Sunday, November 28, 2004

this weekend, start learning a language!

Before my unit was deployed to Kosova early in 2001, for peace-keeping operations after NATO got the Serb military and paras out of Kosova and Bosnia, I had done some searches but not found much online assistance for Albanian, Serb, Bosnian, or Croatian. It seems thing have change since then.

For Albanian, I find this tonight: a site by a young Cezar Kurti, and a BB belonging to something called phrasebase.

I haven't tried any of these out, but there's even a Bosnian language site. Now back in the days before the Balkan wars of the '90s, Bosnian wasn't even mentioned as a dialect of the Serbo-Croatian. The latter was given to us as being two dialects of the same language. It wasn't until the siege of Sarajevo and other atrocities drew attention to Bosnia that I started to learn that there was a recognized Bosnian speech. So whether you want to learn Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian, you can get a good start by getting any learning materials that are either Croatian or Serbian.

Last for now, there's no substitute for being there, to learn how they do anything there, including speaking. This might be a good starting point for planning a trip or just doing research on Bosnia.

Remember, I'm not endorsing any of these above. No matter what you do, you'll probably have to combine several tools and methods to reach fluency. Most of all, be persistent and develop a habit of practicing, listening, reading. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Just "drive on" as the sergeants used to say!


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