Serbian language is a standardized form of Serbo-Croatian, a Slavic language (Indo-European), of the South Slavic subgroup. Other standardized forms of Serbo-Croatian are Bosnian, Croatian and Montenegrin.

In addition, Serbian language is used in neighbouring countries, thanks to the Serbian minority in them.

Serbian is practically the only European standard language with complete synchronic digraphia, using both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets; speakers read the two scripts equally well.

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was devised in 1814 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadzic, who created the alphabet on phonemic principles (“Speak as you write, Write as you Speak”). The Latin alphabet was designed by Croatian linguist Ljudevit Gaj in 1830.

Now, those facts may or may not mean something to you, but it’s something which is mostly important to Serbs.

For those who are heading to Guca or Exit festivals, from my experience, the first thing a Serb teaches a foreigner are some nasty curse words. Of course, this is being interpreted to a foreigner as an everyday phrase, nothing dangerous to say to another man.

So, dear foreigners, before you take a lesson from a Serb you probably meet for the first time, who eagerly wants to teach you how to say Good Day, or Hello, or Nice To Meet You, before learning them, check those phrases! As Danko Sipka says, there are no better curse words than in Serbian, and if you try to learn Serbian, you will see why that is so.

However, it is fascinating that in Serbian there is no word starting with a letter F. Every word we have is a loanword. Also, the word VAMPIRE is the only Serbian word that is used worldwide.

Vampires are a part of Serbian folklore, so if you are keen on these creatures, you should do some research about Sava Savanovic or Petar Blagojevic.

American David Ono, a film maker and news anchor for KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles, California, made something that might shed some light about those two vampires:

Serbian language is a very rich one. It has lots of loanwords, being between East and West, while lots of words are the legacy of the foreign armies which tried to conquer Serbia, but Serbian language has its own beautiful words.

Serbian novels are familiar worldwide, but poetry is much, much more popular. Even Goethe was fascinated by the Serbian poetry and himself translated it into German. If you would like to read Serbian poetry, the recommendation to begin with is “The Immortal Song”, by Miroslav Antic.

As you may see, Serbian is a very interesting and beautiful language. Though its grammar isn’t an easy one, experts, such as ones teaching at The Serbian Language and Culture Workshop, may help you to learn and understand it. At least, you can learn some everyday phrases, what to order in a restaurant or how to express a compliment to a beautiful girl.

And remember, we have a saying here, a man is as rich as the number of languages he speaks.