Belgrade, Serbia: Meet the Serbian Capital!

Meet the Serbian capital: talk about Belgrade in Serbian

Do you know Serbia? What do you know about Belgrade, the capital? Can you tell that in Serbian?
Watch this video to learn about Belgrade in Serbian and to practice your listening skills.

Planning your trip to Serbia? Can you talk about Belgrade in Serbian? Learn a few sentences. Your hosts will love that!

 

Belgrade is the capital and the biggest city of Serbia. It has been named the “city that never sleeps”. Many young people love it for it’s night life. It is believed that whoever experiences Belgrade falls in love with it and returns to it often.

The most important site to visit in Belgrade is its famous fortress named Kalemegdan (Beogradska tvrđava Kalemegdan). It is located on the confluence of two rivers: Danube (Dunav) and Sava. The view of the rivers is magnificent.

Once you’re downtown, you shouldn’t miss Skadarlija – the famous bohemian quarter with restaurants and taverns, or as we call them kafana. There you can eat the local food, usually based on meet, and listen to traditional live music.

A video to teach you about Belgrade in Serbian

Here I want to share a video to help you learn different facts about Belgrade in the Serbian language. You can also use it to practice your listening skills.

When watching the video for the first time, focus on understanding the meaning and remembering the story line. After that, you can repeatedly watch and listen to the final part of the video, the text only in Serbian. That will help you really remember and internalize what you have heard in the video. 

 

the text
Beograd, glavni grad
translation
Belgrade, the capital
Reč Beograd znači beo grad. Beograd je glavni grad Srbije. Nalazi se na dve reke. To su Sava i Dunav. The word Beograd means white city. Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. It is located on two rivers. That are Sava and Danube.
Reka Sava polazi iz Slovenije, teče između Hrvatske i Bosne, pa dolazi u Srbiju, u Beograd, i uliva se u Dunav. The river Sava starts from Slovenia, flows between Croatia and Bosnia, and then comes to Serbia, to Belgrade, and flows into Danube.
Dunav polazi iz Nemačke i teče kroz Austriju, Mađarsku, Hrvatsku, Srbiju, Bugarsku i Rumuniju, pa se uliva u Crno more. Danube starts from Germany and flows through Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, and then flows into the Black sea.
Beograd ima grb, ima tvrđavu Kalemegdan i spomenik koji se zove „Pobednik“. To su simboli Beograda. Belgrade has a coat of arms, it has the fortress Kalemegdan and a monument that is called „The Winner“. That are the symbols of Belgrade.
Belgrade, Serbia: Meet the Serbian Capital! 1 Belgrade, Serbia: Meet the Serbian Capital! 2

grb Beograda

Belgrade coat of arms

Pobednik

the Victor (winner)

The Story-Telling Technique 

Listening to stories that you’re familiar with can work wonders for your Serbian language learning. This is a powerful technique that will help you remember the vocabulary and absorb pronunciation.

If you liked this lesson, you will certainly enjoy learning Serbian at Serbonika, with many videos like this and other dialogues, texts, vocabulary, grammar explanations and exercises.

Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

by Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

Founder of Serbonika

Serbian language teacher and entrepreneur, language lover and polyglot, but also a mother and a relentless storyteller.

On a mission to create the best web space for learning Serbian: Serbonika.

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Serbonika

The best method to learn Serbian

The Serbian Language: Complete Review in 9 Key Points

The Serbian Language: Complete Review in 9 Key Points

Common mysteries about the Serbian language solved: Do the Serbs understand Russian? Is Serbian the same as Croatian and Bosnian? Is Serbian grammar complex?

You’ve probably heard some things about the Serbian language, but you’re not sure how to separate the truth from myth: Are Croatian and Serbian the same language? Is the grammar really that complicated? Is writing really that simple? Why do your Serbian friends seem unable to use the articles right? 

Hello and welcome, let me present you the Serbian language through 9 key points. 

#1 Serbian is a Slavic language.

It shares many common features with Russian, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Slovak, Slovenian, and all the other Slavic languages. All languages in the Slavic family have many similar words – just like the languages of the Romance family do (compare, for example, Spanish and Italian), and just like the languages of the Germanic family do (compare, for example, English and German).

