It has never been easier to learn the Serbian language! This post focuses on colors (boje). Before you forget, subscribe to the Tongue Talk Serbia email list so that you don’t miss out on ways to include Serbian in your daily life.
LANGUAGE POINTS: The singular form of the Serbian word for color is boja, and the plural form of the word is boje. It should be noted that the word boja is feminine. (We’ll get to determining gender in a later post).
I grew up learning the colors in Serbian as shown in the color diagram. So, when I started finding them without the -a ending I was so confused. Come to find out colors are nouns AND adjectives. WHATT???? Who knew that colors were nouns? I sure didn’t.
The -a ending signifies that the word is a noun (n) and feminine (f). Here’s an example of how to use a color as a noun:
Green is my favorite color. Zelena je moja omiliana boja.
The word without the -a ending is an adjective (adj). Here is an example of how to use a color as an adjective :
The green balloon popped. Zeleni balon je puklo.
I grew up saying braon for the color brown, however the rečnik (a Serbian/English translation book) says that the color brown is smedja. So, that word is included in the Color Vocabulary List of the 11 colors as noun and adjective. Note that the color diagram provides only the noun version of the color words.
USING THE DIAGRAM AS A TOOL: The diagram for learning color has everything you need to know about color to get you going. In addition to naming eleven colors, the diagram also provides vocabulary for the word color in singular and plural forms, primary colors (osnovnu boje), secondary colors (sekundarni boje), and tertiary color (tercijani boja).
I encourage you pin this post so that you can easily find it to use as a learning tool. Also, print out the diagram. Here is Colors Boje as a PDF file. Keep it in folder, binder, journal, stack of papers, or whatever method you keep notes. This will be a great reference to come back to when you need it. Want FREE flashcards to learn colors? Check out my FREE Flashcard page to print them out in both Cyrillic and Latin.
LEARN BY PLAYING: I have this DIY mat made with zip lock bags that I use with my kid to play memory games. It’s quite simple to play, but does require some work to create the mat. I used this mat tutorial to create the mat. Don’t worry, it’s not hard. I made mine with 5 columns and 6 rows, that way we could fit the entire Serbian alphabet (Latin / Cyrillic) into the mat to play with the letters. Of course, you can make it as big, or as small as you wish.
Once the mat is created, fill each space with whatever flashcards or pictures you are using, in this case colors. Someone will call out the word, using a fly swatter each player has to whack the correct card. If you don’t want to use fly swatters, you can just use your hands or legs, bean bags, or anything to mark the spot.
It so much fun to learn this way. The benefits are so worth it: it’s fun, challenging, builds memory, and its quality time with the family.
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So tell me (in Serbian, of course), what is your favorite color?