Thursday, February 28, 2013

Intermediate Serbian - Verb Aspect, lesson 3

Before we continue with the video lessons focusing on aspect differences, let's be impratctical and  talk only about the grammar today:

As you probably noticed in the previous post for the intermediate level, one can turn an imperfective verb into a perfective one by adding a prefix (buditi - probuditi ,  razbuditi ). But this is not the only way to change an aspect of a verb. You can also:

  • add a prefix to the verb and it becomes perfective 
  • add a suffix to the verb and it becomes perfective (dremati - dremNUti)
  • alter the stem (odmoriti - odmarati, which I explained in the previous post)
But, we have to be cautious with the process of prefixation ! Quite often the meaning of the verb does not bear only the difference in aspect ( whether the action is complete or incomplete: "I wrote" - "I was writing" : Napisao sam = Pisao sam). It more frequently bears a new layer of meaning,  like the ones mentioned in "buditi" becoming perfective in "probuditi" or "razbuditi", so we need to  use phrasal verbs in English to accurately convey the additional meaning.

Let me give you a few examples of:
  • clear-cut distinction pefective-imperfective (without any additonal meanings):
  1. pisati - napisati (to be writing - to have written/wrote)
  2. čitati - pročitati (to be reading - to have read/ read )
  • the prefix adding new meanings :
  1. igrati - odigrati / izigrati / zaigrati  (to be playing - to have played / to play up / to play upon* these translations are incomplete and need to be read in  the sentences, which will be the aim of our future lessons at this level )
  2. pisati -  prepisati (to copy) / zapisati (to jot down) / upisati (to enroll)
Until the next lesson, do practise the aspect in Serbian by doing some fun exercises published in the previous posts:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Serbian Language Day 16 - Pre-intermediate Course, Lesson 3

Before moving onto the third lesson for the pre-intermediate level of Serbian, you can always flick through the previous blog posts:
In today's lesson you can revise your knowledge of the Locative case, but this time with the verb "živeti" = to live and "govoriti" = to speak (a language) + adjectives describing languages &  nouns for countries:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 Days of Serbian Language - Beginner Lesson 3

If you practised the verb TO BE in the Serbian in my previous lessons,  I'm sure this will be an easy task for you:
  1. Mute this video before watching it and try to give / write the correct answers for each button. 
  2. You can write down the answers and then watch the video again and listen to Jeremija giving his responses. 
  3. Has he made any mistakes and if he has, correct the wrong answers (you can write the replies in the comment)


*This is also a smooth intro to the lesson on numbers in Serbian.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Learn Serbian Language 365 Days by Watching Youtube

I'm sure you enjoyed my last post about Poletarac ! Bilo je zabavno, zar ne ? Today, I'd like to remind you of four great interviews with foreigners living in Serbia, which I posted last year:
They share their view of many different aspects of life and I'm sure you'll enjoy watching them, as well as  doing some extra exercises and video lessons:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Serbian Language 365 - Phrases for Giving Directions

About two years ago I was tinkering with the free version of Camtasia for a month. The result was one part of the Serbian phrase course, covering three topics, both in the Latin alphabet and Cyrillic script. Now when I look back on my early works, I'm quite disappointed and I recon it's high time I made  much clearer video lessons with better background music and wide scope of topics. I bet you agree :)

In the meantime, I'm sure you'll find these two videos covering "Giving directions in Serbian" useful. 

Serbian Phrases free e-book
Places in the city in the Cyrillic script:

Giving directions in the Latin alphabet:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Learn Serbian for 365 Days - Songs and Poems

Last time I explained why I incorporated so many beautiful Serbian songs into my teaching. Besides these popular songs, I'd also like to share the well-known poems, which are the part of Serbian culture and heritage.

Although learning them by heart is not very popular nowadays, I still remember many a verse because we had to learn them by heart at school a few decades ago (yes, I'm that old). Once you mention a few lines of a well-known verse, it will surely enrich the conversation, triggering some deeper layers of meaning and connotation.

