The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961

Serbo-Croatian is a Slavic language spoken by Serbians, Croatians and Bosnians. This is more than 20 million people altogether. Since the cultures have gone their separate ways, they prefer to consider themselves speakers of separate languages. The main difference is that Serbians use the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets but Croatian and Bosnians use only the Latin one. Due to the Balkan conflict, the different national groups established their own official languages. Croatians have made entirely new words and Bosnians have peppered their speech with some Turkic terms and phrases. Even though the languages have different names the people still understand each other perfectly well.

Up to the mid 19th century there was no standard written form of the Serbian language but there was extensive literature. The reformer of the Serbian language, Vuk Karadžić, came up with the concept of  “write as you speak and read as its written”. The Serbian alphabet is very consistent and precise: one letter per sound, with very few exceptions. The Cyrillic alphabet consists of 30 letters. Most Serbian surnames have the surname suffix -ić. Other common surname suffixes are  -ov, -ev, -in and -ski.  

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961 was awarded to Serbian writer Ivo Andrić for the novel “The Bridge on the Drina” (Na Drini ćuprija). Ivo Andrić is also remembered as a diplomat of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia who lived in Germany and refused to except the offer of the Nazi government to take refuge in Switzerland during the World War II. Andrić was born in Bosnia. That country was his great love and endless inspiration during his whole life. He originated from a Croatian family but he declared himself a Serbian. He spent the most of his life in Belgrade and he wrote his works in Cyrillic.

are irreplaceable ingredients
to many Serbian dishes.
“The VAMPIRE Diaries”
is a television drama series.
Serbian is a very difficult language to learn. Serbian contains many words from the Greek and Turkish languages. Two Serbian words that are used in many of the world's languages are vampire and paprika. Slivovitz and ćevapčići are Serbian words referring to a traditional drink and food. Paprika in English is a powder made from sweet red chillies that have been dried and finely ground but in a Serbian it means both - paprika and the pepper plant.

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