Serbian-English and English-Serbian pocket dictionary
|Serbian-English and English-Serbian pocket dictionary - PDF|
The Slavonic languages form one of the groups of the great family of Indo-European languages, to which most of the other European languages also belong. The Slavonic languages fall into three divisions the eastern, western, and southern.
To the eastern division belongs Russian (Great Russian and Little Russian or Ruthenian); to the western division, Polish, Bohemian, and Lusatian-Wendish (still spoken in parts of Saxony and Prussia); and to the southern division, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Slovene is spoken by about one and a half million people in the Austrian provinces of Istria, Carniola, and Carinthia; Serbo-Croatian is spoken throughout the Austrian province of Dalmatia, the Hungarian provinces of Croatia and Slavonia, the joint Austro-Hungarian territories of Bosnia and Hercegovina, in the southern parts of the kingdom of Hungary (known as the Banat and Badka), throughout the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro and in parts of Macedonia; altogether by about nine million people. Bulgarian is spoken throughout Bulgaria and in parts of Macedonia by about five million.
Of these three languages which form the southern division of the Slavonic languages, Slovene and Serbo-Croatian are very similar both in vocabulary and structure; on the other hand, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian, though they contain a large number of words common to both languages, are very dissimilar in grammar.
The Slav nations employ two different alphabets, the Latin and that known as the Cyrillic, so-called because its author is assumed to have been the Greek missionary St. Cyril, a native of Salonika, who, with his brother St. Methodius, was sent by the Church at Constantinople, in the ninth century, to convert the Slavs who inhabited the basin of the Danube. After the division of the Churches, the Slav nations fell into two sections, those who had been converted from and owed allegiance to Constantinople, and those who stood in a similar position to Rome.
The first section included the Russians and the Bulgarians, the second the Poles, Bohemians, and the Slovenes. The Serbo-Croatian people were divided between the two, that part of it which lay more to the east and nearer Constantinople, i.e. roughly speaking the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro and the eastern parts of Bosnia and Hercegovina, became incorporated in the Eastern Orthodox Church at Constantinople, while that part of it which lay more to the west and nearer Rome, that is, roughly speaking, the western parts of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia, fell under the influence of the Western or Roman Church. It thus happened that the Serbo-Croatian people, which was ethnically and linguistically one, became, from the point of view of religion and civilization, divided into two halves, which came to be differentiated and known under their old tribal names of Serbs or Serbians (Srbi) and Croats or Croatians (Hrvati)
It thus, further, has come about that their language, now generally known as Serbo-Croatian, which is essentially one and the same, is written in both alphabets, Latin and Cyrillic, while each of the other of the Slavonic languages is only written either in Latin or Cyrillic characters. The Serbo-Croatian language, written in Latin characters as taught in the schools where Roman Catholics predominate, i.e. in the western part of the Serbo-Croatian territory, is called Croatian written in Cyrillic characters as taught in the eastern Orthodox half of the Serbo- Croatian territory it is called Serbian. That is to say, the same language can be written in either alphabet.
The Cyrillic alphabet has this advantage over the Latin, that it represents each sound in the language by one complete letter, while the Latin alphabet has recourse to accents placed over certain consonants to represent some sounds, and double consonants to represent others. But as the Latin alphabet with these additions accurately and scientifically represents the sounds of the language, the language can be learnt just as well from a book printed in Latin as in Cyrillic characters; in fact, for many who may not have time to learn the Cyrillic characters at once,
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