Many people also ask if the Serbs can understand the Russians or Poles, or other Slavs. The answer is yes, to a certain degree. If we speak slowly, we will probably recognize and understand many words. We will survive in a Slavic country, we’ll easily get and transmit important information.

But, we won’t be able to have a long or deep conversation – unless the person we’re talking to has learned the Serbian language, or we have learned their Slavic language.

 

#2 Standard Serbian language is the same as Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin standards.

Things are different between the Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Montenegrins. Our four standards are based on the very same dialect. Our languages are basically the same. We can even argue and joke and exchange ideas, with everyone speaking their own variant of the language. I wrote more on the subject in this article.

This similarity is the reason why the Serbian language is taught together with Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin at universities around the world. This is why they use the not so popular term BSCM for it.

If you want to read more about the exact differences between Serbian and Croatian, you can read the complete list of them in this article.

 

#3 Slavs can learn Serbian very quickly.

You bet they can! If you know a Slavic language, you have a huge advantage over non-Slavic speakers.

In fact, I speak almost exclusively Serbian from the very first class with any student that knows a Slavic language. In my experience, they can understand about 85% of what I speak.

However, sometimes they find it difficult to stop using their language’s grammar when speaking or writing Serbian. That’s their weak point.

 

#4 Serbian writing is simple.

That’s true – even though it hasn’t always been that way. It used to be quite complex, but it was reformed in the 19th century. What makes our writing complex today is the simultaneous usage of two scripts: Latin and Cyrillic. You can read more about all that in this article.

Today we have a phonetic orthography – that means we write as we speak. Each sound has it’s own letter and it’s very easy to learn. However, for some English speakers it’s quite challenging to stop reading and pronouncing Serbian the the English way. They need lots of practice to start reading the Serbian way automatically, and the best place to start is the Free Introductory Serbian Course we published on Serbonika.com.

Many Serbian learners avoid the Cyrillic script as it scares them in the beginning. But many insist on using it and end up reading it with ease. Here you can start learning the Serbian Cyrillic script, which is said to be perfectly adapted to the Serbian language.

 

#5 Serbian grammar is complex.

You bet it is. But let me first tell you what the Serbian language doesn’t have and what is difficult for us to learn in other languages:

  • Umlauts, in German or French. Pronouncing those sounds always twists our lips in a weird way and it feels silly!
  • Vowels between [a] and [e] (like in the word “can” or “hat”), or between [i] and [ə] shwah (like in “sin”). A typical Serb will simply pronounce them the Serbian way: [e] and [i].
  • Nasal sounds, like in French. They used to exist in the old language and they’re kept in Polish, but the Serbian language lost such sounds centuries ago.
  • Articles: definite (the) or indefinite (a, an). The most tricky part for us Serbs to learn in a foreign language! Even advanced English speakers will easily omit the articles. We just don’t feel the need to use them.
  • Conjunctive – it’s even difficult to understand the purpose of it.
  • Continuous tenses and so many verbal tenses that other languages have. We use our verbal aspects instead, to express the same meanings.

That’s why we have difficulties with these features when learning a foreign language. Especially the articles are something we struggle to learn and use properly. If I’m making mistakes in English, that’s usually in articles – and you’ve probably already noticed that!

 

#6 Gender equality is impossible in the Serbian language.

Are you a man or a women? In the Serbian language it makes a big difference, grammatically and lexically. We use different words and personal pronouns for men and women.

For example, if you’re male, you are my “učenik” (male student) and if you’re female, you are my “učenica” (female student). Masculine gender typically ends in a consonant, while feminine gender ends in -a.

This video will help you learn about masculine and feminine gender in Serbian. It’s perfect for beginners, and it’s a part of my FREE introductory Serbian course at Serbonika.

 

With such a sharp distinction, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to use a gender neutral speech. A general gender in Serbian, just like in many gender-aware languages, is masculine. If we’re adressing a group of people of both sexes, we have to use the masculine gender. Even if I’m talking about myself and my husband, I have to use the masculine gender. That’s how our language works!

Some people try to avoid this and to reffer to both sexes in one word. In their emails they’ll write: “dragi/e” (combining dragi – dear, masculine plural; and drage – dear, feminine plural). But it just looks silly!

