Category Archives: learn Slovenian

Slovenian Words Ending in -L

The final in some Slovenian words in the nominative can be pronounced as U or L. This can be tough to guess for someone who is learning the language, so I will give a few tips when to pronounce the final L as L or as U.

The words where we always pronounce L as U at the end:

  • masculine participles ending in -L in singular: delal [dela], šel [še], živel [žive] …
  • some masculine adjectives ending in -L: vesel [vese], bel [be], debel [debe], topel [topə], mrzel [mrzə], svetel [svetə], cel [ce], votel [votə], gnil [gni], zrel [zre], gol [go]

L pronounced as U:

  • žal [ža] – unfortunately
  • žival [živau̯] – animal, F
  • stol [stou̯] – chair
  • sol [sou̯] – salt, F  
  • fižol [fižou̯] – bean
  • piščal [piščau̯] – whistle, F
  • del (telesa, hiše …) [deu̯] – part of the body, house
  • pekel [pekəu̯] – hell
  • misel [misəu̯] – thought, F
  • zmrzal [zmrzau̯] – frost, F
  • vogal [vogau̯] – corner
  • vol [vou̯] – ox
  • orel [orəu̯] – eagle
  • plevel [pleveu̯] – weed
  • pepel [pepeu̯] – ash
  • posel [posəu̯] – business
  • smisel [smisəu̯] – meaning, sense
  • pol (picetortekilograma, litra …) [pou̯] – half a pizzacakekilogram, liter(Half of something!)

L pronounced as L:

  • šal [šal] – scarf
  • val – wave
  • predal – drawer
  • kopel – bath, F
  • pokal – cup
  • pomol – pier
  • spol – gender, sex
  • glagol – verb
  • glavobol – headache
  • zobobol – toothache
  • words of foreign origin: hotel, model, gel, portal, angel, kanal – canal, channel, tunel – tunnel, gol – goal (sport), alkohol – alcohol, skalpel – scalpel, kristal – crystal
  • pol (treh, petihsedmih …) – half past two, foursix… (When expressing time!)

ə = semivowel, F = feminine

bel stol [be sto] – white chair

When we change the ending of the noun in different cases we pronounce the letter L in any case.

Žival: Nimam domače živali [živali]. – I don’t have a pet.

Sol: Brez soli [soli] hrana nima okusa. – The food has no taste without salt.

Fižol: Ne maram fižola [fižola]. – I don’t like beans.

Useful Slovenian Phrases for Your Next Trip to sLOVEnia

Whether you visit the Slovenian capital and other picturesque towns, or perhaps the mountains and beautiful lakes in summer, it is fun to know some common everyday phrases and greetings with which you can make a great impression on the local people.

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly used Slovenian phrases for your next trip to Slovenia 😀 :

Slovenian Phrase

English Translation

Ja, prosim. Yes, please.
Ne, hvala. No, thanks.
Hvala lepa./Najlepša hvala. Thank you very much.
Hvala enako. Thanks to you too.
Ni za kaj./Prosim. You’re welcome.
Kako si/ste (formal)? How are you?
Dobro./V redu. I’m fine.
Pa ti/vi (formal)? And you?
Lepo se imej/imejte (formal)! Have a nice day!
Dober dan. Hello.
Nasvidenje. Goodbye.
Živjo. Hi.
Adijo. Bye.
Dober večer. Good evening.
Dobro jutro. Good morning.
Lahko noč. Good night.
Lep dan! Good day!
Imamo rezervacijo. We have a reservation.
Všeč mi je Slovenija/Piran/Bohinj … (the nominative) I like Slovenia/Piran/Bohinj…
Ni mi všeč. I don’t like it.
Oprosti(te), kje je Ljubljanski grad/Zmajski most/pošta …? (the nominative) Excuse me, where is the Ljubljana Castle/Dragon Bridge/post office…?
Koliko stane sladoled/kosilo/razglednica …? (the nominative) How much is an ice cream/lunch/postcard…?
Se vidiva (dual)/vidimo (plural)! See you later!
Samo trenutek. Just a moment.
To je Petra. This is Petra.
Me veseli. Nice to meet you.
Jaz bi kavo/pivo/vino/sok/čaj (the accusative), prosim. I’d like a coffee/beer/wine/juice/tea, please.
Na zdravje! Cheers!/Bless you!
To je zelo okusno. It’s very tasty.
Račun, prosim. The bill, please.
Kako se reče “coffee” po slovensko? How do you say “coffee” in Slovenian?
Kaj pomeni “trgovina”? What does “trgovina” mean?
Koliko je ura? What’s the time?
Ura je tri. It’s three o’clock.
Ali govoriš/govorite (formal) angleško? Do you speak English?
Ja, malo. Yes, a little.
Žal ne. Unfortunately not.
Govorim slovensko/angleško/francosko/nemško/

