Definitions

distinguish between

Differences between standard Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian

The standard Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian languages differ in various aspects as outlined below. The various nuances do not present major obstacles to communication.

After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the languages of Croats and Serbs went their own way, after being politically forcefully kept "together" since 1918 according to Croatian sources and views.

In socialist Yugoslavia, the official policy was oriented toward "equalizing" and "merging" the Croat and Serb language, which caused discontent among Croat common people, writers and poets. In other words, however, the language was regarded as one common language with different variants and dialects. The unity of the language was emphasized, making the differences not an indicator of linguistic divisions, but rather factors enriching the common language. In addition, Yugoslavia had two other official languages on federal level, Slovenian and Macedonian - reflecting Yugoslavia's acceptance of diversity with regards to language use. No attempts were made to assimilate those languages into the common Serbo-Croatian / Croato-Serbian language.

In socialist Yugoslavia, the official language definition was:

  • in SR Croatia as the "croatian Literary language, standardised form of language of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, which is called croatian or serbian"

With the breakup of the Federation, in search of additional indicators of independent and separate national identities, language became a political instrument in virtually all the new republics. With a boom of neologisms in Croatia, an additional emphasis on turcisms in the Muslim parts of Bosnia and a privileged position of the Cyrilic script in Serb inhabited parts of the new states, every state and entity showed a 'nationalization' of the language.

In that context, the Bosnian language went into its independent development after the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was proclaimed in 1992. Independent development of Montenegrin language became a topic among some Montenegrin academics in 1990s.

It should be noted that Serbian and Bosnian language standards tend to be "inclusive", i.e. to accept a wider range of idioms and to use loan-words, while the Croatian standard is more purist and prefers neologisms instead of loan-words, as well as re-use of neglected older words. These approaches are, again, due to different cultural, historical and political development of the three languages and the societies they belong to.

Outline

There are differing opinions between linguists as to whether the differences between the four languages (if the Montenegrin language is included) are substantial to justify their treatment as separate languages.

Croatian linguist Miro Kačić has given the following general overview of differences between the Croatian and Serbian languages. This blueprint can be, by extension, slightly modified to include Bosnian.

"In this book I have tried to present some of the fundamental delusions and distortions which have brought about the misconception, which is still present in world linguistics today, that Croatian and Serbian are one language. I have shown that Croatian and Serbian differ to a greater or lesser degree on all levels. These differences exist on the following ones:

  1. The level of literary language. There are two traditions of writing which are temporally and spatially separated due to the different historical, cultural and literary development of the two nations.
  2. The level of standard language. The two traditions of linguistic codification are completely disparate. The period of Croato-Serbian normative convergence, from the time of Croatian "Vukovians" to the imposed unification of these two languages in the former Yugoslavia, is only an interval in the development of the Croatian linguistic norm. As a turning point, this period was atypical with respect to three centuries of this development.
  3. The level of genetic relatedness. Croatian is based on three macrodialects, while Serbian is dominated by a single macrodialect . The interference between three Croatian dialects which provided the basis for Croatian writing and literature has uninterruptedly existed for centuries as a formative force in the codification of standard Croatian.
  4. The typological level. Differences exist on all levels of the linguistic system: phonetic/phonological, accentual, morphologic, word-formational, syntactic, semantic-pragmatic and lexical. Linguistic systems which differ on all these levels cannot be one language."

On the other hand, Ivo Pranjković, the author of Grammar of Croatian Language states that "On the level of standardology, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and even Montenegrin are different varieties, but of a same language. Thus, on purely linguistic level, or genetic level, on typological level, we're talking about one language and that must be clearly said. If anyone disagrees with that, let him present the arguments." Pranjković himself has stated in numerous cases (for instance in the language and culture paper Vijenac, whose regular contributor he is) that "Ćorić (an opponent in a debate) does not, of course, agree with the contention I've stated at the beginning of my text, that Croatian and Serbian standard language, as far as they exist, function as separate standard languages". "

Writing

Script

Though all could theoretically use either, the scripts differ:

  • Bosnian uses both Latin and the Cyrillic alphabet (the latter, however, only in Republika Srpska).
  • Croatian uses strictly the Latin alphabet.
  • Serbian uses both Cyrillic and Latin. (Cyrillic is in official use in Serbia and Republika Srpska. Latin script is also accepted as defined by laws, and used by a part of native speakers as the main script, although no official statistical records about it exist).

