Crap. I messed up.
I’ve dated a Serbian woman for years, and her and her family speak the language at home. I had every opportunity to learn the language, but I didn’t.
I was lazy.
Though, in my defense, it is much easier to ignore conversations if you don’t understand them.
But now my laziness has come back to bite me. I’m in a foreign country, and I have no idea what’s going on. Sort of.
English Is Prominent
English is an international language. Actually. English is THE international language.
In Europe, it seems like everyone learns at least one extra language in school. And they really learn the language. Unlike the weak language curriculum we have in the States. (I learned more Spanish working at a restaurant than I did in the classroom.)
Here in Serbia, many students learn German. Germany has the most powerful economy in Europe, and Serbians want to work there. I guess the job market here isn’t excellent.
But English is popular as well, and we’re fortunate to live in an international neighborhood, one where English is the common ground for many expats.
When I go to a store alone, I usually speak as little as possible and read the numbers on the cash register to know what I owe.
The cashiers often catch on, and they restate the total in English if they know how. Which is helpful, but I still feel like a dumbass.
Other Young Serbs
My future mother-in-law is an amazing woman and made many loyal and intelligent friends in the many years that she lived here. We’ve met some of them, and we’ve met their children as well.
They speak English, and they are eager to practice. Especially with an American.
But that’s a crutch. I need to try harder.
I want to develop a better habit. I plan on learning a new phrase every day.
Conjugation is complicated, and so is learning the gender of each word. But the only way to learn something as difficult as a new language is to do it.
And that’s the plan.
Have you learned a new language? What did you struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below. Or don’t. Psh. See if I care. (I totally do.)