Talk:Serbian language/Archive 1

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initial discussions

The phoptograph showing a table of different languages titled "Serbian Cyrillic" and "Serbian Latin" is a fraud. The original of this table calls the "Croatian Latin" column by the name "Illyr" which stood for Croatian (Illyrian Movement, a proto-Yugoslav movement, originated and is associated only with Croatia). The Serbian language and orthography reformer, Vuk Stefanovich Karadzhich, never intended Latin alphabet for Serbian. It was introducted in Serbia by Austrian and German occupiers in 1915, and forced in the communist dominated Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1991. There is no such thing as "Serbian Latin" alphabet. It is a reformed Croatian alphabet some Serbs choose to use. Kostadesu 04:10, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I'll put my article back where it belongs;there is,as you mentioned,sufficient information about grammar in serbo-croation page,so l did not display much interest in that subject;last paragraph is not history common,but history of language-l think everyone can see close links between language development and history of people who speak it;l also deleted few things that could have hurt the delicate eyes of some people here.thanx

  • croatian latin? well... i would say "serbo-croatian (or croatoserbian) latin". gaj's latin script design was made to serve both croats and serbs native tongue and fits both of them well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I have redone the history bit to make it factually correct and NPOV. But there is still a lot to say about history of the language, especially the "language deal" between Serbian and Croatian academics in late 19th century, but that belongs to the Serbo-Croatian page really. Maybe the whole history should be extensively explained on the Serbo-Croatian page, since most of it is either common or not easily ethnically attributable. Claiming that everything written in orthodox churches is serbian, and everything written in catholic churches is croatian, is a bit silly, right? Please bear in mind that this is an encyclopaedic article, not something you would put into a newspaper. A link to subjects discussed elsewhere is enough - no need to explain what slavic languages are on this page. Zocky 15:17 Feb 12, 2003 (UTC)

know enough about it to write a bit on Serbian grammar?

The currently accepted NPOV (on wikipedia) is that Serbian is a version of Serbo-Croatian, so most of the grammar should be in that article (there already is some info there), since duplicating it in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnia, Montenegrin and BCS is useless).

And the last paragraph is mostly about Serbian history, not the language, and is definitely not NPOV ("glorious", "beauty"...). I have reverted to my last version and moved the article to here. If anyone wants to make this article NPOV and on-topic, feel free to do it and move it back to the article. Zocky 12:21 Feb 6, 2003 (UTC)

Serbian gloriously emerged as a sophisticated language in XXII century,when a masterpiece of Serbian medieval literature "Miroslavljevo jevandjelje"(1192) was produced.Powerful Serbian Empire(which included modern Serbia,Albania,Macedonia and Greece)collapsed at the end of the XIV century,and undergone brutal Turkish oppresion for next 500 years,leaving language development on the shoulders of common folk.Modern Serbian is an offspring of those dialects,spoken by populace,and as such was promoted into the language of literature in XIX c.,after Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic had reformed an old,obsolete alphabet.The beauty of the language had been recognized by German poet Goethe,who learned Serbian for sole purpose of reading its' folk literature in original.

Although I'm not a Serb but a Croat- I've stumbled upon a rather good page on Serbian language history. Personally- I disagree with parts of the article that smack of Serbian exclusivist views on the language history (and are not generally supported by linguists around the world). But, since this is, overall, a good page, I've put it. If anyone disagrees-feel free to delete it.

Mir Harven (

I started to write formal description of standard Serbian language. As Serbian and Croatian standards are different (in the formal sense, of course), I don't want to make some bad generalizations...

If we want to be clear, we have to understand some facts:

  1. When we are talking about Serbian, Croatian, English, etc. language -- we are talking about some kind of political illusion. We can talk only about standard languages. Because, standard language is standardized dialcet (i.e. modification of some dialect). Definition like: Manchester dialect belongs to English language is not true. The only fact we can say is that Manchester dialct has very similar structure to standard English language. We can make some areal and ethnical definitions, too; but we can't incorporate one dialect into the standard language.
  2. Standard language exists while supporting political structure exists. It means that we can talk about English, German or any other (standard) language as "alive" only if supporting political structures exist. If there is no any kind of of political structures which support some (standard) language, that language is "dead".

Serbo-Croatian standard language existed in the time of political agreement between Serbian, Croatian and other political structures at Balkan. At the present moment such kind of agreement doesn't exist, as well as it didn't exist before 19th century. Conclusion is clear: Serbo-Croatian standard language existed between the first half of 19th century and the lat 20th century. I don't want to say that Serbo-Croatian standard language will not exist in the future...

So, we have to choices: (1) To talk about standard language or (2) to talk about linguistic geography, dialectorlogy or social linguistics. I think that Wikipedia language clasification talks about standard languages.

Milos Rancic (millosh at

Although I agree with you (except that I dont think that standard "Serbo-Croatian" ever existed)- looks like wiki "Moghuls" or general consent among non-speakers is to retain "Serbo-Croatian" entry. I'd delete it because it's superfluous and dated-but I'm in a minority.

Mir Harven 13:25, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Avala, when I wrote 80-odd it didn't mean that something is odd as in peculiar, it's a way of saying around or circa or approximately, 80. :) --Shallot 16:09, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I know! And when I say you are odd I mean it :) 8-} By all means serbian and croatian are very very very similar almost the same. Dalamatian even though it has dozens of words not used in official Croatian it is still Croatian just like Vranjanski diajlekt in Serbia. So everyone who speaks Serbian speaks Croatian too which makes around 25mil people and 44th place of speaking. Avala 17:04, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Nevertheless for the three specific standard language pages it makes sense to quote first the specific number, and then the general number. The page Serbo-Croatian language has the general number only. I put the general number in parenthesis in the three pages, perhaps there's a better way to format it... --Shallot 18:53, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What about a better English- Serbian- Dictionary? The currently isn't not that good. I personally don't found a better, maybe anyone else? --ThomasK 13:32, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)

Serbian native speaker here: Please contribute to this article: ThomasK Dec 24 12:32 UTC

Related discussion at another Talk page

Interesting discussion about the history of the Serbian language appeared at Image_talk:Cpw10ct.gif. Feel free to check it out.

Western South Slavic?

What is a correct and neutral term I can use in English to refer to the continuum of languages that includes Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian? Southwestern Slavic? South-Western Slavic? Western South Slavic? West South Slavic? Or is it simply best to say Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian.--Sonjaaa 06:26, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

That's probably the only available compromise. We pondered this already at Talk:Serbo-Croatian language#Clarifying_concepts_.2F_National_classification_of_dialects but nobody had any really better suggestions. --Joy [shallot] 12:32, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I can tell you just South Slavic. technicly there would be one Slavic continuum except that this is interrupted in the where Austria shares her present border with Hungary. There you once had a group of people known as the White Horvaths (Biely Horvaty), not to be confused with modern Croatians even if the name is from the same source. Since these people assimilated the local Germanic/Magyar speaking races, you are left with a gap between the South Slavic speaking people and the North Slavic speaking people. Now north of this gap is Slovakian, Czech etc. which forms the beginning of a continuum with will incoroprate the Slavic languages of the former Soviet Union and Poland, better known as the east and west Slavic branches (there is no gap between them, west generally refers to the predominantly Catholic states Poland and Czechoslovakia which were not a part of the Soviet Union; and the predominantly Orthodox east Slavic languages of Moscow, Belarussia and the Ukraine etc). To the south of the gap you might begin in the north-western most corner which is somewhere between Italy and Austria. It's probably fair to say that the Slavs in this region (never to have become a part of Yugoslavia) speak something which is closest to Slovenian. For political reasons, Slovenia will call this people Slovenian but how they refer to themsevles is another issue, I won't go into it. Then accross the former Yugoslav republics AND the outisde countries to the east, Hungary and Romania, there are traditionally settled Slavic people who again, did not have their land controlled by Belgrade after the wars but rather by Budapest or Bucharest. Now head southwards into Macedonia and beyond its southern and western borders you have Slavic speaking mini-nations in Albania and Greece. Again, for the same reasons, the Skopje-based government in Macedonia will claim these people 'Macedonian' when in fact they are Slavic like anyone else. The country which I did not mention is Bulgaria and that is because she too is a part of the South Slavic continuum. As a state, Bulgaria is also based on Slavic identity and there is no language barrier between Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav border, ie. the spech of the people in Bregovo (Bulgaria) is closer to that of Davidovac (Serbia {and Montenegro}) and Kriva Palanka (Macedonia) than all three towns folk language is with respect to their standard languages; Bulgaria's language is based on the east-central county of Veliko Tǎrnovo. Now running south of Bulgaria and denying them access to the Aegian is the northern section of Greece. But Slavic speaking people have many enclaves stretching to the sea; these people claimed by both Bulgaria and Macedonia as their own nationals. Finally south-east of Bulgaria you have the part of Turkey within Europes traditional borders. In this region, again you have Slavic people, at this stage claimed entirely to be Bulgarians by Bulgaria. This is evident with town names having two known forms, Turkish Edirne is Lozengrad to Bulgarians and other Slavic people familiar with it. Either way it is here that the south Slavic continuum finishes (or starts, depends which way you look at it). Celtmist 9-10-05

SIL code SRP

According to the current Ethnologue, the SIL code should read srp, not src; src seems to refer to an Italian language called "Sardinian, Logudorese".

I'm refraining from editing the page on the theory that I may be misunderstanding the SIL coding here.

Reference: (

Rare Features of Serbian?

"Serbian language has a rare feature, in that words are spelled as they are spoken, and every letter represents one sound."

How is this rare? How is this different from any other Slavic or Romance language (other than French)?? Pius Aeneas 21:53, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I think that it is not the attribute of language, but the attribute of ortography... But, this was written in the sense of Adelung rule. Only Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Finish and Estonian orthographies implemented such rule. In the sense of this rule, even classic Latin orthography doesn't have such feature: "ae" should be read as "ai". --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:07, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
Finnish ortography does not always follow pronunciation. For example, nk is [ŋk], ng is [ŋː], np is [mp] and so on. --Fagyd 21:25, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't disqualify it either; so is Serbian banka, mango. /ŋ/ is not phonemic neither in Finnish nor in Serbo-Croatian. As for /np/, Serbian does normally blend it into mp, but I don't think that any practical orthography can be 100% phonetic. Duja 09:13, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Usage of the two Alphabets

What is the current usage of the two alphabets? Is the Serbian government doing anything to promote one alphabet over another? Which alphabet is taught in schools? What is the percentage of usage of Cyrillic and Latin in newspapers, television, websites, books?--Amir E. Aharoni 07:42, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

  1. Usage is around 50/50, but depends of media. For example, ordinary Serbian prefers to use Cyrillics in hand writing, reads books which are maybe 60% in favour of Cyrillics, reads newspapers which are 60% in favour of Latin, looks television which is 60-70% in favour of Latin (radio is completely in Cyrillics ;) ), and uses Internet which is maybe 70-80% in favour of Latin. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 07:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. In official usage government prefer Cyrillics. You can write official document only in Cyrillics, but if you want to write it in Latin, you have to write the document in Latin and Cyrillics, too (two versions). --millosh (talk (sr:)) 07:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  3. Both alphabet is learned in schools. Cyrillics from the frist year of primary school, Latin from the second year of primary school. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 07:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the answer. It should really be incorporated into the article. I have a few more question if you don't mind ...
  1. How is the situation outside Srbia? I suppose that Croats use 100% Latin and don't even consider their language Serbian, but what about Crna Gora and Bosna?
  2. It's interesting that Serbians prefer Cyrillic in hand writing, but Latin on computers. Can you thing of a reason? Is it because Latin keyboards are easier to use? Or because they want to have easier communication with Bosniaks, Croats etc.? (Am i too optimistic about it :)?)
  3. Were there any attempts by any government to convert to 100% Cyrillic?
  4. Was the alphabet one of the issues in the Balkan wars?

