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  • Writer's pictureТимофей Милорадович

The differences between Montenegrin and Serbian languages

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Montenegrin and Serbian are two closely related Slavic languages that are often considered to be the same language by some individuals, while others view them as distinct languages. Both languages are primarily spoken in the Balkans and have a long history and shared cultural heritage. However, there are some important differences between the two that are worth discussing.

  1. Standardization: One of the key differences between Montenegrin and Serbian is the level of standardization. Serbian has been standardized as a single language since the 19th century, while Montenegrin only recently gained official recognition as a separate language in 2007. This has led to some ambiguity and debate over the specific characteristics and standard form of the Montenegrin language.

  2. Dialects: Another difference between the two languages is the presence of dialects. Serbian has a wide variety of dialects, including Shtokavian, Torlakian, and Kajkavian. Meanwhile, Montenegrin has fewer dialects, like the Cakavian and Zeta-Raška dialects.

  3. Orthography: The orthography of Montenegrin and Serbian also differs slightly, with Montenegrin using Latin script, while Serbian uses both Cyrillic and Latin script. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet has several letters that are not present in the Montenegrin Latin alphabet, and vice versa.

  4. Vocabulary: Although the two languages share a common Slavic heritage, there are some differences in vocabulary. Serbian has borrowed many words from Turkish, while Montenegrin has adopted words from Italian and Albanian. Additionally, the two languages have different slang terms and expressions that are unique to their respective regions.

In conclusion, Montenegrin and Serbian are two closely related languages that share a rich cultural heritage. However, they have distinct differences in terms of standardization, dialects, orthography, and vocabulary. While some may consider them to be the same language, it is important to recognize that they are separate and distinct languages with their own unique characteristics.


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