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Showing posts from 2014

Greetings in Serbian Pronounced

Greetings in Serbian with Pronunciation After trying to record the pronunciation for the basic Serbian lesson greetings with my computer running on Ubunty, it hasn't occurred to me to try switching to Windows. Once I did it, I saw how simple it was to make these little Quizlets even more useful! 
Let's learn the greetings by simply listening to the pronunciation of the following words for saying hello and goodbye:
dobar dan - good afternoon dobro veče - good evening dobro jutro - good morning kako ste? - how are You? kako si? - how are you? dobro, hvala! - well, thanks! doviđenja - goodbye ćao - hi / goodbye zdravo - bye bye / goodbye zdravo - hello laku noć - good night
Exercises with Greetings in Serbian Now, let's do a dictation!

Games with Greetings in Serbian The aim of the first game is to connect the Serbian word or words with its English counterpart.

In the second game, which is real fun, you have to type the word in Serbian until its English translation reaches…

Genitive in Serbian - Exercise with Adjectives

Genitive in Serbian Let me announce  a series of blog posts about the Genitive in Serbian with exercises. Theory can be easy to learn, but what's more difficult is to actually produce correct sentences and phrases. 

That's why I want to encourage you to play with the Quizlets I make for you and keep saying the words in Serbian out loud, especially while playing the SpaceRace :)
Practising Genitive in Serbian

Here comes the answer key:
od čistog zlata - of pure gold
prljave šolje - (of a) dirty mug
od tamnog odela - of dark suit
od svetlih gradova - of light cities
prijatnih žena - (of) pleasant women
od neprijatane dece - (of) unpleasant children
širokog osmeha - (of) broad smile
iz uske ulice - out of narrow street
od visokog čoveka - from the tall man
od niske žene - from the short woman
iz lepog sela - from the beautiful village
od ružnih pasa - of ugly dogs
od pametnih - from smart friends
od glupih političara - from stupid politicians
od duge suknje - of the long skirt

Conjugations in Serbian - to Shave

Why Conjugations of Brijati - To Shave While I was watching RTS1 today I saw a very interesting and insightful story about a very old "brica", a barber who works in  "berbernica". I looked it up on Youtube, but couldn't find it on RTS1 Channel. However, there was a similar story which can be turned in another interesting lesson at an upper-intermediate or advanced level.

How to use this video and introduce relevant verb conjugations?
As usual, it's always great to elicit the vocabulary based on watching the video, without the audio:BRICA - barberBRIJATI Present (brijem / brijes/ brije // brijemo / brijete/ briju) -to shave (impf)BRIJATI Past (brijao / brijala / brijalo // brijali/ brijale/ brijala) - shaved (past)BRIJANJE - shavingOBRIJAN - shavedOBRIJATI - to shave (perf)IZBRIJATI/IZBRIJVATI/IZBRIJAVANJE - to clean shaveBERBERNICACollocations: brijati + bradu/glavu, savladati brijanje, brijanje glave/brade, ucenje brijanja, vezbanje brijanja, oblikovanje b…

Short Serbian History - Part One

This year I have discovered three real gems for learning Serbian at higher levels:
Naša Snajka Youtube channelMala istorija Srbije by Nova.rsDržavni Posao by RTV As I have already written about Naša Snajka and Državni Posao, let me introduce you to  "Mala istorija Srbije" series which present Serbian tradition and history in a didactic and lively manner. For example, while watching the first episode you can learn:

until what time it is safe to greet someone saying "dobro jutro"what "stalni gosti" usually drinkwhat "srpski političar" looks likethe connotation of the word "stoka"who can save you on February 24th

Now, how can you learn Serbian while watching these videos?