Most professions have feminine and masculine form, but when talking about a profession, it’s normal to use the masculine gender. I am a woman and I am a female teacher (profesorica), but when desciribng my profession, I will often use the masculine word: profesor srpskog jezika (a Serbian language teacher).

Some professions were traditionally male and there were no feminine gender words to describe them. A few decades ago nobody had troubles with that. Today we’re creating new forms and they are becoming a part of our language. For example, psiholog was a traditional masculine form, used both for female and male psychologists. A few decades ago a new female form emerged: psihološkinja.

 

#7 The standard Serbian language has this set of specific features:

And here’s a tip for you: open your mind in terms of word order, as I explain in this video.

 

#8 You don’t need all of this grammar when you start learning Serbian!

Take it easy. For example, the most dreaded feature of the Serbian grammar are the cases. You don’t have to learn them all, especially in the beginning! If you’re not familiar with a language with cases, make sure you learn only 4 of them for the first 6 months or a year: Nominative, Accusative, Locative and Genitive. (I talk about them in this article about how to learn the Serbian cases.)

 

#9 Beginners should learn the Serbian grammar slowly and patiently.

It’s the best to take it easy. Learn it piece by piece and make sure to memorize lots of vocabulary. That will be of tremendous help. Learn to recognize two parts of a word: the root, that tells you the meaning, and the ending, that tells you what role this word plays in a context. Learn to recognize the root, and guess the function and meaning.

We take the grammar bit by bit, with loads of vocabulary and exercises at Serbonika. What’s even better, the Introductory Serbian Course is completely FREE and you can start learning immediately.

Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

by Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

Founder of Serbonika

Serbian language teacher and entrepreneur, language lover and polyglot, but also a mother and a relentless storyteller.

On a mission to create the best web space for learning Serbian: Serbonika.

Banner-Serbonika-350x700

Serbonika

The best method to learn Serbian

Speak Serbian like a real Serb! 12 ultimate Serbian phrases no textbook will teach you

Speak Serbian like a real Serb! 12 ultimate Serbian phrases no textbook will teach you

Learn Serbian phrases and foreign words used in Serbia you must learn if you want to speak Serbian genuinely like a real Serb.

 

If you want to speak Serbian like a real Serb, you must know that you can’t rely on textbooks. Why? Because they often teach you phrases that are never used in real life. And they don’t teach you what is actually used everyday. Read on to learn useful phrases and words that will make you sound like a real Serb.

 

Among the first phrases that you’ve learned when you started learning Serbian were:

 

– Kako se zoveš?

– Ja se zovem Magdalena.

– Drago mi je.

– I meni.

 

As I explained in this post about introductions, that’s not what we do in real life. Once you start hanging out with the Serbs, you’ll probably notice that we actually don’t use these phrases, almost at all!

A Serb will just stick out a hand saying his name.

The other Serb will than shake his hand and simply say his name in return.

They might just smile.

If they continue to say „Drago mi je. – I meni“, they’re being extra polite or very happy for meeting each other.

 

Read on to learn a few expressions that we use daily in Serbia and yet that I’ve never seen in a textbook for foreigners.

 

„De si!“

We do say „Zdravo“ and „Ćao“ informally speaking, but we will regularly say just „De si“, especially to a dear friend whom we haven’t seen for a while.

„De si“ or „Di si ti“ or „Ej, de si“ are all variations of „Gde si (ti)“ meaning „Where are you“.

Saying this, we are not actually asking the person where have they been, we’re just saying: „Hi, it’s good to see you again.“

 

 

„Bre!“

Bre is an ultimate word you must know and learn how to use. It can’t be translated to many other languages, and yet we use it daily. What is it, then? It’s an emphatic word, an intensifier. We can add it to virtually any phrase thus adding an emotional component to it, like: „De si bre ti?“ „Kako si, bre?“

We said that bre doesn’t translate to many other languages, but the Greeks can understand this little word perfectly because they also use a variant of it (βρε or ρε). The Modern Greek Dictionary correlates it to the Turkish word bre or bire. However, etymologysts say that „bre“ has its origin in ancient Greek adjective μωρός (moros, meaning: foolish, stupid). We’re talking about the same word from which the term moron originated. It lost this negative meaning long time ago, though.

