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Serbian Language Summer School

The 1st Summer School of Serbian Language and Culture in Sremska Mitrovica with Serbonika, September 2021

Those were two life-changing weeks! Our Serbian Language Summer School was an intense experience for everyone involved. A big package of different activities with one goal: study the Serbian language and use it for learning about culture and life. Was that fun? Was it difficult? Was it inspiring? Find out from our students! Read on and see how we spent the Serbonika’s 1st Summer school of the Serbian language and culture.

Our 1st Serbian Language Summer School – a dream came true!

The first Serbonika’s Serbian Language Summer School happened in September 2021 – luckily, it was an Indian summer, or as we say in Serbian: Miholjsko leto. We enjoyed the warm weather and sunny days. It was the most beautiful learning experience, for us the hosts and our guests alike.

For us, it was the first time to look at our own town and our own region through the eyes of tourists, looking for the most captivating places to visit. And for our students… Let me quote what my student Kassia, a librarian from the Netherlands with Polish roots, wrote:

“I can’t even start to describe it, or know where to begin. These were one of the best language lessons I have ever had. Everyday lessons were interesting and also a lot of fun. The excursions were amazing. Once in a life experience. I have learned so much, not only the language, but also about culture, history. One of my favorite things were the kolo lessons. This program contained everything: every aspect of the Serbian language, culture, food, music, history… Amazing! I can only thank Magdalena and Bojan from the depth of my hearth for organizing this Serbian language summer school. For me, it was a dream come true. I want to thank for their hospitality, their help with literally everything. Thank you for making this happen! Thank you for this experience. I will never forget you and Serbia, everything has a place in my heart.” 

Thank you so much for these beautiful, touching words! Kassia, mnogo ti hvala!

Čas plesa - Letnja škola srpskog jezika Serbonika
This summer school was was a dream come true not only for Kassia, but also for myself, as a teacher.

I first started contemplating a Serbian language summer school back in 2014, when I started teaching online full time. I was a foreign language student in Italy and Greece, and dreamed of organizing something similar in my country.

It was only a dream until May 2021, when two of my students said: “Hey, Magdalena, we have a request and you can’t say no: you must organize a summer course!” So I started researching and working on it, and in a couple of months, it happened.

Here I want to thank you so much, Michael and Keith, for giving me the incentive. Even though you were not able to join us this year, you two did the first necessary step.

 

Both guests and hosts enjoyed our Serbian Language Summer School so much!

The first summer school was such a success because we were privileged to work with an amazing group of people. We all “clicked” the first day and enjoyed spending time with each other and doing things together. The most emotional moments were left out form the camera. Those were final farewells and goodbyes.

Now, enriched with this experience, we hope to make our Serbian language summer school grow every year. Below you can watch a video, or read its transcript with photos, and see how beautiful it all was.

 

These are the pages where you can learn more details and apply:
Details about the Serbian language summer school in English
Više informacija o Letnjoj školi srpskog jezika na srpskom

Prvi gosti su došli u našu Letnju školu srpskog jezika 

The first guests came to our Serbian Language Summer School

Prvi gosti u našu letnju školu doputovali su iz Turske, Poljske, Rusije, Amerike, Norveške, Holandije. Došli su 12. septembra 2021. godine da uče srpski u Sremskoj Mitrovici. The first guests came to our Summer School from Turkey, Poland, Russia, America, Norway, the Netherlands. They arrived on september 12, 2021 to learn Serbian in Sremska Mitrovica.
Nakon zabave u nedelju, gde smo se upoznali i družili, u ponedeljak je počela nastava. After the party on Sunday, where we met and hang out, the lessons began on Monday.
Tokom 2 nedelje, svako jutro, svi su dolazili na vreme na časove. Bili su vredni učenici. Domaći su ponekad pisali u kafani, ali su uvek bili spremni za čas. Kažu da su časovi bili jako dobri i zabavni. During two weeks, every morning, everyone came on time to classes. They were diligent students. Sometimes they wrote their homework in a tavern, but they were always prepared for class. They say that the classes were very good and fun.
Posle časova smo išli u šetnje, muzeje, galerije i biblioteke, plesali smo kolo, pekli rakiju.
Upoznali smo mnoge ljude i razgovarali sa različitim stručnjacima.
After the classes we went for walks, visited museums, galeries and libraries, we danced kolo, brewed rakija. We met many people and talked to different experts.
Tu su bili: enolozi, arheolozi, paleontolozi, jezičari, muzičari, kuvari, istoričari, bibliotekari, slikari, istoričari umetnosti, turistički vodiči, plesači… There were: enologists, archeologists, paleontologists, linguists, musicians, cooks, historians, librarians, painters, art historians, tour guides, dancers…
Preko vikenda smo išli na ekskurzije i zabave. Obišli smo kafiće, restorane, čarde i jednu vinariju. Prošetali se vinogradom i salašem. Over the the weekend we went to excursions and parties. We visited cafes, restaurants, fish resturants, and a vinary. We walked through a vineyard and a salaš.
Postali smo prijatelji i sjajno se proveli. Iznad svega, uvek i svuda slušali smo srpski jezik i razgovarali na srpskom. We became friends and had a great time. Above all, always and everywhere, we listened to the Serbian language and talked in Serbian.
Kako je to bilo čućete iz prve ruke, od naših polaznika. What was that like, you will learn firsthand, from our students.
Serbian Language and Culture workshop