(Disclaimer: my mother tongue is Russian, so personally i'm a little sentimental about Cyrillic.)--Amir E. Aharoni 08:17, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Let me try to shed some light on it (it will be very verbose):
  1. Croats use Latin, exclusivelly. It's not a matter of debate in Croatia. Situation in Montenegro is de facto similar to one in Serbia, while Bosnians are split. Serbian population does use both Cyrillic and Latin, while Muslims and Croats use latin. I'm not sure about how it's defined in Bosnian statutes.
  2. Some Serbians use Latin when hand-writting too... I think it's just simpler and faster to write cursive Cyrillic on paper. As far as computers go, I think that finding a cyrillic keyboard in Serbia is next to impossible. The tradition dates back to ASCII time, when unicode was not available. Also, most people would need to switch to Latin layout sooner or later (e.g. if you wanted to use console, type in an address in a browser, etc.) Of course, if one wants to communicate with Croats or Bosniaks, it's a matter of common sense and good manners to use the common script.
  3. This is a matter of debate. Many people are trying to push Cyrillic as the "true" Serbian alphabet, mostly nationalists etc. Nobody (serious) wants to root out Latin, but some organizations do want to see mostly Cyrillic. Our laws are open to interpretation and lean towards the use of Cyrillic, but it seems that both Latin and Cyrillic are de facto equal. A big chunk of the Serbian parliament is relatively close to the right and far-right orientations, and they are the ones pushing Cyrillic.
  4. Alphabet was never really an issue, but it was a way to express your believes. The script one is using, especially after 1990 is often in connotation of owns beliefs, especially if used in an unlikely place. Of course, most of the time, choice of the script is rather arbitary.
Further reading: :) This is a website "promoting" Latin: [1], and this one "promotes" Cyrillic: [2]. Do keep in mind that there is way more Cyrillic "promoters" than the ones of Latin. --Dejan Čabrilo 01:44, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

(I wrote the message before I saw Cabrilo's message... It can be said that we said almost the same ;) ) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Note that it is my approximation, and that I don't know for any good analisys of alphabet usage in Serbia. I would answer to your questions, first; then I would write some more notes: --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  1. Croats use 100% Latin now. In the past, some Croats used Cyrillics (in 1920s it was wider cultural movement, but also some of them used between 1945 and 1990.) In Bosnia Serbs are using Cyrillics in greater percentage then in Serbia (maybe 60%, maybe 80%, but in the similar way as it is used by Serbs in Serbia), Bosniaks prefer to use Latin (maybe 80%, but they are, unlikely Croats, well educated in Cyrillics; I think that they are learning Cyrillics in the primary school, Croats don't) and Croats use exclusevely Latin. In Montenegro usage is almost the similar as in Serbia, while independentists prefer Latin. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. This is complex question:
    1. While I am using Cyrillics almost exclusevely, I am writing emails in ASCII because it is the part of Internet culture (usage of Unicode is not so old, and the only way to be sure that people would see your email is to write it in ASCII). So, a lot of Serbs use ASCII Latin in email corespodention. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
    2. Children learn Cyrillics as the primary alphabet. In this sense, Cyrillics is "ordinary alphabet" and Latin is "not so ordinary alphabet", but for a lot of people "fancy alphabet". This means that if someone uses just "ordinary alphabet" without needs to be "fancy" while (s)he is writing, (s)he would use Cyrillics in hand writing. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
    3. But, influence of Western culture through technology is very strong. Before wider usage of Unicode, a lot of people was not able to use Cyrillics in computers and even in printing newspapers. Much chepear new technology didn't have Cyrillics, but just Latin. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
    4. Communication between Serbs (from Serbia), Croats (from Croatia) and Bosniaks (from Bosnia) are very rare (of course, it is more often if we are talking about those ethnicities in Bosnia) and in general it is not important part of wider usage of Latin on the Internet. Of course, if I want to send an email to my friends from Croatia or I want to work on the site which should be read by Croats, I would use Latin. (In other words: yes, you are too optimistic ;) ) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. From 1994, Cyrillics is prefered in government matters in such way that it is more easy to use Cyrillics then Latin and it can be said that 100% of official papers are in Cyrillics (of course, not in the parts of country where, for example, Magyars are majority or significant minority). --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Yes, alphabet was one of the issues in Yugoslav wars. While Latin alphabet is strong part of Croatian national/ethnical/cultural identity, Cyrillics is (not so strong as the Croatian case is) the part of Serbian national/ethnical/cultural identity. So, other sides were looking into alphabets as the part of other's culture. Bosniaks were confrontated more with Serbs then with Croats and because of that they prefer Latin... (Note that this is very very simple presentation of relations.) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

And some more notes: --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Even Serbs used Latin as their first known alphabet (between 6th and 9th centrury), from 10th to 19th century Serbian culture knows only for Cyrillics (some Serbs lived in Venician influential zone while Venice existed and used Latin alphabet, but it didn't have influence into the main part of Serbian culture). In the second half of 19th century Croats and Serbs made an agreemnt about the language and the most important Serbian philologist Đuro Daničić worked as secretary of Croatian Academy. It can be said that he introduced Latin into Serbian while Serbs didn't use widely Latin until 1945. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  • During the existance of SFRY (1945-1990), there were strong intention by communist party to make "one super-national language", Serbo-Croatian. (Even philologists made agreement about Serbo-Croatian in 19th century and Serbo-Croatian was officially introduced during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1941).) Communist Party of Yugoslavia were trying to make one language where Latin alphabet is used (Croatian) as well as Ekavian pronounce (Serbian). Yugoslav People's Army used language with such attributes in communication, but it was not wider accepted. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  • During 1990s Cyrillics was one of the national/cultural/ethnical identities of Serbs. And nationalists prefered to use Cyrillics, while people who was against the war prefered to use Latin. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Today, a lot of people are devided into pro-Cyrillics and pro-Latin groups. While people from the first group think that introducing of Latin is the part of Western conspiracy and that Cyrillics are "the only Serbian alphabet", people from the second group think that Cyrillic alphabet is "the alphabet of the past", "nationalist alphabet" etc. (While Latin is one of the parts of strong Western influence and Cyrillics is used by nationalists, I think that it is clear that both groups are deep in their own myths.) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  • And, of course, someone who doesn't have such relation toward alphabets uses alphabets in the way as I described it to you first. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

The official alphabet being Cyrillic only means that constitutional documents are written such, it does not technicly speaking affect ordinary folk. My quarrel with the original text was the suggestion that Latinic came to be used in Serbia because of the population having lived under Austro-Hungary. That is totally wrong, the shape of Serbian is in no way influenced by any of its former overlords. No laws were in place in Austro-Hungary imposing that all languages be written in Latinic and during the 19th century, you never would have seen a Serb to use Latinic.

  • Hungarian was for Hungarians, Serbian for Serbs, no matter who ruled. Switching alphabet would have been like switching syntax, totally irrelevant.
  • With the history of Serbian using Cyrillic and with all modernizations regarding the alphabet usage (the entire Vuk Karadzic episode) taking place on Austro-Hungarian territory, it is folly to suggest that people would privately switch alphabet.
  • Even so, it would have brought Serbs no closer to the overlords since Serbian Latinic is only a letter-for-letter transliteration of what was already being used in Croatia. Croatian in turn was inspired by Czech, which was the first Slavic language to employ the haček softeners (č, š and ž), introduced by Jan Hus.

On the whole, use of Latinic is used throughout Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia but the mentality has changed over the past century. Back then, with nationalism on the increase, people were more concerned with preserving tradition. Besides, just incase there was further quibble, I know for a fact that any peace of literature written by a Serb living in Austro-Hungary would only have been used in Cyrillic. Celtmist 12-11-05

...and of course it goes without saying that Karadzic's reforms caused outrage among Serbian communities, especially within Austrian/Hungarian domain from where it originated. It was here that he replaced the (i-short) with j, causing ordinary Serbs to accuse him of Latinizing Serbian. Hardly something one would do if he had been writing in Latinic himself now! Celtmist 12-11-05

Am I missing it, or there's no single mention of the fact that Serbian Latin is also widely used to write Serbian language in this article? --Bojan 27-01-09

Cyrillic in Wikipedia

Please see the new page at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Cyrillic), aimed at

  1. Documenting the use of Cyrillic and its transliteration in Wikipedia
  2. Discussing potential revision of current practices

Michael Z. 2005-12-9 20:36 Z


added a section on tone to Croatian. don't want to assume it's the same in serbian, but someone might want to use it. kwami 02:30, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Voting on closing down the serbocroatian Wikipedia

See: Glasovanje_o_zatvaranju_srpskohrvatske_Wikipedije Hope, many of you will contribute! :) --Neoneo13 13:37, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Reference for "injekcija"

In Serbian: --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

"инјекција (не ињекција нити инекција)", Митар Пешикан, Јован Јерковић, Мато Пижурица, Правопис српскога језика - екавско издање, Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства - Матица српска, Београд - Нови Сад, 1994-2004, страна 389. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

In English: --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

"инјекција (not ињекција nor инекција)", Mitar Pešikan, Jovan Jerković, Mato Pižurica, Orthography of Serbian language - Ekavian version, Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva - Matica srpska, Belgrade - Novi Sad, 1994-2004, page 389. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Aleksandar, if you have some more relevant reference, please write it here. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

No, I don't. I was actually trying to find a single word written the same way in latinic form but different in cyrillic. I know that "ињекција" is improper, but I've heard people say it (they iotate their "инјекција"). Since Serbian cyrillic can be used to record what people actually said, even when they said it improperly (common examples I heard include киндаповање, шангарепа, јогурат, ...) I originally used it to illustrate the difference between Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Related examples I also came by are "дјеца" → "ђеца", but that does not illustrate the point as letter ђ/đ does exist in both alphabets. It would be nice to find a single example based on either љ (lj), њ (nj) or џ (dž).

I also remembered a counter-example. Although unofficial, the sound "dz" (not dž) does exist in very few, isolated, words. One can write it in latin, but there is no (official, Serbian) cyrillic equivalent. --Aleksandar Šušnjar 21:21, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

There are no two words written in the same way in Latin but not in Cyrillic, except in some weird cases. Combinations "дж", "лј" and "нј" are very rare (but, when we are talking about ordinary Serbian, combination "дж" iz more often then phoneme/letter "џ", but, there are no homonyms). I heard for example of personal name "Лјилјана" as well as transcription (not translation!) of the capitol of Slovenia is "Лјублјана" (this can be good example for what you need :) even we don't use transcription of Ljubljana often; i.e., this is just possible case in standard language). The main problem with automatic transliteration between Latin and Cyrillic are not homonyms (or homographs), but general rule: Engine 'nj->њ' will not work in all cases. Cases are very rare, but as bigger text is, probability for such cases is bigger. Especially for combination "dž", which is more often as "дж" then as "џ". --millosh (talk (sr:)) 22:55, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
It should be noted inside of text that there are Unicode characters for dž, Dž, DŽ, lj, Lj, LJ, nj, Nj and NJ -- and if people use it (there is Serbian Latin Unicode keymap for X Window!), we can have problems in other way: for example, "Dž" and "DŽ" are both "Џ" in Cyrillics :) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 22:55, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, if you want to illustrate this with some colloquial example, make clear distinction that it is colloquial example. In this case you should write something like: "Standard writing and pronounce is инјекција, but colloquial pronounce is ињекција. This is not possible to describe using Latin alphabet." --millosh (talk (sr:)) 22:55, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Exactly... I did not mention homonyms, as they are not. While transliteration љ→lj њ→nj and џ→dž is always correct, lj→љ nj→њ and dž→џ not not need to be generally true. I deal with Unicode a lot and titlecase is generally not a problem and can be automated:

  • љ/њ/џ → lj/nj/dž
  • Љ/Њ/Џ followed by lowercase or at end following lowercase → Lj/Nj/Dž
  • Љ/Њ/Џ followed by uppercase or at end following uppercase → LJ/NJ/DŽ
  • Љ/Њ/Џ alone → LJ/NJ/DŽ or Lj/Nj/Dž based on suurounding text and default setting

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 23:50, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

But, abbervations without dots are the problem: for example, correct abbervation for Football Club Ljubovija in Serbian Latin is FKLj. BUT, raw capital letters are not correct style of computer writing. If someone needs heading in capital letters, (s)he should write it as usual text with style definition "all capital letters". So, it can be said that "Љ" is always "Lj" (etc.), as well as capital letter in the sense of text style is "LJ". --millosh (talk (sr:)) 00:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

That is true, but all-caps writing is also a fact of life. What Serbian really should be using is special Unicode provisions for this (single code points for lj, nj, dž - see [3]: 01c7 - LJ, 01c8 - Lj, 01c9 - lj, 01ca - NJ, 01cb - Nj, 01cc - nj, 01c4 - ᱴ, 01c5 - Dž and 01c6 - dž) ... but you probably won't see those correctly. --Aleksandar Šušnjar 01:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

It would be nice to write a few words about Serbian dialects.

two languages

ISO 639-2: scc (B) srp (T)

what does (B) and what does (T) stand for? --Abdull 09:33, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

  • a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B)
  • a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T).
--Abdull 09:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


OK... I am not exactly a linguist but I did a lot of research long time ago trying to make a computer listen/speak Serbian (not understand it, though). Serbian does not have a letter for "schwa" in any alphabet and commonly it does not appear in words either. But it is commonly pronounced in following cases:

  • When single consonants are pronounced they are typically followed by a schwa instead of other vowels. This applies to ALL consonants, even F, H, S, Š, Ž, R that can, but are most commonly not, pronounced otherwise.
  • Similar to above, when a words end in a consonant it may have a "schwa" appended to it by the speaker (although it is not written).
  • When a word/syllable having consecutive consonants can not be pronounced a such, "schwa sound" is inserted by the speaker. I do know examples with foreign words transcribed to Serbian, but not Serbian language words (that does not mean that they don't exist - its just that I don't have examples off top of my head). Can anyone shed bring light on this?
As you discovered in Epenthesis, that is all normal, and occurs in most languages. In normal speech one must compensate for consonant clusters difficult to pronounce (see also Phonotactics), and a schwa is a pretty natural candidate for insertion... Duja 18:59, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I was, at that time, surprised to discover from digital recordings of spoken Serbian words that consonats almost don't exist and can hardly be found. I explained it to myself by thinking of consonants as ways to modulate and connect vowels but don't exist by themselves in general (some can, especially S, Š, Z, Ž and R). This "modulation of vowels" frequently goes in-and-out of something that may be called "schwa", especially in case of consonants M and N.