Historically, Croats had used glagoljica, the Glagolitic alphabet, the first script used for writing a Slavic language.

There was another, less standardized script. It had more versions and names: arvacko pismo or arvatica, meaning the script used by Croats; this name was used in Povaljska listina); bosanica or bosančica, meaning the script of the region of Bosnia); and begovica (used by beys); poljičica, meaning from the Poljica region of southern Croatia. In some regions of Croatia, this script was used until the late 1860s, while the Roman Catholic seminary in Omiš taught new priests in writing in that script ("arvacki šeminarij") .

Muslim populations in the areas of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro; who converted to Islam after the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 15th century, also once used a modified Arabic script known as Arebica (pronounced aˈrabitsa). It remained in use from the 15th century until the early 20th century, primarily used by the literate, upper-class. The last known text published in Arebica was produced in 1941, after which the unification of Yugoslavia dictated that Cyrillic and Latin were the two official alphabets of all the Yugoslav Republics. It has all but fallen out of use as the number of people literate in Arebica today are minuscule.

Phonemes

All official languages have the same set of regular phonemes, so the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Latin and Serbian Cyrillic alphabets map 1:1. However, these letters/phonemes are not unknown to other South Slavic peoples.

In some regions of Croatia and Bosnia, the sounds "č" and "ć" and also "dž" and "đ" are either indistinct or pronounced as č and đ respectively. Then, in some regions of Croatia, sounds "č" and "ć" are spoken in "softer" version - "č" is pronounced between literary "č" and "ć", while "ć" is spoken much softer; somewhere it turns into "tj". Similar is with "dž" and "đ". In some regions in Croatia, "dž" is spoken as "đ" or "ž", while "đ" sounds the same way as in literary standard, or as a "dj". Again, that is not reflected in the official language.

Orthography

The official language in Croatia alphabetically transliterates foreign names (and sometimes words) even in children's books [but not from Russian, and all other languages using Cyrillic alphabet] while the official language in Serbia performs a phonetic transcription of them whenever possible, regardless of the alphabet. Officially, the Bosnian language follows the Croatian example, but many books and newspapers phonetically transcribe foreign names.

Also, when the subject of the future tense is omitted, producing a reversal of the infinitive and auxiliary "ću", only the final "i" of the infinitive is elided in Croatian, while in Serbian the two are merged into a single word. Bosnian accepts both variants:

  • "Uradit ću to." (Croatian)
  • "Uradiću to." (Serbian)

Regardless of spelling, the pronunciation is roughly the same.

Speaking

Accentuation

In general, the Shtokavian dialects that represent the found of standard languages have four types of accent (a short falling, ı̏, short rising ì, long falling î, and a long rising, í). In addition, the unstressed vowels can be either be short or long (ī); the latter occurring only after the stressed syllable. In declension and verb conjugation, verb shifts, both by type and position, are very frequent.

The distinction between four accents and preserval of postaccent lengths is common in vernaculars of western Montenegro, Bosnia in Herzegovina (Including Bosniaks and Serbs, and to an extent Croats), in parts of Serbia, as well as in parts of Croatia with strong Serb immigration. In addition, a distinct characteristics of some vernaculars is stress shift to enclitics (e.g. phrase u Bosni (in Bosnia) will be pronounced /ȕbosni/ instead of /ubȍsni/ as in northern parts of Serbia.

The northern vernaculars in Serbia also preserve the four-accent system, but the unstressed lengths have been shortened or disappeared in some positions. However, the shortening of postaccent lengths is in progress in all Shtokawian vernaculars, even in those most conservative in Montenegro. Stress shift to enclitics is, however, in northern Serbia rare and mostly limited to negative verb constructs (ne znam = I don't know -> /nȅznām/).

The situation in Croatia, is however, different. A large proportion of speakers of Croatian, especially those coming from Zagreb, do not distinguish between rising and falling accents. This is considered to be a feature of the Zagreb dialect rather than standard Croatian.

