentle introduction to the fourth part of the series of blog posts about the word order in Serbian. Why introduction in the middle of the story ? Because I'm about to write about the verbs with (reflexive) -se: "vratiti se " = "to come back", for example.

Listen to this beautiful song and try to figure out which word is missing in the following lines:

Od Banata prema Sremu nisko oblaci,
noć __ spustila, pa ___ ne vidi...
samo moje misli po ravnici putuju -
ja ih pošaljem al ___ vraćaju...
A ti, a ti ___ nećeš vratiti....
To je bilo davno, pa ___  niko ne seća -
rode nestale jednog proleća...
vratiće __ , kažu ljudi, ove godine...
ove godine il dogodine...
A ti, a ti ___ nećeš vratiti....

Ravno, nigde brda, sve je ravno - ravno mi je sve,
jer u tvome srcu već odavno drugi stanuje...
Ej,kad bi znala ti...(kad bi samo znala ti)
koliko trebaš mi!

Hajde noći tiho, tiše, sitni tonovi,
da ____  nikome to ne ponovi...
bruje zice, srce trne, grom t…

Talking about Yourself in Serbian

In the previous post with easy Serbian texts, you were able to learn a few facts about Branko and his family.

Today's exercise is from the same Serbian 101 course, but this time your job is to look at the photo with some facts about Milan, and then make a short story and tell it along with this video:

Accidents and Emergencies - Vocabulary and Phrases in Serbian

I've recently received a very practical question : how to call for help in Serbian and  what to say in case of  an accident / theft and similar. So, let me give you a few ideas for three different topics, which hopefully you won't need at all:

Policija / milicija (police)Policajac (police officer)Advokat (lawyer)Prestup (violation)Prekršaj (offence)Zovite policiju ! (call the police)ProlbemiNovčanik (wallet)Lopov (thief)Provalnik (burglar)Izgubljene stvari (lost property)Ukrasti (to steal)Izgubiti (to lose)Zaboraviti (to forget)Zaboravio sam ključ (I forgot my key)Izgubio sam ključ (I lost my key)Neko mi je ukrao pare / novac (Somebody stole my money)Upomoć ! (Help)Nesrećan slučaj (accident)Kvar (breakdown)Služba za hitnu popravku (emergency breakdown service)Sudar (accident, collision)Osiguranje (insurance)Automobil mi se pokvario (my car has broken down)Vaše osiguranje (Your insurance documents)Prijaviti sudar (to report an accident)To je vaša krivica (it's your fault )

Beginner Serbian - New Lesson with Exercises

In the previous post about easy texts in Serbian, I said that I wasn't very happy with the quality of the audio recording. Today, when I tried to fix it, I ended up changing the video structure and creating 3 more videos for you to practise. I'm sure you'll like this new version more and that the previous one. If you are a real beginner in Serbian, you can take a look at the vocabulary list while watching the video: