Neoplanta log - Urdu, Portuguese, etc.

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Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
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Neoplanta log - Urdu, Portuguese, etc.

Postby Saim » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:22 pm

Serbian

I live in Novi Sad, so Serbian is a language I use every day. Early in the year I wasn't so happy with my level, and it was kind of tough motivating myself to spend time with it under lockdown, but now I have a slightly more solid social circle and don't need to force myself to use it as much. Now I feel like I can just enjoy the language and not worry that much about how much I'm picking up.

My main goal here is to read a lot of novels. I also make sentence cards in Anki to internalise rarer vocabulary. I generally copy the example sentences from the dictionary on srpskijezik.com, because there is almost always a couple of i+1 sentences I can use (which wasn't the case earlier this year, I often found the sentences kind of hard; I also wasn't so used to reading Cyrillic so I preferred hrvatski jezični portal which doesn't have as many example sentences, but now I can read Cyrillic and Latin at pretty much the same speed).

I'm at the point now where in any novel there will be some pages with no new words (and for "trashier" novels most of the pages will have no new words), and this is the first foreign language this has happened to me in. I've only gotten into reading fiction in the past couple of years, so I acquired most of my languages by reading non-fiction (incl. the news), shorter-form texts like forum posts and comments, and talking to people. Nowadays I find a lot of news, online discussions and non-fiction kind of boring so I spend a lot more time on novels.

Books I've read this year and last year:

Fiction

Ana Marija me nije volela - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 184 pages
Javna ptica - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 303 pages
Uho, nož, grlo - Vedrana Rudan, 172 pages
Mundo libre - Marko Krstić, 232 pages
Ostrvo - Meša Selimović, 198 pages
Sjećanja - Meša Selimović, 256 pages
Američki derviš - Ayad Akhtar, 354 pages (translated from English)
Glad - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 224 pages
Derviš i smrt - Meša Selimović, 369 pages
Ono sve što znaš o meni - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 235 pages
Tvrđava - Meša Selimović, 373 pages
Niko i ništa u Parizu i Londonu - George Orwell, 180 pages (translated from English)
Neoplanta ili Obećena zemlja - Végel László, 257 pages (translated from Hungarian)
Dvojnici iz tame - Morea Banićević, 282 pages

Non-fiction

Nova lica jezika, Ranko Bugarski, 250 pages
Mađarska revolucija 1956 - Ivan Ivanji, 325 pages

Total fiction: 3619
Total books: 4194

Hungarian

There is a fairly small, but tightly-knit and culturally active, Hungarian-speaking community in Novi Sad, but it's been hard to meet people and go to events (I only managed to go to one play at the local Hungarian theatre Újvidéki Színház before lockdown) for obvious reasons. I have one Hungarian friend here who studies Hungarian Philology at the university, but she's moved back to her home town of Óbecse/Bečej and I've only seen her once since the end of the state of emergency. Maybe I'll see her more when the semester starts. Hopefully I'll get more opportunities to speak the language later this year.

I've gotten to the point where I have little trouble reading non-fiction in Hungarian, and in news articles I come across very new few words.

I have noticed, however, that I have trouble holding my attention for longer periods of time when listening, so I'm going to take a bit of a break from reading and mostly do extensive listening. I'll fill my mp3 player almost entirely with Hungarian-language audio, and I'll mainly focus on Hungarian TV shows when I feel like sitting and watching something.

I'm currently watching the second season of Munkaügyek.

I've also been listening to the following podcasts, recommended by Hungarian with Sziszi, who I follow on Instagram:

Lecsó: belecsapunk!: https://podnews.net/podcast/1386344477

https://www.szempillantaspodcast.hu/

Lapozza 99re: https://lapozza99re.simplecast.com/

Szertár: http://szertar.com/podcast/

I also download videos from M1 and Index.hu and listen to them on my mp3 player.

Books I've read:

Fiction

Rumini, Berg Judit, 216 pages
Johanna és a Dräher utcai gyilkosság, C. C. Kicker, 220 pages

Non-fiction

Így tanulok nyelveket, Lomb Kató, 160 pages
Államok, nyelvek, államnyelvek*, Csernicskó István, 530 pages

*I don't remember if I actually read this from front to back, but I read a bunch of other Hungarian-language materials for my MA thesis so I think all in all I must have read at least 500 pages last year, so this is OK as a stand in. I definitely read most of it though.

Urdu

Urdu is a language that I've been dragging along for a while (ten or so years on-and-off) and have managed to get a sort of shaky upper-intermediate level in. My listening comprehension is generally quite good, but there is such variance in terms of the vocabulary used by different speakers and different registers that I keep coming across that problem when I want to listen for longer periods of time. I've accepted that I'm not going to have a solid active level in the language any time soon and that I'm best off just working on vocabulary building, since there are so many words. This doesn't matter anyway, since I'm not in contact with many Pakistanis or North Indians and I'm not going to travel to Pakistan any time soon.

