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Serbian (Српски)


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Serbian (Serbian Cyrillic: српски, Latin: srpski, pronounced [sr̩̂pskiː]) is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language used chiefly by Serbs in Serbia, Montenegro,and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it is a recognized minority language in Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Albania and Greece.

Standard Serbian is based on the most widespread dialect of Serbo-Croatian, Shtokavian (more specifically on Šumadija-Vojvodina and Eastern Herzegovinian dialects), which is also the basis of Standard Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. The other dialect spoken by Serbs is Torlakian in southeastern Serbia, which is transitional to Macedonian and Bulgarian.


Although most Serbo-Croatian words decline with number, sex and case, so that the syntax should be relatively free in principle (as it is in Russian), the language makes use of many so-called enclitics, which are essentially short words whose positions in a sentence are very important. Amongst other words, many pronouns have both long and short forms (eg. njih & ih = them) and there is a complicated set of rules that determine the order in which these type of words should appear in a sentence.

Spelling and the Alphabets:

Words are pronounced exactly as they are written, though one must learn to use the correct stresses (but this is easier to predict than in Russian).

Serbian is practically the only European standard language with complete synchronic digraphia, using both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets; speakers read the two scripts equally well. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was devised in 1814 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić, who created the alphabet on phonemic principles. The Latin alphabet was designed by Croatian linguist Ljudevit Gaj in 1830.

Cyrillic and Latin alphabets:




Learning Material:

If anyone is interested in learning Serbian/Croatian, send me a PM and I will supply you with some good resources. Also, if anyone has question about the language or needs help with something, post it in this thread and I will be happy to help.

http://goo.gl/WwAldh - Hands down the best Serbian grammar book.


http://www.rts.rs/    (News and national television)

http://www.b92.net/    (News)



http://vukajlija.com/  (A really good place to get an insight into the Serbian mentality and to get to know colloquial words and phrases)

https://www.youtube.com/user/EmisijeRTVojvodine (Državni posao - a really popular and funny show in Serbia, although I would not recommend it to beginners since the phrases and jokes used there are sometimes hard even for native speakers to comprehend)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVjYy9HxYcA&list=PLh6h3lW9veHbGqD8IzfUmSeqOtNbOna5b (Porodično blago (Family treasure)) - excellent TV show, read the description bellow)

What is notable about 'Porodicno Blago' is the good dose of realism it possesses without being dark. It is happening during the difficult times in Serbia (that unfortunately exist to this day) where Serbs face the issues of high unemployment, the rural-urban divide and the young generation dreaming of leaving the country in a delusion that they might find a better life abroad. We have the Gavrilovic family where the heads are trying make ends meet while the children are faced with issues of their own: one is trying to find a job, the other is a tomboy who finds love and the third child struggles to finish school. These are very common problems that are portrayed in a manner where we sympathise with the characters and root for them. Even the people from the countryside are hilarious, a refreshing change from Serbian movies and series that were at the time this was aired were heavily focused on Belgrade.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg3GhrCu2wiVesOTGCXYGjg    (American guy living in Serbia, funny, informative and educational videos)

If I think of or find any others resources, I will update this thread.



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Srpskibre.com showing as suspended now.  I'm hoping somebody bought the content and it's available somewhere else.  It's the only site online that teaches Serbian grammar with a responsive interface.  I'm doing Mango currently, but that is mainly just teaching vocabulary and phrases.  In depth grammar is really unavailable at this point now that .Srpskibre.com is gone.  I emailed the owner at one point and he said he'd built the whole thing with no pay and it was too much to keep going.  Then I saw he had paid ads on the site.  I would be willing to pay a monthly fee for such a site.  I'm sorry to see it's gone and hope someone can acquire it who can successfully monetize it, making it viable.

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Hi @karris

What's your native tongue? I was actively learning Serbian too, but I'm residing in Montenegro which is Serbian speaking. So I was taking offline classes with a teacher. Even if my native tongue is Russian, I did need a teacher who would do housekeeping with grammar and vocabulary in my head. So if you want, I can share you a contact of a brilliant teacher. 

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