Serbian (српски)

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

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. Serbian is now written mainly with the Cyrillic alphabet, though the Latin alphabet is sometimes used. Serbian contains many loan words from Greek and Turkish and continues to borrow new words from various languages.

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 is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin. For more information see an article about Serbo-Croatian language issues.

Serbian alphabet

Cyrillic alphabet as used for Serbian with Latin transliteration

Sample text in Serbian

Cвa људскa бићa рaђajу сe слoбoднa и jeднaкa у дoстojaнству и прaвимa. Oнa су oбдaрeнa рaзумoм и свeшћу и трeбa jeдни прeмa другимa дa пoступajу у духу брaтствa.


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


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 | Tower of Babel Serbian | Serbian learning materials


Information about the Serbian language

Online Serbian lessons and other resources

Serbian transliteration system

Online Serbian dictionaries

Online Serbian phrases

Online conversion of Serbian texts into the Cyrillic alphabet

BBC World Service in Serbian

Serbian Electronic talking dictionaries

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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