Monthly Archives: August 2016

Learning a Second/Foreign Language

Learning a foreign or second language takes effort and time. But once you learn, it offers various opportunities and benefits. Learning a foreign language is beneficial and exciting for all age groups. It offers intellectual, aspirational and practical benefits to its users.

Learning a second language can be a tough task. Speaking any other language fluently takes time and can be challenging, if we think about its vocabulary range that we need to master. If we see around, there is most 7000 languages that is being spoken in all over the world. It is quite easier for children to grasp on second language as compared to elders. But it is never too late to start now!

Being bilingual involves a lot of benefits in today’s life. Let’s put a glance on the benefits of speaking second language.

Learning a new language opens up a world of opportunities

Learning a foreign language opens a vast range of professional opportunities. It is not limited to freelancing but involves innovative ideas. Being bilingual improves your professional career and works as prominent skill in your profile.

Now, the world is changing more rapidly as compared to the past. You can observe abrupt changes around. Now companies are working in more than two countries or globally. So, preference has been increased for bilinguals and skilled people who can talk in more than one language. If you want to see an example around, then you can observe serving staff while traveling to foreign countries. You can also take their place by learning a second language. Even in local, small companies, this unique ability can make you prominent from the rest of applicants.

Business professionals, who have to go to various countries on regular basis can learn a second language. As it can help them to speak with the travelers and peoples more easily. You will find no difficulty to understand their culture and can maintain a small set up there. It will enhance your experience of dealing with different type of people. It will direct your business in a new way. Your business will become multinational and grow faster as compared to others.

Learning a new language makes you smarter

Having command on second language improves memory and enhance your attention. Your brain play active role in learning and your problem solving ability becomes enhance. Bilingual students take active participation in class and have high probability to get high scores as compared to monolingual students. When you move from one language to another, your multi-tasking skill improves and you tent to score more. It has been seen that bilinguals are more rational and logical, have enhanced decision making ability. They are more aware and adoptive to their environment. It is believed that learning a foreign language improves our native language also, as it helps you understand the basic structure and mechanics behind the language.

Learning a new language opens up traveling opportunities

Having command on any other language helps open opportunities regarding other countries. If you find time to learn common language like French, German and Spanish, you can go in these countries and find no issue to understand their language and culture.

Speaking different languages open up various vacation destination opportunities for you. Fluency is not compulsory. By doing a little effort, you can become tourist of that countries. You can enjoy amazing places of more than one country. In this way, you meet with new people, learn about them and enhance your associations and friendship circles.

Learning a new language acknowledge about other cultures

It is believed that languages and various cultures are linked with each other. If you learn a second language, then you can easily understand their culture, their way of living, lifestyle and traditions. So, it will become easier for you to compare it with your own culture. In this way, you can bring positive points in your own way of living from them and can reduce negativities.

 Everyone has unique reason of learning a second language. Most of us learn just for fun or having secret communication with their fellows. So, reason can be anything but the main thing is to get benefit of learning a second language as much as possible.

Reason can vary, but the main action remains same. Now stop making excuses and step forward towards learning a new language. Through this, you can make a great difference in your life such as your conversation, your lifestyle, way of business, professional life will direct in a new way. It will help you generate attention of people towards you. Once you convert your first conversation into a new language, you will never go back!

Slovenian Last Names: “Kako se pišeš?” (What is your last name?)

Slovenian last names have an interesting history of development through time. Last names (priimki) have arisen in the past from professions, trades, associations with nature (animals, trees, birds…), personal characteristics, first names and places where people settled. Slovenians usually have only one last name which they get from their parents (mostly fathers). For example, in Latin America and elsewhere where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken, they have more last names, and in the English speaking countries they also have a middle name. Nowadays’ trend is that particularly women and children have two last names in Slovenia; women keep their maiden name (dekliški priimek) after they get married and some children have last names from both parents.

The Slovenian last names are the same for both males and females, there is no change in endings. So we have, for example, Jana Novak (F) and Peter Novak (M). In Slovenian, we decline first names, but when it comes to last names we decline only male ones, the female last names remain the same in all 6 cases.