In Croatian official linguistics, most of the literature in circulation promotes the four-accent system. Serbian standard language is based on four-accent-system that is common in most of Serbian vernaculars. Both dialects that are considered to be base of standard Serbian language (East-Herzegowinian and Šumadija-Wojwodina dialects) have four accents. Bosnian language is officially founded on East-Bosnian dialects, which are of Old-Shtokavian type, but in practice the norm is Neo-Shtokavian accentuation just like in Croatian and Serbian. The situation in that language is not clear.

Phonetics

Feature Croatian Serbian English
Opposition -u/e burza berza stock-exchange
porculan porcelan porcelain
Opposition -u/i tanjur tanjir plate
Opposition -l/-o after o sol so salt
vol vo ox
kolčić kočić stick
Serbian often drops letter H in the initial and medial position: čahura čaura cartridge
hrvač rvač wrestler
hrđa rđa rust

Morphology

There are three variants of the Štokavian dialect that stem from the different uses of the reflexive proto-Slavic vowel Jat. The jat appears in modern dialects in the following way: the Church Slavonic word for child, děte, is:

  • dete in Ekavian
  • dite in Ikavian
  • dijete in Ijekavian

The Serbian language recognizes ekavian and ijekavian as equal variants, while Croatian and Bosnian use only ijekavian. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (regardless of the official language) and in Montenegro, ijekavian is used almost exclusively.

Ikavian is limited to dialectal use in Dalmatia, Lika, Istria, Western Herzegovina, Turkish Croatia/Bosanska Krajina, Slavonia and northern Bačka (Vojvodina). So, for example:

English ekavian ijekavian ikavian
wind vetar vjetar vitar
milk mleko mlijeko mliko
to want hteti htjeti htiti
arrow strela strijela strila
But:
small arrow strelica strelica
(sometimes:
strjelica)
strilica

A few Croatian linguists have tried to explain the following differences in morphological structure for some words, with the introduction of a new vowel, "jat diphthong". This is not the opinion of most linguists.

Sometimes this leads to confusion: Serbian poticati (to stem from) is in Croatian "to encourage". Croatian "to stem from" is potjecati, while Serbian for "encourage" is podsticati.

English Croatian Serbian
add by pouring dolijevati dolivati
diarrhea proljev proliv
gulf, bay zaljev zaliv
to influence utjecati uticati

The Bosnian official language allows both variants, and ambiguities are resolved with preference to the Croatian variant; this is a general practice for Serbian-Croatian ambiguities.

Another example for phonetical differences is words which have h in Croatian and Bosnian, but v in Serbian:

English Serbian Bosnian and Croatian
tobacco duvan duhan
to cook kuvati kuhati
dry suvo suho
deaf gluvo gluho

Phonetically and phonologically, the phoneme "h" is reinstated in many words as a distinct feature of Bosnian speech and language tradition, some Bosniaks prefer not to use the Serbian terminology. However, there are many people who do not speak this way. It is a regional or colloquial way of speaking.

English Bosnian Croatian Serbian
easy lahko lako lako
soft mehko meko meko
coffee kahva kava kafa

As ijekavian is the common dialect of all official languages, it will be used for examples on this page. Other than this, examples of different morphology are:

English Bosnian Croatian Serbian (ijekavian)
point tačka točka tačka
correct tačno točno tačno
municipality općina općina opština
priest svećenik svećenik sveštenik
male student student student student
female student studentica studentica studentkinja
male professor profesor profesor profesor
female professor profesorica profesorica profesorka
scientist naučnik znanstvenik naučnik
translator prevodilac prevoditelj prevodilac
reader čitalac čitatelj čitalac
diver ronilac ronilac
(sometimes:
ronitelj)
ronilac
But:
assembly skupština skupština skupština
male president predsjednik predsjednik predsednik
female president predsjednica predsjednica predsednica
male Black crnac crnac crnac
female Black crnkinja crnkinja crnkinja
thinker mislilac mislilac mislilac
teacher nastavnik učitelj učitelj

