Beseda is a basic unit of language. A lot could be said about it. To avoid the dreary world of grammar, the focus in this post is the many expressions in which the word beseda takes place. Note that only a portion of the most frequently used ones is listed here.
Kaj pomeni ta beseda? (What does this word mean?)
Slovenska besedadneva. (Slovenian word of the day.)
Besede, ki bi lahkoopisalemojetrpljenje, neobstajajo. (The words that could describe my suffering don’t exist.)
imetizadnjobesedo (to have the final say, the last word; typically used figuratively)
Federer jebil odličen, a Nadal jeimelzadnjobesedo. (Federer was excellent, but Nadal won in the end.)
bitiredkihbesed (taciturn – lit. to be of few words)
Kubrick je bil mož redkih besed. (Kubrick was a taciturn man.)
držati besedo (to keep a promise – lit. to hold a word)
Microsoft je držal besedo in plačal kazen. (Microsoft kept a promise and paid the fine.)
držati koga za besedo (to hold someone to it -lit. to hold someone for their word)
Odpravil bomdavke; lahko me držite za besedo! (I will abolish taxes: you can hold me to it!)
škoda besed (not worth the trouble, lost cause – lit. pity of words)
O temne bi rad govoril, kerse mi zdi škoda besed. (I wouldn’t like to talk about it, because it’s a lost cause.)
vzetikomubesedo z jezika (izust) (take the words out of mouth – lit. to take someone a word from tongue (out of mouth)
Ne razumemnjegovega obnašanja. – Res je, vzel si mi besedo z jezika. (I don’t understand his behavior. – It’s true, you took the words out of my mouth.)
stavek – clause poved – sentence
A few years ago Slovenians started a project: Slovenian word of the year. The winner of 2018 was čebela (a bee). This is not a completely random word, as Slovenians take pride in their bee-keeping history. Many people own beehives and produce their own delicious honey.
It is not common for a Slovenian word to have the same two consecutive letters. Some other examples are oddaja (broadcast, programme),izziv(challenge), soočenje (confrontation).
Po porokije obdržala svojpriimek. (She kept her own last name after marriage.)
Tukaj jeobrazec. Izpolnite ime, priimek in datum rojstva. (Here is the form. Fill in the name, surname, and date of birth.)
Kako pogostjetvojpriimek? (How common is your surname?)
The list of the most common names and surnames in Slovenia can be found on the webpage of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. According to the page, the name Franc and surname Novak are at the top of the lists. One has to be careful with names, though; Franc is a name not given often to children nowadays. The most popular name given to newborns these days is Luka.
A rather random choice for today’s word – there are actually no monkeys living in Slovenian forests. You may find a few in the zoo in Ljubljana, though. While “opičjak” is formally a male monkey, it is used only if one really wants to emphasize the sex – typically “opica” is used instead.
Opica je splezala na drevo in pojedla banano. (A monkey climbed on a tree and ate a banana.)
Opica je pobegnila iz živalskega vrta. (The monkey escaped from the zoo.)
Anita, nebodiopica in me pustiprimiru! (Anita, stop being a copycat and leave me alone! – “opica” is someone who uncritically copies a behavior or action of someone else.)
Risanka (noun, f) is used only for short cartoons meant for children. We would say risani film (lit. a drawn movie) when talking about an animated film (some close-minded people might consider risani film as risanka, assuming that everything drawn is meant only for children, but that’s another story).
Maja rada gledarisanke. (Maja likes to watch cartoons.)
Jakob, spat bo treba. – Mami, a lahko še enorisanko? (Jakob, it’s bedtime. – Mom, may I watch another cartoon? – lit. Jakob, it will be necessary to sleep. Mom, may another cartoon? This example is a typical exchange between parents and children in the evening. See also Extra for notes on this exchange.)
risani film – animated movie risati – to draw ris – lynx [noun, m]
A bit of colloquial grammar:
The shorter “a” is commonly used instead of “ali” in the question form. Note that the question in the example (Mami, a lahko še enorisanko?) also completely omits a verb. A full sentence would be:
Mami, a lahko pogledam še eno risanko?
“Lahko” in this example serves as an auxiliary modal verb (like “can” or “may” in English). In spoken Slovenian we often omit the actual verb when it is clear from the context what we want to say. Another example:
A lahkokruh? (May I get some bread?; you would ask that during breakfast to no one in particular. You can add “prosim” in the end, if you want to be a bit more polite.)
Srečno! is used for a general wish of good luck – see examples. If you want to be more specific, you can use it as an adjective (eg. srečno pot: good luck on the way / safe journey). The origin of the word is the noun sreča, which has basically all the meanings of the English “luck”. But it also means happiness.
Srečno, Kekec! (Good luck, Kekec! See Extra)
Srečno pot! (Safe journey!)
Še dobro, da se je vse srečno izteklo. (I’m glad that everything worked out fine. – in this case, srečno is an adverb.)
Imela je srečno otroštvo. (She had a happy childhood. – in this case, srečno is an adjective)
Srečno novo leto! (Happy New Year!)
biti rojen pod srečno zvezdo (to have luck in life; lit. to be born under a lucky star)
Srečno, Kekec is a title of a Slovenian adventure film from 1963. It is the second film in the famous trilogy about Kekec, a young boy who lives in the mountains and uses his bravery and wits to help the people with various problems. Today, you may hear someone being called kekec, but uncharacteristic of the film (and book) character, it usually implies that such a person is a bit silly or nerdy. Here is an excerpt from the movie, where Kekec sings his now-famous song (still taught to children in primary schools):