It is surprising that there are so many Slovenian last names related to animals, quite common ones are also those that originate from occupations and settlements. My last name, Zupan, is quite common here and is supposed to originate from the word “župan”, “mayor”, but some sources also claim that that last name meant that someone was a farmer. What a combination!

Below, you can see where some Slovenian last names supposedly originate from.

10 most common Slovenian last names from 2015 statistics:

  1. Novak
  2. Horvat
  3. Kovačič
  4. Krajnc
  5. Zupančič
  6. Potočnik
  7. Kovač
  8. Mlakar
  9. Kos
  10. Vidmar

Last names derived from professions and trades

Slovenian last name English translation Origin
Godec musician from the word “godec”
Kmet farmer from the word “kmet”
Kopač digger from the word “kopač”
Kovač smith from the word “kovač”
Kuhar cook from the word “kuhar”
Lončar potter from the word “lončar”
Mlinar miller from the word “mlinar”
Pevec singer from the word “pevec”
Ribič fisherman from the word “ribič”
Šuštar shoemaker from the word “šuštar” which is an old expression for a shoemaker
Žagar sawyer from the word “žagar”

Last names derived from nicknames

Animal last names were supposed to indicate the person’s physical or mental features.

Slovenian last name English translation Origin
Bolha flea from the word “bolha”
Golob pigeon from the word “golob”
Jelen deer from the word “jelen”
Jež hedgehog from the word “jež”
Kos blackbird from the word “kos”
Maček male cat from the word “maček”
Medved bear from the word “medved”
Sraka magpie from the word “sraka”
Volk/Vovk wolf from the word “volk”
Zajc/Zajec rabbit from the word “zajec” which means a rabbit
Zver beast from the word “zver”

Last names derived from status

Slovenian last name English translation Origin
Knez prince from the word “knez”
Kralj king from the word “kralj”
Papež pope from the word “papež”
Škof bishop from the word “škof”
Zupan mayor from the word “župan” which means a mayor

Last names derived from settlements

Slovenian last name Origin
Blatnik from the word “blato” which means mud (swampy regions)
Dolenc from the word “Dolenjec” which is an inhabitant of the Dolenjska region
Dolinšek from the word “dolina” which means a valley
Furlan from the word “Furlanija”  – a region in Italy which is close to west Slovenia
Gorenc from the word “Gorenjec” which is an inhabitant of the Gorenjska region
Hrastnik from the word “hrast” which means an oak
Hribar from the word “hrib” which means a hill
Korošec from the word “Korošec” which is an inhabitant of the Koroška region
Mlakar from the word “mlaka” which means a puddle
Novak from the word “novinec” which means a novice
Potočnik from the word “potok” which means a stream
Ravnikar from the word “ravnina” with means a plain
Smrekar from the word “smreka” which means a spruce

Last names derived from first names

Here you can see the suffix –ič, which is typical for the last names that derive from the first names (mostly father’s names).

Slovenian last name Origin
Gregorčič from the first name “Gregor”
Janežič from the first name “Janez”
Majdič from the first name “Majda”
Pavlič from the first name “Pavel”
Petrič from the first name “Peter”
Primožič from the first name “Primož”
Tomažič from the first name “Tomaž”
Uršič from the first name “Urša”

Last names derived from connections with other nationalities

Slovenian last name Origin
Čeh from the word “Čeh” which means a Czech
Horvat/Hrovat from the word “Hrvat” which means a Croat (it meant a newcomer from Croatia)
Nemec from the word “Nemec” which means a German
Rus from the word “Rus” which means a Russian
Turk from the word “Turek” which means a Turk

