#1 Easy Guide For The Serbian Alphabet

October 24, 2021
Marfe Adolfo

Have you ever been to Serbia or even heard of the place? Can you read or understand what the Serbs are talking about? Of course, if you are not familiar with the country you will not also be familiar with the Serbian Alphabet or Language. For now, you do not have to worry about it and let me take care of that by teaching you first the Serbian Alphabet. Are you ready? Let's dive in now!

Well, we all know that it will never be a piece of cake when we try to learn new languages or even just the official alphabet of one country. However, if you still want to gain more knowledge about it why don't you try to learn first the official language or alphabet of Serbia. Serbia is a dynamic and diverse state in terms of its religion, culture, cuisine, business, infrastructure, and even there language.

This country was part of well-known Yugoslavia (Land of the South Slavs) having the capital of Belgrad. The Republic of Serbia is now composed of Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. Currently, Serbia alone has a total population of 8,692,026 approximately of which most of them are South Slavic origin. Mostly all Serbs know how to use the Serbo Croatian language: Serbian Cyrillic Script and Latin Script.

So you do not have to worry about whether of the two (Latin script or Serbian Cyrillic) you must learn first because all Serbs can understand it.

 

Serbians' Way Of Communication

Serbian Alphabet communication

To start with, Serbian Language long before known as Serbo Croatian Language, in general, is typically used in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, and some of its neighboring states. Many say that Serbian Alphabet is just easy to understand and memorize since the parent system of writing even the articulation is related to the Turkish and Greek Alphabet. In addition to this, the Serbian language is written in Glagolitic Alphabet, Cyrillic Alphabet, and Latin alphabets.

The Glagolitic Alphabet was the first one that is being used for many centuries but was later on changed to Cyrillic Alphabet up to the most of upgrading to Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (српска ћирилица) in the year 1818 by the well known Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić.

Serbian Cyrillic alphabet becomes constitutional and official script used, most especially for business transactions, Serbian schools as their way of communication, and government-related undertakings. On the other hand, the Serbian Latin alphabet is used in general and day-to-day living or communication, and it was designed by Croatian linguist Ljudevit Gaj in the year 1830.

These two linguists, Vuk Karadžić and Judevit Gaj made a great contribution to the Serbian History of language. Even so do not get confused with this information because just like any other history, culture, and language around the globe, the Serbian alphabet is just currently written in either two official scripts: the Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet and Serbian Latin Alphabet, which are fully recognized.

Furthermore, the government of Serbia has made an official status declaring in 2006 that among the two alphabets (Latin and Cyrillic Serbian) Serbian Cyrillic alphabet will be used. Starting then until now this alphabet is the official writing script to be used in the entire country.

Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet And Pronunciation

Serbian Alphabet cryllic

Now you have a birds-eye view of where is Serbia precisely and its alphabet. This time let us focus on learning how to articulate the 24 letters under Serbian Cyrillic originated from Cyrillic Script. In this type of alphabet or letters, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić has removed some of the letters such as letter щ and iotated letters я.

Mr. Karadžić based the letters Љ and Њ on a design by Sava Mrkalj, combining the letters Л (L) and Н (N) with the soft sign (Ь), the Ћ was adopted by him to represent the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate (IPA: /tɕ/) and Karadžić adopted a design by Lukijan Mušicki for the letter Ђ basing on the letter Ћ. Below are the different letters which can be found in the Serbian Cyrillic Alphabet.

Serbian Cyrillic does not employ several letters seen in other Slavic Cyrillic alphabets. It does not employ a hard sign (ъ) and a soft sign (ь), but the aforementioned soft-sign ligatures instead. In this type of alphabet, it does not have Russian/Belorussian Э, the semi-vowels Й or Ў, nor the iotated letters Я (Russian/Bulgarian ya), Є (Ukrainian ye), Ї (yi), Ё (Russian yo) or Ю (yu), which are instead written as two separate letters: Ја, Је, Ји, Јо, Ју. Ј can also be used as a semi-vowel, in place of й. In closing, the letter Щ is not used. When necessary, it is transliterated as either of this form ШЧ or ШТ.