That's why I'll create a follow-up exercise, for each poem or song, which you can do while listening to the pronunciation. I'll emphasize in bold the most prominent and recognizable lines, so you can learn them if you wish to :)

Let me start with the beautiful Santa Maria Della Salute by one of the most notable Serbian poets, Laza Kostić:



Friday, February 22, 2013

Serbian Language 365 Day 11 - Detective Story "Ubistvo u radnoj sobi" part 1


Убиство у радној соби
Part 1: Who is Who


I'm sure you've been hardly waiting for my detective stories from intermediate to advanced levels of Serbian. They'll all be in the Cyrillic script!

Your task: Read the text carefully and correct the grammar mistakes. The first mistake is already shown. You should say:
  •  "It's not "nađena", but "nađen", because Đorđe Belić is a man! " or 
  • " Ne kaže se "nađena" već "nađen", zato što je Đorđe muškarac, a ne žena!"
Introduction to the case:
  1. Ђорђе Белић, 60, , чувени глумац из Београда, нађена је мртав у својој радној собy, 2. фебруар у 18 часови и 5 минута. (3 mistakes, without the example)
  2. Иако је полиција позвани на лице места због случаја самоубиства.   Током увиђаја је утврђено да је у питању убиство и да је усмрћен пиштољима марке Глоцк, Модел 26.  (2 mistakes)
  3. Тог тренутака, у његовој кућaмa у Гроздићевој 142, налазило се још четири лица: (2 mistakes)
a. Војислав Симеуновић, стари 48 година, ради у обезбеђењу кућне већ 4 годинa.  (3 mistakes)

b.  Снежана Ранковић, стар 33 године, ради као куварица већ 3 година.  (2 mistakes)

c. Радивој  Шошкић, стар 44 годину, запослен као возач убијену Ђорђа Белића - на овом послу скоро 1 годинe  (прецизније, 11 месеција и 6 данa)  (3 mistakes)

d. Мирјана Белић, старица  21 година, ћерка убијеноме. (3 mistakes)

Наставиће се...


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Serbian Language Day 10 - Aspect in Serbian

I hope you enjoyed revising the Simple Past in Serbian and wondering why the last lesson was so easy for someone at an intermediate level. The obvious reason is the introduction into this tense, because it'll lead us to the trickiest aspect of the Serbian language:

While in the English language there's an elaborate system of tenses (level of syntax) in order to express whether an action took place, was talking place or has been talking place, in the Serbian language, these distinctions are inferred mainly from the verb, at the lexical level. For example:
  • odmorio (had a rest) or odmarao (was having a rest)
That's why I prepared quite a lot video lessons about Jeremija and Spomenka, and the follow-up exercises, hoping that it'll help you clarify the aspect in Serbian. Let me start with this  difficult one, but if it's too easy, check this one out :)














  • PROBUDITI = to wake up (perfective)
  • BUDITI = to wake up (imperfective)
  • RAZBUDITI = to wake up (perfective)
Kada se obično budiš ? = When do you usually wake up ?
Koliko ti treba vremena da se probudiš ? = How much time does it take for you to wake up ?
Kada si se jutros probudio ? When did you wake up yesterday ?
Jutros sam se probudio u pola šest (5.30) = This morning I woke up at 5.30

In the "she-version", Jeremija made a few mistakes. Here're the correct text:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Serbian Language Day 9 - Pre-intermediate Course, Lesson 2

You can always revise the simple structures by following the Serbian for Beginner course tag, as well as Serbian Lesson Pages.

In our previous pre-intermediate lesson we covered:
Let's use the similar group of words, this time "places in the city" to express our whereabouts:

  • "Ćao! Gde si ?" = Hi, where are you ?
  • "Zdravo! Sada sam u muzeju. A ti ? " = Hello, I'm in the museum. And you ?
  • "Ja sam na autobuskoj stanicu ! Vidimo se za pet minuta!" = I'm at the square ! See you in five minutes! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Serbian Language Day 8 - Beginner Serbian, Lesson 2

Serbian for beginners, lesson 2:

If you successfully completed the previous lesson, and vežbe = exercises jedan and dva, you are ready for the followin lesson covering the phrase "This is ..." and "This isn't ...". Watch the video exercise and try to guess:
  1. what "OVO" means ?
  2. what is the negative form of "JE" ?