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 17:45, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm. Where did you discover that? Consonants normally have much shorter duration than vowels, but they can be pretty finely distinguished in spectral analysis of the speech. My ex-roommate even wrote a Ph.D. thesis about it, and he even developed a simple speech-recognition program for Serbian (distinguishing only numbers 1-10). I'd take such claims with a grain of salt.
....however, schwa is not phonemic in Serbian language, as it does not make any minimal pairs, and wherever it occurs it's optional. So, it exists only on phonetic level but not on phonological one. Duja 18:59, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I found a part of the answer in Epenthesis article. Maybe it should be mentioned in Serbian language article as well.

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 18:13, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Answer to Duja:

Do not confuse simple word recognition with what I was trying to do. My objective was to recognize what was said, if you wish for "dictation" purposes - recognizing all the sounds produced. Recognizing pre-trained words is *MUCH* easier.

I did not discover "anywhere" but myself as I was unfortunate to not have any relevant literature available although was begging around for it. It was ~1992 (definitely somewhere 1991-1993). I recorded sounds, syllables, words, sentences and first created a program that let me analyze those recordings. I did experiments that you can repeat, if you wish:

  1. Record a word with few consonants, say "Wikimedia" or "Vikimedija" (Serbian)
  2. Open the recording in some audio editor. Try to locate the part with the "m" sound (or other consonant)
  3. Now try to narrow that part down such that:
    1. it does not contain a vowel, schwa or some other sound immediatelly after (or before)
    2. that it is still recognizable by itself (maybe this one is too tough... let's skip it)
    3. that when you prepend that part to another sound (say a different vowel than originally following it) it sounds fluent and natural

You'll run into problems with many "normal" consonants. You can look at the spectrum (frequency domain) but you will find it too coarse to work with. In it you will be able to see something. If you look at waveforms you will see how they appear to gradually change from one vowel to another with some pauses in between, even in the middle of the words.

Having this change gradual means you won't be able to make a "clear cut" or "this is where it starts and this is where it ends". If you cut a piece too large, you will also hear the following vowel that you did not want. If you try to cut that vowel out, you'll be left with essentially nothing. This is why most text-to-speech software does not work by concatenating simple, singular, sounds (phonemes) one to another but instead work with larger recorded segments (I guess best explanation would be a subset of morphemes and some phonemes that can be combined into other morphemes more-or-less naturaly).

In essence, attempts to extract lone consonats such that they can be recombined and still recognized failed miserably. It also meant that trying to recognize those consonants by themselves was not really achievable that way and I had to resort to a different mechanism - essentially trying to recognize larger building blocks instead. Try it yourself. All the software you need is freely available and you don't really need to make speech recognition or generation software - you only need to have fun :)

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 04:20, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

What a mess...

Vincent, from the French wikipedia.

I am trying to understand what this language is all about, to understand how the SR version of Wikimedia works, to developp this article on the French wikipedia and even for my own web project ( Which of the three variants is supposed to be the standard (+ cyrillic / latin problem)? And if there is no standard, what is the proportion of users of these three variants ?


Vince Vberger 08:21, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

... :) I am not sure which category of "variants" are you exactly thinking of, but:

  • Cyrillic is considered standard and traditional alphabet and is officially preferred.
  • Latin alphabet is widely used but that depends on context. For example, e-mails are usually written in Latin, most people use Cyrillic for script (not print letters) writing such as their signatures, newspapers, magazines and TV are split, etc. My professional (computer software influence) has made me use Latin for print letters and Cyrillic for script.
  • Everybody reads and writes both alphabets. Cyrillic is studied in the first grade of elementary school (~ age 7) and children can start using it within weeks. Latin alphabet is studied in the second grade (~ age 8).
  • As for The Shtokavian yat reflexes, ekavian (ekavski) is most common but ijekavian is significantly present (and considered the nicest one by the creator of Serbian Cyrillic, Vuk Karadžić). I don't have exact breakdown but anyone will understand any variant of this kind - the differences are minimal and possibly analoguous to (maybe even lesser than) differences between British and U.S. pronounciation of English.
  • As for Bosniak, Croatian, Montenegrin, etc, whether or not they are considered the same language or not officially put it this way: people don't need any translation to understand each other just as well as they would understand someone speaking just like they are. There are, of course, cultural differences, local phrases, idioms, etc., but really nothing that would prevent understanding. Notable exceptions are few words that do differ, such as names of months in Croatian.

Did I guess right?

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 15:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

    • "Cyrillic is considered standard and traditional alphabet and is officially preferred."

both cyr and lat are considered standard alphabets in serbian (and you can find that in any of "matica srpska" grammar handbooks), however, cyr is official script, script of the administration which is understandable, because of:

  • cultural heritage and vuk's cyrilic was accepted a few decades before gaj's latin script and
  • because of the different ordering in alphabets: cyr: A B V G D Đ E Ž Z I J K L... lat: A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ E F G H I J K L..., so, it's important for administration to have documents and stuff sortable in one way or another. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

dž/џ is NOT pronounced as 'dge' in dodge

There's actually no English vocal equivalent to the dž-sound. Paulus Caesar 01:28, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Oh sorry, it says approximation! >_<;; Paulus Caesar 01:29, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

My ears agree with yours, but the problem is that both English phonology and this article use the same IPA symbol (ʤ) whereas they shouldn't. The same also holds for Š (ʃ), Č (ʧ) and Ž (ʒ). However, reference books we used don't go into fine details, so we're stuck with it. Serbian ones are more Retroflex and could be described as , ʐ, , and ʂ instead. No references to support my claim though... Duja 07:31, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Late message here, I pronounce English Lodge, Italian Gelato, Turkish Cami and South Slavic andar all exactly the same way. It has never been commented by either language community that my respective pronunciation does not match eveyone elses, there may be a tendency for one form to develop in one language and another in the other but when the two forms are that close together, they don't qualify to be classed as different sounds. It is possible that languages with greater sound variations may distinguish the two, but whilst a language only has one, it isn't right to state that one language's phoneme is different from the other's, especially as each individual has his own speech system. A good example is R, originally trilled in English but rarely so now. It is still a rolling R in most European languages including ALL Slavic languages, but not everyone consistantly hits the target, particularly those who speak more rapidly. There are even those like Vojislav Šešelj who are unable to trill their Rs. Evlekis 15:56, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Sort of dialectal issue: Macedonian [ʤ] is generally "softer" (and closer to English) than in Serbian/Montenegrin/Herzegovinian/Slavonian dialects; Bosnian and Dalmatian can be even "softer". Moren describes it as [d̺ʒ̺ʷ], i.e. apical and labialized (although I don't get how the latter is applicable). Duja 09:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Voiceless velar fricative or voiceless glottal fricative?

Old version of the page says the latter, but it was changed some time ago to velar. I don't speak the language (I do read Cyrillic though :), but my Serbian GF seems to think it's, well, she didn't say "glottal", but she claims to hear no difference between "Х" in Serbian and "H" in Engleski. My disclaimer is that she says her Serbian isn't as good as her English, so this could just be mistaken identity. Perhaps this is a dialect thing? Or am I crazy? --Yossarian Soviet Canuckistan Flag.PNG 04:59, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

It's a fairly moot point. Generally, as one would hear with e.g. TV speakers, it's velar (/x/) but probably not as "strong" (i.e. not so much friction between the tongue back and velum) as e.g. German Ich, Russian Kharkov or Spanish Jamon. "Light", English-like glottal variation is likely to be heard with some speakers or as an allophone. Further, some Shtokavian dialects don't/didn't even have it, (it isn't a very frequent sound, and it was possibly glottalized in history before it disappeared), but it reappeared due to influence of standard language. As a curiosity, letter Х was last added to Vuk Karadžić's alphabet—apparently, he didn't use it himself in his native dialect until he "discovered" it in speaches of Dubrovnik. Duja 07:14, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that's a really cool factoid (I'm such a Slavophile). It doesn't surprise me. Most languages have a way of letting their consonants "slip". Thanks muchly for the clarification. Cheers! --Yossarian Soviet Canuckistan Flag.PNG 08:44, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I did a quick research—apart from loanwords and frequent "native" words hleb (bread) and hteti (want), its most frequent occurrence is in suffix -ih, occuring in genitive plural of adjectives (e.g. velikih – of large [ones]) and genitive & accusative of pronoun oni (->njih or ih – them). In such terminal position, it becomes very light or even silent by the natural laws of speech. Duja 11:42, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
In most vernaculars it totally disapeared. Exemples like hleb, or njih are all directed to standard. Old people still say sometimes in Belgrade leb 'hleb'. H was only preserved in some vernaculars in Montenegro and in Dubrovnik area, in all chakawian vernaculars as well. Also, most of Muslim vernaculars preserve H as it's very common in Turkish and Arabian. It's interesting that a special phon h was preserved in south Banat in examples like huliti, hajka etc. Luzzifer-- 00:34, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Serbian Alphabet.jpg Image

The picture shows some letters incorrectly. Please see Different Cyrillics at Serbian Wikipedia Challenges. It is also not necessary to print and then scan the printout to get this image - there are many better, lossless ways to achieve the same. PNG would be a better format for this.

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 21:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. Italic Cyrillic п and т notwithstanding, I noticed the Latin C just now... LOL... Duja 07:17, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

To all interested: please have a look at the table I just made. Not sure we need it, but what the heck:

  • It shows Serbian Cyrillic vs. Russian Cyrillic vs. Serbian Latin and notes differences
  • The image contains proper lowercase italic cyrillic glyphs for both Serbian and Russian (glyphs are different for д, г, п and т, minor differences regarding 'б' and 'в' are ignored)
  • There may still be some fixes needed. Original is in Microsoft Word format - should anyone be interested in getting ig and fixing it personally, I will provide it.
  • The image is not printed and then scanned but rather directly converted into a PNG.

