I found there are two versions of Serbian:



May I know what's the difference? Would someone please explain in details?



2 Answers 2


https://sh.wikipedia.org is for the Serbo-Croatian language, in the Latin alphabet, in the Jekavian variety used in Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia, “sh” stands for srpskohrvatski — ‘Serbo-Croatian’.

https://sr.wikipedia.org is for the Serbian language, in the Cyrillic alphabet (UPD: and in Latin, too: https://sr.wikipedia.org/sr-el/), in the Ekavian variety used in Serbia, “sr” stands for srpski — ‘Serbian’.

Serbo-Croatian is a pluricentric language with several local varieties, all of them very close and mutually understandable. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, each of its former republics started using only its own variety and calling it its national language. The differences are numerous (in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary), you can read about them in detail here:

  • 4
    The Serbian Wikipedia can be viewed in either Cyrillic or Latin.
    – Nardog
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 3:27
  • 1
    "sh.wikipedia.org is for the Serbo-Croatian language, in the Latin alphabet, the variety used in Croatia and Bosnia" - This is misleading. It's in both Latin and Cyrillic, and that label referred to all variants, including those in Serbia. And you're less likely to hear that label in Croatia or Bosnia. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 10:53
  • "the variety used in Serbia" - Misleading. Serbs in other countries call their language Serbian, and use the Cyrillic alphabet. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 10:54
  • @AdamBittlingmayer - sh.wikipedia.org uses the Jekavian variety which is mostly used in Croatia and Bosnia, not in Serbia. It's natural for ethnic (minority) groups to use their own language varieties, so there's nothing misleading. Please, don't let us start BSCM holywar here.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 11:08
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    @AdamBittlingmayer "Serbs in other countries call their language Serbian": I knew a Serbian in New York who also used the name "Serbian" for the language spoken by Croatians from Zagreb and Dalmatia. The label used for any variety of the language usually says more about the person applying the label than it does about the language.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:10

The best place to learn about Wikipedias is Wikipedia. Its article on Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia states:

The Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia was originally launched on 16 January 2002. [...] On 12 December 2002, a separate Bosnian Wikipedia was founded, later including articles from the original Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia. On 16 February 2003, separate Croatian and Serbian Wikipedias were launched.

Wikipedia's own newsletter The Signpost recently had an article on the much-publicized case of a takeover of Croatian Wikipedia, in response to a report commissioned and published by the Wikimedia Foundation. The article says:

The Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian Wikipedias are unusual in that they all separated starting in 2003 from the Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia, which continued to exist. All these languages are mutually intelligible variants of Serbo-Croatian, which is termed "pluricentric".

The report states that

this structure enabled local language communities to sort by points of view on each project, often falling along political party lines in the respective regions. The report asserts, furthermore, it deprived the newly-created communities of editorial diversity that normally guides and underpins the traditionally successful process of editorial consensus in other pluricentric language projects.

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