 

„More bre!“

When we want to jokingly show anger or express a mocked threat, we will combine these two words, even though they’re basically the same: as previously explained, „bre“ originated from „more“ (vocative of moros). In the Serbian villages you can also hear the feminine form of this Greek word: mori – used only when addressing to a female.

 

„Hajde!“

This is an imperative, inviting form meaning „Come on“, „Let’s go“ or „Let’s do something“. Hajde for you singular, hajdemo for the first person plural and hajdete for the second person plural. That’s the „official“ form, but you will frequently hear it without the inicial h (ajde, ajdemo, ajdete), or (h)ajmo, (h)ajte, or simply aj. You might hear older population saying even hajdemote or ajdemote.

This word appears in a similar form in the Greek language as well (άντε). We got it from the Turkish word haydi or hadi. Obviously, it is widespread on the Balkans and you should definitely start using it.

 

„Marš!“

This little word, obviously borrowed from French „marche“ (march, walk away, in imperative mood) is used as a non-vulgar curseword. You can use it to say „Go away“, „leave me alone“, or „stop kidding me“ in a pretty harsh and rough way. It is often combined with other cute little words like „Marš bre“ or „More marš“ or even „More marš bre“, or with some serious cursewords. We often even make it even shorter, depriving it of vowels: mrš! Bear in mind that it is never polite but it is used jokingly among close friends.

 

„E znaš?“

Your textbook probably taught you how to use „da li“ or only the particle „li“ to form a question. In the first case, you will just put the interrogative words „da li“ in front of the sentence, and you will get a yes-or-no answer: „Da li voliš da čitaš?“ – „Da“ or „Ne.“ In the second case you will start with the verb and add the interrogative particle „li“ to it: „Voliš li da čitaš?“ – „Da“ or „Ne“. These are the most formal ways of asking questions. When talking informally however, we will frequently say just jel (je l’) or el or even e instead of „da li“, and that’s how we ask a question: „El ideš?“ One more word correlates to this: many less educated people will frequently use jer (which actually means ’because of’) instead of jel to form a question. Beware, this is not correct, but don’t be confused when you hear it around!

 

„Si dobro? Ćeš vode?“

My dear students, I know that the clitics and the word order have been a pest, but that’s how our language works. Now, the information you’re about to read can be considered as an upgrade of your jump-around-with-the-clitics skills. Yes, the rule says that the little words such as short forms of the auxiliary verb biti (to be) are dependent and always tend to stick to the second position in a clause. However, if you consider the way we actually speak, you will notice that we frequently start our colloquial questions with the clitics themselves: „Si dobro?“ (formally: „Jesi li dobro / Da li si dobro?“, Are you all right?), „Si učila?“ (formally: „Jesi li učila? / Da li si učila?“, Did you study?). With the verb biti, it happens only in the questions, though. But this applies to another auxiliary verb, hteti (to will)and you will hear: „Ćeš vode?“ (formally: „Hoćeš li vode?“, Do you want some water). In the Central and Southern Serbia, even the future tense will start the sentence with the clitic: „Ću da dođem“ (formally: „Doći ću“, I will come), „Će idemo“ (formally: „Ići ćemo“, We will go).

 

„Si mi dobar?“

I’m sure you’ve learned the difference between adverbs and adjectives. You know that adverbs describe verbs, and that „Moj brat je dobro“ means „My brother is fine“, while adjectives describe nouns and „Moj brat je dobar“ means „My brother is (a) good (man)“. Therefore, the simple question „Kako si?“ (How are you?) should be answered with „Dobro sam“ (I’m fine). If you say „Dobar sam“ (m) or „Dobra sam“ (f), it means „I’m (a) good (person)“ or „well-behaved“. However, once you start hanging out with the Serbs, you will hear them using exactly the adjectives here! „Jesi dobar?“ or „Jesi dobra?“ meaning „How are you, are you fine?“ It’s probably a bit confusing, but that just the way some people like to say it!

 

„Izvol’te“

You’ve probably learned the imperative forms izvoli for second person singular or izvolite for you plural or you formal. These words are used for offering something (food or drinks, for example), or for inviting someone politely to enter into your home. However, we will frequently use the shortened plural form izvol’te even when addressing to a close friend.

