Bosnian (BCS): Yes / No

Hi,

In Turkey, Turks of Bosnian origin use "yes" and "no" for "yes" and "no" ! But some websites say that "yes:da" and "no:ne" in Croatian. So, it must/should be "da" and "ne" in Bosnian too.

But we know that it may be de jure da/ne in Bosnian too like in Croatian but de facto every Bosnian in Turkey says "yes/no" for "yes/no" !!

Is this something regional? Which dialect is that?
 
  • Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    In Turkey, Turks of Bosnian origin use "yes" and "no" for "yes" and "no" !

    Um... does it mean that they speak English, or is this a typo of some sort? :)

    But some websites say that "yes:da" and "no:ne" in Croatian. So, it must/should be "da" and "ne" in Bosnian too.

    But we know that it may be de jure da/ne in Bosnian too like in Croatian but de facto every Bosnian in Turkey says "yes/no" for "yes/no" !!

    Is this something regional? Which dialect is that?
    In all variants of the former Serbo-Croatian standard, i.e. in the standard languages of Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, the word for "yes" is da, and the word for "no" is ne. These words are definitely understood and used by everyone there. Various regional dialects might also have some alternative words, like for example ja for "yes" (probably from German) or jok for "no" (coming from Turkish yok), but they are used only in informal situations, and are often viewed as marks of uneducated or rustic speech.

    If you really have in mind the use of the actual English words "yes" and "no", they are definitely nonexistent in Bosnia. I suppose that among the youth, you might sometimes hear the exclamation "Yes!" when someone is especially satisfied or proud about something, but never with its ordinary meaning.
     
    No. They speak Bosnian. I mean, this is barely an Anglicism or something similar because even the older people who have got nothing to do with any kind of Anglicism say "yes" for "yes".

    Some of these people came from "Novi Pazar" / "Sancak,Sandzak" in the early 1900's

    PS: I might be wrong but even the Turks of Bulgarian origin say "yes" for "yes"
     

    Tagarela

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    Hi,

    I do not speak Bosnian, but I agree that is really strange.
    Perhaps it is Turks of Anglo-Bosnian origins. But do they use other English words?

    Good bye.:
     
    Hi,

    I do not speak Bosnian, but I agree that is really strange.
    Perhaps it is Turks of Anglo-Bosnian origins. But do they use other English words?

    Good bye.:

    Anglo-Bosnian?? funny but no....

    They say that "ne" is "not" rather than "no".."no" is "no"

    They accept that "da" and "ne" exist but they just do not use them. And use "yes" and "no" instead. That's all I know.

    What I do find surprising that no one from the region has never heard of "yes / jes" used by Bosnians.:eek:
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Maybe the Bosnian immigrant community in Turkey has a fondness for using words from multiple languages.
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Hope this isn't off topic, but being English and holidaying in Montenegro, I rarely found anyone who really understood English, although some did, but I didn't hear anyone speaking any English words to me. I quickly learned to say "da" and "ne".
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Anglo-Bosnian?? funny but no....

    They say that "ne" is "not" rather than "no".."no" is "no"

    They accept that "da" and "ne" exist but they just do not use them. And use "yes" and "no" instead. That's all I know.

    What I do find surprising that no one from the region has never heard of "yes / jes" used by Bosnians.:eek:

    I think I have a plausible theory regarding "yes". :)

    What you probably heard is the word jest or jeste, which is sometimes shortened to just jes' in everyday speech in some Bosnian dialects. This word is in fact the third person singular of the verb biti "to be", and since the subject can be dropped, the word itself can be used with the meaning "[he/she/it] is", or even with the more specific meaning "it is so [as you said]". This word is often used to positively answer questions, and its pronunciation can indeed resemble the English "yes", so I would bet that this is what you in fact heard.

    However, regarding "no", I really can't think of any similar Bosnian word that would have a close meaning. You're saying:
    They say that "ne" is "not" rather than "no".."no" is "no"
    Ne is both "no" and "not" in the standard languages of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, i.e. it's used both as the negative answer and the negation particle for verbs. For example:
    Jesi li umoran? - Ne, nisam.
    Are you tired? - No, I'm not.

    Ja ne volim sladoled.
    I do not like ice-cream.
    I'm trying hard to think of some colloquial or dialectal word that could be used instead of ne in answers to questions and which sounds close to the English "no", but I really can't think of anything. Duya? :)
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    (...) like for example ja for "yes" (probably from German) (...)

    I'd say no, not from German, but rather the phonological process of /d/ > /j/ which occurs sometimes in morphology and also in certain dialects. In Slovenian by the way 'ja' for 'da' is standard language (previously, about 20 years ago, both 'ja' and 'da' were used, but nowadays I think it's pretty much only 'ja' in Slovenian).