Internationalisms

Also many internationalisms and transliterations are different:

English Bosnian Croatian Serbian
to organise organizirati
organizovati
organizirati organizovati
to construct konstruisati
konstruirati
konstruirati konstruisati
But:
to analyse analizirati analizirati analizirati

Historically, modern age internationalisms entered Bosnian and Croatian mostly through German and Italian, while Serbian received them through French and Russian, so different localization patterns were established based on those languages. Also, Greek borrowings came to Serbian directly, but through Latin into Croatian:

English Croatian Serbian Note
Bethlehem Betlehem Vitlejem Through Latin in Croatian, through Greek in Serbian
Athens Atena Atina
Europe Europa Evropa
Cyprus Cipar Kipar
chlorine klor hlor
impedance impedanca impedansa Through French in Serbian
But:
licence licenca licenca "dozvola" is more common in both languages

Most of chemical element names are different: for international names, Bosnian and Croatian use -ij where Serbian has -ijum (uranijuranijum). In some native names, Bosnian and Croatian have -ik where Serbian has -(o)nik (kisikkiseonik(oxygen), vodikvodonik(hydrogen)). Yet others are totally different (dušikazot (nitrogen), kositarkalaj (tin)). Some are the same: srebro (silver), zlato (gold), bakar (copper).

Still, it is important to note that there are words from Russian that are considered "to be in spirit of Croatian language", and are felt to be Croatian, not a foreign word. Other Russian loanwords are considered as "Serbisms".

Some other imported words are of masculine gender in Serbian and Bosnian, but feminine gender in Croatian:

English Bosnian and Serbian Croatian
minute minut minuta
second (time) sekund sekunda
But:
planet planeta planet

Pronouns

In Serbian and Bosnian, pronoun what has form što when used as relative, but šta when used as interrogative; the latter applies also to relative sentences with interrogative meaning. Croatian uses što in all contexts.

English Bosnian and Serbian Croatian
What did he say? Šta je rekao? Što je rekao?
Ask him what he said. Pitaj ga šta je rekao. Pitaj ga što je rekao.
What he said was a lie. To što je rekao je laž. To što je rekao je laž.

This is applicable only to nominative case in all other cases, all languages have the same declension čega, čemu etc. for što.

In Croatian, pronoun who has form tko, while Serbian and Bosnian use ko. The declension is same, kome, koga, etc. In addition, Croatian uses komu as an alternative form in dative case.

In Croatian, the preferred clitic form of accusative of personal pronoun ona (she) is ju (her). In Serbian and Bosnian, je is preferred.

Frequency of usage of locative pronouns gd(j)e, kuda i kamo differs somewhat between Serbian and Croatian:

English Serbian (ekavian) Croatian
Where will you be? Gde ćeš biti? Gdje ćeš biti?
Where will you go? Gde ćeš ići? Kamo ćeš ići?
Which way will you go? Kuda ćeš ići? Kuda ćeš ići?

Syntax

Infinitive vs. subjunctive

With modal verbs such as ht(j)eti (want) or moći (can), the infinitive is prescribed in Croatian, while the construction da (that/to) + present tense is preferred in Serbian. This is a remnant of subjunctive, and possibly an influence of Balkan linguistic union. Again, both alternatives are present and allowed in Bosnian.

The sentence "I want to do that" could be translated with any of

  • Hoću to da uradim
  • Hoću to uraditi

This difference partly extends to the future tense, which in Serbo-Croatian is formed in a similar manner to English, using (elided) present of verb "ht(j)eti" -> "hoću"/"hoćeš"/... -> "ću"/"ćeš"/... as auxiliary verb. Here, the infinitive is formally required in both variants:

  • Ja ću to uraditi. (I shall do that.)

However, when da+present is used instead, in it can additionally express the subject's will or intention to perform the action:

  • Ja ću to da uradim. (I will do that.)

This form is more frequently used in Serbia and Bosnia. The nuances in meaning between two constructs can be slight or even lost (especially in Serbian dialects), in similar manner as the shall/will distinction varies across English dialects. Overuse of da+present is regarded as Germanism in Serbian linguistic circles, and it can occasionally lead to awkward sentences.