Razgovor sa vodičem o Sremskoj Mitrovici, turstička agencija Uno Travel

Conversation with a tour guide about the city

Neki polaznici letnje škole se predstavljaju

Some summer school participants introduce themselves

– Ja se zovem Kasja.

– Odakle si?

– Ja sam iz Poljske, ali živim sad u Holandiji.

 

– Zovem se Andžej, ja sam iz Poljske.

 

– Zovem se Katinka, ja sam iz Norveške.

 

– Zovem se Varja.

– Odakle si?

– Ja sam iz Rusije, iz grada Pskova.

– My name is Kasja.

– Where are you from?

– I’m from Poland, but I live in the Netherlands now.

 

– My name is Andzej, I’m from Poland.

 

– My name is Katinka, I’m from Norway.

 

– My name is Varja.

– Where are you from?

– I’m from Russia, from the city of Pskov.

Serbian Language and Culture workshop

Pogled na Novi Sad sa Petrovaradinske tvrđave

A view of Novi Sad from the Petrovaradin fortress

  Kasja ostvaruje svoj san u našoj Letnjoj školi

  Kassia makes her dream come true in our Summer school

Magdalena: Ti si odrasla u Holandiji?

Kasja: Da ja sam odrasla u Holandiji, da.

Magdalena: I došla si ovde u Sremsku Mitrovicu da učiš srpski sa nama u Letnjoj školi srpskog jezika. Zašto?

Magdalena: You grew up in the Netherlands?

Kassia: Yes, I grew up in the Netherlands, yes.

Magdalena: And you came here to Sremska Mitrovica to learn Serbian with us in the Serbian language summer school. Why?

Kasja: Zašto? Ooo! Ja kad sam bila mala slušala sam srpske pesme kod moje prijateljice koja je iz Bosne, i ja volim srpsku muziku, i srpski jezik. Učim o kulturi i istoriji Srbije, i ovo je moj prvi put u Srbiji, i odlično mi je. Kassia: Why? Ooooooooo. When I was little I used to listen to Serbian songs at my friend’s who is from Bosnia, and I love Serbian music, and serbian language. And I learn about culture and history of Serbs, and this is my frist time in Serbia, and I feel great.

Magdalena: Šta ti je bilo najlepše, šta ti se najviše svidelo?

Kasja: Iz letnje škole?

Magdalena: Da, iz naše Letnje škole srpskog jezika.

Kasja: Za mene je najlepše bilo da učim kolo. Da učim da plešem kolo.

Magdalena: What was the best for you here, what did you like the most?

Kassia: From the Summer School?

Magdalena: Yes from our Serbian Language Summer School.

Kassia: For me it was kolo. Learning to dance kolo.

Ali i muzeji, muzej u Sremskoj Mitrovici je bio super, a i u biblioteci. Sve je bilo super i najbolje, i naše lekcije su bile zabavne. But also museums, the museum in Sremska Mitrovica was great, and also in the library. Everything was great, and our lessons were fun.
Serbian Language and Culture workshop

Razgovor o modernoj srpskoj književnosti u biblioteci “Gligorije Vozarović”

Conversation about modern Serbian literature at the City Library

 

Kasja: U Holandiji me pitaju: zašto učiš srpski? Pa ja volim Srbiju i njenu istoriju i ljude, i zato učim srpski. Kassia: In the Netherlands, they ask me: why do you learn Serbian? Well I love Serbia and its history and people, and that’s why I am learning Serbian.
Ljudi ne znaju dušu Srba i kulturu i istoriju, a to je jako važno. I ja pričam u Holandiji to: slušaj muziku, probaj hranu, i upoznajte ljude… People do not know the Serbian soul, their culture and history, and that’s very important. And I say that in the Netherlands: listen to the music, taste the food, meet the people…
Magdalena: Ti si naš advokat, u stvari, u Holandiji. Magdalena: You are actually our advocate in the Netherlands.
Kasja: Nadam se! Kassia: I hope so!