--Aleksandar Šušnjar 17:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


There is nothing primarily wrong with this chapter. The problem is that the whole case system is nothing unfamiliar to most languages and certainly nothing new to the English tongue. The article seems to pinpoint that this is a feature of Serbian, as if Croatian and Bosnian might actually be different. Even Latin was not different with the Filip voli Anu story. It needs only to be said that the former dialects of Serbo-Croat (or for those more sensitive), the modern languages of Serbia, Montenegro etc. uphold an inflectional case system using asides subjective/nominative, the accusitive, dative etc. As such, it is clear that you do not depend of syntax in the same manner as English or Italian which have mutated to the point that only the nominative is used for nouns in all cases. It is only for this reason that they need syntax. Anybody who can figure out cases will know this, anyone who doesn't will still be confused (ie. one only knows his own language uses the Nominative, sees the example and thinks that "Filipa" is just the Serbian for Philip, so when Filipa Ana Voli occurs, he will still be confused as to how Philip is the recipient of Anna's action. Ragusan 15 july 06

I agree in principle; however, the four articles (Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian and Serbo-Croatian) are generally in poor shape, and should really have a common sub-article (Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian grammar) which would merge all the aspects and cover entire stuff, currently inconsistently spread all over the place. Ana voli Filipa is certainly not unique, but it could make a good example if placed among many other good examples. I do agree that it kind of stands out of context, but I'm reluctant to remove it outright now, because it can be useful in the future. Duja 15:37, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

"Simple" vowels

There is absolutely nothing simple in Serbian phonology. To call a vocal system "simple" it should not have the absolute accentual circus that one encounters in Serbian (the word being used to illustrate how colorful to the point of ridiculousness this may be). There are no rules that are firm, and even if they exist, they are not the rules of language as such, but are rather standards set (such as not being to accentuate the last syllable, which is often the case, but has notable exceptions, etc.). Although rules do exist, and they are more complex than the more general ones, calling the vocals "simple" is truly incorrect.


Let's separate two things: phonetics, dealing with individual sounds, and phonology, which deals with their interaction as phonemes, stress etc. Serbian phonetics IS fairly simple: only five vowels, no diphthongs, moderately complex affricate consonants. However, phonology (taking into account iotations, palatalizations, historic shifts, jat rendering), especially the accentuation, is terribly complicated, as you pointed out. Duja 09:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Young man, any phonetics is simple. Phonetics is physics. It's the frequencies and friction. Having 5 versus 12 vowels is not a measure of simplicity. Also, calling it simple is a value judgment. Phonology, though, is the exploration of how those phonemes function in context. That is the relevant part -- a machine can tell you about phonetics. Hence, the sound system (not the listing of vowels and consonants) IS a language's phonology. At least in the modern world. I must be condescending and add that what you have in your high school books is about everything Serbian phonology has achieved, so it's difficult to even discuss it.

Total speakers: 11,144,758 (exact?)

The fact-box states that there are 11,144,758 Serbian speakers and that's an awfully exact figure. Where does this number come from? Is this number continuously updated? And if not, I think that "11,1 million" would be more appropriate. --Saccharomyces 20:13, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

You are right :))) I put "around 11 millions". --millosh (talk (sr:)) 00:43, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Phonology section disputed

Mixing of diachronic and synchronic description... Also, it is not about phonology, but about morphophonology... When I would have some time, I'll fix it. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 00:41, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

You mean when you have some time, you'll fix it. Apparently Serbian syntax doesn't translate directly to English. (Or vice versa, I'm sure.) HTH. +ILike2BeAnonymous 08:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
 :))) My English is has strong influence of my Serbian syntax --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:24, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

But, of course, if there are some people who know Serbian phonology, let they do that instead of me. I'll add expert tag, too. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:29, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


User Angr, wants to show, that Torlakian vernaculars are actually Bulgarian, or at least not a dialect but a language

"Torlakian is the name used for the Slavic dialects spoken in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Northwest Republic of Macedonia (Kratovo-Kumanovo) and Northwest Bulgaria (Vidin-Bregovo). Some linguists classified it as the fourth dialect of Serbo-Croatian language (with Shtokavian, Chakavian and Kaykavian) and today as the second Serbian language (with Shtokavian) dialect. In Bulgaria, these dialects are considered as western Bulgarian dialects. It is not standardized, and its subdialects significantly vary in some features.

Classification Some Croatian (like Milan Rešetar and Dalibor Brozović) and Serbian linguists (like Pavle Ivić) classify Torlakian as an old Shtokavian dialect, referring to it as "Prizren-Timok dialect"[1], because some subdialects use word što for "what" (but that is also a feature of Bulgarian and Macedonian). However, some subdialects use word kvo (same as Bulgarian kvo {or simply even just ko} (informal) and kakvo (formal). Some linguists in Bulgaria (Stoyko Stoykov, Rangel Bozhkov) classify Torlakian as a "Belogradchik-Trn" dialects of Bulgarian language and also claim that Torlakian should be classified outside of shtokavian area."

--Luzzifer 14:21, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

No, Angr doesn't want to show that Torlakian is Bulgarian. This is intention of Bulgarian linguists, like intention of Serbian linguists is to show Torlakian as Serbian. And different points of view should be explained inside of the article. (As well as the fact that maybe 90% of speakers of Torlakian are Serbs by ethnicity/nation.) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 21:47, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Dative and Locative

In the morphology part it says that traditionally the dative and locative case are seperated but that they are actually the same and that therefore morpohologically the number of cases is six. This is not quite correct. The written forms in the locative and dative case are always identical, but the accent is not always the same eg. sat (clock) is sâtu (long falling accent) in the dative and sátu (long rising accent) in the locative case or grad (city) is dative grâdu and locative grádu. So there is more than only a traditional reason why there still is both a dative and a locative case in the serbian language.

That is just plain untrue. The locative and dative have the same accent in those two words. Where did you pick up that distinction, it's completely incorrect. If the accents were different, then they would definitely be different cases, but that is just not the case.

It's true, cf. for instance, Josip Matešić, Der Wortakzent in serbokroatischer Schriftsprache, Wiesbaden 1970, and earlier monumental work of Daničić. I also chacked up by reviable native speakers. --Luzzifer 17:56, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Just to verify Luzzifer's claims. Standard accents are different. However, the most of inhabitants of Belgrade don't recognize that distinction (locative accentuation won). --millosh (talk (sr:)) 17:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

That's true. :) --Luzzifer 17:19, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I wrote that the accent of some words can be different in the locative and dative case (eg grâdu and grádu). I'm a native speaker of Serbian and study this language, so you don't have to be too sceptical. You asked where I picked it up? You can find it in every grammar book! But what Millosh said is also true that in many regions in Serbia there is no difference in colloquial speech. And one last thing. You wrote: "If the accents were different, then they would definitely be different cases, but that is just not the case." That makes no sense as there ARE different cases and I just wanted to explain why.


Without bothering to check edit history in detail, I assume that most of Accentuation section comes from User:Luzzifer and that {{disputed}} comes from User:Millosh (judging on their edit styles). I simplified and fixed some of it, but it needs more work.

Luzzifer, I urge you to provide references for the section; I think it's a mess of sourced material and your own perceptions and opinions, but I can't tell one from another. Accompanied with bad spelling (oh well, that's fixable), it gets fairly incomprehensible at times (I don't understand, frankly):

These are no accentuation rules. They can be very useful for insure native speakers when they have to mark the accent of some word, but thay cannot be of any help for a learner, since he/she does not how the word is pronounced (where the accent should be, and what kind of it).

I also removed this, being a) unsourced b) barely intelligible c) what's the relevance in stressing out that one particular vernacula accent? d) really needs IPA notation:

In Serbian language phonemes /č, ć, đ, dž/, in contrast to Croatian and Bosnian vernaculars, have in most vernaculars independet phonetic realization. It is interesting to be noticed, that in so called Old-Belgradians vernacular, the phonemic value is preservied, the phonetic realization twisted. /Č/ is more like [čj], /ć/ is more like [čh], /đ/ like [dž(h)] and /dž/ like [džj] (for instance in words: čaj, hoću, đubre, džemper). It's also intersting that Old-Belgradian, has [ɫ] (not so soft as at the seaside) for /l/, and a special pronaunciation of /r/. That explains the enormous number of kids mixing the /l/ and /lj/, /č/ and /ć/, /đ/ and /dž/ and having problems with pronaunciation of /r/ after the World War II when authentic vernacular was confronted with standart pronaunciation.

Duja 09:24, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Oh, sorry, I've made some changes, and now I see your post. Your are right! The second part (It is interesting...) is really not of notable relevance but it's very interesting, especially for alternative linguistic dicplines.

However, it has nothing to do with accents ("what's the relevance in stressing out that one particular vernacula accent?")!?

I agry that maybe we should leave the second part out.

References: I've already put Pavle Ivic and Ilse Lehiste. I also read other monographies and special studies on vernaculars, but I am sure that at least most of info is in Ivic's book as well.

--Luzzifer 18:49, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Phonetics *(e, o, u, r)

Are these really the values of e, o, u, r in Serbian STANDARD language? I don't think so. Maybe in some Vojvodina or eastern Serbian vernaculars.

Serbian /r/ is exactly like Spanish <r>, not <rr>.

Latin script Cyrillic script IPA Description English approximation
e е [ɛ] open-mid front unrounded[citation needed] ten
o о [ɔ] open-mid back rounded[citation needed] caught (British)
u у [u] closed back rounded[citation needed] boom

|- | align="center" | r | align="center" | р | align="center" | [r] | alveolar trill | rolled r as in Spanish carro [citation needed] |-

Luzzifer --00:24, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Reference duly added. Even the IPA Handbook, AFAIK, describes the vowels like that. FWIW, this is the same set of vowels as used & described Bulgarian and Croatian and I don't see what else could they be. As for the R, single Spanish r is alveolar tap, while rr is alveolar trill. Again, the same as for all Slavic languages (cf. Russian phonology). Duja 15:12, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, exactly that's the point. Croatian linguists give since 1990 different data, of to us all well known reasons. Standard Serbian and Serbo-Croatian E, O, A are not open.

Yes they are open. Please check the references. Note that "openness" of vowels varies, so I recall Serbian (or Croatian) E, O, A being described along the lines of "57% open" (i.e. not as open as "standard" sample whatever it is) (See User:Kwami's post in Talk:Serbo-Croatian#V_-_Labiodental_approximant_or_Voiced_labiodental_fricative). They're definitely not closed like Slovenian E (/ne ve:m/) or French O. The case of O is a bit moot, as it often is closed in many positions (a stricter IPA transcription would be probably /o̞/ or {{IPA|/ɔ̝/), but such phonetic details are generally not desirable or needed). Duja

Russian r is apsolutely not the same as Serbian. Russian r is very close to Spanish rr, Serbian r to Spanish r. I grew up in Russia.

-- 21:47, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Check the references, please. Also, I disagree with your assessment. If it were a flap, you couldn't pronounce /gr:mʎljɛ/ with the long r.

Dije, check up the Wiki SOUND EXAMPLES!!! And don't forget, we are talking here about standard language, not some Srem, Backa or Pomoravlje vernaculars. -- 22:09, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Now I remembered. It's always put out that we have similar phonetics to Japanese.

My name is Duja. Where it's always put out? Yes, I do find that sound examples don't always ideally match, but I don't intend to trump research of many people more competent than I am.
May I remind you that Wikipedia is not about truth, but about verifiability? You might disagree with linguists, but you cannot trump WP:V: see my numerous remarks on e.g. Talk:Serbo-Croatian where I also questioned some of phonetic descriptions, but I didn't feel inclined to put them into the article, as Original Research is not allowed. While I do appreciate your edits and I don't question your good faith, I must say that you ought to attribute your edits to relevant sources more and refrain from inserting your own observations, especially on more obscure cases. The bottom line is: the more contestable claims one puts in the article, the sources behind it have to be stronger (and the burden of proof is at the claiming editor). In other words, you don't have to cite the source for "the sky is blue", but you certainly do for "similar phonetics to Japanese" or "enormous number of kids mixing the /l/ and /lj/" Duja 08:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Duja! You misunterstood me. Few months ago, there was a different vocal system om this site and someone changed it. Now, you are tryin' to do some comparations with CROATIAN and RUSSIAN and that's actually exactly original research. I was stunished by vocal system that is put up on this site. Stunished. In ALL publicitations you find "Serbian" vocal TRIANGLE. The system that stood on this site was exactly the one of Kajkavian vernaculars. Now, check up for instance the article I mentioned Razvoj vokalnkog sistema u srpskohrvatskom jeziku by Pavle Ivić (Iz istorije srpskohrv. jezika, Niš 1991).

pozz, --11:55, 8 September 2006 (UTC) --Luzzifer 12:02, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I am not trying comparations with Croatian and Russian (Bulgarian, actually, in the case of vowels) for the sake of original research, but as an argument that Serbian vowels cannot be suddenly closed in that dialect continuum. The reference for sound system is duly cited from Browne&Alt and Moren. I cannot find how you equate the Serbian vowels with Slovenian ones (/e/, /o/), which are clearly closed, as Kajkavian. Duja 12:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Duje, I think that we are mixing two things up. Serbian /o/ is in many cases of sam eorigin like Russian /o/. In some other cases same Proto-Slavic vowels gave different PHONEMES in Russian anfd Serbian. But that's not the point. We are talking here about phonetic realization of proto phonems. You may find in many Serbian vernaculars an opened e or o (in Vojvodihna for instance), these PHONs are PHONEMES /e/ and /o/ as well. But the stnadrad phonetivc realization of phonems /e/ and /o/ is not open. I'm not following you on kajkavian issue. It has got typical opened vowels. In some cases reflex of jat is closed e.