I'm mostly going to focus on news articles because I'm at the point where most sentences there will be i+1. I'm going to try to keep my flashcards monolingual as much as possible, adding new words in the Urdu-Urdu definitions to a separate deck for words.

For example:

Front: پاکستان سے رضاکارانہ طور پر وطن واپس جانیوالے افغان مہاجرین کیلئے اقوام متحدہ کے دو مراکز کھول دیئے گئے ہیں۔
Back: اپنی مرضی سے ، بِلا جبر و معاوضہ ، خود اختیارانہ.

وہ شخص جو رفاء عام کے لیے بلا معاوضہ کوئی خدمات انجام دے.

Here I didn't know the word رفاہ, so I added this card to a separate deck:

Front: رفاہ
Back: welfare, common good
وہ کام جس سے لوگوں کو راحت پہنچے، خوشحال ، خوشی، فلاح و بہبودی، لوگوں کا فائدہ اور آرام.

Other Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages

I go back and forth between a lot of languages in these families depending on what I feel like reading at the time. Here almost all my flashcards are monolingual.

For Slavic languages, I'd mostly like to work on Pannonian Rusyn (also known as Bačka Rusyn), since it's the only one of Vojvodina's official languages that is mostly unique to the province (I guess you could consider it a variety of either Carpathian Rusyn or Eastern Slovak, but it's certainly more different from those than the local varieties of Hungarian, Serbian, Romanian or Slovak are from their respective standards). The Pannonian Rusyn cultural association Руске слово has three novels available for free in pdf format: http://knjizkiporuski.com/, so I think I'll go through those before doing anything else. The local public TV channel RTV2 also has programmes in Rusyn, so I've been listening to shorter fragments (5 minutes) cut out from those as well (I can't really justify spending 40-60 minutes listening to things in Rusyn at this point).

The only thing that's annoying about Bačka Rusyn is that there are no online dictionaries. I've studied minority languages before, but even Occitan (1) and Asturian (1; 2; 3) have pretty reliable monolingual and bilingual dictionaries available online. I do have a Rusyn-Rusyn and Rusyn-Serbian dictionary in pdf format, and thankfully CTRL+F works a lot of the time, but it's still a bit more of a hassle to use than what I'm used to.

I'd also like to spend more time reading Russian because it's the Slavic language that I still have the most trouble understanding, since all the other ones are lexically very close to either Serbian or Polish or both. For Russian I actually do make bilingual cards to help me understand dictionary definitions.

As for Romance languages, I'd like to spend more time reading fiction in languages I can already read quite well, especially Catalan and Galician.

I also dabble occasionally in Dutch, less often in German.

Mandarin

This year I watched the whole first season of 奈何BOSS要娶我 on Netflix, making an average of a dozen or so flashcards per episode. I jumped back and forth between watching it with Chinese and English subtitles. Now I'm going back through it episode-by-episode, trying to memorise many more words.

If a sentence in the subtitles is i+1, I simply add both the audio and the written sentence to the front of the flashcard, and a translation of the word I didn't know on the back.

For words in sentences that aren't i+1 (so sentences with 2-3 new words), I try to find example sentences on ichacha or LINE that are as close to i+1 as possible and add them to the front of the card with text-to-speech audio. I add these to a separate deck and treat them essentially as word cards rather than sentence cards; the sentence is more a hint than what I'm actually training.

Now I'm going back through it and trying to make 5 flashcards per day, although I do skip days. My plan is to rewatch a batch of 5 episodes with Chinese subtitles once I've gone through an entire episode using Language Learning with Netflix + Anki. This will take a while but I'm enjoying it and it's hard to find any materials that are appropriate for my level in Chinese that aren't excruciatingly boring, so I'm happy to take it slow with TV shows.

Other "hard" languages

I dabble in Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Hebrew, Albanian and Basque; most days I'll probably read in at least one of these languages for around 5-10 minutes. I mostly try to read the news, but I don't read entire articles; I instead actively search for i+1 sentences in the articles. Sometimes if I like a sentence that is i+2 I'll make a separate word card for one of the new words.

For Albanian (https://kosovotwopointzero.com/), the site I read already has Serbian and English translations for all its articles, which helps a great deal.

