8 June 2020
Slovene is a language that is spoken by around 2.3 million people. If you are travelling to Slovenia soon, you might want to learn some Slovene words to make your travel experience more authentic.
Today when we are remembering a man who played a great role in the development of the written Slovene, Pimož Trubar, is a perfect opportunity for introducing some useful Slovene words!
Why is Primož Trubar one of the most significant figures in our history?
Today we are marking Primož Trubar Day in Slovenia. You have probably never heard of him and do not have any idea why he is a well respected man in our country.
So, who was Primož Trubar? He was a priest who strongly believed that Slovenes should listen to God’s voice (Bible) in their native language. In the 16th century, the era in which Trubar was active, the books of the Bible were written in Latin.
That is why he decided to write two books in Slovene, Catechismus and Abecedarium, and has thus become the author of the first printed books in our language. Slovene language was at that time and later a crucial element in constructing the Slovene identity.
Primož Trubar who was one of the Protestant Reformers was supposedly born on this day 512 years ago. He came from the village of Rašica that was located in the Duchy of Carniola to which also Bled belonged.
Primož Trubar visited Bled Castle
In the castle’s complex, you will find a printing press that features a recreated wooden Gutenberg press. It is not a coincidence that it was placed there. – In 1561, the author of the first two printed books in Slovene, Primož Trubar visited Bled Castle. That is not surprising as at that time the castle was managed by the governor who supported the Protestant Reformation.
In the castle’s printing press you can have your name printed or even a marriage certificate.
Some interesting facts about Slovene language
If you ask a Slovene what is the most unique thing about his native language he will probably say a dual form when referring to two units. So, together with singular and plural, we also use a dual form. This kind of form also appears in, for example, Arabic.
Another quite surprising fact is that there are more than 30 different dialects of Slovene. One of them is the Upper Carniolan dialect that is spoken in the region in which Bled is located. For this dialect, it is common to shorten words. Also, many words of the Upper Carniolan language have their origin in German due to the closeness of the region to the border with Austria.
The shortest Slovene words are really short and have more than one meaning. Those are: a (meaning but/so/do you?/oh!), h or k (meaning to/towards), o (meaning about/of/on), s or z (meaning with/from) and v (meaning in/at/inside/to).
The longest Slovene word is – not very romantic, though – dialéktičnomaterialístičen. It is a an adjective that refers to Dialectical materialism.
And the most beautiful phrase in Slovene? Ljubim te [pronounced lyoobeem teh]. Which means I love you.
Introducing useful Slovene words and phrases
In the table below, you will find useful Slovene words and phrases that you might want to learn to be able to communicate with locals. These words will help you navigate in our country, especially in places where English translations are not available. Have fun learning Slovene! 🙂
*BONUS: If you are up for a linguistic challenge, try to pronounce some challenging words for non-native speakers or have some fun with tongue twisters!
ENGLISH – SLOVENE – UPPER CARNIOLAN DIALECT
Hello! – Dober dan! – Dan!
Good morning! – Dobro jutro! – Jutro!
Good evening! – Dober večer! – Čer!
Goodbye! – Nasvidenje! or Adijo! – Dijo!
See you! – Se vidimo! – Se vid’mo!
How are you? – Kako ste? – A gre?
Have a nice day! – Lep dan! – Fajn bod’te!
Where are you from? – Iz kje prihajate? – S ke pa ste?
You are beautiful! – Kako ste lepi! – Ste pa fest!
Thank you. – Hvala. – Bohlonej.
You are welcome. – Že v redu. – Ni za kej.
Excuse me. – Oprostite.
ENGLISH – SLOVENE
Road – cesta
Street – ulica
Path – pot
Viewpoint – razgledna točka / razgled
Village – vas
Town – mesto
Excuse me, where is… ? – Oprostite, kje je … ?
Map – zemljevid
Tourist information centre – Turstično informacijski center (TIC)
Castle – grad
Museum – muzej
Church – cerkev
Ticket – vstopnica
Hill – hrib
Mountain – gora
Lake – jezero
Island – otok
River – reka
Cave – jama
Gorge – soteska
Waterfall – slap
Park – park
Restaurant – restavracija
Grocery shop – trgovina
Bakery – pekarna
Gas station – bencinska črpalka
Bank – banka
Cash dispenser – bankomat
Toilet – WC, stranišče
ENGLISH – SLOVENE
Bus – avtobus
Train – vlak
Taxi – taksi
Bicycle – kolo
Boat – čoln
Pletna boat – pletna
Horse-drawn carriage – fijakar
Station – postaja
Bus stop – avtobusna postaja / postajališče
Train station – železniška postaja
Ticket – karta
Change – drobiž
Direction – smer
ENGLISH – SLOVENE
Pharmacy – lekarna
I need medicine… – Potrebujem zdravila…
I am sick. – Bolan sem.
I am in pain. – Boli me.
I do not feel well. – Slabo se počutim.
I am allergic. – Imam alergijo.
Community health centre – zdravstveni dom
Dentist – zobar
Police station – policija (emergency number: 113)
Fire brigade – gasilci (emergency number: 112)
Ambulance – reševalci (emergency number: 112)
Auto service – avtomehanik
Help! – Na pomoč!
I need help! – Potrebujem pomoč!
I need to make a phone call. – Ali lahko pokličem z vašega telefona?
Fire! – Požar!
Robbery! – Rop!
Car accident – prometna nesreča
Do you dare? Pronounce these challeging words and tongue twisters
Notice: there are no vowels in this word
Meaning: little bird
PEŠEC GRE ČEZ ČESTIŠČE.
Meaning: Pedestrian is crossing the road.
PIKČASTA PTIČKA V PIKČASTI KLETKI.
Meaning: Little bird with dots in a dotted cage.
TA SUHI ŠKAFEC PUŠČA.
Meaning: This dry bucket leaks.
IZ JEŽCE ČEZ CESTIŠČE V STOŽCE PO ROŽCE.