Magdalena: Dobro, hvala!

Kasja: Nema na čemu.

Magdalena: Okay, thank you!

Kassia: You are welcome.

Poseta Sremskim Karlovcima - Letnja škola srpskog jezika Serbonika

Poseta Sremskim Karlovcima i razgovor sa vodičem

Visit to Sremski Karlovci and a conversation with a guide

  Andžej voli da razgovara sa Srbima na srpskom jeziku

 Andzej likes talking to Serbs in their language

Magdalena: Andžej, učiš srpski u našoj letnjoj školi srpskog jezika u Sremskoj Mitrovici. Zašto?
Magdalena: Andrzej, you are studying Serbian in our Serbian language summer school in  Sremska Mitrovica. Why?
Andžej: Učim srpski u Sremskoj Mitrovici zato što želim da naučim srpski da govorim sa ljudima koji žive ovde na njihovom jeziku da mogu čitati više nego meni u restoranu.
Andrzej: I am studying Serbian in Sremska Mitrovica because I want to learn Serbian to speak with the people who live here in their language so I can read more than a menu in the restaurant.
Magdalena: Šta ti se najviše dopalo u našoj Letnjoj školi srpskog jezika?
Magdalena: What did you like the most in our Serbian Language Summer School?
Andžej: Mogu da kažem istinu?
Andrzej: Can I tell the truth?
Magdalena: Da.
 Magdalena: Yes.
Andžej: Profesorica! Hahaha! Šta, šta drugo? Tokom učenja mi smo imali mogućnost da pijemo kafu, vodu, da jedemo takođe slatkiše, i tako dalje.
Andrzej: The teacher! Hahaha! What, what else? During the lessons we had the possibility to drink coffee, water, to eat sweets as well, and so on.
Naučio sam kada vidim, probam, mirišem, to je za mene najbolji način učenja. I mogu da dodam da posle škole imali smo takođe puno, puno da radimo, znači posetili smo sve moguće muzeje, mislim, u Mitrovici. I learned when I see, try, smell, thats the best way of learning for me. And I can add that after school we also had a lot, a lot to do, we visited all possible museums, I think, in Mitrovica.
Takođe imali smo mogućnost da učimo da igramo kolo, tako da nisam imao vremena da spavam. Also, we had the opportunity to dance kolo, so I didn’t have time to sleep.
To je jedna, ne najlošija stvar, ali ne žalim se, u stvari.  Thats one, not the worst thing, but I am not complainig, actualy.
Puno stvari možemo da radimo ovde. A lot of things we can do here.
Još pitanja? Other questions?
Serbian Language and Culture workshop

Domaća hrana i piće u vinariji Ilić-Nijemčević

Local food and drink at the Ilić-Nijemčević winery

 

Magdalena: I kad ste mogli da spavate, vi ste lumpovali, išli ste u kafanu.
Magdalena: And when you could sleep, you partied, you went to a kafana.
Andžej: Da zbog toga što ima puno kafana svugde, gde god se okrenem tamo je kafana ili kafić ili nešto drugo.
Andrzej: Yes because there are a lot of taverns everywhere, wherever I turn around, there’s a tavern or a cafe or something else.
I tamo je uvek gužva, i mogu da pričam sa ljudima koji su tamo, da pričam srpski, šta sam naučio, na primer. And there’s always a lot of people there, and I can speak with the people, to speak Serbian, speak what I’ve learned, for example.
Magdalena: Dobro, da li bi preporučio drugima da uče srpski kod nas?
Magdalena: Would you recommend others to learn Serbian with us?
Andžej: Sigurno. Ovo mesto je apsolutno fantastično. Andrzej: Sure. This place is absolutely fantastic.
Magdalena: Puno hvala!
Magdalena: Thanks a lot!
Andžej: Nema na čemu, ja ću da se vratim sigurno.
Andrzej: You are welcome, I will come back most certainly.
Serbian Language and Culture workshop at a Gallery

Radionica srpskog jezika u Galeriji Lazar Vozarević

Serbian language workshop at a Gallery Lazar Vozarevic

   Katinka ceni kombinovani pristup naše Letnje škole

  Katinka appreciates the combined approach of our Summer school

Magdalena: Katinka iz Norveške. I bila si ovde u Sremskoj Mitrovici sa nama?