However, Croatians seldom naturally use da+present form. Instead, a different form can be used to express will:

  • Ja hoću to uraditi. (I want to do that.)

Interrogative constructs

In interrogative and relative constructs, Croatian uses the interrogative participle li after the verb, while Serbian also allows forms with da li. (A similar situation exists in French, where a question can be formed either by inversion or using est-ce que, and can be stretched in English with modal verbs):

  • Možeš li? (Can you?) (Croatian and Serbian)
  • Da li možeš? (Do you can?) (Serbian)

In addition, non-grammatical je li ("Is it?"), usually elided to jel', is vernacular for forming all kinds of questions, e.g. Jel' možeš?. In standard language, it is used only in questions involving auxiliary verb je (="is"):

  • Je li moguće? (Is it possible?) (Croatian and Serbian)
  • Da li je moguće? (Serbian)

In summary, the English sentence "I want to know whether I'll start working" would typically read:

  • Želim da znam hoću li početi da radim. (spoken Serbian)
  • Želim znati hoću li početi raditi (spoken Croatian)

although many in-between combinations could be met in vernacular speech, depending on speaker's dialect, idiolect, or even mood.

Trebati (need)

In Croatian the verb trebati (need or should) is transitive, as in English. In Serbian and Bosnian, it is impersonal, (as French il faut, or English construct is necessary (to)); the grammatical subject is either omitted (it), or presents the object of needing; the person that needs something is an indirect grammatical object, in dative case:
Serbian and Bosnian English (literal trans.) Croatian English
Petru treba novac. Money [is necessary] to Peter. Petar treba novac. Peter needs money.
Ne trebam ti. I [am not necessary] to you Ne trebaš me. You don't need me.
Treba da radim. (It) [is necessary] that I work. Trebam raditi. I should work.

Vocabulary

Examples

The greatest differences between the languages is in vocabulary. However, most words are well understood, or even occasionally used, in other languages; in most cases, common usage favors one variant while the other(s) are regarded as "imported", archaic, dialectal or simply, more rarely used. The preference for certain words depends on the speaker's geographic origin rather than ethnicity; for example, Serbs from Bosnia use "mrkva" and "hlače" rather than "šargarepa" and "pantalone".

English In Serbia In Croatia In Bosnia
one thousand hiljada tisuća hiljada
January januar siječanj januar
factory fabrika tvornica fabrika
tvornica
rice pirinač/riža riža riža
carrot šargarepa mrkva mrkva
trousers pantalone/lače hlače hlače
oil (food) ulje
zejtin
ulje ulje
zejtin
bread hleb kruh hljeb
spinach spanać špinat špinat
football fudbal nogomet fudbal
nogomet1
train voz vlak voz
wave talas val val
talas
person lice
osoba
osoba lice
osoba
uncivil nevaspitan neodgojen neodgojen
one's own sopstveno
vlastito
osobno
vlastito
vlastito
sopstveno
road put
cesta
drum
džada
cesta
put
put
cesta
drum
džada
road toll putarina cestarina putarina
But:
dad tata tata babo
tomato paradajz rajčica paradajz
1 Bosniak linguists claim that word "nogomet" is "used in Bosnian" (same in Croatian); still, the form "fudbal" is in majority use among Bosniaks, compare FK Sarajevo, FK Velež.

English Serbian Croatian Bosnian
to accept prihvatati prihvaćati prihvatati
happy, lucky srećan
sretan
sretan sretan
srećan
to comprehend shvatati shvaćati shvatati
But:
to catch hvatati hvatati hvatati

Note that there are only a few differences that can cause confusion, for example the verb "ličiti" means "to look like" in Serbian and Bosnian, but in Croatian it is "sličiti"; "ličiti" means "to paint".

The word "bilo" means "white" in ikavian, "pulse" in official Croatian and "was" in all official languages, although it is not so confusing when pronounced because of different accentuation (bîlo or bílo = white, bı̏lo = pulse, bílo = was).

