A new resource for language learners

Many years ago when I took a course in the language called Serbo-Croatian, the text we used was mostly oriented toward literary translation, in the spirit of most of the language courses, which were for the most part designed to meet the needs of Russian literature majors who were required to take a year of some other Slavic language. As a supplementary text we used one of the versions of the classic by the great Celia Hawkesworth, which was a bit more oriented toward everyday culture. Coming out these days is a new set by Ellen Elias Bursać and Ronelle Alexander. I saw some of the early versions of the lessons when one of my brilliant students took a language course at Harvard, and it looked good: there is a contemporary tone, and several prominent contemporary writers contributed study texts. The lesson book by both authors is accompanied by a "grammar with sociolinguistic commentary" by Ronelle Alexander. The web presentation includes sample chapters, links, a glossary, and many more goodies. The name used for the language in this set of texts (if I am not mistaken, the first to use this name) is "Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian," after the autochtonous language of of one of the tribes native to Scheveningen.


DarkoV said...

Had a chance to see a film, "Sto je Snimala Iva", rented from Netflix. The English subtitles brought me to tears; they were soul-less and sorely lacking.
However, for anyone with just a touch of Croatian language, the film is music to one's ears. All of theaction is in a house and a restaurant. No big action, nudity, violence. It's just folks talking in the Zagreb style. For anyone wanting to get an idea of how actual Croatian is spoken, complete with idioms, a modicum of cursing, and a maximum of facial tics and expressions, I suggest renting/buying this dvd along with the Croatian-Serbian-Bosnian testbooks Eric has mentioned.

Ali da Hodza said...

great joke about the Hague massive - LOL

Yakima_Gulag said...

Thanks for this link, it's helpful because there's a terrible shortage out there and what ali da hodza said about the Hague bunch! :)

Yakima_Gulag said...

The Zagreb folksters are as bad accent snobs btw as the Parisians!

cãorafeiro said...


I have been triyng to learn it for two years, and all I can do is engage in simple conversations.

to learn serbian in Portugal is mission almost impossible. my class was extinguished when one ofd the 5 students gave up. since then, I have been learning on my own, without a decent textbook...basicly by listening to the radio in the internet and trying to translate news.

amazingly, there is a dictionary of portuguese-serbian and croatian//serbian and croatian-portuguese edited in Portugal