Katinka: Za letnju školu srpskog jezika, da. I to je bilo odlično. Ja sam mnogo učila. Bilo mi je teško, bilo mi je zanimljivo, i bilo je odlično.

Magdalena: A šta ti je bilo najbolje, šta je bilo najlepše?

Katinka: Najlepše… Ja mislim da biti sa ovom grupom zajedno. Ne mogu da kažem jednu stvar koja je bila najlepša, ali to su bile različite stvari.

Mi smo učili u učionici, išli smo na izlete, u posete, mi smo plesali kolo, i to je bio jedan veliki paket.

Magdalena: Mozaik.

Katinka: Mozaik, da, da.

Magdalena: Da li bi preporučila Norvežanima da uče srpski sa nama?

Katinka: Da, da. Program je super, i profesorica je odlična, ali jedna od najboljih stvari je to što je Sremska Mitrovica je mesto koje nije veliko, intimno je, malo, i svaki dan ili svaki drugi dan možeš da sretneš nekog koga si upoznao skoro, i to je lepo.

Magdalena: Da. Kao kod kuće.

Katinka: Kao kod kuće, da.

Magdalena: Hvala.

Katinka: Hvala ti.

Magdalena: Katinka from Norway. And you were here in Sremska Mitrovica with us?

Katinka: For the Serbian Language Summer School, yes. And that was excellent. I studied a lot. It was hard for me, it was interesting, and it was excellent.

Magdalena: And what was the best for your, what did you enjoy the most?

Katinka: The nicest… I think it was being together with the group. I can’t single out one thing that was the best, but there were many different things.

We learned in the classroom, we went on the field trips, to visits, we danced kolo, and it was a one big package.

Magdalena: Mosaic.

Katinka: Mosaic, yes, yes.

Magdalena: Would you recommend Norwegians to learn Serbian with us?

Katinka: Yes, yes. The program is great, and the teacher is excellent, but one of the best things is that Sremska Mitrovica is a place that is not big, it’s intimate, small, and every day or every other day you can bump into someone that you’ve just met recently, and that’s nice.

Magdalena. Yes. Like at home.

Katinka: Like at home, yes.

Magdalena: Thanks.

Katinka. Thank you.

Serbian Language Summer School

Ćaskamo dok čekamo piće u kafiću-knjižari BukBar

Chatting as we wait for drinks at a cafe-bookshop BookBar

   Varja poziva Ruse da više uče srpski

  Varja invites Russians to learn Serbian more

Varja: Zovem se Varja. Ja sam iz Rusije, iz grada Pskova.

Varja: My name is Varja. I am from Russia from the city of Pskov.

Magdalena: I došla si u Sremsku Mitrovicu da učiš srpski kod nas u našoj Letnjoj školi srpskog jezika.

Magdalena: And you came to Sremska Mitrovica to study Serbian in our Serbian Language Summer School.

Varja: Da, da, ja sam upoznala Magdalenu pre nekoliko godina i učila sam srpski preko interneta, i drago mi je da sam je lično upoznala, i mogu da kažem da je to bilo divno iskustvo za mene.

Varja: Yes, yes, I met Magdalena few years ago and I studied Sebian over the internet, and I’m glad that I’ve met her in person, and I can say that it was a wonderful experience for me.

Magdalena: Šta ti je bilo najlepše?

Magdalena: What did you like the most?

Varja: Najlepše mi je bilo što mogu da razumem sve. Kad smo išli na ekskurzije, i tokom eksurzija sam mogla da slušam srpsku reč, i iznenadilo me što da mogu da razumem praktično sve. Možda ne govorim još tečno, ali nadam se da ću napredovati u srpskom. Varja: The best for me was that I could understand everything. When we went to the excursions, and during the excursions I could listen to Serbian speech, and I was surpised that I could understand practically everything. I may not speak fluently yet, but I hope that I’ll make progress in Serbian.

Magdalena: Sigurno. I odlično govoriš.

Varja: Mislim da još ne.

Magdalena: Definitely. And you speak excellently.

Varja: Not yet, I think.

Magdalena: Težimo savršenstvu.

Varja: Da, da.

Magdalena: We strive for perfection.

Varja: Yes, yes.

Magdalena: Dobro. Hvala puno Varja. I, da li bi preporučila drugima da uče srpski sa nama?

