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Are you trying to learn Serbian and Croatian but don’t know where to start?
In this guide, I’ll show you the best resources to study Serbian or Croatian in the most effective way. Everyone has a preferred study method, so I made sure to include both traditional and modern resources to help you find what you’re looking for. In this list, you’ll find the best apps, online courses, tutoring platforms, books, YouTube channels, and podcasts. You can start with the resource that fits your needs and learning style.
The Langoly team has over 5 decades of combined language learning experience, so we’re very familiar with the process of learning a new language. Over the years, we have personally tested and reviewed over 600 language products and helped many language learners reach their goals. After you read this guide, you’ll be a step closer to becoming fluent in Serbian or Croatian.
If you are trying to decide if you want to learn Serbian or Croatian, don’t worry. Serbian and Croatian are mutually intelligible, meaning that a native speaker of one language can understand a speaker of the other because the languages are similar. After the break up of Yugoslavia in 1991, Serbian and Croatian were named the official languages of their respective countries and continue to experience changes in their pronunciation and grammar. However, none of these changes were big enough to break the communication bridge between Serbian and Croatian native speakers. Currently, there are 17 million Serbo-Croatian speakers around the world.
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How to Learn Croatian & Serbian: Use These 6 Resources to Become Fluent Fast!
The best way to learn Serbian or Croatian quickly is to use a variety of tools to help you work on each of the necessary skills to master the language. These skills are vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Since there is not a single resource to sufficiently cover all the skills, it’s better to use multiple, high-quality tools to improve all language skills.
But, finding the right tools can be confusing if you’re a complete beginner. To save you time, I have created this list with the best resources to start your language-learning journey. I’ve applied the same strict methodology we use to review all the products included in this website to make sure you have access to useful resources. The resources you can find in this list can make your studies easier and help you start speaking Serbian or Croatian before you know it.
Use the Best Serbian/Croatian Apps
If you only have time for short lessons or want to study Serbian or Croatian wherever you go, using an app is your best option. Apps offer interactive tools like games or trivia exercises to help you learn. You can also find structured or flexible courses that will let you jump around and take the lessons that interest you the most. Pimsleur, Mango Languages, and Drops are 3 of the best apps based on the quality of their content and how effective they are at teaching Serbian and Croatian.
Pimsleur is the best Croatian app to learn pronunciation, phrases, vocabulary, and grammar. All the audio tracks are voiced by native Croatian speakers, so you can hear and learn conversational language. In each 30-minute lesson, you listen to a conversation between two native speakers. Then, they break it down and explain the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar used in each line of the dialogue. You can learn more about the app in this Pimsleur review.
Mango Languages offers structured courses for both Serbian and Croatian. It’s the best app to learn Serbian because it has a comprehensive approach to the basics of the Serbian language. It includes cultural notes and grammar explanations and builds on what you previously learned to help you retain the knowledge you acquire. You can learn more about the app in this Mango Languages review.
Drops is the best app to learn vocabulary with quick study sessions. The app provides multiple vocabulary lists for topics of all kinds like holidays, shopping, watching movies, etc. This is a flexible option because you can choose which topic you want to study next. Each session lasts 5 minutes and includes interactive activities. You can learn more about the app in this Drops review.
Take an Online Serbian/Croatian Course
Using an online course to study Serbian and Croatian can help you learn in a structured way. Most have live or video lessons that can help you improve all areas of the language and offer additional learning material like vocabulary lists, practice exercises, and interactive activities. Udemy, Croatian Language Academy, and Serbonika are 3 great options that offer comprehensive courses to help you learn the languages fluently.
Udemy is an online educational platform where you can take courses on any topic you can imagine, including Serbian and Croatian language courses. Each course includes a detailed overview of everything that is taught in the lessons. Each teacher creates the curriculum and practice material for their course, so reading past students’ reviews is important to make sure you are getting the best option for you. “Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian for Beginners” is one of the highest-rated courses on the platform. Learn more about the platform in this Udemy review.
