Serbian Cyrillic alphabet, Differences from other Cyrillic alphabets

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Summary

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet ( / srpska ćirilica, pronounced ) is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for the Serbian language, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two standard modern alphabets used to write the Serbian , the other being Latin. Cyrillic is traditionally the official script in Serbia.

Details

Serbian Cyrillic does not use several letters encountered in other Slavic Cyrillic alphabets. It does not use hard sign () and soft sign (), but the aforementioned soft-sign ligatures instead. It does not have Russian/Belorussian , the semi-vowels or , nor the iotated letters (Russian/Bulgarian ), (Ukrainian ), (), (Russian ) or (), which are instead written as two separate letters: can also be used as a semi-vowel. The letter is not used. When necessary, it is transliterated as either or .

Serbian and Macedonian italic and cursive forms of lowercase letters , and , differ from those used in other Cyrillic alphabets (in Serbian is optionally underlined, whereas in Macedonian is not). That presents an obstacle in Unicode modeling, as the glyphs differ only in italic versions, and historically non-italic letters have been used in the same code positions. Serbian professional typography uses fonts specially crafted for the language to overcome the problem, but texts printed from common computers contain East Slavic rather than Serbian italic glyphs. Cyrillic fonts from Adobe, Microsoft (Windows Vista and later) and a few other font houses include the Serbian variations (both regular and italic).

If the underlying font and Web technology provides support, the proper glyphs can be obtained by marking the text with appropriate language codes. Thus, in non-italic mode:

  • бгдпт, produces бгдпт, same (except for the shape of б) as
  • бгдпт, producing бгдпт

whereas:

  • бгдпт gives бгдпт, and
  • бгдпт produces бгдпт.

Since Unicode still doesn't provide the required difference, OpenType locl (locale) support must be present. Programs like Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice (currently under GNU/Linux only), and some others provide required OpenType support. Starting from CSS 3, web authors also have to use this: font-feature-settings: 'locl';. Of course, font families like GNU FreeFont, DejaVu, Ubuntu, Microsoft "C*" fonts from Windows Vista and above must be used.

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External Links

  • WikipediaOmniglot – Serbian, Croatian and BosnianSerbian Alphabet

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