mir

Translation: peace [noun, m]

The word mir can be translated as tranquillity, non-conflict (eg. world peace) or inner peace. An adjective is miren, see related words.

Don’t you just hate it when this happens?

Examples:

Boriti se moramo za svetovni mir!
(We have to fight for the world peace!)

Nočem živeti v mestu, ker tam ni miru.
(I don’t want to live in a city because there is no peace there.)

Vojna in mir.
(War and peace.)

Želim vam miren dan.
(I wish you a peaceful day.)

Expressions:

pustiti (nekoga) pri miru
(to leave (somebody) alone – lit. to leave (somebody) at peace)

Pusti me pri miru!
(Leave me alone!)

Radovednost mi ne da miru.
(I can’t restrain my curiosity – lit. curiosity gives me no peace)

stati (biti) pri miru
(to stand (be) still)

Related:

miren – peaceful, quiet, undisturbed [adj]
vojna – war [noun, f]

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

beseda

Translation: word [noun, f]

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.

Examples:

Kaj pomeni ta beseda?
(What does this word mean?)

Slovenska beseda dneva.
(Slovenian word of the day.)

Besede, ki bi lahko opisale moje trpljenje, ne obstajajo.
(The words that could describe my suffering don’t exist.)

Expressions:

imeti zadnjo besedo
(to have the final say, the last word; typically used figuratively)

Federer je bil odličen, a Nadal je imel zadnjo besedo.
(Federer was excellent, but Nadal won in the end.)

biti redkih besed
(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 bom davke; 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 tem ne bi rad govoril, ker se mi zdi škoda besed.
(I wouldn’t like to talk about it, because it’s a lost cause.)

vzeti komu besedo z jezika (iz ust)
(take the words out of mouth – lit. to take someone a word from tongue (out of mouth)

Ne razumem njegovega 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.)

Related:

stavek – clause
poved – sentence

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

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.

This bee has a thing for language jokes.

priimek

Translation: surname, last name [noun, m]

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).

Examples:

Po poroki je obdržala svoj priimek.
(She kept her own last name after marriage.)

Tukaj je obrazec. Izpolnite ime, priimek in datum rojstva.
(Here is the form. Fill in the name, surname, and date of birth.)

Kako pogost je tvoj priimek?
(How common is your surname?)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

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.

Kako si?

Awkward…

Translation: How are you?

If you want to address a group of people, or to address someone in a formal way, then say Kako steSeveral variations exist for this simple conversation starter.

Kako se imaš? – lit. How do you have yourself?
Kako gre? – lit. How is it going?

Examples:

In, kako si? Kar v redu, pa ti?
(So, how are you? Quite good, and you?)

Hej, Tomaž, kako gre? Slabo.
(Hey, Tomaž, how is it going? Not good.)

Related:

The last form (kako gre) conveniently omits a pronoun and is less formal. It can be used also to explain how well a business, project, etc. is doing.

Našemu podjetju gre to leto zelo dobro.
(Our company is doing very well this year.)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

spet

Translation: again, one more time, repeatedly [adverb]

The most direct translation of spet is “again”. However, spet is a subtle word you will encounter in several other contexts – see Examples.

Examples:

Spet dežuje.
(It is raining again.)

Spet si ti na vrsti.
(It’s your turn again.)

Fraza “Ljubim te” se v besedilu pesmi ponavlja spet in spet.
(The phrase “I love you” in the song’s lyrics repeats itself again and again.)

Nekateri so bili navdušeni, drugi spet ne.
(Some were thrilled, the others not. – In principle, one could omit spet from the sentence. Spet in this sense emphasizes the opposite.)

No, tako hudo pa spet ni!
(Well, it’s really not that bad. – Spet is used to emphasize the negation. Kind of like “really” in the English translation.)

Related:

ponovno – again [adv]

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

A popular radio station VAL 202 used to host a show called Spetek. Can you figure out by yourself what this silly wordplay refers to?

list

Nothing to be confused about….

Translation: leaf, a sheet (of paper), document [noun,m]

List is a versatile word, often combined with an adjective. For example, when referring to a document, you may encounter:

potni list – passport
rojstni list – birth certificate
poročni list – marriage certificate
garancijski list – warranty certificate

When linked to a sheet of paper:

list – generally a list of paper (e.g. A4)
jedilni list – menu
risalni list – a sheet of drawing paper

One can also refer to a magazine as “list”, but that usage is outdated.

Examples:

Na mizi leži list papirja.
(A sheet of paper is lying on the table.)

Vzemite prazen A4 list.
(Take an empty A4 sheet.)

Lipov list je simbol slovenstva.
(Linden leaf is a symbol of Slovenian culture.)

Jeseni je listje lepo obarvano.
(Leaves are nicely colored in autumn.)

Gospod, pokažite mi vaš potni list.
(Sir, show me your passport.)

Expressions:

biti naše gore list
(to be one’s fellow countryman; lit. to be the leaf of our mountain)

biti nepopisan list
(to be a blank slate, tabula rasa)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

opica

Kudos to Sarah for this delicious rebus.

Translation: monkey [noun, f]

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.

Examples:

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, ne bodi opica in me pusti pri miru!
(Anita, stop being a copycat and leave me alone! – “opica” is someone who uncritically copies a behavior or action of someone else.)

Related:

živalski vrt – zoo

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

pomoč

Tragic.

help [noun, f]

Examples:

Na pomoč!
(Help!)

Mislim, da potrebujem pomoč.
(I think that I need help.)

Udeležila se je tečaja prve pomoči.
(She attended a first aid course.)

Pomoč je prišla prepozno.
(Help came too late.)

Brez njegove pomoči ji ne bi uspelo.
(Without his help she wouldn’t have made it.)

Related:

prva pomoč – first aid
pomagati – to help [verb]

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

risanka

Translation: animated cartoon

Čebelica Maja is a good example of (a good) risanka. Source

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).

Examples:

Maja rada gleda risanke.
(Maja likes to watch cartoons.)

Jakob, spat bo treba. – Mami, a lahko še eno risanko?
(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.)

Related:

risani film – animated movie
risati – to draw
ris – lynx [noun, m]

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

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 eno risanko?) 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 lahko kruh?
(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!

Translation: Good luck!

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.

Examples:

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!)

Expressions:

biti rojen pod srečno zvezdo
(to have luck in life; lit. to be born under a lucky star)

Related:

sreča – luck [noun, f][pl -]
nesreča – bad luck [noun, f][pl -]
nesreča – accident [noun, f][du nesreči][pl nesreče]

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

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):

Kekčeva pesem from the movie Srečno Kekec (1963).