5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Serbian

A neon sign on a brick wall

English, Spanish, and French have been on the Duolingo throne as the top 3 most popular languages for years. So you may wonder: Why should I learn Serbian, a language that doesn’t even exist on Duo?

What if we told you that if you learn Serbian, you’ll be able to communicate with around 30 million people worldwide? But here’s the fun fact: Serbs make up only around 12 million of those 30 million. What’s the catch?

A Serbian learner claims that Serbian is the best language in the world, better than her native English. If her reasons haven’t convinced you yet, we’ll take over and present you with rock-solid facts to prove her point. Let’s see why learning Serbian should be on your bucket list.

Understand South Slavs

If you befriend anyone from the Balkans, they’ll tell you they speak at least four languages fluently, English excluded. At first, you might be shocked by the number of polyglots on this peninsula. Then you’ll find out you’ve been subject to a local joke.

You might’ve heard that Serbian and Croatian are similar. However, if you learn Serbian, you’ll be able to have conversations with Bosnians and Montenegrins without noticing any major differences in the languages. How cool’s that?

Moreover, speaking Serbian might help you converse in North Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. These languages differ from Serbian more than the previous group, but it’s possible to understand basic phrases.

For example, look at these phrases in Serbian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian:

English Serbian Macedonian Bulgarian
What’s your name? Како се зовеш? Како се викаш? Как се казваш?
My name is… Моје име је… Моето име е… Моето име е…
How are you? Како си? Како си? Как си?
I’m fine. Добро сам. Добро сум. Добре съм.
Good afternoon! Добар дан! Добар ден! Добър ден!

Learning Serbian opens the door to other Slavic languages and prepares you for exploring the Balkans.

If you dig deeper, you might find similarities between Serbian and the East Slavic languages (Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian).

Now you’ve unlocked access to whole new regions. To be honest, you’ve never imagined having this many options if you learn Serbian, have you?

Speak As You Write

Students sitting outdoors and writing in their notebooks
Speak Serbian the same way you write it

Spelling is the first stumbling block for newbie learners of any language. If you learn Serbian, this is the easiest step to master, and it will boost your confidence.

While English spelling with its rules (and the lack of them) can cause nightmares, Serbs have the perfect spelling system. One letter corresponds to one sound. Simple as that!

We play by this rule:

“Write as you speak, and read as it is written.” 

Piši kao što govoriš, čitaj kao što je napisano.

Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, the ingenious reformer of Serbian, applied this principle by a German philologist Johann Christoph Adelung in his reform of the Serbian we speak today. Thanks to Vuk the Serbian alphabet (azbuka) consists of 30 letters with 30 corresponding sounds. Mind you – this happened far back in the 19th century!

As you can see, this can only push you forward in your endeavors to learn Serbian.

Speak Serbian So The Whole World Understands You

Pričaj srpski da te ceo svet razume.

If you happen to be surrounded by Serbs, there’s a 100% chance you’ll hear this saying. How on earth could the whole world understand Serbian? And why?

You must appreciate good ol’ Serbian humor. But let’s go back to your potential 30 million interlocutors in Serbian from the beginning.

We’ll start with a few approximate numbers. There are

  • 8 million Serbian speakers in the Balkans
  • 4 million Serbian speakers worldwide

Around a third of all Serbs live outside their home country. What does that mean to you? Well, look around your neighborhood. You’ll find a Serb who’ll be delighted to hear you want to learn their language. And there’s your next speaking partner.

If you’re curious about the chances of having Serbs nearby, we’ve got a text about Serbian people living outside of Serbia.

When it comes to the rest of the people, you can guess – those are the other South Slavs that’ll be able to understand you. To sum up, whichever part of the globe you live in, you’ll find a way to use Serbian.

Learning Serbian Is Good For Your Health

Learning Serbian is the ultimate brain training

Learning Serbian might frustrate you, and you feel like giving up your Serbian language course. Stop for a moment. Imagine your brain as a muscle. What happens if you don’t train your muscles?

The absence of exercising makes you feel weak and constantly tired. Moreover, there’s a lack of energy, and you might seem grumpy. Not to mention health problems that can occur. You can guess that similar happens to your brain if you don’t work out your neurons.

Besides, if you don’t challenge your limits, there won’t be any progress. That’s where Serbian takes the stage. It takes 1100 class hours for native English speakers to master Serbian. Our language belongs to the Category IV of level difficulty. Well, that’s some advanced brain workout with guaranteed results.

Scientists agree that learning a second language can prevent dementia for up to seven years. So, there are no more excuses to start learning Serbian at all ages. Remember that your brain will be forever grateful for that decision.

Enjoy Serbian Culture

Apart from being a warm and hospitable nation, Serbs boast a rich cultural heritage they’re always willing to talk about.

Did you know that a Serbian writer won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961? Ivo Andrić was a beloved and renowned author. His works have been translated into many languages. However, nothing compares to reading Ivo’s writings in Serbian.

If you learn Serbian language, you’ll be able to sing along to Serbian music, watch films by Kusturica, and read works by other notable writers. Mention any of those names, and you’ll impress your Serb friends. They’ll be proud and will gladly chat with you about Serbian culture.

Whether you’re in Serbia on holiday or plan to move here, feel free to explore the country, and fall in love with the people, nature, and culture. Don’t forget that love is an essential ingredient to the language learning process and its main driving force.

Already In Love With Serbian?

Do you agree now that Serbian is underrated? If you’re passionate about learning languages or need Serbian for your job/trip/life in Serbia, we say – go for it! We’re sure you can think of more benefits than the ones on this list. In case you’re struggling with pronouncing our words, we’ve got a Serbian Pronunciation Course to help you gain confidence and sound like a native Serb effortlessly.

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