Learning Serbian Language: A 10-Step Guide To Getting Started
Do you want to learn Serbian language but are unsure where to begin? If you fall into this category you are in good company.
I have been in your shoes and I remember my first Serbian lesson and how overwhelmed I felt. My name is Cam and I started learning Serbian after meeting my Serbian girlfriend (who is now my wife). Today I enjoy talking to my wife in her native language and discussing life (in general) with my father-in-law (who doesn’t speak a word of English) over a glass of beer or “rakija”.
Thinking back on my first Serbian lesson, learning Serbian seemed like an insurmountable task. How would I go from absolute beginner to advanced? What would the roadmap look like, and how long would it take? These are questions many of us have when approaching a new language and this post is designed to help you navigate through the high waves and deep waters of language learning.
What my experiences have taught me is that learning Serbian requires the right strategy. Hard work by itself will not suffice, but with the right strategy learning Serbian can be a very enjoyable and achievable journey. Here is a 10-step guide to getting started.
Step 1. Growth Mindset
As irrelevant as it may seem or sound, learning Serbian requires the right psychology and one that is rooted in Growth Mindset, the unwavering belief that your current abilities are not fixed but can be expounded upon and grown with practice and purposeful and intentional study. Success starts in the mind. You must first prime your mind for the journey ahead and remind yourself that you are fully capable of accomplishing your goal…because you are. But there WILL be times of testing, times when you will feel inadequate or incapable, times when your self-belief will be challenged and prior to starting your Serbian language learning journey you need to accept the fact that all of these aspects are a part of the process. There is no growth without tension. So armed with this growth mindset you should rejoice every time you get into a sticky spot, because it means you are in a place of growth.
Having a growth mindset means you change your definition of failure. Failure is not making a grammatical mistake, mispronouncing a word, or struggling to navigate through the Serbian declension system (which consists of 7 cases). Failure is not trying. Failure is believing that your current capabilities are reflective of your future capabilities. I assure you, they are not. To be a dynamic language learner you have to return to the psychology of your youth. Remember your first time riding your bike with no training wheels? Most of us fell…only to get back up again to take hold of the handlebars once more. And over time we started to find our balance, pedal, and relax, and before we knew it we were riding a bike…and we have never been the same sense. So it is with learning Serbian. Expect to fall, but know that every fall is taking you one step closer to your future success, which basically means every mistake is a GOOD thing to celebrate because it means you have found a place of growth. Don’t let frustration overtake you. Frustration begins where knowledge ends, so when you find yourself getting frustrated take a deep breath and give yourself a mental reset. Remind yourself that you are growing…and growing is good.
Step 2. The two-step method
There are two steps to learning Serbian. There is learning Serbian language (1) and there is learning HOW to learn Serbian language(2). The latter precedes the former. You first have to learn HOW to learn Serbian. Then you can learn Serbian. Fortunately for you, The Ultimate Serbian Online Course by SerbianLanguagePodcast.com has assembled everything you need to begin your journey and their instructional videos were created with order in mind. The Ultimate Serbian Online Course has over 100 Instructional Lesson Videos with accompanying Study Guides that will take you from Absolute Beginner to Advanced. A great team of Serbian philologists at SerbianLanguagePodcast.com has carefully designed the Serbian Course and it will help you learn both HOW to learn Serbian (2) and acquire proficiency with Serbian language (including grammar and sentence structure)(1).
Step 3. Defining your goal
What’s your goal for learning Serbian? Do you want to be able to order food at a restaurant, write love-notes to your Serbian partner, engage in everyday conversations, or speak the language at a mastery level? Defining your goal is an important first step. My advice: aim high! But also take comfort in the fact that how deep you choose to go is completely up to you. The Ultimate Serbian Online Course has a variety of resources for learning Serbian and their Premium Content, in short, includes Video Podcasts that explain Serbian expressions and important phrases for travel and everyday communication for the more casual learner, Audio Stories, Beginner Dialogue Series, Grammar Tools, Phonetics & Accent Series and so much more! I encourage you to check it out as their Premium Content for learning Serbian breaks down Serbian grammar for you and helps you go from beginner to advanced. Click here. But identify your goal, join this Online Serbian Language Learning Community, and then go for it!
In this video, I share my experience with you and my first 30 days of learning Serbian
Step 4. Breaking down the big parts into smaller pieces
Think of language learning as a visit to the gym. Do you remember your first visit to the gym? You walk in and you see all of this equipment that you have never seen before. There are cardio machines in one corner and awkward looking machines in another. And then there are the free-weights with heavy dumbbells that look impossible to lift. And not only are they heavy, you don’t even know how to use them! So even with access to everything you need to get into tip-top shape you don’t where to begin, or what to work on first. This is how it can feel when you take the first bold step towards learning Serbian.