At first turn off the audio and describe what's going onWhen watching the video for the second time, do listen to it and ask as many questions as possible (of course, press pause in order to manage this!). So, the aim is to understand what's going on!Retell the st…

Passive Participle Verb Form Exercises

Passive Participle Verb Forms The Passive Voice in Serbian is not that hard, but the main problem is the verb form called "trpni glagolski pridev", or passive participle in English. Although I have already written about it, it can be useful to mention how to form it:
*VERB STEM + -N/-NA/-NO // -NI/-NE/-NA Example: NAPISA+TI --- napisaN, napisaNA, napisaNO // napisaNI, napisaNE, napisaNA (to write --- written)
*VERB STEM + -N/-NA/-NO // -NI/-NE/-NA Example: NAPISA+TI --- napisaN, napisaNA, napisaNO // napisaNI, napisaNE, napisaNA (to write --- written)
*VERB STEM + -T/-TA/-TO // -TI/-TE/-TA Example: PRODA+TI --- prodaT, prodaTA, prodaTO // prodaTI, prodaTE, prodaTA (to sell --- sold)
*VOICE CHANGES: in some cases with the verb stem ending in  -e or -i: NOSITI - NOŠENVIDETI - VIĐENRANITI - RANJEN *ADDING an infix - V or -J between the stem and the passive suffix: OBUTI - OBUVENČUTI - ČUVENUBITI - UBIJENISPITI - ISPIJEN To exemplify all these changes and forms with real life exa…

Past Tense Practice in Serbian

Past Tense Practice in Serbian You can find lots of useful info on the Simple Past tense in Serbian in some of the previous posts on this blog. Today I'd like to share a cute song I found on Youtube - all you have to do is to listen to it carefully and add the past tense suffixes to the past tense and present tense verbs and a few suffixes with the nouns in plural. 

Dlan_ _ _ ti puni snova
Osmeh boje izazova
Reci, kud si krenu_ _?
U srcu ti ceo svemir
U oč_ _ _ kriješ nemir
Snove si sakri_ _

Zvezd_  su u tvojoj kosi
Kao da te jesen pros_
Nikom neće da te da
Hoda_ lako kao vila
Gde si se do sada kri_ _
To me baš zanima

Samoj sebi već sam čudna
Svake noći ja sam budna
Šta se sa mnom desi_ _
Tvoji prst_ na gitari
I sve te lagane stvar_
Sviraj mi ponovo

Malo čežnje na tvom licu
Leptir slete_ na žicu
Nebo se osmehu_ _
Probaj sa mnom sne da deli_
Šapući mi sve što želiš
Niko nas ne čuje

Hajde da malo proba_ _
Baš to x3
Jagod_ s puno šlaga
Ti si mi tako draga
Pa nek ide sve
Do vraga


Serbian Language Tests - Accusative Plural

There are so many different online tools for making tests, quizzes and fun video exercises and I think you noticed I like experimenting with them while creating various tasks for learning Serbian. Funnily enough, it takes time for some tools to develop and in the meantime, I completely forget about them. One of these is certainly Quizlet, which I joined three years ago, but haven't realized its potential until recently, thanks to my student, Paul! Hvala, Pavle :)

If you flicked through Serbian School website, you probably noticed that I started adding videos and Serbian language tests made with this tool. I even started making classes at different levels, to group the tests, so feel free to join in!
Let me see if I can share some of the tests on this blog as well! This particular exercise is a follow up of a video lesson explaining which phrases to use when shopping:

želeti = to want tokupiti = to buyvideti = to seeželim da kupim = I want to buyželim da vidim = I want to see Kupiti…

Serbian for Beginners - Let's Conjugate Together

Video with Verb Conjugations This video is made for you to practise conjugating Serbian verbs in the Simple Present tense. For more advanced students, this video lesson can be also used for making sentences in the past or future tense or in the conditionals.
imati = to havevideti = to seevoleti = to like together with nouns which denote:

placesplants and animalscoloursentertainment Conjugations

Active and Passive Voice in Serbian

Listen to this interesting story about Filip Vukša, a modest Belgrade hero, and try to do the following exercises dedicated to the verb forms in active and passive voice in Serbian.

a. Exercise 1 - filling in the gaps with the appropriate verb form in active voice.
b. Exercise 2 - turning the verbs which were in the active voice from into passive voice.

