My aren't we looking quite Bosnianesque?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/08/04 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

So I was thinking about Bosnian yesterday.

It may have had something to do with the fact that I had the announcement about the Cyrillic and Latin Bosnian LIPs forwarded to me yesterday. Making it a TWOFER Tuesday, with twice the LIPs that any single Bosnian LIP release might have had. And pretty much the most Bosnian that you can get without a prescription! :-)

For Windows 7, you can get the Latin Bosnian LIP here, or the Cyrillic Bosnian LIP here, in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds (as per the new policy described in Reporting on 64 bits of awesomesauce!).

Now when you want to install either Bosnian, you must have English, Croatian, or Serbian (Latin) resources installed. I'll talk more about this in a moment....

First a little info about Bosnian:


4 million






Bosnian originates in one of the standard versions of the South Slavic language formerly known as Serbo-Croatian.  It is spoken mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly by Bosniaks. Bosniaks are an ethnic group that descended from Slavic converts to Islam during the Ottoman occupation of the Balkans from the 15th to the 19th century. Due to political reasons the name for the language is a controversial issue for the neighboring nations; In Serbia and in Croatia "Bosnian" is officially called "Bosniak". However, internationally linguists use "Bosnian", and the name is used by the ISO-609 standard.


Until the breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnian was considered just a variant of Serbo-Croatian. It is now, however, beginning to take its very own, distinctive shape: The phoneme "h" has returned in many words, more Islamic-Oriental loan words have been introduced, and there have also been changes in grammar, morphology and orthography that reflect the literary tradition of Bosnian in the early 20th century (during the so-called "Bosnian revival").


Bosnian belongs to the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family.  With the Slavic branch, the same subdialect of Shtokavian is also the basis of standard Croatian, Serbian, and Montenegrin, so all are mutually intelligible.


The modern Bosnian language uses the Latin alphabet. However, scripts other than Latin were used much earlier, most notably the indigenous Bosnian Cyrillic called bosančica (literally "Bosnian script") which dates back to the 10th/11th century.

You can find out more about the Bosnian language, Bosnian classification, or Bosnian script, if you'd like.

Now somewhere between all of the following Windows locales/cultures, an interesting story lies:

Locale Name Locale ID,
Locale ID,
(Office, SQL)
bs-Cyrl-BA 0x201a 8218 Bosnian Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyrillic
bs-Latn-BA 0x141a 5146 Bosnian Bosnia and Herzegovina Latin
hr-BA 0x101a 4122 Croatian Bosnia and Herzegovina Latin
hr-HR 0x041a 1050 Croatian Croatia Latin
sr-Cyrl-BA 0x1c1a 7194 Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyrillic
sr-Latn-BA 0x181a 6170 Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina Latin
(not assigned) (not assigned) (not assigned) Serbian Croatia Latin
sr-Cyrl-CS 0x0c1a 3098 Serbian Serbia and Montenegro (former) Cyrl
sr-Latn-CS 0x081a 2074 Serbian Serbia and Montenegro (former) Latn

Note that there is still no unique ISO code for Montenegrin (Montenegro), so that the situation Kieran described back in What's in a name? Part two back in 2006 is still not clarified.

The issues I mentioned in Ask 'em if their language is Montenegrin; their answer may surprise you are not all that further along either.

And also you will notice that if I want to install either of the Bosnian LIPs. only some of these language choices are available; others are either LIPs themselves (and you cannot install a LIP atop another LIP), or they are not ever in the UI language list.

You will also note that Serbian (Latin) is a Language Pack while Serbian (Cyrillic) is a Language Interface Pack. This is an issue I will be talking about further another day....


John Cowan on 4 Aug 2010 8:02 AM:

I'm impressed that the ISO standard for determining the amount of carbon and hydrogen in coal by the high-temperature combustion method bothers to mention Bosnian at all, though as Bosnia is a coal-mining region, perhaps it's plausible.  But I can't check, because (a) it costs CHF 74 = USD 71, and (b) I'm not actually interested in determining the etc.

Mihai on 5 Aug 2010 10:26 AM:

It is really nice to see these coming out, one after another.

But the story still sucks for many users.

And for me, now it hits home.

Got a laptop for my parents, Windows 7 Home Premium, and I would like to install a Romanian UI for them. I don't care much if it is a LIP or complete MUI.

But guess what: not possible! Even if I am willing to pay some extra. The only option is update to Pro ($90) or Ultimate ($140).

Really? $90 to get the UI in your own language? When you need nothing else from the Pro package? And many other languages are available for free as LIPs?

Michael S. Kaplan on 5 Aug 2010 10:40 AM:

You might want to leave that comment in TODAY'S blog rather than this one -- it seems much more on topic there! :-)

Doug Ewell on 5 Aug 2010 12:56 PM:

Bosanski = Босански, not Босанки, right?

Dragan Panjkov on 9 Aug 2010 11:16 PM:

Situation about languages in Bosnia&Herzegovina can be very confusing, especially for foreigners, and those that don't know the facts about our recent history  and ethnic structure. But, there is one thing I need to point out here regarding the fact about number of 4m of native Bosnian speakers that you wrote in the blog post above, which is not correct: There are 4 mln citizens in Bosnia&Herzegovina, and language structure is as follows:

For more details on this, see

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referenced by

2011/03/26 An over-complexity worthy of an ISO standard

2010/08/05 When terminology affects satisfaction

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