without any intention of being disrespectful to your dramatic break-up, I am not going to have time to learn Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin separately.
No, I am going to stick with good old Serbo-Croatian.
At a used-book shop, I even found a book about it.
But then I had to discover that life in 1973 was apparently quite different from now, because the sentences included such useful phrases as “Where can I send a wireless telegram?”, “I was a prisoner of war” and “Želite li da vam sobarica donese tople vode za brijanje?”
I am afraid that the most important sentence for me will be “Ne razumijem” (“I don’t understand”), because I don’t have the same easy access to Slavic languages as to Romance ones. What a pity that not all of the Balkans are Romanian, at least linguistically.
In the end, the Cold War didactics was not plausible enough for me, and I bought a current book from Assimil. I find their books the best, but then I have only used them for easier languages thus far.
By the way, the trick with old books works with guide books, too. Instead of buying and carrying with you seven books for Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro, you can get the whole information in one compact volume.