For some more exercises about the passive voice verb forms (trpni glagolski pridevi), here come two drills:
a. Lakša vežba
b. Teža vežba

Jesam or Sam in Serbian?

After uploading a hundred of videos both from Serbian 101 and Serbian 102 course, and revising each of them, Ivan decided to help me with his 3D effects vidos. So far he's made 30 short videos with the verbs used in the course, in the present and past tense so far, but he plans to make 5 more each day.

I'll post some of them here on the blog, but for the complete version, refer to the Serbian101-102 course. Here comes its short description:

Serbian 101 &102 is perfect for absolute and false beginners in Serbian. It is organized in such a way that you can either follow it chronologically, or choose only the topics you are interested in. Each topic consists of an explanatory video lesson and then video exercises with links to follow-up quizzes with instant feedback.  There are more than 100 lessons making well over 10 hours of video lessons and exercises which take you from the very start to the pre-intermediate level, covering: Tenses: Present Simple and Past Simple TenseCase…

Shift = Smena

Here comes an ancient song called "Za treću smenu" = "For (people working) night/third shift" by Djordje Balašević. I want to share it with you here because this version is easy to follow, especially with the lyrics in the proper Latin script (not the "ošišana verzija", which is commonly found on Youtube - guess not many people heard of this lovely SlovoMajstor remedy).

Large Numbers in Serbian

If you are familiar with numbers in Serbian, here comes a new lesson from Serbian 102 course which is a bit more complicated. It is about how to pronounce large numbers.

If this simple exercise is too easy, watch this video survey about the year of the Battle of Kosovo and jot down all the numbers you hear:

Serbian Fun Expressions and Idioms

In one of my more advanced Serbian lessons there came up a few expressions which I wanted to share with you today. I will copy-paste a part of the text about Jeremija, with whom you can learn Serbian from the very start.  I'll list the tasks below this short excerpt:

Jeremija je bio veoma srećan tog jutra, jer je bio potpuno siguran da će dobiti povišicu na poslu. Njegov šef je u nekoliko navratanatuknuo Jeremiji da će od sledećeg meseca omastiti brk, kao i da je to potpuno zaslužio. Jeremija se pravio lud i uspešno se uzdržavao da ne vuče šefa za rukav i postavlja dodatna pitanja. Bio je svestan da sve što bude dobio jeste rezultat njegovog sopstvenog rada i da nije jednostavno palo s neba. Posebno mu je bilo milo što ovaj put nije morao da se kiti tuđim perjem. Njegova zasluga je bila očigledna. Kada je tog jutra stigao na posao i otvorio svoju kancelariju, imao je šta da vidi. Na stolu je stajao potpuno nov kompjuter i pored njega još noviji mobilni, a šef je sav sijao od sreće…

Advanced Serbian Lessons with Državni Posao

Very popular "Državni posao" series are perfect for highly advanced Serbian lessons. One can learn a lot of common Serbian phrases and expressions.  The fun part is to detect mistakes made by famous Đorđe Čvarkov, Dragan Torbica and Boškić (e.g. "lapsitops" instead of "laptop" or "Jututu" instead of "Jutjub").

Let's watch just the first three minutes and try to do the following tasks:

Task 1: Tick the phrases you hear
Do juče se nisam brinuoTo je samo folDigneš narod na noge Prazne dušeBez i zrna energije, bez i zrna poletaI ne bi se digliPogledajte šta nam radeZa mnogo manje sitniceNikom ništaMož' mislitiČime se ti bavišUkinuli serijuTo je neka mutna radnjaAko nisu umešali prste Imao (seriju) pa nemaoNije to bilo koja serijaNeko će odgovaratiNema milostiTask 2: Even if you don't understand each and every word, can you understand what the problem is?
Task 3: After watching the first part (0:20 - 1:30 - I added the subtitles t…

New Serbian Lesson - HAPPY in Novi Sad

If you have been in Novi Sad, I am sure you  will enjoy doing this fun speaking/writing exercise which can be done along with  Pharrell Williams'  Happy [WE ARE FROM NOVI SAD] version:

