Bosnian language

Bosnian language

Infobox Language
name = Bosnian
nativename = bosanski
pronunciation = [ˈbɔsanskiː]
familycolor = Indo-European
states = See below under "Official status", besides that in Serbia, Croatia and other immigrant communities in Turkey, Western Europe and North America.
speakers = 3 000 000 Fact|date=October 2008
fam4=South Slavic
fam5=Western South Slavic
nation=flag|Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Bosnian language (Bosnian: "bosanski jezik"), sometimes referred as Bosniak language [] [] [] [] or Bosniac language [] [] [] is a South Slavic language native to the Bosniak people. The language is notably spoken in the areas of Bosnia, the Bosniak-dominated region of Sandžak (in Serbia and Montenegro) and elsewhere. It is one of the standard versions of the Central-South Slavic diasystem which covers the region that was once known as Serbo-Croat from the 19th century until the early 1990s. It should be noted, however, that the standard Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian languages are all mutually intelligible.

The Bosnian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is accepted (chiefly to accommodate for its usage in Bosnia in the past, especially in former Yugoslavia), but seldom used in today's practice. The name "Bosnian language" is the commonly accepted name among Bosniak linguists, and the name used by the ISO-639 standard.


The name for the language is a controversial issue for neighboring Croats and Serbs. Croats and Serbs call their languages Croatian and Serbian. The constitution of the Republika Srpska, where the language is also official, refers to it as the "Language spoken by Bosniaks" ("Jezik kojim govore Bošnjaci"). The use of the language will remain an issue as the three peoples of Bosnia and Hercegovina will continue to call the spoken language that which identifies their ethnic background. Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) choose the language Bosnian, Serbs continue call their language Serbian, and Croats call the language Croatian. The constitutions of RS and FBIH recognize all three languages, it is the people that refuse to settle on a name for what is overall the same language.

"Bosniak language" ("bošnjački jezik") is the prescribed name of the language in Serbian [cite book
author=Board for Standardisation of Serbian Language
authorlink=Board for Standardisation of Serbian Language
month=February 16
title=Три питања и три одговора
id=Decision No. 1
] , but the Serbian Ministry of Education recognizes it as "Bosnian". Some Croatian linguists (Radoslav Katičić, Dalibor Brozović and Tomislav Ladan) consider the appropriate name to be "Bosniak" rather than "Bosnian". In their opinion, the appellation "Bosnian" refers to the whole country, therefore implying that "Bosnian" is the national standard language of all Bosnians, not only Bosniaks. Some other Croatian linguists (Zvonko Kovač, Ivo Pranjković) recognize it as Bosnian. Bosniak linguists and intellectuals (for instance Muhamed Filipović) consider interpretation of some Croatian and Serbian linguists as nationalistic actions against Bosniaks and their identity, as the situation in Serbia and Croatia was very anti-Bosniak in the light of Bosnian War.

Montenegro officially recognizes the Bosnian language, as its 2007 Constitution specifically states that while Montenegrin is the "official language," also "in official use are Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian languages." See Art. 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, adopted on 19 October 2007, available at the website of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Montenegro,

It is important to observe that the Dayton Peace Accord officially recognizes and specifies the Bosnian language as a distinct language spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This distinction and official recognition of the Bosnian language is further acknowledged by signatures of the former presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Alija Izetbegović), Croatia (Franjo Tuđman) and Serbia (Slobodan Milošević). As such the Bosnian language is officially recognized by constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

No Croatian and Serbian linguistic authorities had been contacted when this issue was settledFact|date=February 2007. According to Croatian participant Radoslav Dodig, the renaming of "Bosniak" into "Bosnian" was not a process, but a semi-hidden manoeuvre. [ [ Sanoptikum] ]

Although the Bosnian language is spoken mostly by Bosniaks, there are also Bosnian Croats and Serbs in Sarajevo, Zenica and Tuzla regions who claim to speak Bosnian. For instance, Željko Komšić, a Croat member of Bosnian Presidency calls his mother tongue, the Bosnian language.

Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian are examples of ausbauspraches, since they are largely mutually intelligible and many people say that they are all one language formerly known as Serbo-Croatian.

Differences from similar languages


External links

* [ English-Bosnian, German-Bosnian and Latin-Bosnian On-line Dictionary] bs icon/en icon/de icon
* [ Ethnologue report for Bosnian] en icon
* [ Bosnian language] bs icon/en icon
* [ Learn Bosnian language: Basic phrases] en icon
* [ The Oslo Corpus of Bosnian Texts] en icon
* [ Grammar of Bosnian language issued 1890] bs icon
* [ English-Bosnian-English On-line Dictionary]
* [ Bosnian bilingual dictionaries]
* [ A short English-Bosnian-Japanese phrasebook (Renewal)] incl. sound file

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