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…
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…
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 )
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:
OVO = THISJE = ISOVO JE = THIS IS...BRAT = BROTHERSESTRA = SISTERMUŽ = HUSBANDŽENA = WIFELEP = BEAUTIFUL (Fem: lepa)MLAD = YOUNG (Fem: mlada)RUŽAN = UGLY (Fem: ružna)STAR = OLD (Fem: stara)VISOK = TALL (Fem: visoka)NIZAK = SHORT (Fem: niska)IMATI = TO HAVEGODINA = YEARSDETE = CHILD, DECA =
CHILDRENBLIZANCI = TWINSJOŠ = STILL MALI = YOUNG / LITTLE / SMALLPAS = DOG*** POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES *** MOJ -mojA sestrA - mojE detE - mojI prijateljI - mojE prijateljicE - mojA decATVOJNJEGOVNJENNJEGOVNJIHOVNJIHOV
Pevaću. NJa ćupevati. Ti ćeš igrati, a ja ću pevati. N Sedećeš i slušaćeš, a ja ćupevati. N Prijatelji su čuli kako ću pevati na koncertu. N Priznajem da ću pevati na koncertu. N S + P + direct object (dO) Pevaću pesmu. NJa ćupevati pesmu.Čuće oni kako ću im otpevati pesmu. N (im= njima= to them, indirect object)Svi su čuli da ću pevati tu pesmu. N S + P + dO + adverb of time (AoT)
Pevaću pesme svaki dan. NSvaki dan ćupevati pesmu. NMoji prijatelji su pitali kada ćupevati pesmu sledeći put. N S + P + dO + AoT + AoP (adverb of place) Pe…
I surely wasn't doing a great job tagging and linking the blog posts properly when I first started it back in 2007 - 2008. As it transpired, it seems there were only two posts covering the topic of comparison of adjectives in Serbian ! Shame on me ! This should be urgently fixed...
For now, try to compare the animals you see in the video sticking to the following sentence structure, using only the adjective "dangerous" = opasan (comparative : Singular: opasniji (masc) - opasnija(fem) - opasnije (neut.) Plural: opasniji (masc) - opasnije (fem) - opasnija (neut) )
For pre-intermediate level: Lav je opasniji od zebre (Gen. of "zebra")For intermediate and upper levels: Mislim da je lav opasniji od zebre.
Animals in the video with their Genitive form:
zebra - od zebretigar - od tigraajkula - od ajkuleorao - od orlamedved = od medvedalav = od lavapanda = od pandevuk = od vukažirafa = od žirafealigator = od aligatoragolub = od golubazmija = od zmijelane = od laneta
If you are wondering how I choose the topics for everyday blog posts, the answer is very simple: they are based on the questions my students ask me in our online lessons.
One of the recent ones was to list phrases with the verb "faliti", which can mean "to miss", "not to have", "to lack", but in some idioms it cannot be translated in such a simplistic manner:
Šta fali ? = So what ? or What's wrong with that ? This phrase is often used to strongly disagree with someone who has a different point of view. Let me make up a short dialogue:
Ana: Nemoj piti tu vodu !
Pera: Što ? Šta joj fali ????
Fali joj/mu daska u glavi ! = To have a screw loose in one's head or Not to have all their marbles.
Na primer: Šta ovaj bunca ? - Ma pusti ga! Očigledno mu fali daska u glavi !
Neće ti faliti ni dlaka s glave ! = Not a hair on your head will be harmed !
Na primer: Ne smeju ti ništa dok sam ja uz tebe! Ne brini, neće ti faliti ni dlaka s glave !
One of the funny grammatical categories you might come across in Serbian are "animate" vs. "inanimate" nouns, which is for instance reflected in the Accusative declensions, only for Sg. Masculine. This means that just because you've seen (to see = videti) or taken a photo ((u)slikati) of a person, not a thing, a noun like "dečak" will take the Genitive declension markers (suffix -a) instead of Accusative (zero suffix), although it's still an Accusative case. (I'm talking only about the form here).
For example: Ovo je dečak. Videla sam dečaka. Slikala sam dečaka. (there's also a stress change from the first to the second syllable).
