It's well known that lesson and grammar are very important. If they wouldn't have been important, we wouldn't had been here on VERBLING . Generally we know that it's very important to study a foreign language every day or you're going to forget it. But, I know that sometimes you don't wish to read books and do exercises every day, that's normal. In that case, what should you do to learn a foreign language every day and without forcing your brain every day? Let's take a look and find out together what are the most useful ways to do it.
1. LISTEN TO THE RADIO
If you listen to the radio you´re going to practice when you don't want to study from your books. When you are tired so much you can simply turn on the radio and listen to the Serbian music or simply listen to the discussion about some specific topic. You can just lay on your bed and enjoy in transmission, but anyhow during that time you're Serbian exercise is going to be a true pleasure for you with a lot of fun. My suggest for you: always have a notebook near you so you can note the words you don't know and later on, when you're not too tired, you can look for them and that's how you're going to extend your vocabulary. That´s one of the ways how you can learn without forcing your brain.
Here you are the link of the main Serbian radio stations: http://www.listenlive.eu/serbia.html .
Also, I warmly recommend you to download the program "radiosure" because you can find the complete list of radio stations all over the world so you can practice any language any want, not only Serbian. You just need to download it here and install it: http://www.radiosure.com/downloadz/ .
2. WATCH THE SERBIAN TV NEWS
It's more exciting and interesting to watch the TV news in other language then to watch the TV news in your own language because you get the new vocabulary in a very interesting and funny way. There's something else that may help you: the images. If your level is intermediate, then watching the TV news are going to help you to learn new words that are more formal and elegant
words so you can adapt them in any context. Try to listen to the phrases that are not quite clear to you a few times so you can repeat them and note them. Later on, try to find their meaning or ask a native speaker to explain them to you.
To watch the TV news, just go here: http://www.uzivotelevizija.net/ , and choose the TV channel that you want to watch. I warmly recommend you: RTS 1, RTS 2 , RTS 3, B92 or Studio B .
3. WATCH THE CARTOONS
If you enjoy watching cartoons, feel free to watch them in Serbian. There are several websites you can check out, like http://www.crtanifilmovi.rs/ or http://crtanionline.com/ . But you can simply use YouTube, as well: just hit the words Crtani filmovi na srpskom (this is the link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crtani+filmovi+na+srpskom ) .
An important word you should know is "Štrumpf,” which is what we call the Smurfs in Serbian. Another important word is "sihnronizovani,” which means dubbed--as opposed to subtitled--and that's important because dubbing is not an exclusive practice in Serbia. We're used to reading subtitles, and I consider that to be an extremely useful practice, because we are exposed to the sounds of other languages from an early age.
For example, my favorite cartoon is Cipelići that means "shoepeople" - You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cipelici+na+srpskom . I warmly recommend you that cause it's an interesting story about the shoepeople lifestyle and their adventures.
Best advice: It is a good idea to watch a cartoon you already know well, like your favorite Disney classic, so that you can focus on the language. You will be listening to the words being said while already knowing what ideas are being expressed.
4. NEWSPAPERS AND BOOKS
As I've just explained to you how to read in my first article about the Serbian alphabets, I think it's not going to be a big problem for you, because you read in the same way like you write. Now, when you find an unknown word, I warmly recommend you to mark it with a pencil in your book or if it's an e-book, I recommend you to do a table with unknown words in word/excel so you can write the meanings later on when you find it or you got an explanations from the native speaker.
The books, newspapers and magazines that I warmly recommend you are:
a. Novak Đoković - Serviraj za pobedu
Why should you read this?
As we know, Novak is the best tennis player, so it means that there's no person who doesn't know him. It means that everybody would love to read what was his childhood like and what is his life like, to read some advices that are given by Novak etc. Also you can find the same book "serve to win" so you can focus yourself just on the Serbian words and his writing style.
The poetries that are written by Jovan Jovanović Zmaj
You can find them here: http://solair.eunet.rs/~igla/zmaj.html - because he is one of the most famous Serbian poetry writer and he wrote many poetries for kids too. My favorite poetry is "Kaži mi kaži" it means "tell me, tell me". It is an awesome love poetry. I think you are going to enjoy a lot.