The Croatian Language Academy is a specialized Croatian language learning center in Zagreb, Croatia, but they offer online courses through their website. They have live video lessons in small groups of 5-8 people where you can start learning the language from the complete beginner level. All the teachers are certified and can help you work on your pronunciation, speaking skills, and more.
Serbonika is a Serbian language academy located in Belgrade that offers self-study online courses through its platform. Serbonika’s online course is free on their website, and it includes multiple resources like vocabulary and grammar lessons for complete Serbian beginners. You can also find cultural and modern life notes that can help you read Serbian while you learn about the country. You don’t need to give your credit card information to enroll in Serbonika’s online course, just create an account and log in to start learning.
Find an Online Serbian/Croatian Tutor
The best way to become fluent in Serbian or Croatian is to practice with a native speaker. You can take classes with a tutor or find a language exchange partner. But finding someone to help you practice can be difficult if you don’t know anyone who speaks the language. italki, Preply, and Go Speak Serbian are 3 reputable language learning platforms that can connect you with tutors from all around the world for online lessons.
italki is a platform that connects you with Serbian or Croatian tutors for online classes no matter where you are. You can filter tutors by native language, other languages they speak, where they are from, price range, and which kind of lessons they offer. Each tutor has a profile with a bio, past students’ reviews, and availability. Most tutors on italki offer a trial lesson at a discounted price so you can see if their teaching style fits your learning needs or read more about it in this italki review.
Preply is a platform that lets you take classes with Serbia and Croatian teachers from home. You can see when a tutor is available and pick the most convenient time for your lessons. Like italki, it also lets you filter teachers by language, price range, and where they are from. Preply offers a “satisfaction guarantee” so if you didn’t like your first trial lesson, you can take another one for free. You can read more about it in this Preply review.
Go Speak Serbian starts with the basics of the language and takes you up to a pre-intermediate level. This course provides a structured learning experience that includes video lessons, downloadable self-study material, listening exercises, and quizzes to measure your progress. You can take individual lessons or group sessions through Slack. They also offer a pronunciation course to help you speak the language like a native speaker.
Study with High-Quality Serbian/Croatian Books
Books are a traditional and reliable way to learn a language. You don’t need technology to use them, and they let you set the pace of your lessons. Most textbooks offer extensive grammar explanations and practice exercises to help you retain what you learned. Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, A Textbook, Complete Croatian, and Lonely Planet Croatian Phrasebook & Dictionary are 3 books with quality content and have many positive reviews on Amazon.
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Textbook provides a comprehensive approach to these 3 languages. The book includes the same vocabulary lists, dialogues, practice exercises, and reading material for Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. This is the best option if you are looking to learn the differences between them while studying. You can see if this book is right for you here.
Complete Croatian offers a structured lesson plan with thematic units. Each unit goes over helpful phrases and vocabulary words like how to introduce yourself, make invitations, express agreement, and more. It includes vocabulary and grammar tips to help you understand and use Croatian in real-life situations. It also gives you access to the audio tracks available on the Teach Yourself app. You can read more about the book here.
Lonely Planet Croatian Phrasebook & Dictionary teaches you the basics of the Croatian language as well as practical phrases useful for travel around the Balkan region. It includes phrases to help you ask for phone numbers, directions, places, and much more. Each word and phrase is accompanied by its phonetic pronunciation and English translation to help you speak the language accurately. Learn more about the book here.
Watch Serbian/Croatian YouTube Videos
Watching YouTube videos is a modern way to learn Serbian or Croatian. The platform has multiple content creators that can help you learn the basics of these languages, work on pronunciation, or practice listening to conversations. Croatian Experience with Sanda, Teacher Boko, and Moje Blu are 3 YouTube channels with lots of videos to make your learning experience more interesting.
Sanda is a Croatian designer and teacher who lives in Rijeka. Her videos include a mix of Croatian language lessons and vlogs about culture, travel, and everyday life in Croatia. Most of her videos teach Croatian from English, but she also has a few videos where she teaches Croatian language and culture from Spanish. She speaks slowly and repeats each phrase carefully, so watching her videos is a good way of becoming familiar with the language and learning how native speakers speak Croatian.