Answers:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Serbian Language Day 7 - Video Series, Films and Podcasts for learning Serbian

Youtube is a great source of unique and authentic materials for learning Serbian, which I have been sharing with you under "listening comprehension" tag. One of the best and most comprehensible TV series for learning the Serbian language are surely ancient "Neven", as well as "Poletarac", directed by Timothy Byford and featuring the most prominent actors, actresses and sportsmen from ex-Yugoslavia in the early eighties.

Watch the first part of "Poletarac" and you'll see why it can come in handy when learning Serbian:

1. Part one about swimming (plivanje) and knowing (znanje) from the beginning to minute 3:00
  • plivati = to swim
  • znati = to know, can (I can swim = Znam da plivam)
  • ko zna  da pliva = who knows to / can swim ?
  • osim = except
  • žaba = frog
  • imati = to have
  • da li žaba ima zube ? = does a frog have teeth ?
  • ne znam = I don't know 
2. Part two about telling the time (koliko je sati) and numbers (from 3:00-4:00)
  • koliko je sati ? = what's the time ?
  • sada je tačno jedan sat = it's one o'clock sharp
  • jedan i dva SU tri = one and two are three
  • ovo je jedna žaba = this is a frog
  • ovo su dve žabe = these are two frogs
  • lopta je okrugla = the ball is round
  • Zemlja je okrugla = the Earth is round
3. Part three about APPLES (from 5:30)
  • jabuka = an apple
  • koliko imate jabuka = how many apples do you have ?
  • imam tri jabuke = I have three apples
  • ljuštiti = to peal
4. Part four about UP and DOWN (from 6.30)
  • sad = now
  • gore = up
  • dole = down
  • sad sam dole = now I'm down
  • sad sam gore = now I'm up
  • visoko = high
  • nisko = low
5: Part five with the short answers (from 8:00)
  • Da li imam zube = Do I have teeth ? 
  • Imam = I do
  • imati   = to have
  • Da li sam zelen kao žaba ? = Am I green like a frog ?
  • Nisam = I'm not
  • skakati = to jump
  • Da li skačem kao žaba ? = Do I jump like a frog ?
6: Part six - thanking and greetings
  • hvala = thank you
  • doviđenja = goodbye
  • hvala Vam najlepše = many thanks
  • drago mi je = I'm glad
7. Part seven (from 10:50) about bees and numbers
  • ovo je ... = this is...
  • pčela = bee
  • hive = košnica
  • fabrika = factory
  • roj (pčela) = swarm
  • med = honey
  • ko bude jeo..., biće ... = the one who eats..., he'll be...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Serbian Language 365 - Day 6 Phrases in Serbian

Many of you who have joined my online lessons, accompanying Serbian language courses, already know that I've had so much precious insight into learning Serbian from my mother-in-law who is French. She told me how difficult it was for her to learn the language from books, and she actually started speaking the language and becoming fluent when she threw away all her grammar books and textbooks and started learning phrases and letting her children correct her mistakes. You can imagine why: since Serbian is a highly flective language, one can come across many suffixes which are the same, denoting different cases (like "vidim pitU" (Acc.Sg.Fem.) in contrast with "ja sam u BeogradU" (Locative, Sg. Masc.)), which can only confuse you.

In reality, if you stopped to think what you'd say, you'd never become fluent. The key to learning ANY language is always immersion, either by spending time in the country where the language is spoken, or watching films, singing songs or being surrounded by  people speaking only the target language. In case none of the above is possible, you can always  learn the set phrases, which will help you become fluent.

Learning grammar is always a "reverse engineering" process  - and it should stay that way. That's why I will always publish one "Serbian phrases video lesson" based on a situation covered in my Serbian phrases e-book on Sundays. Lots of my students told me it was highly useful and practical, and I'm sure you'll find it the same!