    Avok: The use of 'yes - no' = /jes/ & /no/ instead of 'da' and 'ne' from the Bosnian community in Turkey really is something strange, and I cannot imagine where this comes from except that (in Bulgarian it also would be 'da & ne - да & не').
    Personally I've never heard it (but I only know a few Bosnian immigrants here in Austria, I never was in Bosnia or Sandžak).

    'No' probably could be explained as Italian influence (as you say that even people who emigrated to Turkey around 1900 speak like that), or even French (which was an important, if not first foreign language in the Balkans at that time), but 'yes' couldn't be explained that way.


    EDIT: I see Athaulf has provided a theory for /jes/, and I think this is a very plausible one indeed.
    Probably then my theory for /no/ (Italian influence, or French loan) could explain the second part of the mystery.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I'd say no, not from German, but rather the phonological process of /d/ > /j/ which occurs sometimes in morphology and also in certain dialects. In Slovenian by the way 'ja' for 'da' is standard language (previously, about 20 years ago, both 'ja' and 'da' were used, but nowadays I think it's pretty much only 'ja' in Slovenian).

    Interesting. Do you know of any other examples of this /d/ > /j/ sound change?

    'No' probably could be explained as Italian influence (as you say that even people who emigrated to Turkey around 1900 speak like that), or even French (which was an important, if not first foreign language in the Balkans at that time), but 'yes' couldn't be explained that way.
    But I don't know of any dialects in Bosnia where this Italian borrowing would be present -- or even in southern parts of Croatia that were for centuries under Venetian and later Italian rule, which resulted in an otherwise enormous number of Italian borrowings even in basic vocabulary. I would bet that it's actually some totally unrelated word that often occurs in negative answers to questions and which might sound similar to "no" to a Turkish ear.


    Question for avok: how is this "no" pronounced? With a short or long o?
     
    I am sorry Athaulf but my friends of Bosnian origin are all Turkish native speakers, they just understand the language but cannot speak it so they pronounce "no" as if it were a Turkish word. A simple "no" like in Italian perhaps.

    Your "jes'" explanation seems OK to me. "Jes", I think that's it. Is this dialect used in Sandzak ? I have always thought the Bosnian Jes and English Yes are cognates or something.

    Now we have to find about "no" :) But as I told you it is impossible to find monolingual Bosnian speakers here (some Turks just even know that their grandparents or a granparent came from Yugoslavia, but that's all they know, nothing more) It is not like they speak among themsleves in Bosnian and I hear them. I just ask "How is this said in Bosnian"?
    Hmm I 'll try to learn more.. .
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I am sorry Athaulf but my friends of Bosnian origin are all Turkish native speakers, they just understand the language but cannot speak it so they pronounce "no" as if it were a Turkish word. A simple "no" like in Italian perhaps.

    Your "jes'" explanation seems OK to me. "Jes", I think that's it. Is this dialect used in Sandzak ? I have always thought the Bosnian Jes and English Yes are cognates or something.

    No, the Bosnian jes' is a colloquial shortened version of jest[e], which comes straight from the Indo-European copula. Its English cognate is "is", and both retain the same meaning. Things are a bit complicated because in B/C/S B/C/M/S :p, the present tense of the verb "to be" has two forms, long and short, but the long form is used when answering questions with subjectless senteces:

    Je li on tamo? - Is he there?
    Jes[te]! - [He] is!

    According to etymonline.com, English "yes" doesn't have cognates outside of Germanic languages.

    As for the dialect of Sandžak, unfortunately I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty sure that even there they can pronounce jest with a barely audible, or even totally elided t, so that it sounds similar to the "yes".

    Now we have to find about "no" :) But as I told you it is impossible to find monolingual Bosnian speakers here (some Turks just even know that their grandparents or a granparent came from Yugoslavia, but that's all they know, nothing more) It is not like they speak among themsleves in Bosnian and I hear them. I just ask "How is this said in Bosnian"?
    Hmm I 'll try to learn more.. .
    It could be that the original ne somehow got distorted in this relic of the original Bosnian speech of their grandparents that they remember. The word no, pronounced with a short o, does exist in Bosnian, but its meaning is completely different: it's a conjunction meaning "but", "however".
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Athaulf, if you know of no dialects where 'no' is used in Croatian or Bosnian then of course it is highly unlikely that Bosnian Muslims a hundred years ago did use it.
    One other thing we have to keep in mind here is that most Bosnian immigrants to Turkey surely went there at the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century, and hardly any after World War I. So their speech supposedly is 'frozen' from that time.
    This however still can't explain the use of 'no', even if there's a plausible explanation for the 'jes'.

