Bosnian is one of the official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Montenegro and parts of Kosovo. Like Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin, Bosnian was part of the unitary Serbo-Croatian language of the former Yugoslavia and developed into its own language standard following the dissolution of the republic. Bosnian, sometimes referred to as Bosniak, belongs to the South Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages.
From a linguistic standpoint, Bosnian is largely identical to Croatian and Serbian, although Bosnian and Croatian use the Ijekavian dialect while Serbian uses the Ekavian dialect. An important difference between the languages is the large number of Turkish, Persian and Arabic loan words Bosnian uses (known as orientalisms). In some cases, Bosnian vocabulary can be fundamentally different from Serbian and Croatian, while either the Serbian or the Croatian form may be preferred for other words. There is no rule about which version should be used when, and only native speakers have the necessary linguistic intuition to determine the correct term on a case-by-case basis.