Learning Serbian or Chicken Breast is not Pileci Sisa

A few years ago, I was trying to order a grilled chicken breast and chicken thigh from a roadside grill. I had learned that batak is the word for thigh, but I was at a loss for the proper word for breast. I know that boob is sisa. But something told me that wasn’t the right word for that part of a chicken. I mean, we don’t say, “I would like a chicken boob sandwich.”

I usually want to make people laugh, but I guess I think the lady working the grill looked like a tough audience to try out my comedic Serbian. I saw an English speaking friend through the windows of a eat-in restaurant next door and went to ask for the proper translation.

The proper term in Serbian is grudi. I haven’t forgotten. Since that day, I know that batak is thigh, and that chicken breast is not sisa. It is grudi.


What did I learn? I learned that something funny helps me remember. I learned that a bit of pressure helps me to learn. I learned that with a bit of effort, I will improve.

Even as I am writing this I am learning. I was going to type cica. I put that into the google translate, it came up uncle. Sisa is boob.

Learning through comedy and fun is the best way to learn. I have also learned through trauma, but sometimes I just block that out. It is really not a good way to learn.

Here is a great youtube video/TED talk I watched given by a language expert. This explained to me my own difficulty in learning during my first trip to Serbia. I was stressed, overwhelmed, and feeling broken at the transition and events in my life at the time. This video spelled out in story form that being relaxed, happy, and passionate about what you are learning is the key to learning and learning faster.

Find what works for your. Find out how you learn best and run with it! I learn by doing and writing most. Learning is a journey. Make goals, have a plan and move forward. Do it!

My personal experiences in learning the Serbian language vary.

One of the things I have done was to put a poster of words to learn on the bathroom door. It was effective. I sat and had a little free time to learn. This was especially true if I had eaten something that had a little to many beans and my stomach was learning how to process them. This was before cell phones with internet.

In addition to my own ingenuitive education, that chart on the bathroom door also gave my company a laugh when they visited my loo. From time to time, I would hear a bit of laughter coming from behind the door as they viewed my study sheet!

During my last extended visit in Serbia, I joined the choir. I spent a few hours learning the language by immersion. It was effective and fun. It was not methodical. It was random. I do think that sort of learning has great value. But this is best as supplemental.

For a comprehensive education in Serbian I would recommend learning from a professional.

I am sure you remember teachers you either liked or loathed in school. I would wager learning was easier and more fun with the teachers you liked. Find someone who cares and also suits you.

Carve out a time and dedicate yourself to learning if you are serious about it. I have not done that yet, but I am about to engage in an online study.

About twelve years ago, a friend recommended taking classes from a professional Serbian teacher called Magdalena. I was not ready to hunker down to learn the language yet. Now, I am and I have checked out some of her YouTube videos. They are great! Here is a link for an older video she has made that is very helpful. You can see her personality, desire to help you learn, and give you more than dry book learning education.

Liking your tutor has a huge effect on your learning experience. I find that Magdalena is caring and real. She is not full of herself like many professors here. Her approach to education is refreshing. She has learned many languages and has found some of the best ways to teach through learning herself. This is a great asset.

SERBONIKA

Twelve years later, Magdalena has lots more experience and she has an online course. Here is the link for her course. Serbonika is a solid course for learning. For the record, I am not paid to give you this link. I just have great faith in her work, I know she is passionate about it and has been developing her skills and course for a very long time.

I plan to study Serbian with Serbonika. I will report back here with my experience and views on the course. Wish me luck, diligence, and determination! I need it!

Please leave a comments, advice, or tips, tell me about your language journey. If you have questions, feel free to ask, I will try to help if I can! Thank you for stopping by.

Cao Mila xo