The Serbian language is part of the Slavic language family, stemming from the Indo-European set of languages. Since the 16th century, many people had been migrating to the area now known as Serbia, as well as migrating out of the area. Primarily, the people of Serbia moved to the North, and to the coast. The central area for the Serbian language development was originally in eastern Herzegovina, but due to the amount of movement of the people in the last few hundred years, the Serbian language developed alongside many other languages in this area.

The Serbian language uses both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets at the same time, respectively named Azbuka and Abeceda. This grammatical event is termed digraphia, and Serbian is the only European language to currently use this method of alphabet melding. The Serbian language is actually an example of synchronic digraphia, which means that the alphabets are literally used at the same time, and interchangeably.

Along with Bosnian and Croatian, Serbian is one of the registers of the Serbo-Croatian language. There are around 9.5 million speakers of specifically the Serbian language worldwide. It is an official language of Serbia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, as well as being a recognized minority language in the countries of Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia as well as the independent Mouth Athos region of Greece. It is spoken not only in Serbia, but also in many surrounding countries as well, though primarily in the geographical regions of Central and Southeastern Europe. The Serbian language itself is regulated by the Board for Standardization of the Serbian Language.

Within the Serbian language, there are two main dialects, which are Shtoktavian and Torlakian. Shtoktavian is the prestige language of Serbia, and it is this language that the literary and standard language is based on. Shtoktavian is also the root language for Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. The Serbian language is found in a standardized form around the area of Sumadija-Vojvodina and Eastern Herzegovina, though it is not considered to be as prestigious of a language as Shtoktavian.