Magdalena: Okay. Thank you a lot, Varya. And, would you recommend others to study Serbian with us?

Varja: Da, naravno. Žao mi je što Rusi malo uče srpski. Ali mislim da za Ruse to nije baš teško, a kod Magdalene posebno.

Varja: Yes, of course. I’m sorry the Russians don’t learn Serbian much. But I think that for the Russians it’s not that hard, and with Magdalena especially.

Magdalena: Puno hvala.

Varja: Hvala!

Magdalena: Thank you a lot.

Varja: Thank you!

Acknowledgements / Zahvalnica

We are so thankful to all of you who helped us realize our first Serbian Language Summer School.
Jako smo zahvalni svima vama koji ste pomogli u ostvarenju naše prve Letnje škole srpskog jezika.

Najpre mnogo, mnogo hvala našim učenicima i gostima: Varja, Kasja, Katinka i Jugo, Džen i Džon, Brus, Mustafa i Andžej. Bez vas se ova letnja škola nikada ne bi desila!

Puno hvala našim prijateljima, kolegama i institucijama na divnoj saradnji, podršci i pomoći. Bez vas ne bismo mogli da organizujemo ovako kvalitetan program! Svojom predusretljivošću su nas zadužili:

 

Želite da dođete ove godine? Vidite detalje o letnjoj školi i prijavite se na srpskom

Would you like to come this year? See details about the Summer school and apply in English

Jedva čekamo da vas upoznamo! We’re looking forward to meeting you!

 

Serbian Language and Culture workshop

Veče na salašu na kraju Letnje škole srpskog jezika

An evening at a salaš in the end of our Serbian language summer school

   Bliži se kraj naše Letnje škole srpskog jezika…

  The end of our Serbian Language Summer School is near…

Andžej: Hteo bih nešto da kažem, samo tri reči: hvala, hvala, hvala.
Andrzej: I would like to say something, just three words: thank you, thank you, thank you.
Ali ako želite, mogu da kažem više. Fali mi puno puno reči da mogu da opišem kako smo mi srećni, kako smo mi zadovoljni, kako ova škola, vaša škola, vi ste vrhunski. But if you want, I can say more. I miss a lot of words to describe how happy we are, how satisfied we are, how this school, your school, you are top-notch.
Mustafa: Ne, naša škola. Mustafa: No, our school.
Andžej: To je prvenstvo sveta po mom mišljenju. Andrzej: That’s championship of the world, in my opinion.
Vi ste vrlo srdačni, dobri ljudi, najbolji ljudi. Mi smo svi zahvalni, zadovoljni. You are very warmhearted, good people, the best people. We are all grateful, satisfied.
Škola je, nisam nikada video školu kao što vi imate. To je škola, to je život, to je društvo, to je sve, sve moguće. The school is, I have never seen a school like you have. That’s school, that’s life, that’s company, it includes everything, everything possible.
Ja nisam nikada mislio da je to moguće u ovom vremenu na svetu. Kod vas to je moguće. Tako da cenimo to vrlo visoko.

I’ve never thought that’s possible at this time in this world. With you, that’s possible. And we appreciate that very much.

Magdalena: To je moguće samo zato što ste svi vi toliko divni. Samo zato.

Magdalena: That’s possible only because all of you are so wonderful. Only because of that.

Andžej: Nisam završio, nisam završio, ne možete da…

Andrzej: I’ve not finished, I’ve not finished, you can’t…

Magdalena: Nemam reč, nemam još uvek reč.

Magdalena: I’m not allowed to speak, not yet.

Andžej: Za kraj hteo bih da kažem da nadam se, nadamo se, da možemo da se vidimo u budućnosti nekad, ali sad moramo da odlazimo…

Andrzej: In the end, I would like to say that I hope, we hope, that we can see each other in the future sometimes, but now we must go…

I tako, još jednom, tri reči: hvala, hvala, hvala.

Again, three words: thank you, thank you, thank you.

Magdalena, mislim da…

Mustafa: Magdalena, ako počneš… Pričaj, pričaj!

Magdalena: Ja sam ove dve nedelje jako puno pričala, a sad sam ostala bez teksta. Sad sam ostala bez teksta, stvarno. Ganuli ste me, ganuta sam.

Magdalena, I think that…

Mustafa: Magdalena, if you start… Speak, speak!

Magdalena:I talked so much in these two weeks, and now I am speechless. Now I am speechless, really. You moved me, I am touched.

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