In Serbian, the word izvanredan (extraordinary) has only the positive meaning (excellent), vanredan being used for "unusual" or "out of order"; however, only izvanredan is used in Croatian in both contexts. Thus, Croatian phrase izvanredno stanje (martial law) sounds funny to Serbian ears (Croatians would more naturally use 'izvrsno' for excellent).

Also note that in most cases Bosnian officially allows all of the listed variants in the name of "language richness", and ambiguities are resolved by preferring the Croatian variant. Bosnian vocabulary writers based their decisions on usage of certain words in literary works by Bosnian authors.

Names of the months

In the Croatian language months have Slavic names, while Serbian and Bosnian use the same set of international Latin-derived names as English. But Slavic names may also be used in the Bosnian language as well (although, rarely understood); Latin-derived names are preferred.

English Croatian Serbian Bosnian
January siječanj januar januar
February veljača februar februar
March ožujak mart mart
April travanj april april
May svibanj maj maj
June lipanj jun juni
July srpanj jul juli
August kolovoz avgust august
September rujan septembar septembar
October listopad oktobar oktobar
November studeni novembar novembar
December prosinac decembar decembar
International names of months are well understood in Croatia and several names of internationally important events are commonly known using the international name of the month: "1. maj", "1. april", "oktobarska revolucija". In spoken Croatian and Bosnian in western Bosnia (Bosanska Krajina) it is common to refer to a month by its number. Therefore some speakers of Croatian and Bosnian often say "peti mjesec" ("the fifth month").

Notes on comprehension

It is important to notice a few issues:

  • Pronunciation and vocabulary differs among dialects spoken within Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia themselves. Each larger region has its own pronunciation and it is reasonably easy to guess where a speaker is from by their accent and/or vocabulary. Colloquial vocabulary can be particularly different from the official standards.
    This is one of the arguments for claiming it is all one and the same language: there are more differences within the territories of the official languages themselves than there are between the standards (all of which inherit from the standards established in Yugoslavian times, when Serbo-Croatian was the official language). This is not surprising, of course, for if the lines between the languages were drawn not politically but linguistically, then there would be no borders at all. As Pavle Ivić explains, the continuous migration of Slavic populations during the five hundred years of Turkish rule has scattered the local dialects all around.
  • When Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs talk amongst each other, the other speakers usually understand them completely, save for the odd word, and quite often, they will know what that means. Nevertheless, when communicating with each other, there is a habit to use terms that are familiar to everyone, with the intent to avoid not being understood and/or confusion.
    For example, to avoid confusion with the names of the months, they can be referred to as the "first month", "second month" and so on which makes it perfectly understandable for everyone. In Serbia, the names of the months are the international ones so again they are understandable for anyone who knows English or another Western European language.
  • Entire books and movies have been "translated" from one language to another. However, the translation of the Serbian movie Rane (Wounds) into Croatian for example turned it from a tragedy into a comedy, as the whole audience was laughing at the "translation". On the other hand: probably the most bizarre case is Swiss psychologist Jung's masterpiece "Psychology and Alchemy"; translated into Croatian in 1986, and retranslated, in late 1990s, into Serbian not from the original German, but from Croatian. A translation and "translation's translation"; differ on virtually every page— orthographically, lexically, syntactically and semantically. However, these translations were done during and after the Serbian military campaign in Croatia, and the translations were taken to extreme distances to diverge the languages as much as possible. Recently a Croatian firm placed job ads in Belgrade and Podgorica dailies, looking to employ freelance translators and interpreters from Serbian to a number of foreign languages and vice-versa. Among them, the company was looking for 10 translators for the Bosnian and Montenegrin languages.

Language sample

The following samples, taken from article 1 to 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are "synonymous texts, translated as literally as possible" in the sense of Ammon designed to demonstrate the differences between the standard varieties treated in this article in a continuous text.