    Interesting. Do you know of any other examples of this /d/ > /j/ sound change?
    With verbs sometimes when forming iterative verbs via (well: infixes or ablaut, I am not sure what is correct historically): dogoditi > dogajati (-i- substituted with -a- and d>j as kind of relic of the palatal vowel). Or the regular alternate forms of bodo vs. bojo (and other verbs) in Slovenian, both third person plural future tense.
    And then I can remember, from my times at university, some dialects where -d- sometimes could be replaced with -j-, but unfortunately I'm unable to provide any sources for that one right now, I'd have to dig into my old notes from that time.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    And then I can remember, from my times at university, some dialects where -d- sometimes could be replaced with -j-, but unfortunately I'm unable to provide any sources for that one right now, I'd have to dig into my old notes from that time.
    This reminds me of Dutch goedemorgen, which is mostly pronounced goeiemorgen and is even sometimes spelled like that.
     

    Tolovaj_Mataj

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    I apologize - this is not a topic about Slovene, but this discussion must be stopped:

    I'd say no, not from German, but rather the phonological process of /d/ > /j/ which occurs sometimes in morphology and also in certain dialects. In Slovenian by the way 'ja' for 'da' is standard language (previously, about 20 years ago, both 'ja' and 'da' were used, but nowadays I think it's pretty much only 'ja' in Slovenian).

    Yes, Sokol, "ja" is a borrowing from German. I've never heard of any d --> j change in this context and I'll stop here.
    Ja is still marked with colloq. in the SSKJ: http://bos.zrc-sazu.si/cgi/a03.exe?name=sskj_testa&expression=ge=ja&hs=1

    Da is still stylistically prefered, but hardly ever heard on the street: http://bos.zrc-sazu.si/cgi/a03.exe?name=sskj_testa&expression=ge=da&hs=1
    Also in all official apllication forms da is used.
     
    Hello everybody!

    Reading your posts, I just thought of something. In Serbia (and I assume in Bosnia and Croatia as well), "No-no" is said to a little child while pointing a threatening finger. It's used playingly, meaning: "Don't you dare do that!"
    It is pronounced with a short o, similar to Italian "no".

    Also, during my studies, I've read many times in old Serbian books the word "jes" meaning "yes", which is an abbreviation of "jeste" (is). It was a colloquial expression from the end of the 19th and the begining of the 20th century.
    My grandmother used it as well.

    Cheerio!
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    I'm trying hard to think of some colloquial or dialectal word that could be used instead of ne in answers to questions and which sounds close to the English "no", but I really can't think of anything. Duya? :)

    Neither do I.

    Dialect of Sandžak Muslims can be described as a combination of Montenegrin (Zeta dialect) stress, transition of Ijekavian and Ekavian pronunciation, and mixture of Montenegrin and Bosnian vocabulary (A brief overview here, http://www.glas-sandzaka.si/GS/GlasSandzaka_23.pdf). I'm far from an expert for it, but I'd say that "Montenegrin" jes' is quite plausible, but for negation I'd rather imagine jok (or ne). Nothing resembling "no", I'm afraid.
     
    My friend says they "never" say "da" , always "jes". The Bosnian language in Turkey is archaic, more rural, I reckon.

    For no: "ni je" and "no"

    My friend had a friend (a relative) in Zenica and when she came to Turkey she said "jes" and "no" too. But one thing surprised me, when I said that people in the forum say they have never heard of "no" to my friend of Bosnian origin, she said "but no is a universal word, of course we use/understand it" I guess she was kind of making reference to English/spanish/Italian no...Can this be an Anglicism in the end? I am not sure. I can't ask her any more because she finds it strange why I keep asking the same question over and over again (I don't want her to think that I suspect she is lying or something!)

    For yes, they also say things like "tako je", "jeste tako" etc but it means "it's ok" etc.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    My friend says they "never" say "da" , always "jes". The Bosnian language in Turkey is archaic, more rural, I reckon.

    This is really unusual. I'm from Bosnia myself, and I've talked to people from all over that country, and I've never heard of a dialect in which da and ne wouldn't be the usual words for "yes" and "no". You said that your friend is only a heritage speaker who doesn't really speak much of the language. Is it possible that he simply doesn't know these words?

    For no: "ni je" and "no"
    Nije is spelled together. It's a negation of jest, i.e. the negative third person singular present tense of the verb biti "to be".

