Languages of Serbia

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Languages of Serbia
Serbia Language Map 2002.png
Linguistic map of Serbia according to settlements
Official languages Serbian
Regional languages Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, Rusyn, Albanian
Main foreign languages English
Sign languages Yugoslav Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts

Serbia has only one nationwide official language, which is Serbian. Other languages spoken in Serbia include Albanian (spoken in Preševo Valley and Kosovo), Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Rusyn, Croatian (all of which are official regional languages in the Vojvodina province), Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romani, Czech, Bosnian, Vlach, Bunjevac, Macedonian, Montenegrin, etc.

Serbian language[edit]

Serbian language predominates in most of Serbia, excluding some municipalities in Vojvodina and southern Serbia, as well excluding larger part of Kosovo. Bosnian, Croatian and Bunjevac language, which are, according to census, spoken in some parts of Serbia are virtually identical with Serbian, while declared speakers of Bulgarian language from southern Serbia are actually speakers of Torlakian dialect, which is considered as one of the dialects of the Serbian language by Serbian linguists.

Serbian language spoken in Serbia has several dialects: Šumadija-Vojvodina, Smederevo-Vršac, Kosovo-Resava, Prizren South Morava, Svrljig-Zaplanje, Timok-Lužnica (Torlakian), Eastern Herzegovina, and Zeta-South Sandžak. Šumadija-Vojvodina and Eastern Herzegovina dialects are basys for modern standard Serbian.

Throughout part of southern Serbia, a dialect by the name of Torlakian is spoken. Although it has no standard form and continues to be spoken without any form of official status, Torlakian may be seen by some as constituting a separate language. It forms a part of the South Slavic dialect continuum, and is transitional between the eastern south Slavic languages (mainly Bulgarian and Macedonian) and the western south Slavic languages (of which Serbian is a part).

Minority languages[edit]

Street name sign, Marshal Tito Street, in Serbian, Slovak, and Hungarian languages, in the village of Belo Blato.

Besides Serbian, which is the official language in the whole country, there are five minority languages in the official use by the provincial administration in Vojvodina: Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Rusyn, and Croatian. Serbian is a main language used by provincial administration and by all city and municipal administrations in Vojvodina. The other five languages are used by provincial administration and by selected city or municipal administrations. In practice, Serbian is a lingua franca of the region and number of declared native speakers of Serbian in the province exceeds the number of declared ethnic Serbs. Among other languages, Hungarian and Slovak are dominant in several municipalities, while other languages are dominant only in several villages.

In total there are 15 minority languages spoken in Serbia.[1] Those languages are Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Bunjevac, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Macedonian, Romani, Romanian, Pannonian Rusyn, Slovak, Ukrainian and Vlach.[1] The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was signed by Serbia and Montenegro in 2005.[2] Republic of Serbia as the successor of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro continue its legal obligations toward charter and it entered into force in 2006.[2] In municipalities where certain minority constitute more than 15% of total population introduction of a minority language in official use is compulsory.[2] Additionally, In province of Vojvodina, minority language and script which is not in official use on the entire territory of the municipality shall be introduced into official use in a settlements of that municipality if the percentage of given minority reaches 25% in that settlement.[2]

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia stipulates that Serbian language and Cyrillic script shall be in the official use, while official use of other languages and scripts shall be regulated by law.[3] In addition, provision of Article 79 specifies the right of people belonging to minority national communities to preserve cultural identity, which shall also include the right to use their own languages and scripts.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]