Pozdravi na srpskom (Greetings in Serbian)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Serbian Language 365 - Day 5 Singing in Serbian

If you have been following this blog, you've certainly noticed that there are a lot of songs with which you can practise your language. The main reason is that songs will help you with fluency, because while singing you repeat the same structures, collocations and fixed verb+case noun sets, and this boosts your confidence and automatic responses.

Before I continue creating new songs+exercises, such as this one, let me give you a short review of the past songs and grammar points which my students really loved:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Serbian Language 365 Day 4 - Advanced Levels

For upper-intermediate and advance levels of Serbian I enjoy creating detective stories, where students have  to actively use the language, learn about the Serbian history, culture, customs and language. They ask questions, write e-mails and direct the "investigation".

On Fridays, I intend to share just the beginnings of these stories with you, along with the grammar exercises. So far I've completed the following series of lessons:
  • Ubistvo u radnoj sobi (pre-intermediate)
  • Misterija otrovanog piva (pre-intermediate to intermediate)
  • Tajna drevnog buzdovana (intermediate to upper-intermediate & advanced levels)
  • Petar BlOgojević - prvi srpski vampir (intermediate to upper-intermediate & advanced levels)
  • Ko je zabiberio kulen ? (upper-intermediate & advanced levels)
  • Misterija slavskog kolača (final test for intermediate Serbian202 course)
  • Maglovite četvrti srpskih gradova (beginner to pre-intermediate)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Serbian Language 365 Day 3 - Intermediate level & Past Tense

Let's practise the Simple Past Tense in the Serbian language. While the beginner and pre-intermediate courses of Serbian  focus is on phrases, present tense, modals and cases, the intermediate course focuses on aspects, explaining the subtle differences between "odmarati" and "odmoriti" and similar.

Since we are at the very beginning of everyday Serbian lesson series, let me introduce you to some of the earlier posts covering this topic:
...as well as one of the Youtube videos, which somehow connect with the yesterday's post, so now it can be easily understood:


Text : "Gde si bila ?" (Fem. Sg.) / "Gde si bio?" (Masc. Sg.) = Where were you ?
Fem. Sg. Bila sam u ...
Masc. Sg. Bio sam u ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Serbian Language 365 Day 2 - Serbian for Pre-intermediate Level

In the past five years I've scattered numerous blog posts with lessons of Serbian and corresponding grammatical explanations not only on this blog and Youtube and Youtube but all over the Internet. One of the many reasons for starting 365 Days of Serbian Language was to connect them and tag them correctly.

Since the previous post covered the verb TO BE in the Simple Present tense, I think that all the students who are either at elementary and pre-intermediate level can easily learn to use the same form with the Locative case, saying where you are:



At the end of each video lesson, let's revisit some of the previous posts covering the same, or similar topic:





Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Serbian Language 365 - Day 1

As you've probably noticed, I recently started making  new series of HD Serbian courses. Each Tuesday I  introduce you the Serbian 101, a course for the real beginners. It is a completely new version of the  Serbian for Beginners 101, which will be available via Udemy and Plimus platforms in February.

In this series of blog posts which will be published every day, I'll be posting some of the new video lessons together with accompanying exercises. I'm sure you'll enjoy it !

The verb To Be in Serbian:

Additional exercises:

Monday, February 11, 2013

365 Days of Learning Serbian

I've recently reread a great book "First Things First" by Stephen Covey  and it reminded me, yet again, how important it is to organize our activities well and dedicate our time to people we love and  things that matter. Learning a new language on a daily basis, or any other skill for that matter,  can make a huge difference in the long run, once we urgently need it.

That's why it struck me that I should use this blog, and all the digital teaching content I've created in years, not only to encourage you to perservere, but provide you with meaningful and graded content to learn Serbian regularly. Even if you skip a day or two,  or an entire week/month, you know that you  have everything in one place, right here !

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