Hello dear Serbian learners, how are you? I hope you're fine. In this article, I will present to you some survival vocabulary for making phone calls, as well as words and phrases regarding cell phones. These are natural and colloquial phrases that are used very often in every day life and most of them are not covered in the textbooks. They will help you sound more natural when you are talking about your phone needs. Do you know how to say that you are out of credit? Do you know how to ask somebody to charge your phone?
Well, you're going to learn all of this and much more.
The first word in a phone conversation
Halo!: This is the typical word that is used to start a phone conversation. I think you've probably noticed a similarity between “hello” and halo. You're right! halo originated from “hello,” but the meaning has changed and it doesn't mean “hello” anymore. People use this word only to signal that they are on the line and to make sure that they hear each other well. You can use it when you make or receive a phone call.
- Halo, da li je tu Bojana?: Hello, is Bojana there?
- Ne, nije tu: No, she is not.
- Aha, ok, da li možeš da joj kažeš da me pozove malo kasnije?: Ah OK, can you tell her to call me back a bit later?
- Da, naravno: Yes, of course.
- U redu, hvala puno: Alright, thanks so much.
- Nema na čemu: You’re welcome.
Sometimes we can say molim if we want to be more formal. We normally use it only when we receive a phone call, not when we make a phone call. Generally molim can be used to say “pardon?” (if you didn't hear something well), “you're welcome” or as an alternative to halo when we want to answer a phone call.
- Molim?: Hello?
- Hej ćao, ovde je Suzana: Hey, hi... this is Susan.
- Hej, pa gde si ti, šta ima novo?: Hey, where are you? What's new?
- Evo, tu sam. Nema ništa posebno, sve po starom. A kod tebe?: Well, here I am. Nothing special, everything is the same. What about you?
- Nema ni kod mene: Same here.
- Okej, pozdravi svoje ukućane: OK, say hello to your family members.
- Hoću, i ti isto: I will, and you too.
Here you can hear one example of a phone conversation.
Ja sam: It's me.
That's right. It may be confusing when somebody is calling you, expecially when they expect you to recognize him/her only by their voice. Thank God all phones identify the caller by the number and you can know who's calling you.
- Hej ćao, ja sam: Hey, hi. It's me
- Hej ćao Bojči, kako si mi, šta ima?: Hey, hi Bojči, how are you? What's new?
- Evo dobro sam. Nema ništa posebno. A kod tebe: Well, I'm fine. Nothing special.
- Ni kod mene ništa posebno: Same here.
Ovde je (this means literally: “here's”) + your name. You can also say your name and surname + kraj telefona (kraj telefona: on the phone) if you want to be a bit formal.
- Halo, ovde je Suzana. Da li mogu da razovaram sa Bojanom: Hello, this is Susan. May I speak to Bojana?
- Naravno Suzana, samo trenutak: Of course Suzana, just a moment
If you want to be completely polite, you can say your name + je + kraj telefona ( + is on the phone). For example:
- Halo, Milenko je kraj telefona. Da li mogu da razgovaram sa Suzanom?: Hello, Milenko is on the phone. May I talk to Susan?
- Naravno da možeš. Evo, izvoli: Of course you can. Here you are.
For formal conversation, I recommend you say it in this way:
- Dobro jutro/dobar dan (good morning/good afternoon) + ovde je + your name + your profession + the name of your company.
- The name of your company + izvolite (how may I help you). Use this second option only when you are receiving the phone call.
- Dobar dan, ovde je Vera, zastupnik Wiener Stadiche Group kompanije. Da li imate minut slobodnog vremena za jedan kraći razgovor?: Good afternoon. This is Vera. I'm an agent for Wiener Stadiche Group company. Do you have a minute free for a short conversation?
- Ne, nemam. Doviđenja: No, I do not. Goodbye!
- Banka Inteza, izvolite: Banc Intesa, how may we help you?
- Htela bih da pričam sa gospođicom Marijom. Da li je gospođica Marija tu?: I would like to talk with Miss Marija. Is Miss Marija there?
- Ne, nije. Da li želite da joj ostavite neku poruku: No, she is not. Do you want to leave a message for her?
- Ne. Hvala Vam puno: No. Thank you so much.
- Nema na čemu. Prijatan dan: You’re welcome. Have a nice day.
Asking for a person
Da li mogu da razgovaram sa: May I speak to….
Don't forget to put the name in the instrumental case. In order to do so, just add the ending OM (feminine form). For example:
- Suzana: sa Suzanom
- Ljiljana: s Ljiljanom
- Ana: s Anom
- Bojana: s Bojanom
For men use M or OM: Use EM if the name finishes with O or Š. For example:
- Marko: s Markom
- Mirko: s Mirkom
- Miloš: s Milošem
- Uroš: s Urošem
Use OM in all other cases. For example:
- Slobodan: sa Slobodanom
- Majkl: s Majklom
- Vladimir: s Vladimirom
- Milan: s Milanom
Mogu li dobiti Majkla/Bojanu?: Could you put Michael/Bojana on the phone for me.
