Location and Geography
Bosnia is located on the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe: with a tiny coastline along the Adriatic Sea it borders Croatia to the north, Slovenia to the north-west, and Serbia and Montenegro to the south and south-west. The southern portion of the country is Herzegovina – it’s shaped like a triangle (surrounded by Yugoslavia and Croatia) whose tip touches the Adriatic Sea. The mountainous Bosnian region in the north is covered with thick forests and is characterised by plateaus and planes. The Dinaric Alps in this area extend southward into Montenegro and Serbia. It’s these regions that are conducive to skiing and other winter sports – this also includes the area around Sarajevo. Prior to the Civil War this area was a very popular tourist destination.
The word Bosnia comes from the Bosna River, which runs through the region. Herzegovina is derived from the word herceg, which derived from the name of the Duke who ruled the southern portion of the region until the Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. Culturally these two regions are indistinguishable and for most of their history have been united under the one government. Certainly, there are cultural variations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they’re minimal – quite different to the cultural identity which has become extremely divisive. The main groups are Bosniaks (Muslims), Serbs, and Croats. Prior to the recent civil war much of the country had mixed populations, but today the population in most regions has become much more uniform and consistent. The country has been internally divided since 1995 into –
- A Bosniak/Croat Federation, controlling 51% of the land; and
- A Serb Republic controlling the remaining 49%.
The three languages of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian are almost identical, with the main distinction being a matter of identity politics. Bosnian and Croatian languages use the Latin script, while Serbians write their language in the Cyrillic alphabet. Albanian and Turkish languages are also spoken by a small minority.
One Hour Translations’ highly experienced translators have a vast amount of experience with the Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian languages. Our translators are native speakers and thus able to easily recognise different dialects and subtle differences which occur between different regions. One Hour Translation understands that your time is valuable and that, in today’s technologically savvy world, old and inefficient processes should not cause any delays your business.
A Brief Overview of Bosnia Herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina is still recovering from the devastation of a three-year war, which in the 1990s accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia. The conflict between the years of 1992 and 1995 centred around whether Bosnia should stay a member of the Yugoslav federation, or whether it should become independent. Today it’s an Independent State, but it’s under international administration. Sadly, the war left Bosnia’s economy and infrastructure in tatters, with around half the population (2 million people) being displaced. Due to the legacy of political and deep ethnic divisions, and including the country’s rather complex administrative framework, Bosnia is today considered one of the most corruption-prone states in Europe.
Sarajevo – a Vibrant Capital
The capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina is Sarajevo. Almost three-quarters of the city was either damaged or completely destroyed by bombs and shells during the war; however, since that time Sarajevo has almost returned to being the vibrant city it used to be. It’s wonderful historic centre blends East and West beautifully: a visitor to Sarajevo can feel like they’re in Istanbul one moment and in Vienna the next. There are definitely signs of this city’s shattered past, with cemeteries on surrounding hillsides and shrapnel-scarred walls for everyone to see; however, Sarajevo today is a beautiful city that fully embraces life.