-- 16:59, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I've just looked up Croatian language Wikipage. Seems to me that they have changed something, too. A is central. And take a closer look of o and e.

--Luzzifer 21:34, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

The table is supposed to contain the (closest approximation of) phonetic realization of given phonemes. Those vary with dialect and speaker. The aim is to give the typical realization, e.g. one that could be heard with professional TV or radio speakers. As such, the given phones will not be perfect, and will often have a certain deviation from typical sound given by IPA symbol. If you wish, I can go one by one. First, a quote from User:Kwamikagami, who is a phonetician and has IPA handbook (I'm not sure if it's related with Serbo-Croatian or Croatian but you'd probably agree it's the same):

As for the mid vowels, they appear in the Handbook as mid vowels, not close-mid. The height of /o/ is 43% of the way between /a/ and /u/ on their chart (note that we don't know that /u/ is 100% close or that /a/ is 100% open - they're shown as something less than this on the chart, but of course the corner vowels on these charts are placed rather impressionistically). The height of /e/ is 47% the distance between /a/ and /i/. That is, both appear to be slightly on the open side of mid, but not really open-mid, assuming that /i u/ and /a/ are equally close to their cannonical values. kwami 19:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

  • IPA vowel /e/ represents Close-mid front unrounded vowel. That sound is commonly encountered in French as in allez and Slovenian ne vem, and it is lot closer to /i/ than the Serbian sound. While Serbian normal sound is somewhat closer than open-mid /ɛ/, it's a far better approximation. As you pointed out, some dialects have pure open-mid /ɛ/, but I maintain that none has pure close-mid /e/.
  • Sound /o/ is close-mid back unrounded vowel. The situation is same as with E—while Serbian O is closer than pure open-mid /ɔ/, and gets real close to /o/ in words like bol, it's not the standard pronunciation. If your ears hurt as much as mine by e.g. speach of Nataša Mićić and other Užice speakers, that's because of their goddam closed /o/ everywhere.
  • Case of A is a bit moot; it's kind of central, i.e. halfway between /a/ and /ɑ/, but /a/ is normally taken as closer approximation.
  • I've just now checked Croatian language page, and I noted that the E and O are described just like I wrote above (twice) /ɛ̝/ and /ɔ̝/, i.e. raised, denoting slightly closer than "pure" open-mid.
  • You quoted a 1974 book—while I don't deny the reference, did it contain IPA at all at the time? It's quite possible that /e/ and /o/ were used liberally instead of IPA, like many English authors do.
  • R can be trill of tap allophonically (/krst/, /ʃa:ɾac/); since the /ɾ/ is used only in fast speech, and it cannot be used at all in proximity of consonants (which is the very frequent position in Serbian), the trill /r/ is taken for the "usual" phonemic value.

Duja 18:38, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I will put the table from Wiki Croatian language. And as /r/ is concered I agry that it's [r] in krst, but it' because of s following (try to say [kɾst]- almost unposible). In most words there is [ɾ] (mrak, vrag, kreciti etc.). I cannot agry that it's only used in fast speech. It's commonly used and it's very clear when you try to say long /r/- you get [ɾəəə].

Luzzifer-- 20:24, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

All sources say it's a trill. That also corresponds to what I hear. That also corresponds to definitions in all neighboring and Slavic languages. When one tries to say long [r], you get /əːr/ or /ə˘rː/ -- the epenthetic schwa is normally preceding. Duja 15:05, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Reference was botched, may need more fixing

I was updating reference styles with the Ref converter and there was a reference within the Consonants table redirecting from the Approximates row, Labio-Dental column to a small paragraph immediately under the table. was intended...

This hiccoughed the converter so I removed the reference because it was not really a reference. If someone could double-check that it is still appropriately readable that would be grand. I will not be heading back through here.MrHen 23:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

...i.e. don't fix if ain't broken. Duja 18:41, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

New constitution

There was a vote in Serbian parliament on either the 29th or 30th of October that resulted in the Cyrillic alphabet being proclaimed the only official alphabet of the Serbian language in the Republic of Serbia as being cyrillic. Someone should add this somewhere in the main article. I forgot where I found this article. Some newspaper somewhere - Vesti, Politika, maybe Nin, not sure.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

That's not quite right. A new constitution has been proposed, which states that Cyrillic is official and Roman script is not. It's been voted through in parliament, but it still needs to be approved in a referendum. So, let's wait for that to actually happen, shall we? --estavisti 23:10, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • That's abslutly wrong. No law and no parliament can "state" or "proclaim" that Cyrillic alphabet is the only official alphabet of the Serbian language. The state can choose a language and alphabet which is gonna be used in oficcial metters, but Latin and Cyrillic alphabets (BOTH!) remain alphabets of Serbian language. However, this constitutional reform is not accepted yet, and, personally I hope that it will not be. -- 13:15, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Italics in Cyrillics

A guideline on whether or not to italicize Cyrillics (and all scripts other than Latin) is being debated at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (text formatting)#Italics in Cyrillic and Greek characters. - - Evv 16:04, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Cyrillic Only Alphabet

The constitution in Serbia passed this weekend affirmed this, there is only one alphabet for the Serbian langauge and that is the cyrillic alphabet. this should be changed within the text —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 3 November 2006

While I fully support this measure, the Serbian government is not a linguistic authority. --estavisti 04:28, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I would like to see a quote from the constitution confirming this. I have heard conflicting reports ranging from "Cyrillic is the only alphabet in Serbian" (highly unlikely, since constitutions have nothing to do with standardisation of languages) and "Cyrillic is the only alphabet in official use in Serbia" to "Cyrillic is preferred script to be used by government offices in Central Serbia" (as opposed to Vojvodina). As I said, a quote from the constitution would be nice. I googled, but couldn't find a draft of constitution. --Dijxtra 11:26, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

First port of call: the Serbian government website's constitution page. --estavisti 11:38, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

"U Republici Srbiji u službenoj upotrebi su srpski jezik i ćiriličko pismo. Službena upotreba drugih jezika i pisama uređuje se zakonom, na osnovu Ustava." --estavisti 11:39, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

So, there's no "only one alphabet" clause. Just that Cyrillic is official, but other scripts could be official too, if regulated by law. --Dijxtra 12:38, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's simply a phrasing that means Hungarians etc can write Hungarian or whatever in Latinica. --estavisti 12:43, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Ofcourse. But, the fact is that the constitution does not say that Cyrillic it the only one alphabet for the Serbian language, as says. --Dijxtra 12:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

The people don't seem to comprehend that no constitution, law, order or hatisherif can define what language is or what is not. They can only regulate language use for official purposes, which have absolutely binding for how people use it. Duja 12:01, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

It still cannot be said they are "equal" in any sense when the government refuses to use one of the scripts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No law and no parliament can "state" or "proclaim" that Cyrillic alphabet is the only official alphabet of the Serbian language. The state can choose a language and alphabet which is gonna be used in oficcial metters, but Latin and Cyrillic alphabets (BOTH!) remain alphabets of Serbian language. -22:03, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Well actually it can, in fact it is only an authoritative or administrative body which can do this. The question one needs to ask himself is "why is there an official alphabet in the first place?", and the answer is because the language is known to be or have recently been written down in more than one script. There are dozens of examples. The official language of Bulgaria according to its constitution (not some linguistic authority) is primarily Bulgarian, BUT Bulgarian has no official alphabet, should this mean that we can devise a Hebrew-based register for Bulgarian? Technicly, YES! But will we? Highly unlikely, and if we do, it will then come under attack from traditionalists and in the end, someone will lay down the law according to stature: an official alphabet will be implemented. As it happens, nobody would use anything other than Cyrillic to write Bulgarian (except modern texting etc. where Cyrill

  • Once again, NO. Serbian language has teo alphabets- cyrillic and latin. Serbian parliament has only chosen OFFICIAL LANGUAGE AND OFFICIAL ALPHABET. Official language is language that is used in formal correnspondance within administration and between administration and citizens. And according to new constitution, official language is Serbian, official alphabet is the cyrrilic alphabet of Serbian language, which has two alphabets: cyrillic and latin. Maybe it's different to understand, but that's how the things work. No parliament and no constitution can proclaim alphabets or even orthography of any language.-- 17:45, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Just to say that correlation between cultural and official usage of the scripts are well explained in this section. And anyone who still pushes POV related to theories that "government decides what is in cultural usage" should be treated at least as a troll. In other words: no, government may not decide that Cyrillic script is the only script in cultural usage. So, please, stop to bother other people. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 11:37, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

I am certainly not trolling if that was what you meant, I just found half my text wiped out and replaced with something which I never argued with. My point was that administration declares what is official indeed, but this is not important in any sense; most languages don't have an official alphabet because there is one conventional form and some countries don't even have official languages! Nobody decides what is in "cultural usage" and even if they did, Serbs are not confined to Serbia (where the stature is effective), they live in every country of the world where there is nobody to stop them writing in any alphabet ever devised! The article need only mention it once (about being official) and even then, the reader from the side will still have forgotten five lines down. Evlekis 11:48, 18 November 2006 (UTC) Евлекис


I have done some minor grammar correction and addition of wiki links. Aleta 00:36, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Aleta

Thanks for your contributions Aleta. // Laughing Man 00:53, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Dative and Locative

The Morphology section argues that it is a mistake to assume that these are infact the same. Yet it totally fails to prove that they are not. Accent here is of no relevance and is used how the speaker wishes: ie.Slavic languages do not depend on tonal modulation as do Mandarin and Cantonese where-by the word for "mother" can mean "horse" if spoken differently. When I sat and learned the language from childhood, I noticed very quickly that Dative and Locative are very similar and for a while, I accepted that there were six cases. Now older, I know that they are not the same but they permanently take the same form, or I have been missing something. I admit that the two are rather unrelated and cannot really kriss-kross each other in the same sentence. But that paragraph needs to be rewritten with the misleading information about "different accent" removed; if someone can find a word which has one form in the dative and another in the locative (even an isolated irregular word which is accepted), then that will suffice for the example. Evlekis 09:05, 23 December 2006 (UTC) Евлекис

