FSI Serbo-Croatian Basic Course
What is the FSI Serbo-Croatian Basic Course?
This FSI Serbo-Croatian course focuses on the eastern dialect of Belgrade and the central dialect of Zagreb.
The language situation in the territories comprising the former Yugoslavia is complicated, and many dialects and variations exist. However, by studying the language taught in this course, you will understand and be understood anywhere a version of Serbo-Croatian is spoken.
The course is made up of 50 units, each consisting of dialogs that present the new language as well as drills and exercises designed to let you practice what you have learned. Each unit is also accompanied by audio recordings to help you work on the pronunciation.
As a highly inflected language that uses cases and a tricky tense system, it is considered a difficult language for speakers of English to learn – but if you want to give it a go, the materials found in this free online Serbo-Croatian course will help you make a solid start.
How was FSI Serbo-Croatian Basic originally used?
This course was originally created for US diplomatic staff who were preparing for postings in the former Yugoslavia. They studied intensively, attending six hours of class per day, which was supplemented by a further two hours of personal study. During their lessons, they were supposed to speak only Serbo-Croatian, and even among themselves, outside of class, they were encouraged to continue speaking the language. As a result, after only six months, they were able to acquire a relatively high level of proficiency in the language.
How can you use FSI Serbo-Croatian Basic?
While you might not be able to recreate the perfect learning environment enjoyed by US diplomats, you can still benefit greatly from this rich source of study materials if you know how to adapt them.
If you have another coursebook, you can use the dialogs, drills, and exercises contained in this course to supplement your learning. Alternatively, if you are looking for a primary study resource, this free Serbo-Croatian course can help you master the basics – especially if you can supplement it with any other materials you have access to.
Taking it further
However you choose to use these materials, you can’t learn a language through books alone. For this reason, as soon as you can, I urge you to take your Serbo-Croatian out into the “real world” and try it out. Look for native speakers to practice with and try to find ways to make speaking Serbo-Croatian a part of your daily life. Once you do this, you will see how quickly your language skills begin to develop.
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