What language is spoken in Montenegro? Many tourists who are going to Montenegro are wondering what language is spoken in this country. By the way, many are also interested in the fact whether they will understand you on Montenegrin soil and whether there will be any difficulties in communication. Let’s understand this issue and decide whether the Montenegrin language is really so simple or complex.
Official language in Montenegro
Montenegro acts as the most comfortable country for living and recreation of the speaking population. Most of the signs and shop windows are full of information that any one can understand.
This is due to the fact that the official language of the country, Montenegrin, has roots with the English language. Also, English words are often used in the country.
By its nature, the Montenegrin language resembles the Serbian language. The differences between these languages were initially very insignificant, because the construction of both languages was based on the same language group.
After the language reform was carried out in 2007, the Montenegrin language was simplified as much as possible. As a result, only two written versions of the language remained: Cyrillic and Latin.
According to this reform, documents in Montenegro can be written in Cyrillic or Latin. Both spellings have the same basis and are identical to each other.
Therefore, both options are used in official papers, and in everyday life they use the option that is more familiar. This is where the uniqueness of the Montenegrin language lies.
If you think that they will be able to understand you in Montenegro or not, then the answer will be positive. True, if a local resident wants to understand you.
So, if you are friendly to the locals, greet them and smile, then the communication process will go very well and you will be able to find out the information you need. Those citizens who attack the locals will have to work hard to be understood and helped.
In general, the Montenegrin language is part of the Slavic group of languages. Most of the words and expressions with the Russian language are identical.
Due to the fact that a large number of people live in Montenegro, here you can often hear many speech. At the same time, English is more difficult for Montenegrins, however, even in English you will be understood in any situation.
Montenegrin language and its development
Today, Montenegro has officially adopted the language of the same name, which, in fact, is a regional one. This dialect is part of the western subgroup of South Slavic languages. The basic language is Serbo-Croatian, so in Montenegro people speak both Montenegrin and Serbian. However, Montenegrin is a dialect of Serbian and is called Iekavian-Stockak among linguists. Until 2007 in Montenegro, the official language was first Serbo-Croatian, and then a dialect of Serbian. Only in the year of the adoption of the Constitution did the country acquire its own language, officially recognized.
It can be said that the Montenegrin language is new. Therefore, there are no literary standards for it yet, unlike the same Serbian or Bosnian. This, on the one hand, makes Montenegrin still quite unstable, but, on the other hand, allows local writers to create their works more freely – not as is customary, but as the soul asks.
Most of the population of Montenegro equally freely communicates not only in the official, but also in Serbian, and in addition, still considers themselves native speakers of the Serbian language. When the country conducted a census in 2011, only 37% of residents called Montenegrin their native language. Currently, this dialect can most often be found in the central part of the country, which is a historical area. Closer to the outskirts, Serbian is still in use.
Features of the language of Montenegro
Do not think that montenegrin and Serbian are far from each other. It is no coincidence that the speakers of these two dialects easily understand each other and can communicate without an interpreter.
The difference between these languages is mainly in the pronunciation and spelling of vowels. In Serbian, they are pronounced more harshly, in Montenegrin they are softened. At the same time, most of the words will be easily understood by a Russian-speaking person. You don’t have to look far for an example.
The word “lepo”, which has long gone out of our everyday life, is translated as “beautiful”. At the same time, serbs will pronounce it “lapo”, and Montenegrins – “liepo”. If you have an idea of the Old Church Slavonic (Old Russian) language, you will be able to understand what the locals are telling you. In ancient times, our ancestors called life “belly”, and cottage cheese – “cheese”. Montenegrins and Serbs still use these designations today.
English in Montenegro
English in Montenegro is understood much worse than any Languages.
Although, in any case, they will try to help or find a way to understand the essence of the question or request. The exception is the staff of hotels and restaurants, as they are trained by foreign guests.
But during trips on excursions to Croatia or Albania, it is better to communicate with local sellers in English. They understand tourists perfectly and speak it well.