While the linguists dwell on these topics and enjoy discussing whys and ifs of such irregularities, I always enjoy helping you in the most practical way. That's why Ivan and I created these two videos, carefully choosing nouns both in singular and then in plural and grouping them. With both videos you can…
If you don't understand what's being said ( or written ) in Serbian, you can always ask questions such as: Šta znači " Gazda bio, gazda ost'o 100 % " ? = What does "..." mean ?Ne razumem = I don't understandMožeš li da mi objasniš (šta znači) "..." ? = Can you explain what "..." mean ?Možeš li da ponoviš "..." ? = Can you repeat "..." ?Ponovi još jednom, molim te ? = Repeat once again, please ?Molim ? = Pardon ?Možeš li da ponoviš malo sporije ? = Can you repeat it a bit slower ?Kako se izgovara ova reč ? = How do you pronounce this word ?Kako se čita ova reč / ovo slovo ? = How do I read this word / letter ?Kako se piše slovo "ć" ? = How do you write letter "ć" ?Da li neko ima ideju kako najbolje prevesti " Gazda bio, gazda ost'o 100 %" ?
Pevao / pevala sam. NJa sam pevao/pevala. Ti si igrao, a ja sam pevala. N Ti si igrao i ja sam pevala. N Komšije su čule kako sam pevala. NPriznajem da sam pevala. N
S + P + direct object (dO) Pevala sam pesmu. NJa sam pevala pesmu.(not neutral, but rather poetic word order would be: Pesmu sam pevala / Ja sam pesmu pevala. / pesmu pevala sam ja (reminded me of "zaboravio sam jutros pesmu jednu ja" - watch the video)Čuješ da sam otpevala pesmu. NSvi su čuli da sam pevala pesmu. S + P + dO + adverb of time (AoT)
Pevala sam pesmu svaki dan. NSvaki dan sam pevala pesmu. NMoji prijatelji su juče čuli ka…
Although there's this widespread view (uvreženo mišljenje) that the word order in Serbian is "free", in order to form sentences which sound natural, there are lots of rules to follow... which doesn't make it free at all ! But don't panic! The more you listen to the Serbian language, the easier it'll be for you to make sentences in the most natural way. Learning the set of rules, can only inhibit you if you don't learn / listen to the target language on a daily basis. That's why I'll simply give you lots of examples with different verb patterns through different tenses, but today I'll just focus on the Simple Present affirmative in simple and compound sentences. I'll add the letter N for the most neutral / natural sounding sentence:
One word verb: pevati (to sing)
Present tense OF "I sing / I'm singing."
Subject (S) + predicate (P)
Pevam. NJa pevam. Ti igraš, a ja pevam. N Ti igraš i ja pevam. N Komšije su čule kako pevam. NPri…
If you ever wondered how to warn someone in Serbian, let me give you a list of phrases, starting from the most formal ones: Formal and semi-formal warnings:
Dozvoli da te upozorim da ne + present (2nd person Sg. - with 2nd p. Pl, start with "Dozvolite da Vas upozorim...)Ono što ja ne bih nikako uradila je da + present (1st person Sg.)Ako me pitaš za savet, nikako nemoj da + present (2nd person Sg. - with 2nd p. Pl, start with "Ako me pitate za savet, nikako nemojTE da...)
Informal warnings: Pazi se + noun in the Genitive case or gerund (verbal nouns ending in -nje, again in Gen.)Nemoj da + present (2nd person Sg or Pl)Šta god da radiš, nikako nemoj da + present (2nd person Sg. - with 2nd p. Pl, start with Šta god da radite, nikako nemojTE da...)
If you need all these phrases written both in the Cyrillic and Latin script, pronounced slowly, check Serbian phrases link.
If you happen to be visiting Serbia and Novi Sad, don't miss this magnificent event, taking place tonight:
You can find all the info on this link and do the following reading comprehension exercise: What kind of event is it ? Who are braća Teofilović ?When is the concert taking place ?Where is it taking place ?How much does the ticket cost ?Where and how can you buy tickets ? Can you buy them online ?Is it too late for you to buy them ?How can you check if the tickets are still being sold ?
One of my favourite parts of a language lesson is when my students can speak in Serbian on their own. That's why I enjoy creating digital teaching materials to help them with visual prompts. Here comes one of my recent videos in the speaking practice series covering the topic of weather.
If you are not sure what vocabulary to use, here comes the list of the previous posts with:
The best way for kids to learn Serbian is through numerous songs, poems and chants. That's why I'll dedicate one blog post a week to this topic. Let's start with numbers in Serbian and this beautiful song by the famous Branko Kockica:
While there are so many useful tools to check your spelling / grammar / vocabulary / idioms / pronunciation ... for the English language, there are just a few such tools for Serbian (I listed them in the sidebar to the right and I (ir)regularly send them to all the Serbian Activator subscribers).