I've also been studying Turkish using a similar strategy to Mandarin (with the show Hakan: Muhafız), but I don't try to be as consistent as with Mandarin, because you can't prioritise everything, and I find Turkish much easier due to my background in Urdu and Hungarian.
Last edited by Saim on Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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User avatar
Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Saim » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:46 pm

Portuguese
Image

I watched the first three episodes of The Circle: Brasil. The first one I watched in two sittings and looked up every new word in the subtitles (and most of them are marked in the dictionary as "brasileirismos"), whereas the second and third I binged. I'm going to slow down and make sure not to watch too much of it at once.

I'm glad I gave this show a chance. It looked quite stupid and has an even more staged feel than most reality shows, but I'm enjoying it, and it's helping me get used to the Brazilian accent and lots of the unique slang and pragmatic expressions and so on. It's also interesting to here people dictate text messages (and so you hear the way Brazilians refer to smilies and so on). I've wanted to work on my aural comprehension of Brazilian Portuguese for a while, so here we go. :)

Serbian

Image
Elitna prostitutka, Jasmina Ana

If this book was a bit better written I would call it a guilty pleasure. I wanted to take a break from reading tougher stuff like Selimović's works so I went to one of the quioscs on the street and asked if they have any simple fare (lako štivo), and the lady working there recommended this to me, and it was substantially cheaper than everything else. Not sure if I should have listened to her.

All of the dialogue has an extreme tragic and melodramatic tone that wasn't that much fun to read, although that's also better than glorifying the whole thing à la Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I guess I did learn a few new words, and the fact that the river Ibar runs through Kraljevo. Honestly I enjoyed the book Dvojnici iz tamne much more; this book was aimed at preteens, but it certainly had a more complex and engaging plot than Elitna prostitutka.

That said, after spending so much time looking up relatively rare words in novels it was fun to read one that had very few words I didn't know. Dvojnici iz tamne also had relatively few, but still a couple more than this book.

Fiction

Ana Marija me nije volela - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 184 pages
Javna ptica - Ljiljana Habjanović Đurović, 303 pages
Uho, nož, grlo - Vedrana Rudan, 172 pages
Mundo libre - Marko Krstić, 232 pages
Ostrvo - Meša Selimović, 198 pages
Sjećanja - Meša Selimović, 256 pages
Američki derviš - Ayad Akhtar, 354 pages (translated from English)
Glad - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 224 pages
Derviš i smrt - Meša Selimović, 369 pages
Ono sve što znaš o meni - Mirjana Bobić Mojsilović, 235 pages
Tvrđava - Meša Selimović, 373 pages
Niko i ništa u Parizu i Londonu - George Orwell, 180 pages (translated from English)
Neoplanta ili Obećena zemlja - Végel László, 257 pages (translated from Hungarian)
Dvojnici iz tame - Morea Banićević, 282 pages
Elitna prostitutka - Jasmina Ana, 192 pages

Total fiction: 3811
Total books: 4386
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Dagane
Orange Belt
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK
Languages: I regularly use:
Spanish (N)
English (C2)
German (C1)
Hungarian (A0)

I formerly studied:
Galician (B2?)
Dutch (A1)
Czech (A0)
Portuguese (A2?)
French (A1?)
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Dagane » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:07 pm

I'll follow your Hungarian journey with interest. I study the language myself but it looks like you're learning at a much higher level :lol: . I'd like to think I can get to that point some time in the future
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User avatar
Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Saim » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:14 am

Catalan

Image

Mil cretins, Quim Monzó, 173 pages

This is only the second work of fiction that I've read front to back in Catalan, despite the fact that Catalan is my strongest foreign language.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It's quite rare that a book makes me laugh out loud more than once.

This was a collection of short stories (like the first fiction work I read in Catalan several years ago - Cròniques de la veritat oculta by Pere Calders), so I'm looking forward to reading a full novel at some point in Catalan.

Speaking of Catalan, a friend of mine from Barcelona came to visit Bulgaria and southern Serbia last week and we met in Niš and hung out over the weekend. I listened to Catalunya Ràdio for 4-5 hours on the bus ride over and after that I felt like I wasn't rusty at all (and in fact spoke better than I ever had) despite not using it much this year or last. I'm going to keep listening to Catalunya Ràdio programmes whenever I feel like it since I don't feel the need to have as much of a singular focus on Serbian. In fact I have a sense that at this point Catalan content often competes more with English than with Serbian or Hungarian.

This also confirms my view that listening has more of an immediate, direct effect on speaking ability than reading does, so I'm going to keep that in mind whenever I'm being strategic in my learning and not try to do everything at once.

