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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 practise with minimal pairs and not-so-minimal pairs, because there aren't that many words with Đ and DŽ:

Step 4:
Listen and repeat:
  • đak              džak
  • leđa             odžak
  • đinđuva       dživdžan
  • ceđenje        karakondžula
  • đubre           dželat
  • đurđevak     džanarika
  • đakonije      džangrizalo
  • đavo            džem
  • đevrek         džemper

Step 5:
Encircle the word you hear me say:
  1. đubre     džak        đak           odžak
  2. đevrek   džaba       đavo         džem
  3. džoker   đon          džomba     đozluci
  4. džudo    đevrek     džukela     đuveč
  5. ceđenje  dživdžan  đinđuva    dželat  
For more pronunciation practice visit the previous blog posts tagged "pronunciation in Serbian"


Martha said…
By the look of this post and those letters I can clearly say Serbian language is a very tough one to go through. I've not tried so far to learn this language but wishing everyone best of luck to learn Serbian properly. Thanks.

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