One of the most useful things a student need, starting from the pre-intermediate level is to know verb collocations. That's why I'll try to connect the verbs and nouns from the previous posts and write a list of the most common collocations for the verb "to see" (videti):
Verbs and phrases commonly used after "to see"vidim kako ... (np. vidi kako se to radi)vidimo se ponovovidi taj izrazvidi da li ima ... (np. vidi da li ima hleba)vidi šta ... (np. vidi šta nam treba)vidi kako mi stoji (for example when you're trying sth. on, this phrase means "look how / if it suits=fits me" ) Words before "to see"mogu videti / da vidimsamo vidiželim da vidi…
Now that you've practised a set of verbs which require the Accusative case, in different tenses and with different nouns ( which you have seen / broken / bought /sold / fixed / turned off / turned on etc.), it's time you did the same exercise, but this time with adjectives.
The topic of adjectives in Serbian is always tricky as they not only agree with the number and gender of the noun, but also with its case. While in some cases, like in the Accusative for example, the case endings are the same for the nouns and adjectives, it's not always that easy ( e.g. in the Genitive case).
That's why we'll stick to the Accusative case today, because we've already practised it and it's easy!
Let's watch the same video and add the following adjectives in front of each noun : MODERAN = modernJEFTIN = cheapSKUP = expensiveVELIKI = bigMALI = smallNOVI = newSTARI = oldDOBAR = goodFor example:
Kupila sam veliki televizor i malU peglU. Htela sam da kupim i modernE lampE,…
Verb form:VIDETI Ooo, koga to vidim ! = expressing surprise when you see someone (As I leve and breathe!; Well, what do you know; Lo and behold)Imaš šta da vidiš! = something worth seeing ( A sight for sore eyes, Something to look at; A million-dollar look)Sad GA vidiš, sad GA ne vidiš = a fly-by-night (an unreliable, dishonest person) / now you see it, now you don't (a magician's trick) Što video, ne video = to turn a blind eye on sth.; mum's the word (to pretend not to have seen anything)Noun form:VID (sight), VIDelo (sight / light), VIDik (view/perspective) Izneti (nešto) na videlo = to bring something to light (to reveal); to bring soemthing into the openIzgubiti (nešto) iz vi…
If you've practised the Accusative form of the nouns and pronouns with the video in the previous post, it's time to expand your confidence onto the verbs which require a noun/pronoun in this case. With all the listed nouns (TV, pegla, mobilni telefon, mašina za veš ...), the following verbs, properly conjugated, will make sense: videti (to see) Present Tense conjugations: Sg: vidIM, vidIŠ, vidI Pl: vidIMO, vidITE, vidE Past Tense : Sg: videO, videLA, videLO Pl: videLI, videLE, videLAgledati (to watch) gledAM, gledAŠ, gledA - gledAMO, gledATE, gledAJU ( for the following verbs you'll see only: PRESENT Sg: -m/-š/- Pl: -mo / -te / -ju and for the PAST Sg. -o/-la/-lo Pl. -li/-le/-la )imati (to have) Sg: -m/-š/- Pl: -mo / -te / -ju (imaJU) Past: Sg. -o/-la/-lo Pl. -li/-le/-lakoristiti (to use) Sg: -m/-š/- Pl: -mo / -te / -e (koristE) Past: Sg. -o/-la/-lo Pl. -li/-le/-laraditi (to work) Sg: -m/-š/- Pl: -mo / -te / -e (rade) Past: Sg. -o/-la/-lo Pl. -li/-le/-lapopravlja…
Today we're going to do an exercise with singular nouns describing objects, their grammatical gender and its pronouns in the Accusative case. In this exercise you'll see the following appliances and gadgets: televizormikserdaljinski (upravljač)mobilni (telefon)telefonkompjuterfrižidertostermašina za vešmašina za pranje vešalampa
The nouns in blue are masculine and the red ones are feminine, so don't forget to make the following changes: step TO SEE + NOUN: Vidim / Ne vidim televizor (masculine) /odelo (neuter) /lampU (feminine)step TO SEE + corresponding PRONOUN: Vidim / Ne vidim ga / je (short form for "him (ga = njega) / her (je=nju)")step: look around yourself and say what you can see/can't see (use only singular and pay attention that the neuter nouns, like "odelo" behaves the same as the nouns in masc.)
I think it's been high time I resumed our regular, day-by-day postings with video lessons of the Serbian language. As usual, I'll do my best to help you in the most practical way with the interactive videos, like this one:
This is one of 65 lessons with more than 4.5 hours of content from the course Serbian Phrases, which has finally been completed. All the videos with slow pronunciation are based on phrase lists both in the Serbian Cyrillic and Latin script! There's also an ever-growing number of additional video exercises, like the one above. For all of you who'd like to buy the course and know how to say 'n' write "FaithfulFollower" in Serbian, will get a significant discount if they type it in the coupon code box :) Enjoy it!