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Serbian is the official language of Serbia and one of the official languages in the following successor states to the former Republic of Yugoslavia: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo. In Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, Serbian is a recognised minority language. Overall, there are roughly 12 million Serbian native speakers around the world, including in Western Europe, Australia and the USA.

The Serbian language is part of the South Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages and is closely related to Croatian and Bosnian. Many people erroneously consider Serbian and Croatian to be one and the same language. They may be thinking of the Serbo-Croatian language standard, which was the official language in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, each successor state developed its own standard language, even though the differences between them are minor. In fact, Serbian and Croatian are so similar that they are mutually intelligible.

 Serbian can be written with both the Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet. While Cyrillic is the official script of the Serbian government, the Latin alphabet has become more popular for daily use and in the media.