Serbian phrasebook and Serbian language

serbian-phrasebook

Do you want to impress your Serbian friends with your knowledge of the Serbian language? Or you just want to order a beer and thank your waiter in the local language? Are you curious about those “strange” letters you see in Serbia besides the familiar Latin script? Then, this text is for you! We prepared a small Serbian phrasebook, in order to give you a brief introduction to our beautiful and poetical language.

About the Serbian language

The Serbian language is a Slavic language and it is completely phonetic. It means that every letter represents only one sound, and vice versa, every sound is represented by one single letter. As a matter of fact, all words are pronounced exactly as they look. So there is no need to learn any specific rules regarding reading. The only rule we stick to is “Write as you speak and read as it is written.” Very simple, right?

Another interesting feature of our language is our script. Serbian is particularly the only European language (and one of the few world languages) which is fully digraphic. What does that mean? Well, it means that we use two alphabets. Both Cyrillic and Latin are used interchangeably and equally. It obviously seems random, and it really is! As there is no rule about using one or another, everyone is free to choose their preferred script, or even to post their signs on both of them. Therefore, that’s why you can see both Cyrillic and Latin in the newspapers, on the street signs, names of venues, and even restaurant menus.

serbian-alphabet-cyrillic-latin

Serbian phrasebook

For the purpose of this text and to make it easier for you, we prepared the Serbian phrasebook with words written in Latin. To learn more about Cyrillic and Serbian language in general, check the Wikipedia page.

General Serbian phrasebook

Hello – Zdravo or Ćao

Good afternoon – Dobar dan

Good night – Laku noć

Thank you – Hvala

Please – Molim Vas

Excuse me / I am sorry – Izvini (informal) or Izvinite (formal)

Goodbye – Doviđenja (Zdravo or Ćao can also be used)

How are you? – Kako si? (informal) or Kako ste? (formal)

Good / bad – Dobro / loše

I don’t understand – Ne razumem

Yes / no – Da / ne

Maybe – Možda

Help! – Upomoć!

Exchange office – Menjačnica

ATM – Bankomat

In a bar and restaurant

I would like to order… – Želim da naručim…

Beer / wine / juice / coffee / tea – Pivo / vino / sok / kafa / čaj

Breakfast / lunch / dinner – Doručak / ručak / večera

Pork / chicken / beef / fish– Svinjetina / piletina / govedina / riba

Cheers! – Živeli!

It was delicious. – Bilo je ukusno.

The check, please. – Račun, molim.

Can I pay with a card? – Mogu li da platim karticom?

Can you call taxi for me? Možete li mi pozvati taksi?

Where is the toilet? – Gde je toalet?

Names of alcoholic beverages are for the most part the same as in the English language!

Numbers

1 – jedan; 2 – dva; 3 – tri; 4 – četiri; 5 – pet; 6 – šest; 7 – sedam; 8 – osam; 9 – devet;

10 – deset; 20 – dvadeset; 100 – sto; 1000 – hiljadu

Now that you used the Serbian phrasebook to learn a few words and phrases, you can confidently order a drink in one of our pubs. Or practice your new skills during a dinner in a beautiful company. Perhaps, impress your new local friends by singing some Serbian hits. We are looking forward to talking with you in Belgrade!

friends-talking-having-fun

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