You can make simple sentences when you recognize the places where the people are:

Ovo je autobus. On igra u autobusu.Ovo je trg. On igra na trgu. Ovo je kej. Oni igraju na keju.... The verbs you can use are as follows: igrati/ plesati u/na + Loc = to dance (deca igraju na ulici)nalaziti se  + Loc= there is/are (oni se nalaze u parku)prepoznati + Acc = to recognize (prepoznajem Frušku goru)biti u/na + Loc = to be (bio/bila sam na ovom mestu)videti + Acc = to see (vidim or video/videla sam tvrđavu) The idea is not to stop the video while making these short sentences :)

Exercise with Instrumental Case in Serbian

If you enjoy learning Serbian with easy texts, here comes a very simple one, which is actually a part of Serbian 102 course:

Vocabulary you might need:

PUTOVATI - to travel NA MORE - to the seaside U ZAVISNOSTI OD - depending on ODREDIŠTE - destination IĆI - to go A - and/but NAJVIŠE VOLETI - to love most of all ZATO ŠTO - because ZAUSTAVITI SE - to stop ZAŽELETI - to wish SVE VREME - all the time SVAĐATI SE - to argue MENI - to me MOM SUPRUGU - to my husband POŠTO - because MIRAN - peaceful TRAJATI - to last DUGO - long Here comes the same text, but in the Cyrillic script:

Learning Montenegrin?

Regardless of the fact that if you learn Serbian, you will be able easily understand Croatian, Bosnian and recently Montenegrin, (so called BCS language) spoken in the region of ex Yugoslavia, I'm sure you'll appreciate to hear the different accents. Today, I chose this interesting story from a Montenegrin news Youtube channel about a musician physicist :) and transcribed it into Montenegrin/Serbian:

The follow-up exercise for this video can be received via Advanced Activator

Serbian Phrases through Songs

If you're learning Serbian, you'll surely need these commonly used phrases (on a daily basis LOL):
Ostaviti (nekoga) na miru = Leave (someone) alone (e.g. ostavi me na miru! = leave me alone)Poludeću = I'll go crazyUčiniću sve da + present tense = I'll do everything to...Možda i grešim = maybe I'm mistakenSamo nebo zna koliko + phrase = (only) heaven knows how much ... Let's learn them while singing this oldie song by Oliver Mandić:

Tourism in Serbia in Serbian

While making a short video exercise based on one of our previous lessons I also came across this short video which can teach you a variety of common collocations connected with tourism and hospitality. Let's listen to the video and try to jot them down.

In case it's too fast, do watch my subtitles in Serbian, which will be integrated in the videos on this blog from now on :)

Talking about your childhood dreams in Serbian

You may remember some of the funny Kefalica videos from my past posts. This time, the video is about "Kafana", which is combined with very nice story about what a pop singer wanted to become when she was a little girl. I added subtitles under her story in this video:

If you want to enjoy the whole story and hear what the kids are saying in between, do watch the video on Youtube.

Don't Miss Naša Snajka on Youtube

Finally a great Youtube channel dedicated to teaching you both the Serbian language and customs :)

Besides English subtitles, you can also choose French, Italian, Russian, German and Spanish!!!

Please do support Naša Snajka by sharing her videos  and liking her FB page with anyone interested in learning Serbian :)
Hvala, Martina!
Edit: Here is the same video with the Serbian subtitles:

How to Use to Use in Serbian :)

One of the ways to express that you "use" something or something is "useful" in Serbian is to learn all the speech parts of the verb #koristiti, which is connected with our previous post with Present Simple conjugations.

