Իկըրա (onyx_sodomy) wrote in little_details,
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onyx_sodomy
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Bosnia: Bosnian Sign Language, Jobs for Deaf People, Measurements and Ethnicity/Accents

Hi all,

I have four more questions about Bosnia (because I pwn the Bosnia and Herzegovina tag, apparently). The novel is set in Sarajevo, October 2007. Major catastrophe, small group of random survivors. You know the type.

I'm about to introduce a deaf character. He's profound deaf and has never been able to hear, so I need some details on Bosnian Sign Language. Any information anyone has would be awesome, but I'm specifically interested how he'd communicate with my other characters. In Bosnian Sign Language, are words like 'yes' and 'no' fairly obvious to interprite? What about questions and names? My plan is that (at least eventually) the other characters would pick up simple words, so could understand simple messages easily. What's the best way for him to communicate more complex messages?

Additionally, if anyone can describe any of the signs, that would be a bonus.

Searched: Bosnian Sign Language, Deaf, Bosnia, variations thereupon.

I'm also unsure of what job my character might have had before said catastrophe. I haven't found many sources about the deaf community in Bosnia, but in what I have read it doesn't sound like they're supported much, so I don't know what sort of jobs it's realisticly possible for him to get.

For info, he's 29 (at the time the novel's set), firmly built and physically strong, quite attractive, reasonably intelligent, has a wife and kids, is a Bosniak and a practising Muslim. I have no idea which of those details might be relevant!

I did see this article about Deafness in Serbia which says deaf people are mostly self-employed and, to quote: "they work in so-called Protected Workshops, where more than 50% of the employees are people with disabilities - many deaf people work there (in the metal industry mostly) but only as the workforce, and the management is not deaf"

Is this true of Bosnia also? And what other jobs would be possible for him to do well in?

Searched: Bosnia, jobs, deaf, employment, variations thereupon.

A short question

Does Bosnia use Metric or Imperial measurements? My characters were trying to estimate a distance last chapter and I had no idea if they'd use miles or kilometers!

Searched: Bosnia, imperial, metric, miles, kilometers, variations thereupon.

As my characters are a fairly random cross-section of Bosnian society, I've got Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs forming the main component of my survivors, with a few other etnicities thrown in (Jew, Slovene, Romani, Albanian etc).

I remember hearing on a documentary about genicide (how cheerful!) some time ago that when they were sorting through the corpses of the Bosnian war, they could use the DNA of the remains to work out which family each corpse came from, but the data wouldn't tell them if the corpse was Bosniak, Croat or Serb because they were so genetically similar. Does this mean that it's impossible for a Bosnian to tell if someone else is Bosniak, Croat or Serb unless they ask them? Are there any stereotypes associated with different ethnicities that might lead someone to assume another person's ethnicity?

Additionally, how much do Bosnian regional accents vary? Would you be able to tell appart the major cities, or does it go as further than that? Presumably a Bosnian would be able to tell if someone was from Croatia or Serbia by the accent as well as the slight variations in the language? In Britain, there are various connotations (usually negative) associated with regional accents. Is this the case in Bosnia also? Is there an accent that sounds stupid, one that sounds posh etc?

Searched: Bosnia, bosnian, regional, accents, dialect, variations thereupon.

Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to shed any light on these points! And thanks to everyone who's answered previous questions. I've got past 38,000 words on this novel so far, which is a record for me! Thanks for helping me out when I've got stuck!
Tags: bosnia and herzegovina (misc), ~deaf/hard of hearing, ~languages: sign languages
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