Here, the meaning is the same, but the ending is different. Use the rule for the accusative case. In short, put the [u] ending for women and [a, u] for men. For example:
If the man's name finishes with A (Nikola, Sava) you put a U at the end, just like in women's names (Nikola: Nikolu, Sava: Savu, etc.). If the man's name finishes with any other letter, you change it to A
- Marko: Marka
- Pavle: Pavla
- Majkl: Majkla
- Vladimir: Vladimira
How to talk about phone calls
- Pričati na telefonu/telefonirati: To talk on the phone.
- Pozovi me danas popodne, večeras: Call me this afternoon, this evening! (informal)
- Pozovi me/nazovi me: Dial me! (informal)
This is a short version of Pozovi moj broj telefona, which we can directly translate as "dial my number." This phrase sounds too long, so broj got lost. You can use this phrase as a synonym of pozovi me. You can often hear the phrase okreni me, which literally means “to turn around somebody.” However, we usually translate it to mean “to dial somebody”:
- Ne mogu da te dobijem: I couldn't reach you (informal, masculine).
- Tvoj telefon zvoni (zvoni ti telefon): Your phone is ringing (informal).
- Propušten poziv: Missed call (informal).
- Dolazni poziv: Incoming call.
- Odlazni poziv: Outcoming call.
- Pozovi me na mobilni telefon: Call me on the cell phone (informal).
- Pozovi me kad budeš mogao!: Call me back when you can (informal).
- Pričati na telefonu, telefonirati: To talk on the phone.
- Odgovoriti na poziv: To answer a call.
- Zauzeto: It's busy.
- Budi na vezi: Hang on (informal).
You name it: “cell phone” in Serbian
- Mobilni telefon: Cell phone.
- Mob: Cell phone.
- Telefon: Telephone, phone.
- Fiksni telefon, fiksni: Landline.
- Mobilni: Mobile.
When the connection is not good
- Slabo te čujem: I can't hear you well.
- Veza je veoma loša: The connection is very bad.
- Gubiš se: I'm losing you. Literally, this phrase is translated as “you are disappearing” but, of course, nobody disappears. It means that the connection is not stable, and some words or parts of words are being lost.
- Molim te, ponovi ponovo: Please, can you repeat that?
- SMS, tekstualna poruka: SMS, text message.
- Napiši mi adresu u SMS poruci: Text me the address.
- Pusti mi SMS (poruku): This literally this means “let me SMS,” but if we translate it properly, it would be “send me an SMS message.”
Ending a conversation
These words are still widely used in some phrases, whether we are speaking about cell phones or landlines:
- Prekinuti vezu: Hang up.
- Spustiti slušalicu: Hang up aggressively.
- Slušalica: Handset.
Taking with a machine
We all hate it, but sometimes you can't reach the person you are calling. Instead you just hear a recorded voice telling you something again and again, and you can't ask it what the problem is. Let's try to decode this “robo-talking.”
- Nemate dovoljno kredita za ovaj poziv: You don't have enough credits for this call.
- Pozvani korisnik trenutno nije dostupan: The subscriber is temporarily out of reach.
- Pozvani korisnik trenutno telefonira: The subscriber is talking.
- Linija je zauzeta. Molimo Vas, pokušajte kasnije: The line is busy, please try to call later.
- Nakon zvučnog signala, ostavite poruku: Leave a message after the beep.
How to speak about phone credit
- Ostao/ostala sam bez kredita: I ran out of money on my phone.
- Dopunite svoj kredit: Put money on a phone.
- Molim Vas, dopunite mi telefon kreditom od 200 dinara: Please, put 200 rubles on my phone (you can ask somebody to do this).
- Gde mogu da dopunim svoj kredit na telefonu?: Where can I put some credit on my phone?
- Dopunite Vaš kredit: Replenish your balance (formal).
- Proverite stanje (Vašeg kredita): Check your balance.
When you buy a new SIM card, you can find the USSD code on the pack. Dial it and you will be able to find out exactly how much money you have in your phone balance. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can always ask the seller:
- Kako se proverava bilans stanja?: How do I check my balance?
How to speak about charging
- Ne radi mi telefon: My phone is down.
- Baterija mi je na izdisaju: My battery is almost dead.
- Moram da napunim svoj telefon: I have to charge my phone.
- Punjač: Charger.
- Izvini, da li imaš punjač za moj telefon?: Excuse me, do you have a charger for my phone? (informal)
- Staviti telefon na punjenje: To charge a phone.
Before saying goodbye!
Dobro. Hajde, vidimo se!: OK, then. See you!
In most cases, hajde means “come on, let's go.” However, in phone conversations it means “let's say goodbye and finish the call.”
So, it's time for me to say to you: Doviđenja!
That is all. I hope this helped you and you found it interesting. If you are going to Serbia for travel or work, you can now handle all your phone needs by yourself.
Please leave your feedback. I would be very happy to know your opinion.