Learn Serbian

Learning Serbian with exercises, video lessons and online courses

Friday, May 15, 2009

Idiot's Guide to the Cyrillic Alphabet

Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet


During my sojourn in Montenegro, I encountered both the use of Latin and Cyrillic versions of the alphabet. This was a great opportunity to pick up and understand more of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Signs for streets & squares were in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on the one sound, one letter system. I had a steep learning curve in reading Cyrillic, particularly when I was trying to read the inscriptions on the Partizan memorials for my English compatriots!

Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet




Now I am sharing with you, dear blog readers, on how I started to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. I found it easier by breaking down the alphabet into sections. All in all, it took me just over 1 hour to get myself acquainted with the alphabet.
Click here to hear the audio


ћирилица
..................................................................................
THE FRIENDLY LETTERS (As they are exactly the same as in the latin alphabet)
K M T O A E J
Examples words: ATOM, MAJKA

THE FALSE FRIENDS (Be aware - although they look the same as their counterparts in the latin alphabet, they represent different letters!).

В P С X У
V R S H U

Can you work out the following words?

CECTPA, BУK, BPATA

THE COMMON CYRILLIC CORE (That's what I call these set of letters as they are common to other Cyrillic based languages).

Б Г Д 3 Л П Ф И H Ж Ч Ш ц

B G D Z L P F I N ž č Š C

Here are some means of transportation:

B
БРOД
TAKCИ
AУTOБУC
ABИОН
and some other words

XBAЛA
ДAН
KPEBET
ПЕКAРA
KAПУЋИНО
ЧAJ
ЖИВОТ
ПОШТA
БУЛEBAP
ЛЕП

THE SERBIAN CYRILLIC SET (Unique to the language and quite distinct).

Џ Ђ Ћ Љ Њ
Dž Đ Ć LJ NJ

Here are a selection of words for you to work out:

HOЋ
ЉУБАВ
ЂAK
ЏEMПEP

KOЊ

The sort order of the ćirilica (ћирилица) alphabet:
Cyrillic order (called Azbuka (азбука): А Б В Г Д Ђ Е Ж З И Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ О П Р С Т Ћ У Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш

The sort order of the latinica (латиница) alphabet:
Latin order (called Abeceda (абецеда): A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š T U V Z Ž

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is based on the simple principle of:
"write as you speak and read as it is written"
Пиши као што говориш и читај како је написано.
Piši kao što govoriš i čitaj kako je napisano.


Don't forget that there's always Serbian Phrases List in the Cyrillic version with slow pronunciation ! Those who know how to write "FaithfulFollower" in Serbian (in the Latin alphabet) will get a significant discount :)

If you would like to get all my video lessons with explanations in English, translations and additional exercises like the ones above, in the meaningful order, consider joining me on Patreon. HVALA!

Contact form

Name

Email *

Message *

Testimonials

I really recommend Marina as an online teacher. She provides comprehensive lessons combining study and fun. You never know what to expect next so you never get bored. She's a professional who knows how to transfer knowledge to others.
Edita, Poland, 2008
She is the best teacher of Serbian as a Foreign Language! She is patient and loves teaching. I recommend Marina as teacher! Ioanna, Greece, 2009
I'm loving this course so far and am enjoying the examples. I like how much you learn in such a short time.
Mandy Southgate, South Africa, 2010
Marina is brilliant. Her classes are filled with a positive feeling atmosphere, which makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. I have thoroughly enjoyed our lessons, and thus have made noticeable and swift inroads with my progress. I look forward to many more lessons in the coming weeks. Vladan, Australia, 2011
The course is great and the teacher as well, the problem is on my side in relation with my availability, but marina has been always nice and professional in meeting my requests. i'd suggest this course to everyone who is interested in learning Serbian. Antonio , Italy, 2011
Marina's lessons are extremely well planned, highly interactive and challenging - I am making great progress with the Serbian lessons.
David, England, 2012
Marina is so flexible and helpful when you want to learn about a specific topic! She customizes the lessons to suit your needs and interests! She always makes me feel as though I am improving and I always feel challenged and excited for her classes - the classes always fly by!
Jayme, USA, 2013
Marina has been a fantastic teacher. She has taken me from knowing absolutely no Serbian and brought me to a level where I am excited to live and thrive in a country where they speak Serbian. I have recommended her and will continue to pass her name along for other students who are interested in learning. I look forward to continuing to keep in touch with her. Katie, USA, 2014
I have been working with Marina twice a week through Udemy since late August and LOVE her and all of her videos and classroom work through Udemy. It is so helpful to be able to log in at any time during the day or night and listen and watch her videos. She breaks each lesson down very well and makes it simple to learn and to interact and practice on my own before our classtime. I will highly recommend Marina to other friends as well as Udemy! Amanda, USA, 2015
Marina is a great teacher. She always supports me in everything I need. All my questions or doubts are immediately responded by her. I recommended this course and Marina!! Mirko Radović, Peru, 2016
I have worked with Marina as a teacher of Serbian for several years and highly recommend her based on her passion for Serbian and for language in general, as well as her total commitment to teaching and to her students. David, UK, 2017
Marina is an incredible teacher of Serbian language; she knows how to motivate a student, she is very resourceful, and uses a great variety of learning approaches. Hours spent with her are never dull. Highly recommended! Jana, Slovenia, 2018