Round table “The Serbian language and Cyrillic today”

30. June 2017.


Serbian language professor at universities in Belgrade and East Sarajevo, Miloš Kovačević, has emphasised that the idea of the Serbian language becoming more important than other subjects must be realized in Republic of Srpska and Serbia.

“This idea must be ‘pushed’ in Republic of Srpska and Serbia if we want to preserve the Serbian language and national identity. This idea was realized only by Russia where the Russian language has this status. This means that the Russian language is not included in the number of classes, but every year the number is determined over the minimum of ten classes, and the criteria for this are the cultural finding, that is, the cultural value of the nation,” Kovačević points out.

At the round table on the topic “Serbian language and Cyrillic today”, which was held at the Andrić Institute in Andrićgrad within the Vidovdan ceremonies, Kovečević also points out that, if this idea can not be realized then the Serbian language in Republic of Srpska and Serbia should have at least has status as the French language in France, where the Academy of Sciences does not allow to have less than nine classes of the French language per week.

“And we Serbs are today in high school do not even teach the Serbian language, but only literature. The question is how do we learn literature at all if we do not learn the Serbian language. How to read, the Bible, or the ‘Encyclopedia of the Dead’ by Danilo Kiš? Literature can only be understood if we understand the different functions of the language, or if we know the language,” says Professor Kovačević, asking how the Serbs can belong to the cultural elite that Vuk Karadžić had imagined when he introduced the Serbian language to Europe.

He stresses that at the today’s round table many questions are asked that have not been ever asked in the Serbian language-cultural space, because after long descriptions, the situation that describing can not be done if we do not start working.

“Since the time of Vuk Karadžić, even in his time, we have not had a Serbian philological program where there would be at least three or four principles that we all would agree on to unite the Serbian cultural elite once. If this time should teach us anything, then we need to remember the sentence once said by Milo Lompar – “I am ashamed of the time to which I belong, the anti-Serb layer, regardless of the fact that I am an individual Serb” “, says Kovačević.

He has also explained that this sentence means that the Serbs as a people should change the awareness that they are the Serbs because they keep their national identity, while preserving their national identity preserves their own heritage.

“Matija Bećković has a phenomenal verse that says” the future is the rest of the past. ” The question is, can there be any future of any nation that has no past? This is one of the central issues. What has one who has no its own heritage? Moreover, if the criteria of the future are only the criteria of the future then there is no nation,” Kovačević explains.

He has also added that the drafting of a law on language and script has began in Republic of Srpska and expressed the hope that this law will be in compliance with the law on language and script in Serbia, because it is the same language, people and the letter.

Kovačević says that the law on language and script in Serbia went to the parliamentary procedure because it is obvious that the protection of the Serbian language can not be done by the law itself, because Serbs are a nation that takes little care of their own identity criteria.

“The Cyrillic script should be legally and practically in everyday use. Therefore, this conference should give guidance on the protection of the Serbian language and script. If there is no Institute for Serbian language in Republic of Srpska, we are letting others engage in scientific work in our language, comparing it with political languages, because at the level of BiH there is only one Institute in Sarajevo, which wants to present itself as the only institution dealing with problems Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian language,” says Kovačević.

He has added that a turning point in the unity of Serbian politics and Serbian philology should be made at this table, that the Government of Republic of Srpska should make a language council or language institute.

Professor at the Faculty of Philology in Nikšić, Jelica Stojanović, says that the Serbian language in Montenegro has been brought to a non-existence, as far as the formal plan is concerned.

“Only the Serbian language is spoken, regardless of how it was named, but the name of the Serbian language has been completely removed from the public or state scene of Montenegro. Serbian is language in official use with ‘Bosnian’ and Croatian and Montenegrin as an official language. It is the power in Montenegro, created an artificial way to offset what is official, and the Serbian language to be absent from official and public use,” adds Stojanović.

She points out that there is not the Serbian language in the official documents in Montenegro, and not in the sphere of state and official structures.

“The Serbian language has remained within the study program for the Serbian language, which is now the most beautiful nucleus in Montenegro that needs to be preserved,” says Stojanović, adding that in primary and secondary schools the Serbian language is called Montenegrin – Serbian, “Bosnian”, Croatian , but on the printed textbooks it is written the Montenegrin language.

Stojanović points out that the status of the Serbian language in Montenegro has been brought to a complete absurdity, despite the historical continuity.

Academician Slobodan Remetić says that the language and script is the cornerstone of national identity.

“The language and the script share the fate of the people who use it. Since we know what is happening to us, the language and script are also endangered. What is happening with the Serbian language, that by renaming one language, several political languages have been created, this has never happened anywhere on the planet,” Remetić points out.

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