Serbian (српски / srpski)

Serbian is a South Slavic language spoken mainly in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and Macedonia by about 9-10 million people. It is official in Serbia, and is the principal language of the Serbs.

Serbian at a glance

  • Native name: српски / srpski [sr̩̂pskiː]
  • Linguistic affliation: Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Slavic, South Slavic, Western, Serbo-Croatian, Shtokavian, Neo-Shtokavian, Eastern Herzegovinian
  • Number of speakers: c. 9-10 million
  • Spoken in: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, and neighboring regions
  • First written: 11th century
  • Writing system: Glagolitic, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets
  • Status: official language in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recognised minotiry language in Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Macedonia and Romania.

The Glagolitic alphabet was originally use to write Serbian from the 11th century. It was later replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet, and the modern Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was devised in 1814 by the Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić, and the Serbian Latin alphabet was designed by Croatian linguist Ljudevit Gaj in 1830. Serbian is currently written with both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, which are both officially recognised, although Cyrillic was made the official script of Serbia's government in 2006. Literate Serbians are able to read and write their language in both scripts, and media organisations typically choose to use one or the other.

Up to the mid 19th century there was no standard written form of Serbian, but there was extensive literature. In 1850 a group of Serbian and Croatian writers and linguists decided to create a standard written form based on the widely-used Štokavian dialect. The modern Serbian literary standard developed from this written form, which was the official language of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, between 1918 and 1991. After Yugoslavia broke up in the 1991 separate written and spoken languages began to emerge in the different countries that made up the former Yugoslavia

Serbian contains many loan words from Greek and Turkish, and continues to borrow new words from various languages. It is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin. For more information see an article about Serbo-Croatian language issues.

Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (ћирилица)

This chart shows the Cyrillic alphabet for Serbian in printed and cursive styles, with the names of the letters, their Latin equivalents, and their IPA transcriptions.

Cyrillic alphabet for Serbian with Latin transliteration

Serbian Latin alphabet (latinica)

Latin alphabet for Serbian

Sample text in Serbian in the Cyrillic

Сва људска бића рађају се слободна и једнака у достојанству и правима. Она су обдарена разумом и свешћу и треба једни према другима да поступају у духу братства.

Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (cursive)

Sample text in the Cursive version of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet

Sample text in Serbian in the Latin alphabet

Sva ljudska bića rađaju se slobodna i jednaka u dostojanstvu i pravima. Ona su obdarena razumom i svešću i treba jedni prema drugima da postupaju u duhu bratstva.

A recording of this text by Robert Todorić

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Serbian

See more videos like this on Wikitongues

Information about Serbian | Serbian phrases | Serbian numbers | Tower of Babel Serbian | Serbian learning materials

Links

Information about the Serbian language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_language

Online Serbian lessons and other resources
http://www.serbianschool.com
http://www.funkyserbian.com
http://serbianlesson.com
http://www.srpskijezik.edu.rs
http://www.slovce.com

Serbian transliteration system
http://www.translitteration.com/transliteration/en/serbian/national/

Online Serbian dictionaries
http://www.recnik.com
http://recnik.krstarica.com/e/
http://www.ectaco.co.uk/English-Serbian-Dictionary/

Online Serbian phrases
http://www.phrasebase.com/forum/read.php?TID=19369
http://www.linguanaut.com/english_serbian.htm
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1355876
http://www.lztranslation.com/pdf/serbian-phrases.pdf

Online conversion of Serbian texts into the Cyrillic alphabet
http://tsca.natverk.org/cgi/slovio.pl

Online Serbian radio
http://www.rtv.rs
http://www.rtrs.tv
http://www.radiobeograd.rs
www.bbc.co.uk/serbian

Serbian Electronic talking dictionaries
http://www.ectaco.com

Slavic languages

Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Kashubian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, Silesian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Ukrainian


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