If you use it as a verb: KORISTITI, možete ga koristiti kroz različita vremena i oblike: Present Simple conjugations: koristim- koristiš- koristi // koristimo-koristite-koriste (For example: Koji program koristiš za obradu slika? Koristim "Paint", ali mi se ne sviđa. Da li si video Miletove fotografije? On sigurno koristi nešto drugo!)Radni glagolski pridev - the form used in Past Simple: koristio-koristila-koristilo//koristili-koristile-koristila (e.g. Ma i Mile je koristio "Paint", ali je išao na neki kurs gde su svi koristili "Korel", pa je i on naučio da radi u njemu... a i ja sa njim, tako da sada koristimo isti program.)Trpni glagolski pridev - the form which equals the Past Participle in English, used either in t…

Practicing Cyrillic Script

If you need to practise writing Serbian Cyrillic script, it's a good idea to either

read these beautiful poems by Mika Antić...

...and type down while reading...

or simply click pause and write it in your diary :)

If you want a more difficult practice, simply listen Mika and jot down what he's saying :)

Improving your Listening Comprehension Skills

In order to develop your Serbian listening comprehension skills, it's of vital importance to listen to Serbian on a daily basis. It would be perfect if you can also understand what the speakers are saying and what the subject matter is. That surely increases your motivation :) Unfortunately, there aren't many youtube videos with subtitles in English, like this one:

with Serbian translated into English in subtitles or like this one in English translated into Serbian.

 I spend a few hours weekly in search for good, quality listening material for my students. It's not only enough to find a video with a catchy title, but also for a speaker to pronounce Serbian at a normal speed and speak about an appropriate topic for a lesson. I say that I spend hours looking for useful videos, not because I'm too picky, but because I tend to get fascinated with some stupid or bizarre stuff which usually happens to be listed first on Youtube. Unfortunately, the real gems are usually sitti…

Verb Conjugations in Serbian - koristiti

Here comes a brand new video lesson with the verb "koristiti" or "to use". This verb is commonly followed by the Accusative case and you can practise using both singular and plural form of the nouns while watching this video:

This sounds very simple until you want to make more complicated sentences or to say what is useful to you (šta TI koristi?) and similar. That's why my next post will cover collocations and phrases with this verb used in many different contexts, similar to the previous ones.

Revising Serbian Phrases

It's true that it might be difficult to understand some of the Serbian phrases if pronounced quite fast and somewhat incomprehensibly, but the real challenge is surely how to respond appropriately!

That's why I recorded a new video lesson for you, which can be used at all levels (click stop when you are out of your depth). You can use it in different ways:
To check how well you can understand fast speech, simply listen to the phrases and try to jot them down, without watching the video below!If it is too easy, try to hear the phrase and then respond to it, as fast as you can, without clicking the pause button.If you are not sure if you understood the phrases, play the video while watching it. Now, if you are sure what all the phrases mean, try to respond to them, even try to write down/practice with your language partner, how you'd continue the conversation. Have fun!

Serbian Slava Sveti Sava

Let's celebrate Saint Sava Slava on January, 27th by sharing these insightful sites:
A must watch BBC video about St. Sava Slava (hvala D.)About St. Sava by Istorijska Biblioteka site in SerbianAbout Serbian Slava in English by Baba MimiAbout Serbian Orthodox faith in English Don't miss the previous years' posts which include: Listening comprehension exerciseSongExercise based on the St. Sava hymn

Serbian Pronunciation Practice with Đ and DŽ

If you started learning Serbian and you are confused as to what might be the difference between DŽ and Đ sounds, let me help you by taking you through these five steps:

Step 1:  Which of these two sounds is softer to your ear ?  Dž/dž (or Џ џ  in Cyrillic)
Đ / đ (or in Cyrillic script: Ђ ђ)?
Step 2: If you don't hear ANY difference, let me tell you that the sound Đ is much softer than DŽ. *You'll get this sound to be softer, i.e. produce Đ, by pressing the tongue onto the lower teeth. Repeat "đ" several times and feel the tongue low, behind the teeth, touching them.
*To get the harsh "DŽ" curl your tongue behind the upper teeth, slightly above them. You'll notice that the sound becomes less soft as you raise your tongue upwards. (even curling it backwards). Now repeat it several times.
Step 3: Try to contrast the soft Đ with harsh DŽ, paying attention to the tongue position and listening to yourself. Can you hear the difference ?
Now it's time to p…