If you are tired of watching the news on TV and you would like to read the newspaper so you can improve your reading, I warmly recommend you to read some of these newspapers: Blic (read it here: http://www.blic.rs/ ), kurir (read it here: http://www.kurir.rs/ ) , večernje novosti (you can read it here: http://www.novosti.rs/ ) , . Also, if you love to read the news about the news about the show starts like: singers,actors,. .. I recommend you to read: Story (you can read it here: http://www.story.rs/ ) , TV novele (you can read it here: http://www.lepotaizdravlje.rs/tvnovele/vesti/latino/otkrivamo-ko-su-najplaceniji-latino-glumci ) , Gloria (you can read it here: http://www.gloria.rs/ ) .
However, the best magazine is Politikin zabavnik (you can read it here: http://politikin-zabavnik.rs/ ). It is the most famous, educational, and entertaining Serbian magazine for children and grownups alike. Apart from extensive articles on various subjects from ancient history to cutting-edge technology, it also provides you with short amusing columns such as Веровали или не (Ripley's "Believe It or Not"), Јесте ли већ чули да... (Have You Already Heard That...), Ма шта кажеш (You Don't Say) and different comics.
Even though their online version features only a few columns, these will be more then enough. In their archive (you can find it here: http://politikin-zabavnik.rs/public/magazini ) , you will find older issues, from August 2009 onwards–and that means many fun pages worth reading. Once you've chosen the issue, just click on the word "погледајте."
Best advice: Start with the short stories and after a while, you will be able to read long articles as well. Keep notes of the important new words you learn.
5. WATCH SERBIAN MOVIES AND SERIES
Why should we watch the TV series and movies?
a. Like first, when we watch something that we like, first of all we enjoy in the beauty of actors / actresses.
Then, we pay attention on their dialect. If we're impressed so much with the dialect, then it's obvious that we're going to try to memorize everything so we can "copy" them during our conversations. The way is not important (if it's going to be with voice - talking in our native language with someone or talking directly in the language we're learning, with their body language.)
b. It means that we really pay attention so much on the story from the start to the end. We pay attention on that so much that practically we have no time to read the subtitles, but we simply listen the conversations and we try to understand everything with analyzing each situation.
c. If it's series, then we practically desire so much to get to know what is going to be happened in the next episode and how are they going to solve their problems? If you're a romantic person, then we practically burn because of so many strong and love feelings that we are fulled with: tenderness, love, romance, ... prorogated by very romantic scenes.
d. It's obvious that we're going to listen all the songs and melodies of that series/film if we're impressed with that. Logically, the reason is: we want to enjoy in listening them because they're so gorgeous and nice. This also means that we're going to translate the lyrics in our mind so we can practice a bit more, or if we're a beginners, then we're going to look for the translates on the Internet.
As you can see, it's impossible not to increase the vocabulary every day more and more, but in a very interesting way. If you love that language, your love for that langauge is going to be the special reason to find always some new things to see or to listen. If you constantly watch series and films then you're going to make so many progresses every day because your heart and your brain are going to be home for the language you learn and it's going to be a special part of you.
The series that I recommend
a. Srećni ljudi (happy people) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21ze15_srecni-ljudi-epizoda-1-hd_shortfilms
It's comic series. It's the story about the family Golubović who lives in very difficult times so that's why they have to know how to manage with all situations that happened to them and how to solve their problems.
b.Bolji život (a better life) - You can find it here: http://serije.rs/bolji-zivot
One comedy more. It is the story about the family Popadić who has so many problems with the society and that's why they have to know how to solve them.
c. Porodično blago (The treasure of the family) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ilkxm_porodicno-blago-epizoda-1_shortfilms
The principally protagonist is the family Gavrilović (grandfather Trajko, father Gavrilo, mother Valerija, son Zlatko, dautghter Biljana called Čupka and a grandchild). Trajko left the true treasure under the land because they have a ranch. After that the family got into the economic problems. Gavrilo sold it because he thought he father was too nostalgic because he was so old, it meant the treasure was just a product of his fantasy. However, thanks to the buyers, Trajko got to get back his treasure.
Ljubav, navika, panika (Love, habit, panic) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x27907m_ljubav-navika-panika-epizoda-1_tv
It's a comedy and the story is about a family from Belgrade - Father (Mića), mother (Vera), daughters (Maja & Janja). Vera is a psychology and that's why she always has new patients with different type of perfils. You can watch it here .
Greh njene majke (The sin of her mother) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x54ty37_greh-njene-majke-1-epizoda-kompletna_tv
The story is about Neda Pavlović, a young girl that lost her parents very tragically. That's why she gives her best to find out: What is so big sin that her mother did so she has to pay for it now?