italijansko/rusko/špansko …

I speak Slovenian/English/French/German/

Italian/Russian/Spanish…

To je zelo lepo mesto/jezero/morje. This is a very beautiful city/lake/sea.

Bohinjsko jezero (Lake Bohinj)

Want to learn more Slovenian phrases? Try out our self-learning beginner’s online course or take one-on-one Skype lessons with a native speaker!

Neighbourhoods and Locations in Ljubljana

Are you currently an expat living in Ljubljana? Do your Slovenian friends often ask where exactly you live in Ljubljana, and you have no idea how to say that in Slovenian?

Would you like to say in Slovenian that you come from a certain part of Ljubljana, but you struggle because you don’t know which preposition, case or ending to use? (So many things that need to be considered… 🙂 ) Here’s a little help:

  • to express where we are or where we live we need to use the 5th case – the locative: Kje živiš?Živim na Viču. (Where do you live? – I live in Vič.)
  • to express where we come from we need to use the 2nd case – the genitive: Od kod si?Sem z Viča. (Where are you from? – I’m from Vič.)

Slovenian has two pairs of prepositions which have to be used together. These are na – s/z and v – iz, both meaning in – from.

The capital of Slovenia may seem quite small but in fact has many neighbourhoods, so expect people would ask you where exactly you live.

Let’s see how we would say where exactly we are:

1.The neuter gender (declined as adjectives):

Location in Ljubljana Kje (Where) Od kod (Where from)
Trnovo v Trnovem iz Trnovega
Sostro v Sostrem iz Sostrega
Kodeljevo na Kodeljevem s Kodeljevega
Tomačevo v Tomačevem iz Tomačevega

2. The masculine gender:

Location in Ljubljana Kje (Where) Od kod (Where from)
center v centru iz centra
Bežigrad za Bežigradom* iz Bežigrada
Vič na Viču z Viča
Podutik v Podutiku iz Podutika
Rudnik na Rudniku z Rudnika
Šentvid v Šentvidu iz Šentvida
Zalog v Zalogu iz Zaloga

Exception: Živim za Bežigradom. (I live in Bežigrad. Literally: I live behind Bežigrad.) – the 6th case – the instrumental

Center Ljubljane (Ljubljana city centre)

Center Ljubljane (Ljubljana city centre)

3. The feminine gender:

Location in Ljubljana Kje (Where) Od kod (Where from)
Šiška v Šiški iz Šiške
Ježica na Ježici z Ježice
Rožna dolina v Rožni dolini iz Rožne doline
Rakova jelša na Rakovi jelši z Rakove jelše

4. The neuter gender:

Location in Ljubljana Kje (Where) Od kod (Where from)
Štepanjsko naselje v Štepanjskem naselju iz Štepanjskega naselja
Polje v Polju iz Polja

5. The feminine gender (plural):

Location in Ljubljana Kje (Where) Od kod (Where from)
Črnuče v Črnučah iz Črnuč
Dravlje v Dravljah iz Dravelj
Vižmarje v Vižmarjah iz Vižmarij
Prule na Prulah s Prul
Fužine v Fužinah iz Fužin
Moste v Mostah iz Most
Poljane na Poljanah s Poljan
Murgle v Murglah iz Murgel
Jarše v Jaršah iz Jarš
Savlje v Savljah iz Savelj
Vevče v Vevčah iz Vevč
Koseze v Kosezah iz Kosez
Stožice v Stožicah iz Stožic

These city parts are in plural so we also need to conjugate them in plural. For example: Črnuče so daleč. (Črnuče are far.)