Other interesting Slovenian last names

Slovenian last name English translation Origin
Božič Christmas from the word “božič”
Čas time from the word “čas”
Grbec hump/humpback from the word “grba” which means a hump
Hren horseradish from the word “hren”
Jug south from the word “jug”
Mrak dusk from the word “mrak”
Oblak cloud from the word “oblak”
Ocvirk crackling from the word “ocvirek” which means a crackling
Petek Friday from the word “petek”
Potrebuješ you need (the 2nd person singular) it literally means “you need” (“ti potrebuješ”)
Prešeren merry from the adjective “prešeren”
Sever north from the word “sever”
Sluga servant from the words “sluga” or “služabnik” which means a servant
Štrukelj štrukelj (rolled dumpling) from the word “štrukelj”
Vesel/Veselko happy, joyful from the adjective “vesel” which means happy
Vodnik guide from the word “vodnik”
Vodopivec person who drinks water from the words “voda” (water) and “pivec” (drinker)
Zlobec evil person from the adjective “zloben” which means evil

What are the synonyms for the word ‘idea’ in Slovenian?

As with every other language, Slovenian often has more than one way of expressing the same thing – the synonyms (sopomenke). So, the word ‘idea’ can be ‘ideja, ‘zamisel‘ or ‘domislica‘ in Slovenian, and all the three words can be used interchangeably; however, the first one, ‘ideja‘, is the most commonly used, whereas ‘domislica‘ is heard very rarely. You will notice that many Slovenian words which have synonyms are similar to English ones. The following words, for example, are easy to recognise even for non-Slovenian speakers: atmosfera, center, insekt, originaldialekt and so on.

Synonyms are words of the same part of speech (verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs), and below, there are a few examples of Slovenian synonyms for a host of English words.

advertisement reklama, oglas
atmosphere atmosfera, ozračje
bird ptica, ptič
building stavba, zgradba
capital glavno mesto, prestolnica
car avto, avtomobil
centre center, središče
contact stik, kontakt
continent celina, kontinent
dialect dialekt, narečje
envelope ovojnica, kuverta
flower roža, cvetlica
genre žanr, zvrst
girl punca, dekle
hairstyle pričeska, frizura
husband mož, soprog
idea ideja, zamisel, domislica
information podatek, informacija
insect žuželka, insekt
inspiration navdih, inspiracija
joke šala, vic
joy radost, veselje
lawyer odvetnik, advokat
moon luna, mesec
necklace ogrlica, verižica
news novica, vest
original izvirnik, original
Pacific Pacifik, Tihi ocean
plane letalo, avion
pressure tlak, pritisk
shine lesk, sijaj
soil zemlja, prst
structure struktura, zgradba
talent talent, dar
team ekipa, moštvo
text besedilo, tekst
theatre teater, gledališče
thing stvar, reč
trap past, zanka
trick zvijača, ukana, trik
wife žena, soproga
naked gol, nag
nervous živčen, nervozen
private privaten, zaseben
selfish sebičen, egoističen
smart, intelligent pameten, bister, inteligenten
spicy pikanten, pekoč
violet vijoličen, vijoličast

* the masculine form of the adjective

always vedno, zmeraj
at the same time hkrati, obenem
great sijajno, odlično, krasno, čudovito, super
here tu, tukaj
just (now) pravkar, ravnokar
last year lani, lansko leto, prejšnje leto
later pozneje, kasneje
many times dostikrat, velikokrat, mnogokrat
never nikoli, nikdar
next time naslednjič, prihodnjič, drugič
next year naslednje/prihodnje/drugo leto
now zdaj, sedaj
tonight nocoj, danes zvečer
usually običajno, ponavadi
to control nadzirati, nadzorovati, kontrolirati
to drive, to ride voziti se, peljati se
to teach učiti, poučevati

Example sentences

  1. Naš avto/avtomobil je nov. – Our car is new.
  2. Pogosto se vozim/peljem s kolesom. – I often ride a bicycle.
  3. Imam zanimivo idejo/zamisel. – I have an interesting idea.
  4. Lani/Lansko leto smo bili v Aziji. – We were in Asia last year.
  5. Nocoj/Danes zvečer gremo na koncert. – We are going to the concert tonight.
  6. Simon uči/poučuje matematiko. – Simon teaches mathematics.

Hungry for more Slovenian synonyms? Check them here.