But the good news is, The Ultimate Serbian Online Course by Serbian Language Podcast was built with this in mind. The Course is your guide, it walks you through the components of the Serbian language and introduces you to all the necessary resources for learning Serbian. Instructional Lesson Videos break down the large components of Serbian grammar into bite-size digestible pieces. You start learning the alphabet, then numbers, and then Serbian grammar – by breaking down sentences to help you see the intricacies of the language.
During your Serbian language learning journey, you’ll start making your first Serbian sentences, you’ll learn how to conjugate verbs across the tenses, you’ll start using Serbian pronouns, nouns, and adjectives to artfully navigate through the Serbian Declension System. In essence, The Ultimate Serbian Online Course provides you with the roadmap to start from absolute beginner and take you to advanced…and they make it fun! Their learning strategy is comprehensive and will empower you to understand everything you need to know to start making your own Serbian sentences with accuracy (not memorizing random Serbian phrases and expressions), fluency, and style.
Step 5. Managing expectations and the power of “yet”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just snap our fingers and “voila” we speak Serbian? My answer: not really! The best part about learning Serbian is the process. Again, to become good at Serbian (1), first you need to master the process of learning the language (2) – the HOW. The process will change how you think and transform your whole psyche, enabling you to think from new angles. This growth only comes from the constant taking of small steps towards your larger goal.
That said, you have to manage your expectations. It isn’t going to happen overnight. Remember what I said about growth mindset? Embrace it, and embrace the power of “yet”. When you find yourself saying, “I don’t speak Serbian well” I encourage you to add another word to the end of that sentence. Instead say, “I don’t speak Serbian well…yet”. This is the power of “yet”. You WILL get there. You WILL be able to speak Serbian, just stick with it, stay relaxed, and give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to learn. The best gifts are earned not given. You can do this!
I made this video to address some of the common issues new language learners have while trying to learn Serbian as their second or third language. I hope you find it helpful.
Step 6. Using the RIGHT resources
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but know this (IMPORTANT): you are not going to learn Serbian or any language by trying to memorize random expressions through an app. If you want to speak the language you are going to have to learn the structures and grammar of the language so that you can make your own sentences as opposed to confining yourself to the phrases that an app or book give you.
Speaking a language fluently means having a deep understanding of the language system and being able to generate sentences by using all the elements of the language. Language fluency is NOT memorizing thousands of words or phrases in a language and trying to use them in your attempt to communicate in a foreign language. Having said this, the more words you know, the better, but the most important is learning the system of the language so that you can increase the number of ways to use the words you’ve learned. To learn the system of the language, you need to have the right learning resources.
I’m pleased to say that the talented team of native-speaking Serbian philologists at SerbianLanguagePodcast.com have assembled all the resources you need to delve deep into the language, affording you the opportunity to progress at your own pace. The Ultimate Serbian Online Course is a One-Stop Shop for all of your Serbian language learning needs. Look no further, all that you need to begin is here.
Step 7. Making a study plan
I encourage you to sit down and decide how much time you will spend each day learning Serbian. If you can set aside 10-30 minutes a day that would be better than 2 hours twice a week. That said, do what you can, but be intentional about when you will study, lock in your study time on your calendar and stick with it. The Ultimate Serbian Online Course has already laid the plan out for you, all you have to do is make the time to make your dream a reality.
I made this video to encourage you to make your Study Plan for Serbian. I share some things that have worked for me and I hope it will help you better your Serbian.
Step 8. Consistency, consistency, consistency
The more consistent you are the greater growth you will experience so practice, practice, practice. SerbianLanguagePodcast.com has developed this Animated Series in Serbian on YouTube called “Cam Speaks Serbian” to help people practice speaking Serbian. This is a fun and interesting mini-series in Serbian with subtitles in Serbian and English. I give a brief intro to the series in the first video on this playlist. You may skip it if you want to jump right into the animated world of speaking Serbian. I hope you like it. Note: on the website, you can find the Downloadable Transcripts for each episode that includes a Vocabulary Sheet and Episode Q&A. This Animated Series is a great compliment to the Lesson Videos on the website that break down the Serbian grammar.
Step 9. Working on the hard parts
Whenever you find yourself struggling with a concept or grammatical structure I encourage you to stay there. When you strengthen the areas you struggle with the most, you fill fuel your growth mindset and take your language learning ability to the next level. Remember, you should rejoice when you encounter difficulty because it means you are learning.
In this video, I share some of my biggest frustrations with learning Serbian.
Step 10. Have fun
The Ultimate Serbian Online Course has a simple motto: Learn Serbian. Have fun! By joining Serbian Language Podcast and Signing up for the Ultimate Serbian Online Course you are entering into a global community of language learners, self-learners and as a member of the community, you should take joy in the fact that you’re not alone.
I hope this 10 Step Guide For Learning Serbian helps you on your journey. Cheers!