Bosnian phrasebook

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After its secession from Yugoslavia, the Bosnian government declared the official language to be called Bosnian (bosanski / босански) rather than "Serbo-Croatian" (srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски). However, "Croatian," "Serbian," and "Bosnian" are considered by linguists and travellers alike to be the same language, with minor idiomatic differences.
Bosnian is a South Slavic language of the Indo-European family. It is closely related to Croatian and Serbian. Nouns have gender and cases, and the past tense is conjugated by gender and person while other tenses are conjugated only by person.
The language itself should not prove difficult to pronounce. Grammatical complexities will, however, present challenges to those unfamiliar with highly inflected languages, such as Latin or Russian. Inflection is the grammatical process of altering the noun to indicate its position and function in the sentence. The noun has a case. Whereas English nouns are defined in the sentence through the use of prepositions, as in the sentence "Mary throws the ball to John," inflected languages alter the form of the noun, so "John" in the example would appear as the indirect object in the sentence in the dative case (indicated by the change in the suffix and less frequently the prefix) and "ball" as the direct object in the accusative case.
The same sentence in Bosnian would have no preposition "to" as in "Mary baca loptu Johnu." Notice that "John" received a "u" as a suffix, which immediately governs the meaning of the word "Johnu" and dictates its function in the sentence. In another similarity with Latin and the other Balto-Slavic languages (except Bulgarian-Macedonian), Serbo-Croatian does not use articles often; there are a few ariticles, but they are rarely used even in literature and formal speech.

Certain idiomatic differences exist in Serbian and Croatian, mostly as a result of regional applications. Some phrases, such as allahimanet and merhaba, are relatively unique in Bosnian usage, as they are a remnant of Islamic (and therefore Turkish) influences. Consulting separate pages on the Croatian and the Serbian phrasebooks may prove beneficial to those interested in better understanding such regional differences.

Pronunciation guide

Phrase list