Still No Serbian on Duolingo? Learn Serbian With Duolingo’s Method

A green owl icon of the Duolingo language learning app on a green backdrop

Duolingo is the go-to app for language learners all over the globe. You can use it to practice English, Spanish, and Japanese — even Klingon. Sadly, there’s still no Serbian on Duolingo. However, that shouldn’t stop you from using Duolingo’s method to nail Serbian.

And that’s exactly what this article is about — how to master Serbian using Duolingo’s tactics and have a blast while you’re at it. Ready to start?

There’s No Serbian on Duolingo, but That’s Okay

If you’re wondering if this learning platform is really that popular, you should know that it’s been downloaded over 500,000 times.

So, obviously, it’s a shame that you can’t study Serbian on Duolingo, or as Serbs would say — šteta (it’s a shame). On the positive side, you don’t have to deal with the passive-aggressive little owl that weeps every time you skip your daily lesson.

Anyway, if you’re interested in Duolingo alternatives for Serbian, we’ve talked about that in another article.

Today, we decided to take a leaf out of the platform’s book. In other words, we want to see what Duolingo is doing right and apply it to Serbian.

Decoding Duolingo’s Secret

The secret spice that Duolingo (and similar apps) brings to the table is gamification. Simply put, it’s a way to make learning fun and effective by turning it into a game.

The point of gamification is to keep learners motivated to keep studying daily. Duolingo does that quite well through level-based lessons, badges, and leaderboards.

But that’s not all. In fact, this little app has a fair share of tricks up its green sleeves, so let’s take a closer look.

1. Basics First

First and foremost, you should focus on essential words and phrases. Learning the basics, like greetings, numbers, and common phrases, can give you a solid foundation and a confidence boost.

If you were to study Serbian on Duolingo, you would start with simple things like knjiga (book), škola (school), or voda (water). It doesn’t make much sense to learn the word mećava (blizzard) before you know how to say sneg (snow), right?

So, basics first, then you can gradually enrich your word bank and learn more advanced phrases.

2. Learn Grammar in Context

Anybody who has studied any language on Duolingo is thrilled with one thing — there are no grammar lessons. Instead, you learn all sentence patterns in context rather than by memorizing the rules.

Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t learn grammar. Indeed, learning different sentence structures will help you master the language more quickly.

Still, you don’t need to focus on it too much. Once you know the basics of grammar, you’ll start picking up rules from context simply by reading, listening, or speaking.

3. Practice Daily

Another awesome thing about Duolingo is the bite-sized lessons. No matter how busy you are, it’s really not that hard to spare a few minutes in a day to study. Plus, the little owl will keep nagging and crying until you finish your daily practice.

Indeed, consistency is the key. After all, practicing for 30 minutes every day for a year is much better than cramming for six hours a few days and then giving up due to burnout. So, aim to practice each day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

For instance, James Clear, who wrote Atomic Habits, talks about habit stacking, an effortless way to pick up new, tiny habits. So, as this concept suggests, why not add a bit of Serbian study to your regular morning coffee routine or go through some new vocab during your lunch break?

To amp up your motivation, keep track of how often you practice. Once you complete a 365-day streak, you’ll feel unstoppable.

4. Use Flashcards

A set of flashcards with animal pictures and their names in Serbian
Flashcards are a fun way to enrich your Serbian word bank 🙂

Duolingo uses colorful flashcards to introduce new words. That works great for building your vocab, so, naturally, you should do it too.

Conveniently, there are plenty of apps like Anki and Quizlet that you can use for this purpose.

Or, if you’re feeling artsy, why not make flashcards yourself? Grab some cardboard and colored pencils, and start doodling!

5. Put Words Into Context

Once it teaches you a new word or phrase, Duolingo doesn’t stop there. It drills you, and then it helps you put the new vocab into context. That’s essential because it’s not enough to memorize the word — you need to know how to use it.

So, use the new vocabulary as much as possible. Think of your own sentences and write them down, or add them to your flashcards. If possible, use those words in your conversations. Naturally, the more you repeat new expressions, the quicker they’ll stick to your long-term memory.

6. Read Stories

Duolingo stories are one of the best things about the app. They are short, funny, and always have a hilarious twist. But how does that help you?

If you’re living in Serbia, head to a local library or bookstore and look for children’s books and stories. Of course, if you’re a more advanced learner, you can go straight to literature, news, or whatever you’re into.

Depending on where you’re from, you can probably buy something to read in Serbian online. Even if you can’t, that’s okay — you’ll just need to be a bit creative.

Namely, you can come up with your own stories in Serbian. They don’t need to be Nobel-laureate material, as long as you’re having fun writing them.

7. Connect With Other Learners

When you’re studying on Dulinogo, you’re a part of a community. You get to follow other learners and be followed by others. Also, you can cheer others up and celebrate their achievements.

Guess what? You can create your learner circle on your own. Even if you don’t have Serbian friends or buddies studying Serbian, no worries!

Apps like HiNative and HelloTalk are great for connecting with native speakers and fellow learners. They work like social media, where you ask questions, have people correct your sentences, or just enjoy casual chats.

In addition, Reddit communities like r/Serbian can help you meet learners or get answers to your questions.

Ultimately, by surrounding yourself with fellow learners, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going towards your goals. And, of course, you’ll have someone who understands how pesky those  Serbian cases are.

8. Organize Quizzes and Competitions

A Zoom meeting on a laptop screen — Serbian language learners having an online quiz
Amp up your competitive side and learn Serbian — through quizzes and competitions 💪

Thanks to Duolingo’s leaderboard, you always feel motivated to finish a few more lessons. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind. Before you know it, you’ll drop to a lower league.

But how can you amp up your competitiveness outside the app? It’s easy. Since you’ve already connected to other learners, you can organize fun quizzes and competitions.

Online or in person, these events are great for brushing up on your Serbian. Plus, you’ll have a blast and get to socialize while learning.

9. Reward Yourself

A set of badges that the Duolingo app gives to its users
Duolingo badges — rewards for your efforts

Another reason why Duolingo is so addictive is all the rewards that it gives you. Each time you finish a lesson, you receive gems. When you reach certain milestones, you get cute badges.

But who says you can’t reward yourself? Keep tabs on your progress, and every time you achieve a milestone or reach a learning goal, treat yourself to something you like.

For instance, if your goal is to learn ten new words this week, once you do it, you can buy yourself a nice piece of cake or whatever you like. Of course, the bigger the achievement, the nicer reward you can give yourself. Feeling motivated?

10. Have Fun

Last but definitely not the least, have loads of fun! After all, learning new languages is amazing — it can improve your life in so many ways and open up new possibilities.

So, do the things that you love, and do them in Serbian. That can be anything — singing songs, binging movies, reading books, or making friends. As long as you’re doing things that make you happy, learning will feel less like a punishment and more like playing a fun game.

No Serbian on Duilingo: No Problem

Maybe one day, you’ll be able to learn Serbian on Duolingo, and we’re all for that. Until then, make your Serbian studying fun by turning it into a game. It’s fun, it costs nothing, and most importantly, it works.

Another way to study Serbian for free and have fun is with our newsletter. Subscribe today, and you’ll receive our self-study worksheets every two weeks. Happy studying!

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