Perhaps you should do some work on your knowladge. First of all, the tonality (rise/fall) is the not only condicio of charging phonolocigal same words as one or two- there is also a long/short aspect. But let's leave that point out. You should be aware that: Serbian is a tonal language. It's the only slavic tonal language (together with Croatian ofcourse). It has four accents- long and short falling, and long and short rising (TONALItY!). Totally different words are päs and pâs, sèdeti and sédeti etc.--15:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I received this late so I respond late: You the unidentified are the one who needs to work on your knowledge. Serbian is as much a tonal language as is English when ending in a rising tone when presenting a statement which turns out to be a question (ie. It is -rising- = it is?). Serbian is not however, a language which depends (get that word in your head) on tonal modulation. Swedish is also tonal, but it is not essential, and this is evident in that neither written Swedish nor written Serbian/Croatian have symbols to reflect tone, they don't even have it for stress. Written languages which depend on tonal modulation cannot manage without the symbols: in Mandarin, the word for "mother" if wrongly pronounced can mean "horse". In Serbian, I can say "majka" rising, falling, shouting, even breaking wind and will still only ever mean "mother". I will apologise to you when you produce a Serbian word which means something like "airport" when rising and "cat food" when falling. Good luck going through your dictionary. In the mean time, you wanna be useful? Find a noun which has one form in the dative and another in the locative (eg. NOM. Mladost; GEN Mladosti), ie. containing different letters. If you read my passage, I never suggested that Locative & Dative meant the same thing, just as ACC and NOM don't either (doesn't stop NEUT and MASC taking the same forms). Evlekis 16:09, 28 December 2006 (UTC) Евлекис
Well, he did give some minimal pairs based on the accent distinction below. Similar ones do exist in non-tonal languages: English "Paul" and "poll" are also minimal pairs, distinguished by accent length, and similar phenomena exist in many languages. As I understand, not all Chinese tones necessarily produce a minimal pair (although the tone there is apparently a bigger deal than in Serbian, where the tone is apparently a bigger deal than in English). My point is: it's not all black and white.
And, no, I'm not aware of any case where dative and locative in Serbo-Croatian have a different form. Duja 16:31, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Fair point Duja. I just get a little annoyed when unnamed users have a pop at someone, you know you'll never hear from them again. Nothing is black and white, there are preferences in pronunciation here and the old Serbo-Croat dialects and Slovenian, are to the best of my knowledge, tonal in practice. It is similar with stress, in my native Macedonian, traditional words are stressed on the third from last syllable. That way you can tell a foreign word even if it doesn't immediately strike because with non-Slavic words adopted more recently, the stress is long and on the penultimate. Like you once stressed that the Serbian 'Sh'/'CH' is harsher than the English, I just wanted to say in both these cases (sound of the letter and tone of the word) that the speaker does have a choice and can pass for sounding absolutely flawless and fluent if he deviates from the norms; pronounces 'Pes' as he chooses and makes the SH sound like in English, because there is no ambiguity. Sorry if I sounded abrupt. Evlekis 18:49, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
See above, it has been discussed before. The bottom line is: there might be few differences in accentuation, but those seem to be a) limited to monosyllabic words with long falling accent: sât -> dat. sâtu, loc. sátu; trûd -> dat. trûdu, loc. trúdu; exceptions (drûg->drûgu, drûgu). The differentiation (if it ever fully existed) seems to be fairly lost, and I admit that I barely differentiate it myself, going for the rising accent in most cases. Also, I find some falling accents noted above inacceptable, like grâd -> grâdu.
Other than that, the preservation of two distinct cases seems to be historical and semantical, rather than phonetical. After all, we've all been taught in school that we have 7 cases. Duja 15:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Here some examples, "like in Mandarin", or Cantonese:) : Njegovi zubi su pravi: 1. NJegovi zubi su prävi "nisu krivi" 2. Njegovi zubi su prâvi "nisu vestacki"

To je bio sjajan pas. 1. Päs "kuce" 2. Pâs "dobacivanje" 3. Pâs "kais"

Radi! 1. Râdi! 'It works!' 2. Rádi! 'do it!'

... ... ...

(Maybe your native vernacular is Prizren-Timok dialect?). There are few good books on issue Serbo-Croatian accents in English as well. I must admit that locative/dative accent dinstiction is IN BELGRADE almost lost. However it's very alive in Valjevo, Cacak, Loznica, in Vojvodina as well. Duje, there are also polysyllabical words, as glava or strana, banda ('site') etc. --Luzzifer 15:38, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Luzzifer, I'm from northern Bosnia, and I keep the 4-accent distinction as well as the unstressed length fairly well. But I have never heard the following accentuations in any dialect or context, locative or dative: glâvi, strâni, grâdu. On the other hand, I accept e.g. sâtu/sátu and trûdu/trúdu as valid dublets, but they work for me as dublets in both dative in locative; I find all of the following pronunciations acceptable:
  • Zahvaljujemo mu se na‿trûdu (locative)
  • Zahvaljujemo mu se na‿trúdu (locative)
  • Zahvaljujući njegovom trûdu (dative)
  • Zahvaljujemo njegovom trúdu (dative)
Frankly, it would surprise me if I'd find a dialect which still systematically applies the distinction. Duja 15:59, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


can i stop you in your tracks annonymous person. Before you attack known users, read what they say instead of staring at the words. User:Evlekis was right in what he said and I understood it perfectly well. You didn't. He said that Serbian does not "depend" on tonal. It means that you cannot make a mistake by doing the "wrong one". And there is no "wrong one" because your examples are based on our own development from many years in speaking, and not rules from the book. "Radi", 'it works' and "Radi!" 'instruction' are slightly different because we get used to saying them different ways. In Spanish, "hAblo" is 'i speak' and "hablO" is one way of making past tense. in the end of the day Spanish's Hablo's and Serbian's Radi's are all polysyms. As for Chinese, you were completely wrong. First, there is a Latinic version called "Pinjin", second, where the idiograms represent different words using same sounds but different tone, they have seperate symbols, so there is no mistaking isolated words in Chinese. In Serbian we say "da" 'yes' and "da" before verb to make infinitive. They are probably homonyms like the Chinese examlples. But we dont have different tone for them and their place in the language is spoken short and fast and who can mistake them anyway? Can "moj kompjuter ne radi" mean (hey my computer, do NOT work)? Jordovan 29th December, 2006.
  • Duje, why don't you say something??? Jordovan, you are absolutly wrong. I see that you are from Leskovac, that means that your native language has only one expiratoric accent (Prizren-Timok dialect), so no wonder that you don't feal the differences. Serbian language is indeed a tonal language (so East-Herzegowinian, Sumadija-Vojvodina and some other dialects). HAVE YOU PEOPLE EVER SEEN A PROFESSIONAL DICTIONARY OF SERBIAN LANGUAGE? ALL ACCENTS ARE POINTED OUT AND THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM. I APPRIATIE THAT JORDAN UNDERSTANDS EVELIKES, BUT BOTH OF YOU ARE WRONG. AND FAR MORE, YOU HAVE A LACK OF ELEMENTARY KNOWLADGE OF SERBIAN LANGUAGE (CALL THAT AS YOU WISH). --Luzzifer 18:58, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Duje, my mother and grandmother, who are from Belgrade, have ka strâni but na stráni, also alternation ka selu/na selu. In Piva all mentioned examples exist, and heard many of them in Dubrovnik.-- 07:51, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Duje, why don't you say something??? Jordovan, you are absolutly wrong. I see that you are from Leskovac, that means that your native language has only one expiratoric accent (Prizren-Timok dialect), so no wonder that you don't feal the differences. Serbian language is indeed a tonal language (so East-Herzegowinian, Sumadija-Vojvodina and some other dialects). HAVE YOU PEOPLE EVER SEEN A PROFESSIONAL DICTIONARY OF SERBIAN LANGUAGE? ALL ACCENTS ARE POINTED OUT AND THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM. I APRIATIAN THAT JORDAN UNDERSTANDS EVELIKES, BUT BOTH OF YOU ARE WRONG. AND FAR MORE, YOU HAVE A LACK OF ELEMENTARY KNOWLADGE OF SERBIAN LANGUAGE (CALL THAT AS YOU WISH) --Luzzifer 18:58, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

rÁditi, râdim Some cases of different accent in locative and dative according to different dialects

I may be from leskovac but I speak the same Serbian as everyone else. There are just two things about those examples in the dictionary: 1- they appeal to the word in complete isolaton. 2- not adhering to them all of the time neither causes ambiguity nor can be said the person who speaks them is not speaking Serbian. I speak fast, we all speak fast, it is often impossible to excercise them the way dictionary says. Serbian is very easy to speak fast because it only has a few vowels, no crazy combinations. The language is partially tonal, only as far as maybe Scandinavian languages. My point was that it is not tonal in the Chinese sense. All of this words which are recommended to have a different tone and still homonyms. As I said, if I say to you "moj komjuter ne radi", the structure of the sentence can never suggest I mean "Radi!" instructions. That is why my language does not "depend" on tone, it is just recommended and practiced. Jordovan 14:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Evelekis, I'm really sorry, but if you are from Leskovac- you have only one accent- that's a linguist fact.--Luzzifer 07:57, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


I havn't been here a while and I appear to have opened a can of worms so let me try to calm things down by stating the following. If it means anything to Luzifer, or Duja or the anon. I accept, yes, Serbian and Croat are tonal languages. Why? Simply because the term stretches to cover such languages as them, as well as Swedish and Lithuanian. The actual words which have a different meaning when uttered differently, "прави да нису криви, прави да нису вештачки итд" are still related in all cases. My only point was that this isn't as essential to the languages as it would be in the Chinese tongues where-by the words can be totally unrelated. And even if there is the odd example here and there, it's bound to be a coincidence, but never the less, the Wikipedia article states that they are tonal and the dictionary gives examples, so such they are. I learned Serbo-Croat from the age of 8. Living in England, tone was not properly explained to me but I developed it anyhow from listening to my teacher and all other speakers, I then spotted the dictionary and saw the examples. Now, one major difference between Serbian and Chinese is that the Serbian zone only occupies a small part of a prolonged proximity, and the word "Pravi" continues to mean all that it does even outside of the Serbian speech zone! In fact, you don't have to go out of it, you can hear that it already fades away in certain dialectal areas, and yet people still have no problems communicating. But, if anyone still believes that tone appeals to all standard languages, I'll prove that they are not, has anyone ever watched a session of Montenegrin parliament? When they've started shouting from one side of the assembly room to the other? When Krivokapic has had verbal bust-ups with speakers? On a speech delivered last summer just before the referendum, Djukanovic addressed a large crowd and I counted over 50 whole words in succession ALL spoken on a single tone - like a priest. Vuk Draskovic is another example of someone who can utter long fast sentences and not change tone, he does this in English too and he has been compared to Dracula for this detail. Just to say again, my original point regarded Dative and Locative, I didn't mean to cause unrest, and once again, yes, Serbian is tonal, so please don't any of you answer back by arguing with me. Evlekis 19:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC) (that is Èвлéкūc to some)

Actually, there are houndreds of tonal minimal pairs in Serbian (duga/duga/duga/duga- four words, four accents; mlada 'nestara'/mlada 'nevesta', or in at seacost karonja 'drcan covek'/ karonja 'lenstina'< Italian (Venetian) carogna). In one piont, Evlekias, you might be wright- Chinese tones might have be far more "hearable". You mentioned Vuk Draskovic, and I must say that his accents are almost perfect (ehich can't wonder- his perents are settlers from the same area where Vuka Karadzics family came from). If you cannot hear the difference when he is speaking, then try pay more attention, and- let me give you a tip- try first to make hear difference between long accents. I must also disagree that vernaculars don't have accents. The most Serbian verneculars have socalled new-shtokawian accentuation and all 4 accents. Some Serbian vernaculars have only 2 accents (old-shtokawian dilaelect), and finally, only one Serbian dialect- a so called Prizren-Timok dialect has only one expiratoric accent, as in Nis, or in Leskovac for instance (as a result of Balcan language union). It's the very dialect of Jordovan, so no wonder that he cannot hear or produce different sccent times, and that everything seem to him place-bound. For, start, try to listen to famous speaker of Radio Belgrade draga Jonas- I found a (not representative) mp3 file on google[4]--Luzzifer 07:54, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I also must add that I fairly cannot see any difference between examples such as kàronja 'mudonja' (derived from kara 'penis') and käronja 'lenstina' (derivred from Venetian carogna), further pâs 1.'kajs' 2. dodavanje i päs 'kuce', dúga 'nebeska pojava' i düga 'daska', on one side and all mentioned Chinese examples on the other. Jordovan says that in Serbian it's always depends on contests (which is untrue), I must aks him, isn't the same in Chineese. If in some cases perhaps not that have nothing to do with tonality but with fundamental structere of Chineese sentence. --Luzzifer 10:26, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't actually speak Mandarin. I know a few words but that's about all. I was going to say: Vuk Drašković, he is indeed a very good speaker, he does sound educated, I didn't dispute that! What I meant was that when he has spoken on live television, and has lost himself in more rapid speech, he has for certain periods now and again produced full sentences all in one single tone. I suppose it is easy to miss sometimes when you get used to what he means to say. In normal speech, I'm sure he uses the tonal effects all the time. Evlekis 18:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The major difference between Mandarin (as well as most other forms of Chinese) and languages like Serbian is that one could achieve pretty decent fluency in Serbian without ever really mastering the tones. The same isn't possible for Mandarin, because the tones aren't lexically predictable in the same way. The number of minimal pairs that are distinguished only by tone in Mandarin is staggering. Both languages are tonal, but Serbian is only marginally so when compared to languages like Mandarin.
Peter Isotalo 16:26, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Phoneme tables

I think it would improve the article if there were tables such as those found at Romanian phonology that have example words for each phoneme with orthographic representations and IPA transcription. Does anybody think they can do it? I'm good with tables but I don't know any Serbian and I can certainly work with someone who's in the opposite situation (good at Serbian and lousy at tables). Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 04:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't think so; those tables are, in my opinion, overlong, and don't contribute much to the article, as the native speakers will already know the examples, and they won't tell much to the outsiders. Actually, the Romanian phonology is not the style commonly found in other phonology articles AFAICT. That is not to say that this article is OK (it's far from good I think), but I don't think that those tables would improve it in the right direction. Duja 09:01, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. I guess the main reason I'm interested in such a table is to help me in putting Serbian example words in various phone pages (such as close front unrounded vowel and voiceless postalveolar fricative. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I strongly recommend not to use terms that sound fancier than they actually are. It does not in the least make the article more difficult for hobby linguists like myself to understand and it makes it more comprehensible for the average reader for whom the article is intended for in the first place. I don't know how many times I've shown friends (this includes adults and university students) language articles only to have them ask "What does phonology mean?" The use of "Sounds" for the phonology sections is very common and is definitely not "false and far under wiki level". It's recommended in the language project template and is in widespread use in major language articles like Dutch language, Russian language (an FA) and Spanish language. It's up to each article author to decide whether to use either "Sounds" or "Phonology", but "Phonology and phonetics" is hyper-correct redundancy. The set of sounds used in a language is called "a phonology", and the section here is in effect a Serbian phonology, not a "Serbian phonetics". Even if we're talking about the academic disciplines, it's still phonology, not phonetics in general.

