Top Ten Reasons to Learn Serbian

Top 10 razloga za učenje srpskog jezika

My job is to teach Serbian as a foreign language and very often I hear the question: 'Sorry, but why would someone learn Serbian?' Hmm... Ok, you asked for this post.

1) To be able to understand Balkan sense of humor 

People on the Balkans make jokes about everything and everyone. Nobody is so fast to invent a joke and to react in a new situation with humor as Serbians and Bosnians. These jokes are sharp, witty and hilarious, and trust me, you would be rolling on the floor laughing. 

2) Balkan people will appreciate your effort 

Doesn't matter if you are only a beginner and if your pronunciation is far from good - Balkan people will appreciate the fact that you are putting an effort to learn their language. 
Nobody will switch to English while you are trying to speak Serbian, nobody will laugh at you. You will get lots of support, help and smiles.

3) To be able to order delicious Balkan food

If you want to eat in a restaurant and you are able to order by yourself: pljeskavica sa kajmakom, burek, sarma, jagnjeći kotleti, ćevapčići, teleći škembići, čvarci, musaka sa mlevenim mesom, proja, sarmice od zelja, punjene paprike, svadbarski kupus sa dimljenim mesom, pileći paprikaš, pihtije, ajvar, pasulj sa kobasicama, jagnjetina pod sačem ... mmmm... your pleasure will be doubled.

4) To learn easier other Slavic languages

If you already know Serbian, it will be much easier for you to learn some other Slavic language: Belorussian, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovenian, etc. 
There are many similarities in vocabulary. Also, these languages have cases as in Serbian. 

5) To open a startup company on the Balkans

Yes, it's true what people say - paperwork is too complicated and some things (Pay Pall for instance) are not working the way you are used to. But it doesn't mean that startup company on the Balkans is not a good idea.
Some business areas are not developed enough (for example: consultant services, internet banking, ecological tourism... - you do the research, I am a Serbian teacher, not an economist) and that might be a great business opportunity. Discover what is missing and start your own company.
Of course, knowledge of Serbian language would be a great advantage.

6) To read Serbian writers in original

Maybe we don't have a good marketing for our culture, but we have some of the best writers in a world. You might say that I am subjective about it, but I am firmly standing behind my opinion. 
Primarily I am talking about the writers between two world wars (in the age of vanguard) and about some contemporary writers.
Miloš Crnjanski, Borisav Pekić, Isidora Sekulić, Rastko Petrović, Momčilo Nastasijević, Rade Drainac, Ivo Andrić, Milorad Pavić, Danilo Kiš, Vasko Popa, Miodrag Bulatović, Vladimir Pištalo, Jelena Lengold, Branko Miljković, Petar Petrović Njegoš... And then some!

7) To understand languages of other Balkan nations

If you speak and understand Serbian, you will be able to understand perfectly someone from Bosnia, Croatia, Monte Negro, and pretty much someone from Macedonia. Another four countries, ain't it enough ?
I won't go now into polemic if Serbian and Croatian are one the same language or two separate languages (I will just whisper into your ear - it is one language). The differences among them are probably not bigger than differences between British and American English. 
Understanding is important. So, if you want more understanding on the Balkans, learn Serbian. 
As an old Serbian proverb says: Speak Serbian if you want to be understood by the whole world. (?!) 

8) To talk with Serbian farmers

If you, by any chance, find yourself in some distant Serbian village, local people will be very excited to talk with you, because they don't have an opportunity to talk with foreigners very often. Of course, they probably don't speak any other language but Serbian. So, if you don't speak Serbian, with all help of arms and legs, you won't be able to communicate much. 
If you speak even a little bit of Serbian, you will be surprised how witty and wisdom words you may hear from these people. 
About corn field, about nature, about life. 

9) Number of Serbian language speakers is higher than 12 million people 

Not an negligible number, isn't it? According to estimation of respectful linguist Ranko Bugarski.   

10) Find your own personal reason

a) To experience Serbian clubbing (Though, for this activity language is not really necessary. You also may just have a drink or two and move your hips in a rhythm. But it's nicer if you are able to communicate with all these great young people.)
b) To touch Slavic soul - soul of a nation is in its language...
c) To finally understand what is Goran Bregovic singing about (which is not easy even when you are a native speaker).
d) To brag in front of your friends that you know how to read the exotic alphabet - Cyrillic.
e) To know how to swear in Serbian - everybody loves to hear and to repeat these.
f) To be able to say to your love: Ti si moja duša i srce!
g) You tell me.

Lidija Novakovic Lagrini

For everything else you want to know about this topic, or how to learn Serbian online with a help of a Serbian teacher, send me an email to

Ako želite da unapredite svoje znanje srpskog jezika, ili znate nekoga ko želi da počne da uči "od nule" naš lepi jezik, pišite mi na navedenu adresu.

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