The Balkans — Language

SPRACHBUND! What’s a sprachbund? A sprachbund is “a group of languages that have developed some striking structural similarities over time.” Languages that are part of the Balkan sprachbund (Albanian, Hellenic [Greek], Arli Romani, Romanian, Aromanian, and Slavic languages like Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian and Bosnian) occupy different branches of the Indo-European language family tree from one another but they have become closer over time–closer to each other than to other languages on the same branches–due to their geographic proximity and the mixing of the people who speak them. There are several sprachbunds around the world, including one found on the northwest coast of the Americas, but why shouldn’t the Balkan sprachbund be our favorite?Â

In class we say hello and goodbye two languages of the Balkan sprachbund — Serbian and Bosnian:

Hello in Serbian: Zdravo
Goodbye in Bosnian: Dovidjenja

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