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Home British & World English Serbo-Croat

Definition of Serbo-Croat in English:


(also Serbo-Croatian)


mass noun

  • A term for the Southern Slavic language spoken in Serbia, Croatia, and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. Serbo-Croat comprises two closely similar forms: Serbian, written in the Cyrillic alphabet, and Croat, written in the Roman alphabet. Since the break-up of Yugoslavia the names of the individual languages have generally been preferred.

    • ‘Similarly, Serbs are taught in the Cyrillic version of Serbo-Croat, whereas Muslims learn the Latin alphabet; needless to say, history lessons vary according to who teaches and who learns.’
    • ‘The Croats and Muslims use the Roman alphabet to write Serbo-Croatian, while the Serbs use the Cyrillic alphabet.’
    • ‘Other languages in which material is posted regularly are German, French, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Indonesian, Russian and Sinhala.’
    • ‘The interview was conducted in Serbo-Croatian via an interpreter.’
    • ‘They translated the radio jingle into Albanian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, and Serbian.’
    • ‘About 7 percent of the population speaks Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘I do not speak Serbo-Croatian, but I could read the mayor’s body language: he was quite unhappy with the intrusion.’
    • ‘Today each of the republics of the former Yugoslavia use their own language, but they are all Slavic languages similar to Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘Twenty-one percent speak Albanian, three percent speak Turkish, and three percent speak Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘She has also written books published in Japanese and Serbo-Croat.’
    • ‘Most Kosovo Albanians speak and understand Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘I come from Bosnia; I speak Serbo-Croat anyway.’
    • ‘The most common native language spoken is English, the second most common is Spanish, and the distant third is Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘Bulgarian is a south Slavic language, closely related to Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian and more distantly to Russian.’
    • ‘From 1945 to 1991, the official language was Serbo-Croatian.’
    • ‘These are, in order of the number of speakers, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, German, Vietnamese, Spanish, Polish, Macedonian, Filipino languages, and Maltese.’
    • ‘Patrol members may also have knowledge of languages suitable for the theatre in which they are deployed – Serbo-Croat might be useful, for instance.’
    • ‘Due to the presence of immigrants, a number of other languages are spoken in Germany as well, including Polish, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mongolian, and Vietnamese.’
    • ‘The former also include excellent translations from Serbo-Croatian, as well as a meticulously edited text, useful chronology, and full index.’
    • ‘The fact that in the not-so-distant past it would not have raised an eye-lid to have written an analysis in Serbo-Croatian surely underscores the necessity for the unification of the workers of this region.’


  • Relating to Serbo-Croat.

    • ‘As one of the three Serbo-Croat speakers attached to the British contingent of the force, his role was to act as the principal military negotiator with the Bosnian Serb leadership on behalf of the UN.’
    • ‘Additionally, a 12-week language-conversion course converts Russian linguists to Serbo-Croatian linguists.’
    • ‘These are, respectively, the Russian and Serbo-Croat words for ‘cheese’, and form part of the names of some cheeses made in Russia, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.’
    • ‘Underground’s original Serbo-Croatian soundtrack is offered in Dolby stereo.’
    • ‘What’s it supposed to be, some type of Serbo-Croatian shorthand?’




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