Serbian Survival Guide
WHY YOU SHOULD LEARN SERBIAN
Whilst many Belgradians speak English, learning the basics of Serbian will be very useful in daily life – and is always appreciated by locals. Getting to grips with the essentials will give you a better chance of finding a job, help you to understand menus and order food in restaurants, and to generally fully immerse yourself in Serbian culture.
WHERE TO LEARN SERBIAN
Belgrade has a wide choice of language schools for foreigners. Every academy is different, using a variety of learning methods from traditional teaching to shadowing, where you listen to the tutor and repeat as quickly as possible. You can get one-to-one lessons with a private teacher, organize a group session with friends, or take lessons in a school with other international students, which is a great way to have fun and meet new people.
Prices will vary depending on the school, based on reputation, location, number of classes per week etc. If you decide to go to a school two days a week with a small group of students for example, you can expect to pay 300-400 €.
Most language schools offer courses for total beginners, intermediates and there are also some lessons available that focus on Serbian for business. Many academies also offer lessons designed specifically for children.
- Akademija Oxford: Beogradska 18/2 & Ugrinovačka – Senski Trg 7, in Zemun.
- AZBUKUM Centre for Serbian Language and Culture: Milentija Popovića 6, in New Belgrade.
- Berlitz: with centers in Slavija Trg and New Belgrade among other areas in the city.
- Center for Serbian as a Foreign Language: Studentski Trg 3, Faculty of Philology.
- Concord Language School: Skenderbegova 11a, in Dorćol & Mileševska 6, in Vračar.
- Serbian Language and Culture Workshop: Studentski Trg 3, Faculty of Philology.
- The Institute for Foreign Languages: Gospodar Jovanova 35, in Dorćol.
- The School of Foreign Languages Mogi Belgrade: Kralja Milana 4, in Terazije & Bulevar Umetnosti 13, in New Belgrade.
APPS TO LEARN SERBIAN
Apps are a great way to start exploring the Serbian language – helping you to understand the basics on day at a time. We selected only English ones but there are a few more in other languages.
- L-Lingo learn Serbian (free)
- Learn Serbian Phrasebook (free)
- Serbian Phrasebook (free)
- English – Serbian dictionary (free)
- Serbian – English offline dictionary (free)
BASIC & EASY VOCABULARY
COMMON EXPRESSIONS & IDIOMS
Once you’ve picked up the basics, you’ll start noticing common expressions that Serbians use everyday. Some of these words and phrases have several meanings in different situations, but try to memorize a few and surprise your Serbian friends!
- Prijatno: bon appetit or enjoy your meal.
- Doviđenja, prijatno: goodbye, have a nice day.
- Molim: You may have learnt as please, but you can also use it to say you are welcome. Also when somebody ask you something, you can respond with molim which in this case means what and yes?
- Nema na čemu: you are welcome.
- Može: come on, you can do it.
- Tako je: that is right.
- Dobro: good, well, OK.
- Odlicno: great, super, fantastic.
- Naravno: of course.
- Izvolite: You’ll here this in a shop or supermarket, it means here you are or how can I help? Don’t confuse it with izvinite, which means sorry!
- Sve najbolje: kind regards (in an email)
- Gde si, De si, Šta ima?, Šta radis?: All of these expressions are used everyday to say what’s up?, how are you?, what are you doing?, what’s going on?
- Šta se desilo?: what happened?
- Cime se bavis?: what do you do?, what is your profession?
- Kako život?: how are you doing?, how is life?, how is it going? (when you haven’t seen somebody for a while)
- Dođi, molim te: come here please.
- Lepo spavaj: sweet dreams (use with or instead of laku noć: good night)
- Vidimo se: see you later.