Prule

Prule

Examples of use:

  • Trenutno sem v Šiški. (I’m in Šiška at the moment.)
  • Živim v hiši na Rudniku. (I live in a house in Rudnik.)
  • Katja je iz Črnuč. (Katja is from Črnuče.)
  • Mi živimo v centru. (We live in the city center.)
  • Na Prulah je lepo. (It’s nice in Prule.)
Zmajski most, center (The Dragon Bridge, city center)

Zmajski most, center (The Dragon Bridge, city center)

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.

ENGLISH – NOUNS SLOVENIAN SYNONYMS
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
ENGLISH – ADJECTIVES SLOVENIAN SYNONYMS
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

ENGLISH – ADVERBS SLOVENIAN SYNONYMS
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
ENGLISH – VERBS SLOVENIAN SYNONYMS
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.

The Feminine Nouns Ending in a Consonant

Slovenian has three grammatical genders: feminine, masculine and neuter. The feminine nouns usually end with –a, the masculine with a consonant and the neuter ones with –o or –e. However, there is a feature, where feminine nouns can also end with a consonant – the same as masculine nouns. That includes all nouns that end with –ost, –ev and –ast in singular, and some other nouns which are complete exceptions.

Feminine nouns that follow the basic rule and end with –a in singular, are declined in accordance with the first feminine declension – that means they have an ending –e in the genitive (for example: slika – slike). But the feminine exceptions which end with a consonant in singular, are declined according to the second feminine declension – they get an ending –i in the 2nd case, the genitive (for example: noč – noči).

Also, the feminine exceptions have the same ending in dual and plural (excluding nouns that end with –ev), which is –i: noč – noči (dual) – noči (plural). The ordinary feminine nouns have an ending –i in dual and –e in plural: slika – sliki (dual) – slike (plural).

Below, the feminine exceptions are arranged in 4 groups:

Feminine nouns ending in –ev

Slovenian English
breskev peach
cerkev church
odločitev decision
podkev horseshoe
trgatev grape harvest

Feminine nouns ending in –ost

Slovenian English
kost bone
mladost youth
modrost wisdom
norost craziness, madness
starost age

* But: ‘most‘, ‘bridge‘ is of the masculine gender

Feminine nouns ending in –ast

Slovenian English
last property, possession
past trap
pošast monster
rast growth
strast passion

Other feminine exceptions

Slovenian English
bolezen disease
dlan palm (hand)
jed dish
jesen autumn
kad bathtub
klet basement
klop bench
kopel bath
korist benefit, advantage
laž lie
ljubezen love
luč light
miš mouse
misel thought
moč power, strength
nit thread, strand
noč night
obrt craft, trade
obrv eyebrow
pamet sense, brains
peč furnace
perut wing (birds)
pesem song
pest fist
pomlad spring
pomoč help
pot path
reč thing, matter
skrb worry, care
sled trace
smet dirt
smrt death
snov matter, material
sol salt
stran page, side
stvar thing
vas village
vest ‘conscience’ and ‘news’
vrv rope
zavest consciousness
zver beast
zvrst genre
žival animal

A tip on how to help you memorise the feminine exceptions is as follows: if you learn these words with an adjective or pronoun before the words, it will be easier to recognise the correct gender of nouns, since the adjectives and pronouns in singular always end with –a for the feminine gender, with a consonant for the masculine gender and with –o (before the letters c, j, č, š and ž also with –e) for the neuter gender.

Some examples:

  • lepa vas – beautiful village
  • tista luč – that light
  • moja odločitev – my decision
  • nora misel – crazy thought
  • okusna jed – tasty dish
  • morska sol – sea salt
  • spletna stran – website
  • poletna noč – summer night
  • peneča kopel – bubble bath

Common Grammatical Mistakes in Slovenian

Slovenian grammar is not one of the easiest, not even for the native speakers who commonly make mistakes while speaking or writing. The standard Slovenian language is therefore quite different from the spoken language that you will usually hear on the streets.

From my observation I have noticed quite a few mistakes the native Slovenian speakers make, which probably wouldn’t be noticed by someone who doesn’t speak the language, but would be quickly noticed by someone who pays more attention to this.

