Thursday, 20 September 2012

A quick, introductory Bosnian lesson!

Okay, so I was told by someone that my blog posts had started to become too politically-orientated, therefore, today's entry will steer away somewhat from the normal subjects I cover.

Some might, perhaps, think this is a bit overdue, especially since I have used these words on a number of occasions throughout my posts, but today will be short lesson for some of you on typical and common Bosnian words and phrases!

A few of you might think, 'What's the point?', but who knows when it will come in handy, and remember guys; girls are always impressed by someone who is multilingual!

Okay, so where do we start?

How about we act out a scenario where you are meeting someone, or you bump into someone you know - as, in all truth, this is the most common situation I find myself in when I am forced to use Bosnian.

So, lets start with greetings. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are a number of ways you can greet someone. Though, sometimes, as I have discovered myself, it is difficult to know which greeting to use to whom, and at what time.

Here is a list of the common greetings used here.

  • Ciao - Cao (This is fine to use, except for with elder people; with older generations, you are expected to speak more formally and respectfully.)
  • Hello - Zdravo (This is probably the safest option when it comes to greeting someone ... usually can be said to anyone, as well as at any time.)
  • Good day / G'day - Dobar dan
  • Good morning - Dobro jutro
  • Good evening - Dobro vece
  • Peace be upon you - Selam-alejkum (This is a popular worldwide greeting used by Muslims; so, obviously, be wary of who you say it to - it wouldn't quite make sense in saying it to a Catholic, for example.)
Now, once you've greeted the person, the next part of the conversation generally involves questions, so ...
  • What's up? - Sta ima? 
  • How are you? - Kako si? (When speaking to an elder person - someone who you need to show greater respect to - you say 'Kako ste?'; 'ste' is the plural form of 'you' - and, in Bosnia, that is how formal respect is expressed through verbal language.)
  • Where are you? - 'dje si? (To be honest, even after seven months here, and hearing it every day, I still can't really explain this one. Nonetheless, it's a popular thing for people to say, so, if you hear it, just go with the flow, that is all I will say.)
Now some basic words and phrases that you may or may not need, in case of an actual proper conversation breaking out (in that case, good luck, because you will probably need it!).
  • Yes - Da
  • No - Ne
  • Good - Dobro
  • Bad - Lose (Pronounced 'lo-she'.)
  • Please - Molim
  • Thank you - Hvala
  • Sorry - Izvini
  • Come on! - Hajde!
  • Lets go! - Hajmo!
  • I love you - Volim te
  • Bon Appetite - Prijatno 
  • My name is .. - Moje ime je ..
  • Collingwood is the best football team in Australia - Collingwood je najbolji fudbalski tim u Australiji
Well, lets be honest, if you read up to the last Bosnian phrase I provided, then you know all there is to know in this special language.

Now that the conversation has reached its conclusion, just remember to be polite, and provide a good ol' fashioned 'Vidimo se' ('See you later') before you leave.

Thanks guys, hopefully you learned something today; whether it was a few new Bosnian terms, or the fact that I will never be a qualified language teacher, I am sure it was useful to your brain.

Until next time!

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