Latin Alphabet

The Serbs have been using the Cyrillic alphabet since the 11th century, then throughout the Middle Ages, during the Ottoman rule, up to the present day. However, Austro-Hungary did not allow the use of the Cyrillic alphabet in the regions under their rule, so the Serbs in Bosnia and Vojvodina used the Latin or Roman alphabet. Also, the Latin alphabet was in close association with the Roman Catholic Church and the Latin language, so it soon replaced both the Glagolitic and Cyrillic in the Slavic Catholic countries. In the 19th century, the Latin alphabet came to Serbia from Croatia. As the 19th century tendencies for unification of the South Slavs became stronger, the Croatian linguists proclaimed the Vuk’s Serbian for the Croatian literary language. A Serbian linguist and a great literary scholar of the Serbian language, Đurо Dаničić, started compiling the YASA Dictionary (Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts) using the new reformed Latin alphabet (which included all the new diacritics for č, ć, š, ž). In the period when Serbo-Croatian language was used in an official capacity, both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets were in use simultaneously, and in Serbian today, both are in use as standard alphabets. The 2006 Constitution proclaimed the Serbian language and the Cyrillic alphabet to be in official use on the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia. The same goes for the Rеpublika Srpska.


Đurо Dаničić