Often noticed mistakes

1. Usage of the accusative instead of the genitive case when negating verbs

The 2nd case, the genitive (rodilnik), is a case of a negation. But more and more it is common to hear it being replaced with the 4th case, the accusative (tožilnik), when negating active verbs.

Examples – Slovenian Examples – English
Affirmative Vidim stole/Jano. I see chairs/Jana.
Negative – correct (The genitive) Ne vidim stolov/Jane. I don’t see chairs/Jana.
Negative – wrong  (The accusative) Ne vidim stole/Jano. I don’t see chairs/Jana.

Also, when it comes to the personal pronouns in different cases, the personal pronouns in the genitive are sometimes replaced with the personal pronouns in the accusative when negating verbs:

Examples – Slovenian Examples – English
Affirmative Vidim jo. I see her.
Negative – correct (The genitive) Ne vidim je. I don’t see her.
Negative – wrong  (The accusative) Ne vidim jo. I don’t see her.

2. Mixing the infinitive and the supine

Beside the infinitive (nedoločnik), Slovenian also has the supine (namenilnik), which is used only with the verbs of motion (for example: iti – to go, peljati se – to ride, hoditi – to walk, teči – to run). The infinitives end with –ti or –či, and the supine is formed by omitting the vowel ‘i’ from the infinitive. Even if the latter should be used only in certain occasions, it is used almost all the time. I wonder how come Slovenians like omitting the vowels so much!

So instead of saying ‘midva se morava učiti‘, most of people would say ‘midva se morava učit‘ (we both have to learn).

Examples with the supine:

Slovenian English
Zvečer grem teč. I’m going for a run in the evening.
Pojdi pogledat, kaj se dogaja! Go see what is happening!

Examples where the supine shouldn’t be used but it often is:

English I started cycling. We can’t park here.
Correct (The infinitive) Začela sem kolesariti. Tukaj ne smemo parkirati.
Wrong (The supine) Začela sem kolesarit. Tukaj ne smemo parkirat.

Example where the supine should be used but it often isn’t:

English Go tell her.
Correct (The supine) Pojdi* ji povedat.
Wrong (The infinitive) Pojdi ji povedati.

* ’Pojdi’ is the imperative form of the verb of motion ‘iti’, ‘to go’.

3. My favourite: Wrong use of the prepositions ‘s’ and ‘z’ (with)

Prepositions ‘s‘ and ‘z‘ both mean ‘with‘, and no matter how simple the rule is, especially native speakers keep mixing them. The easiest way to use the correct preposition is by ear; the pronunciation of the preposition and noun has to sound fluent, almost like a single word.

There is also another, more school rule to memorise when to use ‘s’ or ‘z’. The words starting with the consonants from this sentence, »TA SUHI ŠKAFEC PUŠČA« (This dry pail is leaking), are used with the preposition ‘s‘. With all the other consonants plus vowels we use ‘z‘. So simple!

with mother with Vesna with Peter with Simon
Correct z mamo z Vesno s Petrom s Simonom
Wrong s mamo s Vesno z Petrom z Simonom

4. Wrong use of the pairs of prepositions ‘na – s/z’ and ‘v – iz’ (to – from)

In the Learn Slovenian Online course there is also an explanation when to use these 2 pairs of prepositions, ‘na – s/z‘ and ‘v – iz‘, which both mean ‘to (or ‘in’) – from‘ and have to be used always together. The pair ‘na – s/z’ is used with the countries and regions that end in -ska (or –ška), smaller islands and some places. It is also used when you put something on a surface. The pair ‘v – iz’ is used for most of the geographical names and places, and when you put something into something.

Pair ‘na – s/z’

Slovenian English
Grem na Dansko/Japonsko. I’m going to Denmark/Japan.
Prihajam z Danske/Japonske.* I come from Denmark/Japan.

* Here the preposition ‘iz‘ is often used, which is incorrect.

Pair ‘v – iz’

Slovenian English
Potujem v Brazilijo. I’m travelling to Brazil.
Sem iz Brazilije. I’m from Brazil.

