Are you struggling to move forward with your Bosnian language lessons? Don’t worry! You have landed in the right place. While learning Bosnian can be quite a task without proper guidance and research, this blog is here to save your day with some must-know polite Bosnian phrases like Please- Molim te, Excuse me- Oprostite, etc. This lesson will keep your language practice intact and improve your necessary vocabulary. If you are interested, continue reading!
Learning a new language is not an easy task. Even with Bosnian words and basic phrases, it is not easy to mug up and gain fluency. Therefore, today’s blog will take you through all the essential words and phrases that you must know and keep in regular practice. Especially if you are travelling to Bosnia soon, these polite words will surely help you bring warmer responses from the locals and make friends easily.
Although Bosnian people are well acquainted with English, speaking in Bosnian will allow you to show some respect for their language and culture, which the Bosnians will surely appreciate. So, along with vocabulary, you are also set to improve your fluency in this chapter!
Daily Bosnian Etiquette
Since we are talking about politeness and courtesy in this blog, let us have a quick peek at some regular etiquette of the Bosnian culture that you should keep in mind. Doing so will help you avoid unnecessary situations.
The first thing we need to keep in mind is the body language when it comes to elders. Bosnian people have great respect for their elders, and any kind of disrespect is not acceptable. They even use formal pronouns while conversing with elder people and act with more politeness and formality.
Since a majority of the population in Bosnia is Muslim dominated, you will see native speakers using the traditional greeting phrase As-salamu alaikum, which says, “Peace be upon you.” You can respond to such greetings with Wa-Alaikum-Salaam, which means “And unto you peace.”
Another essential thing to be careful about is their religious and holy items. Whether it is a book, scripture, or a painting, never keep them on the floor or in the bathroom. You are also to be careful that you don’t touch them with your feet. It can be very offensive if you do so, and the locals will take strict action.
Always greet people or smile back at them. Bosnians are very friendly and welcoming. So, whenever someone smiles at your or greets you, never turn your back on them. Always give them a sweet smile and return a traditional greeting if necessary. However, never shout in public. Shouting in public is considered rude.
Polite Bosnian Phrases
Now let us get into the translations of some polite Bosnian words and useful phrases that will allow you to speak Bosnian fluently. Knowing these will also help you roam around the country peacefully without offending or triggering unwanted sentiments. So, let’s get started.
1. Hello, How Are You?
Translation: Zdravo, kako si?/ Kako ste?
The first thing that you should know is the greeting phrase. As mentioned earlier, Bosnian people are very friendly and will always expect a greeting from you. If you want to sound polite and act kind, always use this phrase and show concern towards the other person. You can also use the traditional Islamic greeting if you meet someone who follows such tradition by taking your right hand forward with the palm inward and saying As-salamu alaikum. The point is to always greet and smile at the locals to build good relations.
If you get asked the same question, the most thoughtful reply would be, dobro sam, hvala– “I’m fine, thank you.”
2. Thank You
Translation: Hvala ti
Another common phrase that you should keep at the tip of your mouth is this. Although locals are not used to saying thank you at all times, as a newcomer, you should be aware of it. Especially when someone does you a favour, gifts you something, or helps you in any way, never forget to be thankful. Generally, locals find it impolite and disrespectful when someone fails to appreciate their work or kind behaviour. So, always be aware of the situation, mainly when it concerns interaction with elderly people.
Translation: Molim te
Out of many words, this will help you in many circumstances. From asking for a favour to enquiring about things, saying please will get things done for you. It is also very important because the locals will not accept orders from you. Until and unless you pronounce the word please, your request is most likely to sound like an order. Especially when it comes to older adults, never forget to place this word now and then. You will also need it while calling for transport, ordering food, and borrowing things. Although locals might not use it very often, you should save it up your sleeves.
4. Excuse Me
Politeness comes with certain words and speech. This is another very essential word in the local language that will keep the locals on your side. You can use this word at necessary times, such as calling for a taxi, calling someone for attention, asking questions from a stranger, and more. Especially because you are new to the country, these words will help you scroll the country in the most polite way possible without offending a single soul.
5. I’m Sorry
Translation: Žao mi je
Being in a strange city, you are bound to make mistakes. Unintentionally you might call something out or touch something you are not meant to. However, the best way to escape such situations is to be sorry and not fight. So, keep this vocabulary saved in your mind and use it whenever you think it is necessary. Although Bosnian locals are quite understanding, it is polite to apologise for things that might offend someone or hurt someone’s sentiments without thinking twice. Doing so will also make the locals more inclined towards you and make your journey better.
6. May I Help You?
Translation: Mogu li vam pomoći?
Whenever you find someone struggling with something, this is a phrase you must know. It is a kind and polite manner to always help or reach out to someone who needs help. However, if you directly help without consent, the other person might get offended, wondering if you pity them. So, to avoid such circumstances, ask them first and then lend your helping hands. If the person is willing to take help, do not hesitate, and help them in whichever way possible.
The locals will surely fall in love with you once you show such acts of kindness. They love foreigners who are polite and above that who puts effort to speak the Slavic languages. So, with these phrases in Bosnian, you are in good guidance.
7. Pardon Me
Translation: Oprosti mi
Although you are rehearsing the Bosnian language, there are chances that you might miss what someone is saying. In such cases, politely use the phrase given above and ask the person to repeat themselves. The Bosnians will understand and repeat themselves. In fact, many people speak English and other languages. So, if you ask them politely, they would even repeat themselves in English. The main concern is to ask politely and not act pridefully and rudely.
8. Nice To Meet You
Translation: Drago mi je što smo se upoznali
No matter where you are or with whom, always make sure you make them realize how pleasant their existence is. And the best way to do this is by using this phrase. Once you are about to depart or when you meet someone for the first time, use this phrase and make them smile. This is also a primary introductory phrase that you must keep in mind if you want to make friends immediately.
More Bosnian Phrases To Practice
Here is a list of more common and useful phrases that will help you communicate with the locals.
So, there you go! Now you know some of the essential polite phrases that will keep you going throughout your journey without any stress. Moreover, practicing these phrases will bring fluency in speech and improve your vocabulary. However, if you are looking forward to learning more about Bosnian words and phrases, download the Ling app from App Store or Play Store now!
Ling is one of the best language learning apps that has been created especially for language enthusiasts like you. From beginner to expert-level exercises, you will find interesting ways of learning your target language in this app. It covers over 60+ languages, which gives you the option of learning not just Bosnian, but other languages of your choice. The best part is that it hires expert writers who provide blogs on topics like love words, greetings, travel phrases, etc., and native speakers who ensure you learn by reading, writing, and also by listening to the correct pronunciations and accents.
To make learning more fun, the app also features an AI Chatbot that offers conversational and interactive exercises, which enhance your communication skills. So, even before you start conversing with a Bosnain local, the app will prepare you from the core. Moreover, the app has many mini-games, quizzes, and dialogues that make retention easy after every lesson and help you communicate without having to look back at the translations often. So, what are you waiting for? If you think Ling has everything you need, download it now and start learning Bosnian today!