Hello Serbian students, how are you doing? As a Serbian teacher , it is quite usual for me to meet Russian-speaking learners that make similar mistakes in the course of learning Serbian as a foreign language. For the most part, the main reason is obviously that the grammar and vocabulary of their mother tongue and Serbian are very similar, so they're able to understand some things much easier. That's why I decided to explain all kind of mistakes that you can make, so you don't make them anymore.
In this article, you will find a list with very specific examples of the ten most common mistakes Russian speakers have made in my Serbian lessons. I have chosen them especially for you; read them, enjoy them and think about them:
1. Russian speakers usually say учим се and translate it as *I learn myself (I'm learning myself)
Sorry, but this is wrong! The correct form for this is Ја учим.
For example: Тренутно, учим се srpski jezik. (Currently, I am learning Serbian)
Тренутно учим српски језик.
Usually Russian speakers say на кухињи and translate it as *On the kitchen. Sorry, but this is wrong! The correct form for this is у кухињи.
For example: Ја сам на кухињи и кувам ручак. (I am in the kitchen and I am cooking the lunch)
Ја сам у кухињи и кувам ручак.
3. Verb "to be - бити"
Russian folks usually don't use the verb "biti - быть" so much. However, in Serbian you have to use it. How can you do that?
Mostly, we use the clitick form of the verb "to be"
Gde si ? - Where are you? (Russian folks would say like: "Gde ti - Где ты?" - "Where you?". Sorry, but it is wrong.)
Ja sam u školi - I am at home (Russian folks would say like: "Ja u školi - Я в школе". Sorry, but it is wrong. )
Short form of the verb "to be"
One su --- they (pl.f) are
Ona su --- they (pl.n.) are
Long form of the verb "to be"
On,ona,ono Jeste --- he,she,it is
One jesu --- they (pl.f) are
Ona jesu --- they (pl.n.) are
Long form is used only for giving short positive answers:
or for asking questions. You can do that in this way:
Jesam, jesi, je, jesmo, jeste, jesu + LI + something
Jesi li završila domaći zadatak? - Did you finish your homework?
4. Pronunciation of the letters
Yes, Russian and Serbian letters are very similar, most of all because in Russian and Serbian Cyrillic is used. However, there are some small differences. I'm going to show you them now.
LETTERS HOW TO PRONOUNCE THEM?
Ђ DJ (just like in Italian: "Giorgio", "Giallo", …)
З Z (3 IS NOT number 3, do not mix it)
Џ DŽ (it reads like in the word "jam")
LETTERS HOW TO PRONOUNCE THEM?
Đ DJ (just like in Italian: "Giorgio", "Giallo", …)
Z Z (3 IS NOT number 3, do not mix it)
DŽ DŽ (it reads like in the word "jam")
Table 2: Russian alphabets
ALPHABETS HOW TO PRONOUNCE THEM?
З ZЕ (3 IS NOT number 3, do not mix it)
Й Short I (it reads like "J")
Ы STRONG SIGN (it reads like strong I)
What are the conclusions that can be made at this moment after we saw the tables beyond?
The letters that Russian and Serbian language have are: А, Б, В, Г, Д , Е (but it's pronounced completely different) , Ж, З, И , К, Л, М, Н, О, П, Р , С, Т , У, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш
The letters that don't exist in Serbian language are: Я, Ё, Ю, ь, , ы э, й, Щ
The letters that don't exist in Russian language are: Ј, Љ, Њ, Ћ, Ђ, Џ
However, Russian people can pronounce these letters: Ј like Й, Љ like ль, ля, лю, лё ; Њ like не, нё, ню, ...
What are the common mistakes, related to the letters:
Russian speakers mix: Э with E. In Serbian, there's no letter "YE - E". That's why, dear Russian speakers, whenever you see "E", be sure it's always going to be just like your "Э"
Russian speakers try to write the letters: Љ like: ли, ле, ... and Њ like: ни, не, ... but it's not correct.
You can't write these names like this: "Лиилиана " , "Негош" , you should write like: Љиљана, Његош.
Here you can listen as much as it's necessary, how to pronounce the Serbian letters. Once you finish it, try to memorize every letter:
Now, you can try to pronounce these names:
Љиљана, Марија, Мајкл, Ђорђе, Павле, Слободан, Скајлер, Анрес, Ерос, Петар
Позориште, љубав, пријатељство, мржња, лепота, свиња, столица
Before I finish this article, I'm going to give you a small list of false friends between Serbian and Russian, so you can pay attention:
љубити (to kiss - Serbian) - љубить (to love - Russian)
живот (life - Serbian) - живот (stomach - Russian); In Serbian you should say "стомак" for stomach.
боље (beter - Serbian) - больше (big - Russian)
In Serbian you should say "велико" for "больше"
That's all. I hope you enjoyed and also I hope it was helpful. Please, go to the discussion and leave me your feedback. I'm looking forward to read your comments.