MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME
Sorting the languages of the former Yugoslavia
Angela Drenovac & Michel H. Porcher
The political turmoils of the past decades and the ensuing splitting of
the former Yugoslavia have confused a lot of people from distant lands.
The border disputes are not completely over but now one can sort fairly
accurately the countries and languages from this part of the world. Of
course it helps enormously when local inhabitants can give some
feedback on their personal experiences.
In the former Yugoslavia
the most well known language was called "Serbo-Croatian" a mixed
bag of Croatian and Serbian vocabulary difficult to separate from each
other. The Cyrillic and Roman (with diacritics) scripts were equally
used, but Cyrillic was more represented in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Roman characters were used in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia. In what is known today as Bosnia
people spoke Serbo-Croatian, but after gaining their independence they
named it Bosnian. Today Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, although still
extremely close and interwoven, are developing as distinct new
languages. Macedonian and Slovenian are related to "Serbo-Croatian" but
clearly distinguishable. They are written today as mentioned above. All
these languages belong to South Slavic branch of Indo-European family.
The recent development of Unicode on the world wide web makes
these languages’ words perfectly readable. Outside the internet it is
still relatively difficult to cope with diacritics, but they are the
main feature of these languages whose spelling is rendered very simple
by their use, because in most cases one letter corresponds to only one
Slovak / Slovakian
(sometimes confused with Slovenian by people far away from those
regions) belongs to a branch of the Slavonic languages (West
Slavonic, with Czech & Polish) and is clearly distinct from all the
Bosnian speakers (est. 4 millions worldwide) are now mostly centered in Bosnia - Herzegovina (variously written as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bosnia-Hercegovina. Now they just use the Roman script.
Croatian speakers (est. 6 millions worldwide) are now mostly centered in the Republic of Croatia. They also just use the Roman script.
Macedonian speakers (est. 1.4 to 2 millions worldwide) are now mostly centered in the Republic of Macedonia. They use Cyrillic as well as the Roman script.
Serbian speakers (est. 11 millions worldwide) are now mostly centered in Serbia – Montenegro. They also use equally the Cyrillic and Roman scripts.
Slovenian / Slovene speakers (est. 2 millions worldwide) are now mostly centered in the Republic of Slovenia. They just use the Roman script.
back to various indexes
Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian
, Slovenian, Slovakian
back to Gateway , to list
Date created: 17 / 07 / 2005
Last modified: 22 / 07 /
Access: No restriction
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