Something that is actually highly misleading, though, is to separate "Prosody" from the phonology-section. Prosody is just one of many aspects of phonetics, not a completely separate discipline.

I've also renamed a lot of sections that had extremely non-standard titles, like "Lexicography".

Peter Isotalo 20:25, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Peter, it actually does look better less bad now. Luzzifer, please have in mind that you don't WP:OWN this article and there's no need to be so passionate. Duja 16:19, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I tried to start the discussion on your wiki page. Here are my points: Please stop changing "phonology and phonetics" with "sounds", "lexicography" with "dictionary". Maybe it's common in Swedish culture, but vist the pages of othere languages (Englis, German) and you are not going to find mediocriteted lines, such as "sounds" etc.

I'm sorry that the educational system let you down (take this as joke, please), but there is a huge difference between phonology and phonetics, and "sounds" is proper only for one aspect of PHONETICS. For instance, phonologically, there is one /n/ in Serbian language (// is used for phonems), but phonetically there are at least two: [ɲ] (for instance in word banka) and [n] (for instance in novac) ([] is used for phons). You may say in casual style that phons are sounds, but phonems (and the table in the article is on phonems not phons) are not sounds! Also lexycography inclueds some basic infos on work on dictionaries, on methods etc., and not only a list of dictionaries. Be aware that Serbian hasn't got two "writing systems", but two alphabets, and both alphabets are representatives of the same writing system. Finally, "Geographic distribution" is a criteria of area, "demographics" of national identity of speakers.

Finally, if someone isn't sure about the meaning of phonology and phonetics, one click is enough to get very good informations on this very same Wiki. Your approach is wrong. If you just stop people on the street and just ask them what is phonology, yo should expect that nobody knows the answer cause nobody cares wether about phonology, neither about sounds (in linguistical sence). But somebody who is interested, probably knows what's phonology. In Serbia pupils learn that in elementary school.

Duje, I totally agree with you that I'm not a monopolist contributor on this topic. Nobody is. I think that Peter should have discussed this here before changing anythig.

Finally, on both of you, where have you read that Wikipedia should be a mediocriteted encylopedia? I mean, just take a look on Articles on natural sciencies, or medicine or techics- they are far more complicated than articles in Brittanica or Brockhaus for instance, or Eciclopedia Italiana, Larousse... and all of these encyclopedies use terms phonology and phonetics not sounds.

B.R.--Luzzifer 13:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Retrieved from "" Luzzifer

Did you actually take a look at German language and English language or the other examples I provided? Some do use "Phonology", but that's it. Otherwise they have the exact same structure as the one I changed to. The titles I changed to were not my idea either, but a general standard. Using "Sounds" instead of "Phonology" isn't a must, but your argument that the former title wouldn't represent the section in an accurate way doesn't hold up. The only difference is that it's not the preferred terminology among linguists. But then again, this isn't an article intended for linguists. I'll acquiesce about this one for the sake of compromise. However, there is no argument that would say that "sounds" is a bad section header other than if you want to avoid laymen people understanding the article. Trust me, not that many people, even of education, know what "phonology" really means. And why do you keep separating the prosody section? That simply doesn't make any sense, even according to your own reasoning. Prosody isn't a separate discipline.
Also, as pointed out, you should really calm down and stop being uncivil and stop speculating about how well-educated you think I (or other users) are. That includes calling me a vandal in the edit summaries. That's assuming bad faith.
Peter Isotalo 17:05, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I said that I am sorry that the educational system let you down, and I POINTEND out in very next sentence that's it's a joke. It makes you actually uncivilized when you call somebody "to start being civil". I really don't consider you to be not educated, I even don't know you. I just said that people learn the meaning og phonology in Serbia in the 5th grade of elemenatary school. You see Peter, phonology is not = phonetics. You can read that on this very same Wikipedia in these articles. The science which exeminatet SOUNDS is called phonetics, not phonology. But phonetics also exeminate hearing methods, speech method etc. and all that stuff on Serbina is mentioned in "Phonology and phonetics part". So there is a double problem with changing "phonology" with sounds. First of all, sounds are not object of phonology, but phonetics, and second, even if you finally pay charge on that, it's also wrong to change phonetics with sounds, because sounds are only one (and the biggest one) aspect of phonetics. As far prosody is concered, prosody inclueds word prosody but also SENTENCE prosody! The words consist of "sounds", but the accent (prosody) of the words is something different than the sound themself. Because of those two reason, prosody does'nt belongs to the section "phonology and phonetics" (or "sounds").

Well, your sarcasm isn't appreciated. Calling someone a vandal in edit summaries isn't funny. Give it a rest.
Prosody isn't limited to words alone and the relevant aspect of phonetics in this article is in fact phonology, not the entire discipline. Perception and all the other aspects of phonetics are always assumed to be universal traits that aren't specific to individual languages. We have articles like speech perception for this purpose.
You've misunderstood a few rather important aspects of the discipline, and I think you need to apply less passion and a bit more intellectual scrutiny to your thinking here. Most of what you've said here are over-simplified, if not entirely baseless, derivations of what phonetics is all about.
Peter Isotalo 11:38, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

??? Perhaps you should learn to use words such as sarcasm, phonology, phonetics.. in a proper way? Anyway, believe me, theo only reason I simplified things is because I thought that you are not into linhguistics. But notthing I said is wrong. Peter, I know, the diffrence between phonology and phonetics is not simple. I kindly (KINDLY) ask you, to pay some attention on the article that you are changing. For instance, you missed that there s a sentence prosody section which is to be written down in the future. You are wright: phonetics has got many universal aspects, but so does every language discpipline; there is a general phonetics, and Serbian, German, English phonetics wich deals with the special aspect of that languages. I rally, can't forbid to anybody to call me "uncivilized", "passioned", or "simplyminded"... but it just proves that you are (perhaps not in Wiki language but in my language) a vandal. Luzzifer --17:52, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

No one has called you "uncivilized" ("(un)civil doesn't mean "(un)civilized)") or "simple-minded". "Passioned" was actually Duja's description, but it'd quite a stretch for anyone to refer to it as anything other than a very accurate and neutral comment on your debating style.
I already pointed out that prosody isn't limited to just single words. You can look this up in any book on basic phonetics. If you want to question such basic facts, you'd better provide a citation. And the application of phonetics in describing a single language is called "phonology". In this case it refers to a phonology, just like the grammar section refers to a grammar, in this case a Serbian one. For examples of phonologies (not "phonetics"), see English phonology, Irish phonology, Dutch phonology, etc.
I've now made a comment about this dispute at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Language and linguistics.
Peter Isotalo 08:05, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

My opinion is that you obviously don't understand the difference between phonology and phonetic. However, I'm glad that you see that it's something different and that the most of "Phonology and phonetics" part deals withs phonology, not "sounds" (= phonetics). However, there are some parts that cannnot be traeted as phonology, because they belong to phonetics. "Phonology" is not a single language representation of "phonetics"!

Phonology deals with phonems for instance /l/, that are smallest language units that can change the meaning. Phonetics deal with physical relaizations of phonems- so called phons (= sounds), for instance phonem /l/, has two phonetic relazations in English: sound [l] (like in let) and sound [ɫ] (for instance in pull).

Of course, we can alway discuss anything, but to say that I don't bring up any arguments is simple not true.--Luzzifer 18:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Your opinion isn't really relevant, neither is mine. This would be so much easier if you paid attention to what you were saying. This is from the lead of our own article on phonology:
Phonology (Greek φωνή = voice/sound and λόγος = word, speech, subject of discussion), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). Whereas phonetics is about the physical production and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages.
And if you're really stubborn enough to question that as well, here's the definition of phonology given in The Penguin Dictionary of Language, written by David Crystal:
phonology The study of sound systems of languages, and of the general or universal properties displayed by these systems.
Now please stop arguing your own personal opinions and cite us some sources if you want to keep this up. And I should add that there's nothing to stop someone from descriping allophones as well as phonemes in a phonology. Just take a look at the articles in Category:Language phonologies.
Peter Isotalo 23:18, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

"Sound system"-- that's just the typical unprecise English/American way to say what I'm (and a stanrd French, German, Spanish textbook) is talking about. Nobody claims that "sounds" are irrelevant for phopnology. But they are studied by phonetics, and phonology is based on phonetics. Phonets is a "realle Wissenschaft", phonology a "ideele Wissenschaft." German Wiki: Die Phonologie als Teil der Lautlehre (hier spez. "Sprachgebilde-Lautlehre") ist ein Teilgebiet der Linguistik. Sie untersucht Systeme von Phonemen, den kleinsten bedeutungsunterscheidenden Elementen von Sprachen (die kleinsten bedeutungstragendenen Elemente einer Sprache werden Morpheme genannt und fallen vornehmlich in den Aufgabenbereich der Morphologie). Die Phonologie beschäftigt sich mit den Lauten als Einheiten im System einer Sprache, während sich die Phonetik ("Sprechakt-Lautlehre") mit der detaillierten Beschreibung dieser Laute (Phone) unabhängig von Systemüberlegungen befasst. Spanish Wiki: La fonología es un subcampo de la gramática y, por extensión, también de la lingüística. Mientras que la fonética estudia la naturaleza acústica y fisiológica de los sonidos o alófonos, la fonología describe el modo en que los sonidos funcionan (en una lengua o en lengua en general) en un nivel abstracto o mental. French Wiki: La phonologie, ou phonématique, est une branche de la linguistique qui étudie comment s'organisent les sons d'une langue afin de former des énoncés. Il ne faut pas la confondre avec la phonétique qui, elle, s'intéresse aux sons eux-mêmes, indépendamment de leur fonctionnement les uns avec les autres. En sorte, la phonétique s'intéresse aux sons en tant qu'unités physiologiques, la phonologie aux sons en tant que parties d'une structure. ...

Conclusion: The part of the "Serbian language" article, that you prefere to call "Phonology", deals also with phonetical aspects (in English, German, Spanish definition sence), so it's not proper to call it only "phonology". but certenly more proper than your first proposal to call it "sounds". As far I can see, you have also excepted that the difference between phonology and phonetics cannot be seen in universal/single language aspect. Luzzifer--19:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Considering we have something like 50 phonology articles and about a zillion main language articles that clearly disprove this rather contrived interpretation of yours, I'd say this discussion serves no further purpose; stop reverting what you clearly don't understand. That includes your equally bogus claims about the nature of prosody, and above all, the insistence on including empty section headers that serve no useful purpose to readers.
Peter Isotalo 10:08, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It's empty because it's a stub :).