 

„Šetaj!“

Remember the verbs „šetati se“ (to go for a walk) and „odmarati se“ (to have a rest) and their reflexive pronoun „se“ that compulsively jumps around the sentences, obsessed with the second position? These are reflexive verbs, and our grammar insists on that; yet it seams that the native speakers don’t feel them to be reflexive at all! You’re not doing anything to yourself, nor is something hapening to you, so they are frequently used actively, without the reflexive pronoun. You will often hear your Serbian friends saying šetam or odmaram, without „se“. If you happen to hear „Šetaj“, be sure that you’ve done something wrong, as it is a bit less agressive expression than „marš“, but with the same meaning: „Go away!“

 

Have you noticed other discrepancies between your textbook and the way we actually speak? I’ve listed only a few, and I dare you to find more! Make your own list of the phrases that will help you speak Serbian like a Serb.

 

5 Non-Serbian words that will help you speak Serbian like a real Serb

I know, it sounds CRAZY, right? How can you possibly use NON-Serbian words to sound more SERBIAN?

Well, some words have SUPERPOWERS. 🙂

In this video I talk about 5 special words. We use them every single day. And they are so deeply rooted in the Serbian language that most Serbs consider them Serbian. 

Scroll down to read the transcript.

Transcript:

 

Hello and welcome to the Natural Serbian Course.

Ja sam Magdalena, and today I want to teach you very important and widespread interesting little words. Now, why are they important and widespread, and why are they interesting?

Because, first, they are emotional words, and second, they are NOT Serbian even though I bet 80 or 90 percent of the Serbs would swear that these words are Serbian. But they’re not!

I’m going to teach you how to use these words the Serbian way, and I’ll explain where they came form.

 

 

BRE!

 

Bre is really an important word you must know and probably you should even learn how to use it.

We can’t translate it to many other languages, probably only in Greek. So, what is it? It’s an emphatic word, an intensifier. It’s used also for to addressing to people in an intense way, like we’re calling for attention.

We can add it to virtually any word or phrase and in that way we’re adding an emotional component to any statement, like:

 

„De si bre ti?“ „Slušaj bre!“ „Čekaj bre!“ „Šta to bre radiš?“

(Where are you?)  (Listen!) (Wait!) (What are you doing?)

 

So you can add it anywhere, to any statement or word.

The thing with this little word is that many Serbs identify their national feelings with it. And that’s why you’ll see different Serbian brands containing this word, like the website “Srpski bre” with useful information on Serbian language and grammar.

Well, guess what, the word “bre” is not even Serbian. The Greeks can understand it perfectly because they also use it (they say βρε or ρε). Etymologysts say that „bre“ originates from the ancient Greek adjective μωρός (moros, meaning: foolish, stupid). We’re talking about the same word from which the term moron originated.

Nowadays, it doesn’t have such a negative meaning. In modern Greek it simply means “a baby”.

So, it’s not a bad word, it’s just a way of saying, to express yourself.

 

 

MORE!

 

Here we come to the next word, more, which is actually the same. You know, more is the vocative form of this same adjective moros and that vocative form “more” gave us “bre”.

What’s interesting is that in Serbia we combine these two words, even though they’re the same. We don’t feel tha they’re the same, so we can say: More bre!

And these words are very emotional. We can use them to jokingly show anger or express a threat, or a mocked threat. We can use it with irony or seriously.

And I must say that bre is really widespread in Serbia, while more is felt I think nowadays even a little bit obsolate, a bit old. You would associate it more to an older person from a village using it.

And villages (in central and south Serbia) are also the place where you can hear the Greek femenine form of this word: mori (used only when addressing to a female). Yes, you can also use this word in Serbia. But it’s not very widespread nowadays, it’s somewhat old, as I said.

 

 

HAJDE!

 

The next word is also something that we have in common with the Greeks, but both nations got it from the Turks. It’s a Turkish loan word. And we use this word in Serbia as a verb. In Serbian it’s a defective verb that only has the imperative forms.

As with all other verbs, we have three imperative forms: for you singular, for we, and for you plural. So, that’s why we have these three forms:

 

Hajde (ti), for you singular,

hajdemo (mi), for the first person plural (we) and

hajdete (vi), for you plural or you formal.