More examples:

škatla (box):

into the box from the box
v škatlo iz škatle

park:

to the park from the park
v park iz parka

pošta (post office):

to the post office from the post office
na pošto s pošte

miza (table):

on the table from the table
na mizo z mize

5. The dual use and confusion

A wonderful feature of the Slovenian language is dual – a grammatical number used for two objects or people. Students who learn Slovenian say to me that it is not so easy because it doesn’t exist in most of other languages, but I would say: »Do you think dual is difficult? Wait until you get to know cases.« Anyway, I realised the dual is a hard nut to crack even for Slovenians; when it comes to two things of the masculine or mixed gender it all works fine, but nothing works when we have two things of the feminine or neuter gender.

Examples of a beautiful dual:

Slovenian – Dual English
Masculine Otroka sta vesela. Two children are happy.
Feminine Punci sta prijazni. Two girls are kind.
Neuter Okni sta odprti. Two windows are open.

Deformation of dual:

Slovenian – Dual English
Masculine Otroka sta vesela. (Everything works fine!) Two children are happy.
Feminine Punce sta prijazne.* Two girls are kind.
Neuter Okna sta odprta.* Two windows are open.

* Many times the feminine gender, dual is simply replaced with the feminine gender, plural (-e ending).

* The neuter gender is often mixed with the masculine endings in dual.

Mistakes are usually made while speaking, a little bit less when writing. Apparently, there are too many ending combinations to memorise, and people use what sounds more handy to them. But I still have hope for the correct dual use in the future.

Some more examples on dual:

Two girls went to the cinema. two houses (F) two suns (N)
Correct Punci sta šli v kino. dve hiši dve sonci
Wrong Punce sta šle v kino.* dve hiše* dva sonca

* Again, the dual endings are replaced with the plural.

I really wonder what Slovenian will look like in a couple of decades. Who knows. Language is alive and is changing rapidly. Sometimes even mistakes become a rule in time. If you are interested in learning Slovenian (with no mistakes listed above of course), try our online course or private Skype lessons.

When to use Plural instead of Dual in Slovenian

Slovenian is one of the rare languages that has the grammatical number dual – it is used specifically for two objects or persons. But there are, ironically, also exceptions where we use plural instead of dual for two things. These are even body parts, biological functions, things like parents, pieces of clothing and footwear (pairs), and some other objects, such as earrings, ‘uhani’. Nevertheless, we can still use dual for pairs, but only when we want to emphasise two things.

Gender Singular Dual – used only when emphasized Plural – used for pairs English
                                              EVEN BODY PARTS
F noga nogi noge legs
F roka roki roke arms
N uho ušesi ušesa ears
N oko očesi oči eyes
F rama rami rame shoulders
N lice lici lica cheeks
                                                       OBJECTS
M uhan uhana uhani earrings
                                         BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS
M starš starša starši parents
                                PIECES OF CLOTHES OR FOOTWEAR
F rokavica rokavici rokavice gloves
F nogavica nogavici nogavice socks
M rokav rokava rokavi sleeves
M čevelj čevlja čevlji shoes

F = feminine, N = neuter, M = masculine

nogavice

nogavice

Examples of use:

OČI (eyes)

Plural: Maja ima lepe oči. – Maja has beautiful eyes.

Emphasized:  Naprezal je obe očesi. – He strained both eyes.

ROKE (arms)

Plural: Kako nežne roke imaš! – What soft hands you have!

Emphasized: Luka si je poškodoval obe roki. – Luka injured both his arms.

UŠESA (ears)

Plural: Bolijo me ušesa. – My ears hurt.

Emphasized: Bolita me obe ušesi. – Both my ears hurt.

LICA (cheeks)

Plural: Sonja ima rdeča lica. – Sonja has red cheeks.

Emphasized: Sonja ima obe lici rdeči. – Sonja has both cheeks red.

UHANI (earrings)

Plural: Kako lepi uhani! – What beautiful earrings!

Emphasized: Izgubila sem oba uhana. – I lost both earrings.

ROKAVICE (gloves)

Plural: Zebe me v roke. Potrebujem rokavice. – My hands are freezing. I need gloves.

