18th Edition

Hungarian in Serbia


Hungarian in Serbia

Kay, Thu, 2015-12-17 01:42
Language Status
ISO 639-3: 

Hungarian is not a statutory language of national identity, not even named in the Serbian Constitution. It has the same status as an official language in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (wrong spelling on your site) like Croatian etc.

Editorial Action

The misspelling of Vojvodina has been corrected in the language entry for Hungarian [hun] in Serbia for the 19th edition of the Ethnologue.  No other change for the status of Hungarian in Serbia was made.


Ethnologue Editor, Thu, 2015-12-17 13:51

Dear Kay,

Thank you for this feedback. I have handed it over to our Geopolitical Editor for his consideration.


Charles Fennig, Managing Editor, Ethnologue

Ethnologue Editor, Tue, 2016-01-05 15:38

Kay, You are correct in that the 2006 Serbian Constitution does not name Hungarian as a national language in Article 10. But that is not the last word. The second part, Article 10(2), states that "The official use of other languages and scripts is regulated by the law based on the Constitution." The inquiry has to go further. The Constitution allowed the formation of autonomous provinces (APs) and Vojvodina did exactly that in 2009. Article 26 of its autonomy statute established Hungarian and the other four minority languages as official languages for the province -- we agree. But there is more, as found under the language of the 2002 national statute on "Protection of the Rights of National Minorities." Article 11(12) there holds that if a minority in the most recent census has a population of at least 2% of the population of the republic, it then qualifies for "national minority status," with the right to the use of its mother tongue (Hungarian) as a national minority language. Apparently it is not used all that much outside of the province for official purposes. Hungarian in Bulgaria joins a small group of minority languages which legitimately have both provincial and nationwide functions per the Ethnologue categories. (By the way, the incorrect spelling of Vojvodina has been corrected in the data base and will show up as such when the next edition goes live on line in 3 to 4 months.) Thanks again for your interest.

Robert Johnson, Geopolitical Editor, Ethnologue