 

These are, let’s say, the formal forms of this word. We use it to say „Come on“, „Let’s go“ or „Let’s do something“, let’s do anything that the verb that follows proposes. Usually it’s combined with the conjunction “da” and another verb in the present tense, like:

“Hajde da gledamo film” (Let’s watch a movie)

“Hajde da se šetamo” (Let’s go for a walk)

 

We also have colloquial forms, without the inicial h sound, and we say

ajde, ajdemo, ajdete.

Or we can shorten them even further, and get ajmo, ajte, or hajmo, hajte, or simply ajd or aj.

So, when you hear “aj” or “ajd”, it comes form “hajde”.

And in this short form this word is combined with many other words, like:

 

“aj zdravo”, “aj dođi”, “aj daj mi to”.

(bye) (come here) (give me that)

 

It’s an inviting word. And obviously, it is widespread here on the Balkans and you should definitely start using it, if you’re not already.

 

 

ALO!

 

And here we will jump to the English language. We also have a word that originates from the English language that we use like this: Alo! Halo!  Obviously, it comes from the English Hallo and Hello.  We do use it to answer the phone, but we also use for calling someone to their senses

Alo, čoveče, šta to radiš?

(Hey, man, what are you doing?)

 

Usually without the h sound, only „alo“.

 

 

MARŠ!

 

And the final word that I’m going to teach you today is obviously borrowed from French: Marš!

It comes from „marcher“, French word for “to march, to walk”, in imperative mood.

How it came to us? Well, it came through the army. First it was used in the Youslavian army as a command: napred marš! (march forward)

Nowasays it’s used as a non-vulgar curseword. It’s a bad word. And we use it to say „go away“, „leave me alone“, or „stop kidding me“. It can be pretty harsh and rough, but we also can use it jokingly and not offensively. Even though it’s never polite, it can be used among friends as a joke.

However, it can also be combined with some serious cursewords, that I’m not going to mention here today, but also with other cute little words on our today’s list, like:

„Marš bre“ or „More marš“ or even „More marš bre“.

And what’s very, very interesting with this word is that we often make it even shorter, depriving it of vowels, and we say: mrš!

 

 

Combining the words to speak Serbian like a real Serb

 

Now, as I said, many of these little words can be combined together, and especially bre, which is a joker word: you can put it enywhere. So we can have:

 

More bre! Alo bre! Marš bre!

 

* * *

Good, you’re all set now. You know all the really, really important little emotional words that actually don’t have a specific meaning, but are very very effective in conveying how we feel. And will help you to speak Serbian authentically.

Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

by Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

Founder of Serbonika

Serbian language teacher and entrepreneur, language lover and polyglot, but also a mother and a relentless storyteller.

On a mission to create the best web space for learning Serbian: Serbonika.

Banner-Serbonika-350x700

Serbonika

The best method to learn Serbian

10 Ways to Say Goodbye in Serbia

How to Say Goodbye in Serbian

If you check how to say goodbye in Serbian in a phrase book or a dictionary, you’ll easily find the translation: “doviđenja”. But that’s hardly the only word we use when saying goodbye. 

There are actually many expressions that we can say when parting with different people and in different situations, formal or informal. Just like we use many different expressions to say hello.

In this video I will teach you how to say goodbye in Serbian, in more than 10 ways.

You’ll learn what to say to your Serbian friends when leaving, and if you can say “Zdravo” both to greet them and to say goodbye.  You’ll learn both formal and informal expressions we commonly use to say goodbye in Serbian.

Transcript:

 

What do you say to your Serbian friends when leaving?

Šta kažeš svojim prijateljima kada odlaziš?

Do you say zdravo both to greet them and as a goodbye?

 You

Welcome to the Natural Serbian Course, the best place to learn real Serbian.

Zdravo svima! Ja sam Magdalena i danas ću vas naučiti 10 načina da se oprostite na srpskom.

I’m Magdalena and today I’ll teach you how to say goodbye in Serbian in 10 different ways

 

Let’s start from the most formal way of saying goodbye:

 

1)            Doviđenja.

It actually means “until seeing (you next time)”. Sometimes another word is put in the middle of it, and we get do skorog viđenja, and it means “until I see you soon again”, but that’s mostly written in letters or emails, and it’s kind of obsolete, so we don’t really use it that much, but you can write it.

