The Serbian Alphabet and Language

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Serbian is a South Slavic language spoken mainly in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and Macedonia by about 9 million people. It is the official language in Serbia and the language used by most Serbians.  This language is similar to Croatian, Bosnian and Monenegrin.

The Glagolitic alphabet was used to write Serbian from the 11th century on. It was later replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet. In 1814, the modern Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was developed. Serbian is now written mainly with the Cyrillic alphabet, though the Latin alphabet is sometimes used. Serbian contains many Greek and Turkish words and continues to add new words from various languages.

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

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