Boko is an English and Serbian teacher who created his YouTube channel to help people learn Serbian. He has videos that teach important grammar topics like prepositions and adjectives, as well as videos with basic phrases. You can also find audio stories and audiobooks that are completely in Serbian but include English subtitles so you can practice hearing and understanding.
Moje Blu is from Serbia but is currently studying in Germany. Her channel has video lessons to help you improve your Serbian vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation skills. She also has vlogs completely in Serbian where she talks about her daily life, interests, travels, and more. She is no longer uploading videos, but if you like her content, you can check out her Patreon or buy her Serbian culture and language e-book to support her.
Listen to Serbian/Croatian Podcasts
Listening to podcasts is a practical way to learn Serbian or Croatian if you have a busy schedule. It’s an effective way to train your listening skills and become familiar with the way the language is spoken. You can also listen to them while you do other activities like walking the dog, working out, or cooking. Serbian Language Podcast, Easy Croatian, and Let’s Learn Croatian are 3 popular podcasts with many episodes for you to enjoy.
Serbian Language Podcast is one of the most popular podcasts to learn the language. You can start as a complete beginner and listen to each 10-minute audio lesson to learn Serbian grammar, sentence structure, phonetics, vocabulary, and more. This course was designed for non-native speakers. This is a paid course, but you can take their 7-day free trial to see if you like the podcast before you make any purchases.
Easy Croatian was created by SBS Croatian and the Croatian Studies Centre at Macquarie University. This podcast is entirely in Croatian, so it’s a good option for intermediate to advanced-level learners to practice listening and comprehension. Each episode has a news story delivered at a slow speaking pace to help you work on phonetics, pronunciation, and understanding the language. This podcast has over 100 episodes available and they upload a new one every week so there’s a lot of content for you to check out.
Let’s Learn Croatian is hosted by Uncle Mike, Tony D, and DJ MOE. Each episode lasts around 30 minutes and focuses on teaching you useful phrases for everyday situations. It also includes cultural notes to help you learn more about Croatia. This is a family-friendly podcast that delivers lessons in an entertaining way to motivate you to keep learning Croatian. You can listen to all the episodes on the Let’s Learn Croatian website.
How to Learn Serbian & Croatian: Final Thoughts
I hope that this guide helped you find the best way to learn Serbian and/or Croatian. There are many study methods and resources available, but it’s important to find the one that best fits your learning style and schedule. No matter which of the two languages you choose to learn first, the most effective way to learn is to have a consistent study routine. Set apart a few minutes to practice every day, or at least a couple of hours every week, and you will be speaking before you know it!
How to Learn Croatian & Serbian: FAQ
According to the U.S. Department of State, it takes 1,100 class hours to learn Serbo-Croatian with fluency. It is a Category III language, which means that it can be hard to learn for English speakers. However, this is only an estimated number and can be different for everyone.
If you want to know how long it will take you to learn Serbo-Croatian, you can visit our Fluency Calculator.
Croatians and Serbians can understand each other easily. This is because Serbian and Croatian originated from the same language, Serbo-Croatian. There are some differences in the pronunciation and grammar of these languages but, in general, native speakers can communicate with each other with no problems.
Serbo-Croatian can be hard to learn for English speakers. This is because there are significant linguistic differences between the English, and the Serbian and Croatian languages. Your ability to learn Serbo-Croatian will depend on many factors, like how easy it is for you to acquire a language and if you already speak another similar Slavic language.
It can be hard for English speakers to learn Serbo-Croatian. To become proficient in Serbian or Croatian, you need to master the grammar and pronunciation of each of these languages. Learning to write Serbian in the Cyrillic alphabet is also important because it is the official writing system of Serbia!
Croatian and Serbian are similar languages, and most Croatian and Serbians can communicate with one another on a basic level. Still, they have some differences in their pronunciation, grammar, and writing system. While Croatian only uses the Roman alphabet, Serbian can be written in both the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets.
You can learn Serbo-Croatian for free using multiple resources available online. There are some Serbian courses available for free, like Serbonika, and free Croatian podcasts like Easy Croatian. You can also use authentic content like news articles or videos to become familiar with the language.