 

2)           Prijatno

Doviđenja is usually combined with another word, with another formal farewell: prijatno, which means “pleasantly”. So, you can use it to say that something is pleasant: “Ovde je prijatno”, (it’s pleasant here). And we also use it to say “have a nice meal, bon appetit”: Prijatno!

It’s also used to say have a pleasant day/evening/whatever.

A tip is to combine these two words: Doviđenja, prijatno! When someone says “Doviđenja”, you can answer with “Doviđenja” or “Prijatno”, or you can combine them to “Doviđenja, prijatno” and be double-polite.

 

3)          Zbogom

You might have seen zbogom in a book, but it’s old-fashioned and it’s not used nowadays. It means “may god be with you” or “travel with god”. If you use it, people will think that you’re leaving for good and never want to see them again, or that you’re extra religious. So, only if you want to sound like that, you can use “zbogom”.

 

4)           Uzdravlje

If you have a chance to talk to old people, you can hear them use uzdravlje, or aj uzdravlje („to health, go to health, to our health“) as another old way of saying goodbye in Serbian. It is also another possible toast, in addition to živeli, which is in some regions also used as a farewell interjection. So, you can hear „uzdravlje“, „živeli“, „živeo“, „živio“ as a farewell as well.

 

Informal ways to say goodbye 

 

5)           Zdravo, ćao

In the previous video, you’ve learned zdravo and ćao. These are used informally both as hi and bye. However, when leaving, we tend to combine them with „aj“ (which is a word I will explain in one of my next videos). So, when leaving, we will say: Aj zdravo. Aj ćao.

 

6)            Vidimo se

To finish an informal conversation with a friend or family, we can and often do say Vidimo se (see you, literally: we see each other), since we know that we’ll meet soon again.

 

7)           Čujemo se

However, if we intend to talk to them on the phone first, we will say Čujemo se. It means: “we hear each other” or “I’ll talk to you on the phone”.

 

And these two are usually combined with any word telling time, such as večeras, sutra, prekosutra, kasnije, za vikend, u petak, i tako dalje (tonight, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, later, on the weekend, on Friday, etc). There are plenty of combinations, whenever you plan to see or call someone, you can just say that day or date.

Čujemo se večeras! (talk to you tonight)

Vidimo se prekosutra! (see you the day after tomorrow)

Čujemo se večeras, pa se vidimo sutra. (talk to you on the phone tonight, and then see you tomorrow)

 

Both of these goodbye phrases are used also in the future tense, so you can say: čućemo se, videćemo se (we will hear each other, we will see each other).

 

8)            Uživaj!

We also have an informal variant of „prijatno“, and that is: Uživaj! (for you singular) and Uživajte! (for you plural) It literally means „enjoy yourself“ or „enjoy yourselves“

 

Many times you will hear a combination of these phrases, so for example you will hear:

„Hej, aj ćao, čujemo se, uživaj!“

 

9)            Laku noć

When we’re leaving late at night, we will always say Laku noć, formally and informally. In any kind of situation, „laku noć“ is safe to use. It follows shaking hands as well as a good-night kiss with your partner, so just use „laku noć“ whenever it’s late at night and you’re leaving to go to sleep.

Now, if you want to be nice and answer nicely to this phrase, you will say: Laku noć i lepo spavaj (good night and sleep tight/nicely).

 

10)          And lastly, if you want to be mischievous a little bit and to make a joke, you can answer Jele te bube celu noć! (let the bugs bite you all night).

 

***

 

To summarize, we’ve learned 10 phrases you can say when leaving or parting with your friends in Serbia:

  1. Doviđenja
  2. Prijatno
  3. Zbogom
  4. Uzdravlje! Živeli!
  5. Aj zdravo! Aj ćao!
  6. Vidimo se, videćemo se
  7. Čujemo se, čućemo se
  8. Uživaj! Uživajte!
  9. Laku noć i lepo spavaj
  10. Jele te bube celu noć!

 

***

 

A ti? Kako se ti opraštaš od svojih prijatelja? How do you part from your friends?

And do you know how to greet your friends in different occasions? Learn 10 ways to say hello in this page.

Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

by Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

Founder of Serbonika

Serbian language teacher and entrepreneur, language lover and polyglot, but also a mother and a relentless storyteller.

On a mission to create the best web space for learning Serbian: Serbonika.

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