Bela lađa (A white ship) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ezis0_bela-ladja-epizoda-1_shortfilms
outubeIt is a comedy. In this story we can see which methods do the politics use to reach their goals, but in very interesting way. The serie is called like this because the last contract that brought so many successes to them was signed in exactly on a white ship.
Naša mala snjka (Our little daughter in law) - You can find it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x199au9_nasa-snajka-epizoda-1-nas-a-snajka_fun
Naša snajka is a funny short series made for Serbian learners, and subtitled in: English, French, Italian, Russian, German and Spanish. Unfortunately, there are only nine episodes so far, but we hope that they will film more. The main character, creator and chief actress is Martina, a Canadian polyglot with Spanish roots living in Paris and married to a Serbian named Daki. She is "naša snajka" (our sister-in-law) who is trying to figure out the Serbian folks and their customs. In case you had a doubt, her Serbian is near perfect in the series and her pronunciation is incredibly native-like.
Best advice: To make the most out of it, watch every episode at least three times, experimenting with and without subtitles.
The films that I recommend
Ko to tamo peva (who's singin' over there?)
It's April 5, 1941, somewhere in Serbia. A group of people go on a bus to Belgrade and that journey will change their lives forever. As they will encounter love, death but through very funny way.
You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwozSLas8DM , and you're going to find the subtitles in English.
Lude godine, poznatije kao Žikina dinstija (Crazy years, it's more famous like Žika's dinasty - all parts)
The story is about two crazy grandfathers, Žika and Milan. At the beginning, they can't get a friendly relationship at all because they belong to two completely different social class. That's why they get into many troubles, but they're so funny, especially Žika. When you watch them, it's impossible not to roll on the floor laughing. Anyhow, they're be obligated to accept each other because of their children who love each other. Their children won't give up from their love because of their craziness.
The parts are: lude godine (Crazy years): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2kpqvw , došlo doba da se ljubav proba (it's time to taste love): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ekhxp_lude-godine-ii-deo-doslo-doba-da-se-ljubav-proba-1980_shortfilms , ljubi ljubi al' glavu ne gubi (kiss, kiss, but don't lose your brain): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2el6q6_lude-godine-iii-deo-ljubi-ljubi-al-glavu-ne-gubi-1981_shortfilms , kakav deda takav unuk ( the grandchild is just like his grandfather ): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2elh79_lude-godine-iv-deo-kakav-deda-takav-unuk-1983_shortfilms , idi mi, dođi mi (go away from me, come to me): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ltpul , šta se zgodi kad se ljubav rodi ( What happens when love is born?): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ejmb7_lude-godine-6-sta-se-zgodi-kad-se-ljubav-rodi-1984_shortfilms , prva Žikina dinastija (The first Žika's dinasty): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ejxbc_lude-godine-7-zikina-dinastija_shortfilms druga Žikina dinastija (The second Žika's dinasty): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qduP35Gq57o , sulude godine (crazy years): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM58h-Zikbc , and Žikina ženidba (The Žika's marriage): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2lz3x4
Nebeska udica (Sky hook)
The film tells the story of some folks in Serbia having to deal with the consequences of the war. Most of them don't have to go to the army (yet), but have to live between ruins with bombs falling nearly every day. Although the motto is surviving these days, they try to live a life as normal as possible to be up against the ugly face of war - each one on his own as it seems. One day someone has the idea to build up a basket for playing basketball. Although his idea is perceived as being fool in such times, soon all the youngsters and the older folks - parents and others watching the things going on in the streets - as well as a concurrent street gang are being attracted by the idea.
You can watch it here https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nebeska+udica+ceo+film .
6. SPEAKING WITH YOUR FRIENDS FROM SERBIA
It should be a "tandem" , I mean he/she can teach you Serbian and you can teach him/her your native language or the language you speak. Don't forget, you can't do absolutely everything by yourself. It's also very important to speak with someone because it's a natural way to practice the language you want to learn.
These are my five best suggestions how can you learn Serbian. Try it out! Don't forget that the most important thing is to enjoy the process and have fun. That's the best way to learn. Do not force yourself to listen to music you don't like or to read about a subject you're not interested in. Keep it relevant and interesting, talk about the things you want to talk about and read about the things you are interested in learning about. The results will surprise you.
Thank you so much for taking your time and reading this article. I really appreciate it. I'm sure you enjoyed a lot in reading.
If you have any further questions, please, feel free to contact me.
Greetings and good luck with your studies.