Croatian Bosnian Serbian English
Opća deklaracija o pravima čovjeka Opća deklaracija o pravima čovjeka Opšta deklaracija o pravima čov(j)eka Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Članak 1. Sva ljudska bića rađaju se slobodna i jednaka u dostojanstvu i pravima. Ona su obdarena razumom i sviješću i trebaju jedno prema drugome postupati u duhu bratstva. Član 1. Sva ljudska bića rađaju se slobodna i jednaka u dostojanstvu i pravima. Ona su obdarena razumom i sviješću i treba da jedno prema drugome postupaju u duhu bratstva. Član 1. Sva ljudska bića rađaju se slobodna i jednaka u dostojanstvu i pravima. Ona su obdarena razumom i sv(ij)ešću i treba da jedno prema drugome postupaju u duhu bratstva. Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Članak 2. Svakome su dostupna sva prava i slobode navedene u ovoj Deklaraciji bez razlike bilo koje vrste, kao što su rasa, boja, spol, jezik, vjera, političko ili drugo mišljenje, narodnosno ili društveno podrijetlo, imovina, rođenje ili drugi pravni položaj.
Nadalje, ne smije se činiti bilo kakva razlika temeljem političkog, pravnog ili međunarodnog položaja zemlje ili područja kojima neka osoba pripada, bilo da je ovo područje nezavisno, pod skrbništvom, nesamoupravno, ili da se nalazi ma pod kojim drugim ograničenjima suverenosti.
Član 2. Svakome su dostupna sva prava i slobode navedene u ovoj Deklaraciji bez razlike bilo koje vrste, kao što su rasa, boja, spol, jezik, vjera, političko ili drugo mišljenje, narodnosno ili društveno porijeklo, imovina, rođenje ili drugi pravni položaj.
Nadalje, ne smije da se čini bilo kakva razlika na osnovu političkog, pravnog ili međunarodnog položaja zemlje ili područja kojima neka osoba pripada, bilo da je ovo područje nezavisno, pod starateljstvom, nesamoupravno, ili da se nalazi ma pod kojim drugim ograničenjima suverenosti.
Član 2. Svakome su dostupna sva prava i slobode navedene u ovoj Deklaraciji bez razlike bilo koje vrste, kao što su rasa, boja, pol, jezik, v(j)era, političko ili drugo mišljenje, narodnosno ili društveno por(ij)eklo, imovina, rođenje ili drugi pravni položaj.
Nadalje, ne sm(ij)e da se čini bilo kakva razlika na osnovu političkog, pravnog ili međunarodnog položaja zemlje ili područja kojima neko lice pripada, bilo da je ovo područje nezavisno, pod starateljstvom, nesamoupravno, ili da se nalazi ma pod kojim drugim ograničenjima suverenosti.
Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Članak 3. Svatko ima pravo na život, slobodu i osobnu sigurnost. Član 3. Svako ima pravo na život, slobodu i ličnu sigurnost. Član 3. Svako ima pravo na život, slobodu i ličnu bezb(j)ednost. Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Članak 4. Nitko ne smije biti držan u ropstvu ili ropskom odnosu; ropstvo i trgovina robljem zabranjuje se u svim njihovim oblicima. Član 4. Niko ne smije biti držan u ropstvu ili ropskom odnosu; ropstvo i trgovina robljem zabranjuje se u svim njihovim oblicima. Član 4. Niko ne sm(ij)e da bude držan u ropstvu ili ropskom odnosu; ropstvo i trgovina robljem zabranjuje se u svim njihovim formama. Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Članak 5. Nitko ne smije biti podvrgnut mučenju ili okrutnom, nečovječnom ili ponižavajućem postupku ili kažnjavanju. Član 5. Niko ne smije biti podvrgnut mučenju ili okrutnom, nečovječnom ili ponižavajućem postupku ili kažnjavanju. Član 5. Niko ne sm(ij)e da bude podvrgnut mučenju ili okrutnom, nečovečnom ili ponižavajućem postupku ili kažnjavanju. Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Članak 6. Svatko ima pravo svugdje se pred zakonom priznavati kao osoba. Član 6. Svako ima pravo da se svagdje pred zakonom priznaje kao osoba. Član 6. Svako ima pravo da se svuda pred zakonom priznaje kao lice. Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Sources: The Bosnian text is taken from the official translation of the UNHCHR (just as the English original). This Bosnian translation was translated into Croatian and Serbian in the course of a seminar at Bonn University The official Serbian and Croatian translations have been made independently and thus include mainly individual, rather than linguistic, differences.

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