Language & helpful Bosnian Words

The official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, which are all mutually intelligible and have similar grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation – almost identical to the surrounding countries that have Slavic languages. These languages use the Latin script and many people also use the Cyrillic script, particularly in the Republika Srpska region.

English is widely spoken in tourist areas and by younger generations, particularly in cities like Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka. However, in more rural or remote areas, it’s less common to find people who speak English.

As a tourist, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic phrases in the local language, such as greetings, please, thank you, and how to ask for directions or order food. This can help you communicate more effectively with locals and show that you are making an effort to connect with the culture. Here are a few basic phrases in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian to get you started:

Good Morning – Dobro jutro [doh-broh yoo-troh]

Good Evening – Dobra večer [doh-brah veh-chehr]

Goodbye – Doviđenja [doh-vee-jeh-nyah]

Hello (informal) – Zdravo [zdrah-voh]

Yes – Da [dah]

No – Ne [neh]

Please – Molim [moh-leem]

I would like… – Želio bih/željela bih… [zheh-lee-oh bee/ zheh-lyeh-lah bee]

One – Jedan [yeh-dahn]

Two – Dva [dvah]

The check please – Račun, molim [rah-choon, moh-leem]

Do you speak German? – Govorite li njemački? [goh-voh-ree-teh lee nyeh-mahch-kee?]

Do you speak English? – Govorite li engleski? [goh-voh-ree-teh lee ehn-gleh-skee?]

Thank you – Hvala [h-vah-lah]

You’re welcome – Nema na čemu [neh-mah nah cheh-moo]

Where’s the bathroom? – Gdje je WC? [gd-yeh yeh vay-tseh?]

I’m allergic to (dairy, gluten) – Alergičan sam na (mliječne proizvode, gluten) [ah-lehr-gich-ahn sahm nah (mlye-chne proh-eez-voh-deh, gloo-ten)]

How much is this? – Koliko ovo košta? [koh-lee-koh oh-voh koh-shtah?]

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