Dagane wrote:I'll follow your Hungarian journey with interest. I study the language myself but it looks like you're learning at a much higher level :lol: . I'd like to think I can get to that point some time in the future


Sok szerencsét! Keep in mind that I've been at it for a number of years now, including classes at university and three summer courses. :)
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galaxyrocker
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Languages: English (N), Irish (Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge B2)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=757
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby galaxyrocker » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:25 pm

Saim wrote:This also confirms my view that listening has more of an immediate, direct effect on speaking ability than reading does, so I'm going to keep that in mind whenever I'm being strategic in my learning and not try to do everything at once.



I've found this to be the case as well. I always feel like my ability in any foreign language is greater after audio exposure than written exposure. It's weird, because I much prefer to read as I get distracted way too easily and let my mind wander while listening, but listening is by far the more effective for getting me into the mindset to speak a foreign language. I guess it probably has something to do with the sounds and just getting back into hearing the rhythm of the language that brings it to mind easier.
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PfifltriggPi
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Location: Amerique du Nord
Languages: Uses daily : Français (heritage) English
Reads : Castellano, Català, Italiano, Lingua Latina
Studying: Українська мова, Ελληνικά
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4860
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby PfifltriggPi » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:04 pm

How difficult did you find Mil cretins? I got to a pretty good level in Catalan a few years back, and I honestly like it a lot better than Spanish, but I've lost a good bit of it due to not having much to do in it as meeting a Catalan speaker where I live is quite rare. I originally started studying it for the Mediaeval and Renaissance literature, but, unsurprisingly, Duolingo Catalan did not exactly prepare me for Ramon Llull. After getting my Ukrainian a bit better I think I am going to speed through the Assimil Catalan course which has been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years, and I will be looking for a few more modern easier books to work my way back to the Golden Age.

Also, and this might be a stupid question, how does one get books in Catalan outside of Catalunya? A brief Internet search did not turn up much.
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User avatar
Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Saim » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:34 am

galaxyrocker wrote:
I've found this to be the case as well. I always feel like my ability in any foreign language is greater after audio exposure than written exposure. It's weird, because I much prefer to read as I get distracted way too easily and let my mind wander while listening, but listening is by far the more effective for getting me into the mindset to speak a foreign language. I guess it probably has something to do with the sounds and just getting back into hearing the rhythm of the language that brings it to mind easier.


Yeah, I used to get frustrated about getting distracted while listening to foreign languages, but I find that it doesn't seem to matter much.

PfifltriggPi wrote:How difficult did you find Mil cretins? I got to a pretty good level in Catalan a few years back, and I honestly like it a lot better than Spanish, but I've lost a good bit of it due to not having much to do in it as meeting a Catalan speaker where I live is quite rare. I originally started studying it for the Mediaeval and Renaissance literature, but, unsurprisingly, Duolingo Catalan did not exactly prepare me for Ramon Llull. After getting my Ukrainian a bit better I think I am going to speed through the Assimil Catalan course which has been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years, and I will be looking for a few more modern easier books to work my way back to the Golden Age.

Also, and this might be a stupid question, how does one get books in Catalan outside of Catalunya? A brief Internet search did not turn up much.


I found Mil cretins very simple to follow. There was a substantial number of unknown words but I don't have much and most of them were names of household objects and materials and such.

I ordered my books from Casa del Libro and they sent it to me through DHL, although I wouldn't do it again since besides the shipping costs the Serbian State slapped on a 10 euro tariff and DHL charged an extra 30 euros for "mediating the tariff process" or some other such nonsense. I'm not sure what the procedure is like in North America, but any major Spanish bookstore chains will have books in Catalan and I think there will also be smaller bookstores located in the Catalan language area that ship internationally.
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User avatar
Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
x 1528

Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Saim » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:27 pm

Basque

Berria.eus has a bunch of three-minute podcasts with accurate transcripts.

Here's the one I'm working on at the moment: https://www.berria.eus/podcast/zaitun/a ... -hori.html . This is a goldmine for audio sentence cards.

This is pretty much perfectly aligned to my level (not too hard, not too easy), and I find it fairly compelling. It's also in line with what I'd like to do with the language in the medium term (read the news, political pamphlets and social science/linguistics stuff).
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lichtrausch
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Languages: English, Japanese, German
Learning: Mandarin, Korean, French
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby lichtrausch » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:56 pm

What's your take on Serbian literature as a whole? How does it compare to more well known traditions such as German or Russian literature?
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Saim
Blue Belt
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
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Re: Neoplanta log - Serbian, Hungarian, Mandarin, etc.

Postby Saim » Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:08 am

lichtrausch wrote:What's your take on Serbian literature as a whole? How does it compare to more well known traditions such as German or Russian literature?


I've only read a handful of major authors in Serbian, out of German works I've only read Kafka's Metamorphosis in the English translation and I have not read any Russian works in any language. I don't think I really know enough to comment.
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