Many of you learning Serbian may have a Serbian spouse. It means that, sooner or later, you are going to learn some words that describe household objects. Or, if you have a child, it would be really nice that your child can say “Mommy” and “Daddy” in your families’ native tongue.  This article is created for the absolute beginners, as well as for all of you who would like to impress your family members!


I will do my best to help you with pronunciation!




Generally, we are very close to our families. But, I mean we are reaaaalllly close! Our birthday and wedding parties are huge, because we like to share the important moments in our lives with everyone. And I mean everyone. It is completely normal to have a wedding party that lasts for two days and has more than 500 guests. It looks something like this:



Source: ‘Serbian Wedding’ Pinterest


Things that are absolutely essential, for every non-Serbian speaker married to a Serbian, are listed below. Those are, also, the words that every child whose parent is Serbian has to know.


Immediate family

Uža porodica (u - zha  / po – ro – dee -tza)

Me, I

Ja (ya)




Majka (mai-ca)




Otac (o – tatz)






Muž (moozh)


Žena (zhe – na)




Sin (seen)


Ćerka (tyer - ca)



That was easy, right? Shall we continue?



Extended family

Šira porodica (shee - ra / po – ro – dee – tza)


Baka (ba – ca)



Aunt – mother’s or father’s sister

Tetka (tet - ca)

Uncle – a husband of Tetka

Teča (te – cha)

Uncle – mother’s brother

Ujak (oo – yak)

Aunt - a wife of Ujak

Ujna (ooy – na)

Uncle – father’s brother

Stric (streetz)

Aunt – a wife of Stric

Strina (stree - na)


Instead of a “cousin”, we use words “brat od tetke” (brother from aunt’s side), “sestra od strica” (sister from uncle’s side), etc.


Complicated? Serbian family tree is one of the most complex in the world! For now, this is enough.


Ah, before I continue, I should say a word or two about Kum (coom). Kum is a godfather (a person who is a special witness at one’s baptism) or a best man or a maid of honour at the wedding. Serbs have a very strong spiritual relation 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.





In most Serbian families, we have traditional gender roles. Mother cooks and takes care of the house and family, and father is a breadwinner. Grandparents help with the children.


Long time ago (well, and in some villages this is still normal), parents would build a huge house. After their sons get married, they would bring their wives to live with them. It was common to see three or four generations “under the same roof”. Daughters would, after marriage, go to live with their 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 husband’s last name. In the past few decades, many women add husband’s last name to their maiden name.


House – kuća (coo – tya)

Home – dom


Traditional Serbian houses look something like this:


Photo by Dejan Mihajlović


Nowadays, of course, we 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…



Kid's room

Dečija soba (de – chee – ya / so – ba)



Kupatilo (coo – pa – tee – lo)



Spavaća soba (spa – va -cha / so – ba)



Kuhinja (coo – hee – nya)


Dining room

Trpezarija (tr – pe – sa – ri – ya)


Living room

Dnevna soba (dne – vna / so – ba)



Radna soba (rad – na / so – ba)



Vešernica (ve – sher – nee - tza)



Dvorište (dvo – rish – te)





In most of the houses, the living room and dining room are actually one room. In some smaller homes, this room serves as a bedroom for parents as well.


We usually do not have toilet separated from bathroom.


Serbs really like gardens. If we live in a house, we usually have two gardens. First one, in the front of the house, is for the flowers. Back yard is for the vegetables and barbeque. Sometimes, there is even a third, well, let’s say, yard, which is located behind the back yard. That is a place for cattle and poultry. In Serbian villages it is very common to see livestock, sometimes even roaming freely around the house.


I hope that, after reading this article, you are going to do your own small investigation about Serbian traditional  houses and family values and relations. In one of the next articles, I will talk about Serbian dishes (and drinks!), give you some recipes and teach you how to name fruits, vegetables and other foods, in Serbian, of course.


Hero Image by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash