Home And Family Vocabulary In Serbian

March 17, 2021

Home and family vocabulary in Serbian is one of the first things you should learn in this beautiful language. Why? Because home and family are the two most important values in Serbian culture. 

Many people who want to learn Serbian may have a Serbian spouse or a great friend. If that's your case, sooner or later, you are going to learn some words that describe household objects in this magnificent language. Trust me on this one. Or, if you have a child, it would be really nice that your child knows how to say “Mommy” and “Daddy” in your families’ native language. My idea for this article is to be at use for the absolute beginners, as well as for all of you who would like to impress your family members!

Here are some essential words for occasions when you meet your in-laws or visit any home in Serbia. I will do my best to help you with pronunciation!

 

Family Vocabulary In Serbian

Serbians are very close to their families. I mean they are really close! Their birthdays and wedding parties are pretty huge events. Things are looking like that because they like to share the important moments in their lives with everyone. And I mean literally everyone. When we are talking about Serbians, it is completely normal to have a wedding party that lasts for three days and has more than 500 guests. 

Traditional Serbian wedding

In the table below you can find things that are absolutely essential, for every non-Serbian speaker married to a Serbian. Also, those are the words that every child whose parent is Serbian has to know.

Immediate Family

Serbian Cyrillic / Latin Pronunciation English Translation
Ужа породица / Uža porodica u-zha  po–ro–de -tza Immediate family
Родитељи / Roditelji ro-dee-te-ly Parents
Мама / Mama mama Mommy
Мајка / Majka mai-ca Mother
Тата / Tata tata Daddy
Отац / Otac o – tatz Father
Сестра / Sestra sestra Sister
Брат / Brat brat Brother
Муж / Muž moozh Husband
Жена / Žena zhe – na Wife
Дете / Dete de-te Child
Син / Sin seen Son
Ћерка / Ćerka tyer - ca Daughter

That was easy, right? Should we continue then?
Before we do that, it's my obligation to tell you that now we are entering into a tricky part of this lesson. 

We can continue but at your own risk! 🙂

Extended Family

Serbian Cyrillic / Latin Pronunciation English Translation
Шира породица / Šira porodica shee - ra   po – ro – dee – tza Extended family
Бака / Baka ba – ca Grandma
Деда / Deda de-da Grandpa
Тетка / Tetka tet - ca Aunt – mother’s or father’s sister
Теча / Teča te – cha Uncle – a husband of Tetka
Ујак / Ujak oo – yak Uncle – mother’s brother
Ујна / Ujna  ooy – na Aunt - a wife of Ujak
Стриц / Stric str-ee-tz Uncle – father’s brother
Стрина / Strina str-ee - na Aunt – a wife of Strict
Рођак / Rođak ro-djak cousin
Нећак / Nećak nets-ac nephew
Нећака / Nećaka nets-aca niece
Унуци / Unuci oon-oocy grandchildren
Унук / Unuk oon-ooc grandson
Унука / Unuka oon-oocah granddaughter
Прадеда / Pradeda pra-de-da great grandfather
Прабаба / Prababa pra-ba-ba great grandmother
Свекар / Svekar sve-car father-in-law husband's father
Таст / Tast ta-st father-in-law wife's father
Свекрва / Svekrva svec-rvah mother-in-law husband's mother
Ташта / Tašta tash-tah mother-in-law wife's mother
Девер / Dever dev-er brother-in-law  husband's brother
Шурак / Šurak shoo-rac brother-in-law wife's brother
Заова / Zaova zao-vah sister-in-law husband's sister
Свастика / Svastika sva-stee-kah sister-in-law - wife's sister

Instead of a “cousin”, Serbians use the words “brat od tetke” (brother from aunt’s side), “sestra od strica” (sister from uncle’s side), and so on.

Are you still here? Is it too complicated to understand? 

Serbian family tree is one of the most complexes in the world! 

Oh...I almost forgot to tell you a word or two about Kum (coom). Kum is a godfather (a person who is a special witness at one’s baptism). Also, it's a best man or a maid of honor at the wedding. Serbians have a very strong spiritual relationship with kum, and there is a proverb “Bog na nebu, kum na zemlji”, which means “God in Heaven, kum on Earth”. Some families have a strong, almost unbreakable, connection that lasts for centuries. Also, godfathers are passed from generation to generation.

 

Home Vocabulary

In most Serbian families a long time ago (well, and in some villages, this is still normal), parents would build a huge house. After their son gets married, he would bring his wife to live with him. It was common to see three or four generations “under the same roof”. A daughter would, after marriage, go to live with her husband’s family. Also, it is very common that girls change their last name after getting married. Often, they would change it completely and take the husband's last name. In the past few decades, many women just add their husband’s last name to their maiden name.

Traditional Serbian home

Nowadays, Serbians have modern houses and apartments. But, if you are into ethno-tourism and would like to experience Serbian villages, you can rent a room or a whole house for a reasonable price. Quite often you will have the opportunity to try traditional food as well!

But, let’s continue with home vocabulary. 

Serbian Cyrillic / Latin Pronunciation English Translation
Кућа / Kuća ku-tya House
Дом / Dom dom Home
Соба / Soba  so-bah Room
Дневна соба / Dnevna soba  dne – vna  so – ba Living room
Кухиња / Kuhinja  coo – hee – nya Kitchen
Трпезарија / Trpezarija  tr – pe – sa – ri – ya Dining room
Спаваћа соба /Spavaća soba  spa – va -cha  so – ba Bedroom
Дечија соба / Dečija soba  de – chee – ya  so – ba Kid's room
Купатило / Kupatilo  coo – pa – tee – lo Bathroom
Радна соба / Radna soba  rad – na  so – ba Study room
Вешерница / Vešernica  ve – sher – nee - tza Laundry
Двориште / Dvorište  dvo – rish – te Garden

 

Final Thoughts 

I hope that, after reading this article, you are going to do your own small investigation about Serbian traditional family values and relations and houses. In one of my previous articles, I talked about Serbian food (and drinks!) and taught you how to name fruits, vegetables, and other foods in Serbian.
If you are interested in learning more Serbian words and phrases you can consider using Ling App and have fun along the way.

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