Emphasized: Obe rokavici sta raztrgani. – Both gloves are ragged.

ROKAVI (sleeves)

Plural: Rokavi so predolgi. – Sleeves are too long.

Emphasized: Oba rokava sta predolga. – Both sleeves are too long.

STARŠI (parents)

Plural: Moji starši so doma. – My parents are home.

Emphasized: Oba starša sta doma. – Both parents are home.

ČEVLJI (shoes)

Plural: To so zimski čevlji. – These are winter shoes.

Emphasized: Oba čevlja je vrgel proč. – He threw away both shoes.

When we use a dual to emphasise two things, we usually use the word ‘obe’ (F, N) or ‘oba’ (M), meaning ‘both’. Number two can also be used for emphasizing two things (dve očesi, dve nogi, dva uhana). We also need to conjugate verbs in dual and adapt adjectival or pronominal endings to the number of a noun:

Plural: Copati so topli. – Slippers are warm.

Dual: Oba copata sta topla. – Both slippers are warm.

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

Easter in Slovenia

Spring is finally coming and so is Eastertime, which is mostly a time for painting Easter eggs which we all look forward to.

Easter, velika noč, takes place on a different date each year, a day between March and April. Easter is on the first Sunday after the first spring full moon. This year it is on Sunday, 5th of April 2015. Easter Monday, velikonočni ponedeljek, is also a holiday in Slovenia. Eastertime is the biggest Christian holiday, when Christians remember the Resurrection of Christ.

It is all about Easter eggs

On Easter Saturday we usually paint Easter eggs, called velikonočna jajca, pirhi or pisanice (there are several dialectal expressions for them). This can be really amusing and creative, especially if we unlock our imagination. We paint them with natural or synthetic colours. Myself, I prefer to use completely natural and healthier colours from various vegetables.

To get a red-brown coloured eggs, we use onion peels (mostly red onion); if we want yellow eggs we can use saffron, turmeric or carrots; for blue eggs we use blueberries; for red eggs we can use beetroot; for black ones we use oak bark; and for green eggs we use spinach.

In Slovenia it is very popular to paint Easter eggs with onion peels, čebulni olupki. It is also quite simple and creative. The easiest recipe is the following: Boil some water and add the red onion peels and raw chicken eggs. Cook all together for about 15 minutes. If you want more intensive color, leave the eggs in water after cooking for as long as you want.

Easter eggs painted with onion peels.

Red is still the most commonly used color for Easter eggs. When I was younger, we painted them red and pasted stickers with Easter motifs on the eggs. Nowadays I prefer to pick some leaves or flowers, and press them on the eggshells. Then I put the eggs in nylon stockings and cook them in water with onion peels. With all these flower patterns the final result can be really amazing.

Famous Slovenian Easter eggs come from Bela krajina, a region in south-east Slovenia. These are called belokranjske pisanice – typical black Easter eggs with beautiful paintings.

Belokranjske pisanice

Belokranjske pisanice

An egg, jajce, is a symbol of life, eternity and it represents the cosmos. An Easter hare, velikonočni zajček, is a part of Easter, too. It symbolizes fertility. In the spring nature comes to life again, so an egg and hare are appropriate symbols for that time. Chocolate Easter hares and eggs are present in shops way before Easter (in many cases even in February). In the past, when I was a child, it was a great pleasure to get chocolate eggs for Easter from my grandmas. Sweet and delicious memories…

Easter breakfast

After a busy Saturday comes Easter, with a traditional Easter breakfast, velikonočni zajtrk (if people attend a Sunday Mass, the breakfast is after the Mass). Typical Easter dishes, that Christians normally carry to church on Easter Saturday to bless them, are Easter eggs, horseradish (hren), ham (šunka), bread and of course a traditional Slovenian dessert, potica. Easter food is also eaten on Easter Monday or sometimes even later. Easter Monday is also a time for visits.

In the past it was a custom to send real Easter cards to relatives and friends, but nowadays, in a more technological society, these customs somehow faded. Nevertheless, it is still nice to send them and wish Happy Easter, or in Slovenian Vesele velikonočne praznike!

»Velikonočni zajček« and »pirhi«

»Velikonočni zajček« and »pirhi«