Learning the letters is very important because their structure is used in everyday conversation. Without it, you will not be able to say words properly even if you know how to write those words. The better you pronounce a letter in a word to be understood when you are speaking or writing their language. Below is a table showing the Serbian alphabet and how it is pronounced in English.

Serbian Alphabet English AlphabetIPAAs In English Word
A,aA/a/car 
Б бB/b/bat 
Ц цC/ts/cats 
Ч ч-/tʃ/chalk 
Ћ ћ-/tɕ/church 
Д дD/d/dig 
Џ џ-/dʒ/gin 
Ђ ђ-/dʑ/jack 
E,eE/e/egg
Ф фF/f/fit 
Г гG/ɡ/game 
Х хH/x/heaven 
И иI/i/east 
J,jJ/j/year 
K,kK/k/cut 
Л лL/l/love 
Љ љ-/ʎ/million 
M,mM/m/mice 
Н нN/n/nice 
Њ њ-/ɲ/onion 
O,oO/o/autmn 
П пP/p/pick 
-Q--
Р рR/r/Fritz 
С сS/s/sound 
Ш ш-/ʃ/shut 
T,tT/t/time 
У уU/u/shoot 
В вV/ʋ/verb 
-W--
-X--
-Y--
З зZ/z/zest 
Ж ж-/ʒ/pleasure 

Latin Alphabet And Pronunciation

Gaj’s Latin alphabet in the form of Latin script was used for Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, and Montenegrin, and other neighboring cities. It was modeled after the Czech and Polish languages and invented ⟨lj⟩, ⟨nj⟩, and ⟨dž⟩. After many reforms, the Latin alphabet is now down to 30 letters. In this part, you will now know what are the different letters and how to articulate each letter.

Below is a table showing the Latin alphabet and how it is pronounced in English.

Latin AlphabetEnglish AlphabetIPAAs in LatinAs In English Word
A,aA/a/Anić car 
B,bB/b/Babić bat 
C,cC/ts/Cindrić cats 
Č,č-/tʃ/Čavlović chalk 
Ć,ć-/tɕ/Ćurković church 
D,dD/d/Delić dig 
DŽ,dž-/dʒ/Džajo gin 
Đ,đ-/dʑ/Đaković jack 
E,eE/e/Erceg egg
F,fF/f/Filipović fit 
G,gG/ɡ/Grgić game 
H,hH/x/Hrvatin heaven 
I,iI/i/Ivanković east 
J,jJ/j/Josipović year 
K,kK/k/Kovač cut 
L,lL/l/Leko love 
LJ,lj-/ʎ/Ljubić million 
M,mM/m/Milas mice 
N,nN/n/Novačić nice 
NJ,nj-/ɲ/Njirić onion 
O,oO/o/Oreški autmn 
P,pP/p/Petrić pick 
-Q---
R,rR/r/Radić Fritz 
S,sS/s/Starčević sound 
Š,š-/ʃ/Šarlija shut 
T,tT/t/Tkalec time 
U,uU/u/Udovičić shoot 
V,vV/ʋ/Vrbanić verb 
-W---
-X---
-Y---
Z,zZ/z/Zadravec zest 
Ž,ž-/ʒ/Žugec pleasure 

As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn more about the Serbian language and that you will find the confidence to use this language in real life. If you enjoyed this post and figured you'd love to learn more, then please check out our previous posts like the home and family vocabulary and the most common Serbian names. But if you are someone who is truly passionate about learning the language, then be sure to read further below to find out about our most recommended app!

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In learning more about foreign alphabets or words, we tend to put in our minds that it will take months or a year for you to learn the basics. Furthermore, you will also consider investing a sum of money just for you to have or gain that knowledge and be able to somehow write or speak words in foreign languages. Aside from enrolling at expensive language courses, purchasing tons of books, using the Ling App by Simya Solutions is a solid choice!

The Ling App is an impressive language platform that is guaranteed to help you learn not just one but 60+ foreign languages on the go. By simply downloading the app and using it for at least 10 minutes a day, you can ensure that you get yourself learning a new thing every single day! What's even more interesting is the fact that it is available for free online! Download it today or try it out on this website now. Have fun learning!

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Marfe Adolfo

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