I think the link to websters..should be deleted as it really is ver bad. this dictionary (I think) is very good It contains alot of slang that others don't cover and if you mispell a word (which I manage even on Serbian!!!!!!) it gives you options. I don't know if you have enough dictionaries already there though maybe you don't want to add. Kat-ica Kraljica 01:59, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Please stop reverting the map. There is no other language that shows mutual intelligibility with other languages on its map. By the same reasoning you could colour every Slavic country with some shade. By the same reasoning the Slovak language map will have Czechia and parts of Germany and Poland coloured (due to Czech and Sorbian). To reiterate, mutual intelligibility is not grounds for inclusion. +Hexagon1 (t) 23:37, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


I recently visited Montenegro and it seemed to me that the Latin alphabet has virtually taken over from Cyrillics there, at least in the region I visited on the coast. I saw only a handful of signs in Cyrillics and these all seemed to be quite old. Is this indicative of an official change of policy since independence or is it just because I was in a more "touristy" area? Perhaps someone with local knowledge could update this page? 17:35, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a tendency since late 90s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 10:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
As in Serbia, Cyrillic made a comeback in Montenegro during the 1990s, but, as the Montenegrin nationalism took over since 1990s, I guess that Cyrillic is (sub-consciously?) coming to be seen as "an attempt of Serbianization" and now there's a reverse trend; heck, Montenegrins are deeply divided and entrenched along the Serbian/Montenegrin ethnic line. If my memory serves me well, Montenegro national TV used Cyrillic in the 1990s and at some point switched (back?) to Latin. I guess Cyrillic has never (at least since 1945) been dominant in the coastal towns anyway. Perhaps someone from Montenegro could give a better first-hand information. Duja 15:06, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I spent very much time in Montenegro before 90s. All signs, documents, tv programs, shop names were EXCLUSEVELY Cyrillic (on Adria cost as well). Why do you have to say anything when you don't have a clue? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 15:29, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm from Montenegro, and, though Cyrillic is still equal in the Constitution, it's not used by younger population and in the capital city and coastal region (apart from Herceg-Novi with large Serbian population), but it is still present in some parts of the North, with larger Serbian population (although huge Bosniak population up there use Latinic alphabet). Trend of usage of Latinic letters started in late seventies, as Montenegrin national movement started to grow stronger, as University and Montenegrin Academy of Arts and Sciences and national television were founded (for example, I recall sign of national tv called at the time TV Titograd was written in Latinic). In the near future Cyrillic would be used probably exclusively by Serbian minority.

And one other thing-on the map, it is colored as in Montenegro Serbian is official language, which is not the case,only oficial language in MNE is Montenegrin, and some other languages (Croatian,Albanian,Bosnian,Serbian)are in official usage, which is a different thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


The article should contain where the language is official, rather than just the table. --PaxEquilibrium 19:41, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

sr-Cyrl and sr-Latn

Should there be a mention of the use of these to differentiate translations using the two alphabets? I see this at but do not know if has been blessed by any standards body. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 15:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Found in adding to article now. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 20:56, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
RFC 4646 just uses Serbian as an example, may be the normative resource. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mike Linksvayer (talkcontribs) 21:09, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Etimoloski recnik.jpg

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Etimoloski recnik.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 19:58, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Revert of the lead

Sorry, NeroN, but your version of the lead suffers from several problems, so much that I had to interrupt my wiki-vacation to return it back. First, it contains a lot of original research on how the language can be treated; I don't think that any language textbook contains anything like this. Further, it gives too much undue weight on Torlakian dialect, which is, for the good or the bad of it, ill-defined and of fairly marginal importance to deserve the lead paragraph. It certainly must be mentioned deeper in the text, but not in the third sentence. Sorry, but even mentioning of Kajkavian and Chakavian is fully misleading. Last but not the least, it fails to summarize the article per WP:LEAD.

I'm not particularly fond of the old lead either, but I think that at least it does mention the most important aspects of the language. Duja 12:26, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

P.S. also, I think that Luzzifer has a point regarding the map: it's a fairly strange mix of political borders (Republika Srpska included, but Kosovo excluded) and apparent spoken language borders—wha', Serbian is a dominant language in half of Romanian Banat? It's better moved out. Duja 12:31, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

And Serbian letters do not have names, at least not official ones. Especially not letters like "š", "ć"... — have you ever heard anyone saying "še", "će" or "đe"? Yes, we do use some names for purposes of pronunciation of abbreviations and in mathematics, but they're restricted to the 26-letter Latin alphabet and (as far as I can tell) they're imported from German. It's perhaps worth mentioning somewhere, but not as a full-blown table filled with inconsistencies. Duja 12:37, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Accent Section Comparing Tone to Non-Tonal English, Italian, German??

The Accents section is comparing Serbian pitch accents to English, Italian, and German -- which are not languages defined as having (phonemic) pitch accent.

This seems to be a problem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Official status in Kosovo

Serbian is constitutionally co-official with Albanian at the national level in Kosovo. Please note that some irresponsible users keep removing Kosovo from the list shortly after I put it on the article.--Getoar (talk) 08:32, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

That is because Kosovo is not a sovereign state. It is widely recognized as a province of Serbia and other provinces aren't listed (if they were then Vojvodina would be listed). --Tocino 01:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

This is your blatant Serbian POV. Kosovo has a government that functions independently. Taiwan has less international recognition and it is listed as one of the official Mandarin-speaking countries. Be considerate of the accuracy of the information that Wikipedia contains.--Getoar (talk) 09:07, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

That is your blatant Kosovo Albanian separatist POV. Kosovo is recognized as a Serbian province by 150 of 192 UN member states. --Tocino 21:13, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Tocino, please be quite and WP:Civil. Let's add Kosova on that list. Ari d'Kosova (talk) 14:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Kosovo is not recognised as a Serbian province by 150 UN states. It is by 148. This is why i suggest we include the word "disputed" next to Kosovo, as this seems fair. As this is true. Ijanderson977 (talk) 19:51, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I have moved Kosovo down to other instead of what it was before to make it more NPOV Ijanderson977 (talk) 07:02, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I support Ijanderson's compromise. --Tocino 05:46, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


[5] - The whole paragraph is already cited with the most comprehensive dictionary on Turkisms in Serbian. Trivial Google search on "avlija+turcizmi" should confirm that it is not some Hellenism mistaken for Turkism. If you want a reference for this particular lexeme, put a {{fact}} tag and it will be provided.

That the Ottoman Turkish avlı in fact originates from Byzantine Greek, Or Latin (< Ancient Greek) is hardly relevant for its Turkism status in Serbian, and mentioning it would just clutter this small paragraph, beside being a manifestation of Greek nationalism. There are lots of Turkisms that entered Serbian and that originate from Middle Greek (beside avlija, kutija, ćuprija and fenjer that I can think of; sometimes called "Balkanisms" because they've spread in lots of Balkan languages by trade routes set up by the Ottoman Turks), but that does not invalidate their status of Ottoman Turkish borrowings in Serbian. They're not "Greek words" in Serbian, because they were not borrowed from Greek directly; they're Turkish borrowings into Serbian. The fact that they ultimate originate from Greek, Latin or Klingon is completely orthogonal to this issue. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 10:34, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

A manifestation of Greek nationalism? You're joking, right? I cannot fathom why you would want to conceal the Greek etymology of the word, especially considering the reference to Persian earlier in the paragraph: "Most of these words are not Turkish in origin but Persian; they entered the Serbian language via Turkish." If we can include that, I don't see the problem with my proposed wording. Furthermore, I remain unconvinced that it really did enter the language via Turkish, and its existence in Turkish hardly constitutes conclusive proof of its purported Turkish origin. Besides, the Greek influence on the South Slavic languages predates the Ottoman period. ·ΚΕΚΡΩΨ· 11:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not trying to "conceal" some alleged "Greek etymology", it's just the fact that Ottoman Turkish avlı is itself derived from Middle Greek is largely irrelevant for that paragraph. Yes, > 80% of all Ottoman Turkish loanwords in Serbian are in fact from Persian, and that fact might be worth emphasizing. Middle Greek loanwords into Ottoman Turkish which ended up in Serbian constitute just a minority.
Trust me, every single etymological dictionary out there lists avlija as a borrowing from Ottoman Turkish avlı, and not being directly from Greek. Turkish source is furthermore corroborated by the suffix -ija which is very common for Turkish loanwords (but not for other ones). If you think that that etymology is doubtful, feel free to find a source that states otherwise. In that period, Greek influence was chiefly on religious and literary language (Church Slavonic tradition), not spoken vernacular. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 12:31, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Really? The only source I see for that entire paragraph is from a certain Škaljić, Abdulah. Allow me to question his impartiality. On the other hand, I have found this source which - surprise, surprise - states that it is fact an example of Greek influence. ·ΚΕΚΡΩΨ· 13:10, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
It's ultimately Greek but mediated by Ottoman Turkish. There are Croat and Serb etymologists that date it to Ottoman Turkish too. Your insinuations of alleged "bias" of Abdulah Škaljić's work is not justified: that books is based on first-class scientific research and scholarship, and had you read it you'd have very little doubt on it ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 11:24, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
So if you do not dispute the fact that it is ultimately Greek, what's wrong with mentioning it? If you think that the ten words ultimately a Greek word (αὐλή) that entered Serbian via Turkish clutter the paragraph, I'll make it more succinct for you. ·ΚΕΚΡΩΨ· 11:56, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Because the fact that the Ottoman Turkish words itself is derived from a Greek word is totally irrelevant for the paragraph dealing with Turkish bororrowings in Serbian. I'll add it as a note. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 16:16, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Is it OK now. Can we agree on a footnote? --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 16:22, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

500 000 ppl speak/use/know Serbian in USA?!

there are only >150 000 Serbs in America, while 400 000 Croats. Isn't it mixed?

Need help at Diple

Need Serbian (Cyrillic) spelling at Diple. Badagnani (talk) 01:18, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Edits 15.08.2009

My edits today are mainly to make the article more pleasant to read. However:

  • I have removed the text "Only 15 years ago čaršav (чаршав) was usual for tablecloth, today it is stoljnjak (стољњак)" because the relative time will be so quickly out-of-date and the time-of-writing is not indicated.. Perhaps the author can substitute some absolute dates?
  • I have replaced "up to 40-50%" by "up to half". A limit cannot be a range: if it's "up to somewhere between 40% and 50%" then it's up to 50%.
  • The absurd metaphor "juxtaposed on" should perhaps be "juxtaposed with", but is, in any case, rather strained and poetic, so I have removed it.

Mike Shepherd (talk) 11:44, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi I see you've made a large edit, and I am sorry to have to have reverted all of it. But there were a lot of red links caused by converting US to British spelling. Kind regards, --Île_flottante~Floating island Talk 11:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


Kosovo needs to be listed on the side one way or another. Serbian is an offical language there. Northern Cyprus is listed on the Turkish language page and only one country regonizes it. -- Al™ 11:47, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but Northern Cyprus is a different territory from Turkey, and Kosovo is one province INSIDE Serbia (discutable, of course), but when you say "Serbia", you are already including Kosovo. When you say "Turkey" you are not including N.Cyprus, so that is why in this case isn´t necessary, and in Turkish is. Two different situations. For Spanish, you are not including Andalusia, becose it is already covered by "Spain" (it is Spanish province). If you say United Kingdom you can´t writte Scotland as well... It is already included. FkpCascais (talk) 05:32, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Northern Cyprus shouldn't be listed on the Turkish language page since it already includes Cyprus.--Pepsi Lite (talk) 07:25, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Some more examples: Abkhaz language lists Abkhazia, Ossetic language lists South Ossetia. Both of those are within Georgia, yet are listed separately. Good luck getting Northern Cyprus removed, by the way. -- Al™ 10:53, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
What are you talking about? I am not excluding nothing from anywhere. I am just saying. You can support the inclusion of Kosovo next to Serbia and other countries (giving them the "country" status that way) (hey, even I support a Kosovo independence but for some completely private reasons) but until the issue doesn´t resolve, the name Kosovo just can´t stand along with Serbia... I gave you other exemples (UK, Scotland or Wales...)(Spain and Basque Country)... The one automatically includes another one. When you say that Serbian is the official language in Serbia, you are already including Kosovo, just as the Central Serbia and Vojvodina... Its not that hard to understand. Look at the map! FkpCascais (talk) 22:30, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Not serbian

Croatia (Croatian language): region in Dalmatia, Istria, Dubrovnik area, including the islands of Mljet and Šipan ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Croatian academy (HAZU/JAZU) Zagreb

Croatian academy (HAZU/JAZU) Zagreb, is croatian academy = Croatian language ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Gajevica is Croatian latin script

Croatian Latin script Gajevica, which has reformed Croat Ljudevit Gaj ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)