    My friend had a friend (a relative) in Zenica and when she came to Turkey she said "jes" and "no" too. But one thing surprised me, when I said that people in the forum say they have never heard of "no" to my friend of Bosnian origin, she said "but no is a universal word, of course we use/understand it" I guess she was kind of making reference to English/spanish/Italian no...Can this be an Anglicism in the end? I am not sure. I can't ask her any more because she finds it strange why I keep asking the same question over and over again (I don't want her to think that I suspect she is lying or something!)
    Well, I've known several people from Zenica, and my mother was actually born in that city (though she lived there only shortly), and I've never heard of anything like "no" being used there for negative answers. Can you please ask this lady from Zenica how exactly she pronounces this "no", and perhaps also to provide a realistic example of its use so we can see the exact context in which the word is used? You can tell her you're asking on my behalf. :)

    If this is an Anglicism, then it has to be some very recent development, no older than a couple of years, or otherwise I'd surely be aware of it. Also, I've just spent a few minutes googling for instances of "no" on Bosnian websites, and I'm finding it used only in English texts and with the meaning "but", "however", which I've already mentioned.
     
    This is really unusual. I'm from Bosnia myself, and I've talked to people from all over that country, and I've never heard of a dialect in which da and ne wouldn't be the usual words for "yes" and "no". You said that your friend is only a heritage speaker who doesn't really speak much of the language. Is it possible that she simply doesn't know these words?

    Hmm, she asks her "parents" who were born in Sandzak. The parents do know "da" and "ne" but, at least for "da", they never use it, always "jes" and she is not the only friend of mine who said that. I had a friend of Bosnian origin in another city, she had also said "jes" is used for "yes". "Da" nope. So in Turkey, the word "jes" must have lost its original meaning (being the short form of jest) but gained another meaning "yes". It's like saying "sure" instead of yes in English.

    Imagine a country where all English speakers use just "sure/ok " to mean "yes", (compare "ay" in Northern England / Ireland: If those people had immigrated to Turkey, they might have kept this "ay" till now :))


    This time, I am really not sure but I guess in Turkey, Turks of Bulgarian origin also say "jes" :eek: (I am really not sure)


    Nije is spelled together. It's a negation of jest, i.e. the negative third person singular present tense of the verb biti "to be".

    Well, I've known several people from Zenica, and my mother was actually born in that city (though she lived there only shortly), and I've never heard of anything like "no" being used there for negative answers. Can you please ask this lady from Zenica how exactly she pronounces this "no", and perhaps also to provide a realistic example of its use so we can see the exact context in which the word is used? You can tell her you're asking on my behalf. :)

    Hahaha ok.. but I guess, this "no" may be an Anglicisim or something because she said her mother says "jok" when she (her mother) means "no" but someother people say "no" in the neighbourhood (a bosnian neighbourhood). As for the guest from Zenica, I have no idea (but she is a young girl) ...I'll try to ask my friend but she began to think I don't trust her !!

    Maybe the frequent use of "jes" (yes) triggered the use of "no". You know, when you say "hot" you think of "cold" and when you say "jes" (which sounds like yes) you may think of "no" which is a "universal" word for "no" as my friend said :) This is the only theory I can come up with.

    If this is an Anglicism, then it has to be some very recent development, no older than a couple of years, or otherwise I'd surely be aware of it. Also, I've just spent a few minutes googling for instances of "no" on Bosnian websites, and I'm finding it used only in English texts and with the meaning "but", "however", which I've already mentioned.
     

    Aldhameer

    New Member
    Bosnian,Croatian,Serbian
    I'm also from Bosnia,and I can say that I've never heard in my life 'no' as a word for negation ie. 'no' as 'no'.Only as a conjunction 'but'.In Bosnian there are no diphthongs.People who learned English as a second language may use indeed 'no' for 'no' but I hear that very rarely.But really,'no' in Bosnian as a word for negation doesn't exist.Probably 99% of the population would tell you the same.
    For affirmation jes'(short from jeste), ja(no change from d-->j,it's not logical),da(official) and aha.
    For negation: ne,nije and jok(very rarely)
     
    Yes Aldhameer,

    To sum it up, Bosnians in Turkey say:

    Yes: Jes (never "da")

    No: Jok, Nije (never/barely "ne")

    ..and "no" is, as I understood, is kind of Anglicism because my friend said "No is a universal word, that's why we use it." (she does not like linguistics or anything so, she probably meant that it is a kind of Anglicisim but her mother always says "jok".)

    I have still no idea why the girl from Zenica said Jes and No respectively maybe she just said "yes/no" in English.

    I need to find some other Bosnian speakers in Turkey rather than in Bosnia to get this "no" thing a bit more clear.
     

    Bruno 1234

    Member
    Español
    If it could be helpful to someone, at least in the Northern part of Montenegro (žabljak, plužine, pljevlja...) I committed this very mistake. I thought everyone was saying "yes" instead of "da" and, obviously it was a "jest" (along with a "tako, tako"). Anyway, to say no people used "ne".

    Pozdrav.
     
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