Monthly Archives: June 2015

What sound does a Slovenian frog make?

Interjections, medmeti in Slovenian, express our mood and emotional conditions, they imitate natural sounds and are also used as an imperative (when we want to command something to somebody). They appear in every language. Interjections for the same thing in Slovenian and English (or any other language) are slightly different – not only how we write them, but also how we pronounce them. We can have a lot of fun comparing them in various languages, and “realise” that, for example, animals sound differently in different languages.

In Slovenian, in a sentence, we write a comma after an interjection. At the end of a sentence we usually write an exclamation mark. Interjections can also stand alone.

Examples:

  • Pst, zbudil boš otroke! (Shush, you will wake the children up!)
  • Juhuhu! (Yippie-yay-yo!)

We use interjections a lot in everyday conversation. Greetings also belong in a group of interjections, for example: živjo, čao, zdravo, hej, adijo, dober dan, nasvidenje.

Imitative Interjections

SLOVENIAN ENGLISH MEANING
mijav miaow the sound of cats
hov woof the sound of dogs
mu moo the sound of cows
čiv cheep, tweet the sound of birds
rega, kvak croak the sound of frogs
kikiriki cock-a-doodle-doo the sound of cocks
ga quack the sound of geese, ducks
bum boom the sound of explosion, drums, heart
cin ring the sound of a small bell, ting
tok knock the sound of knocking
čof, pljusk splash when splashing into the water
ačih atishoo when sneezing
ha haha when smiling

Mood Interjections

SLOVENIAN ENGLISH MEANING
fuj yuck disgust
joj oh astonishment, impairment
ah oh tiredness
eh ah apathy, annoyance
o oh amazement, admiration
aja oh getting ideas
hm hmm doubt, hesitation
juhuhu yippie-yay-yo joy, happiness
čin čin cheers when toasting
njam, mmm yummy saying when you taste something delicious
ej hey enthusiasm, also a greeting
av ouch when it hurts, pain
jupi, hura yay joy
vau wow admiration, astonishment
uf phew relief, annoyance
opa, ups oops when apologizing for your mistakes

Imperative Interjections

SLOVENIAN ENGLISH MEANING
pst shush when you want somebody to be quiet
hop jump encouraging to jump
šc shoo driving away somebody