You need only few commands to start using svn with svn-buildpackage scripts. If you wish to learn more about it, read parts of the the Subversion Book. The most used commands are:
add-- put new files unto the revision control.
rm-- remove the files from the repository.
mv-- move files around, leting revision control system know about it.
commit-- commit your changes to the repository.
resolved-- tell svn that you have resolved a conflict.
diff-- creates a "diff -u" between two versions, specified by file revision number or by date. See the
cat -r Revision-- useful to browse in some previous revision of the file.
If you are familiar with CVS you will probably know almost all you need.