jezik

Translation: language, tongue

Jezik can also mean something that looks like a tongue, for example, the tongue of a shoe. There are many expressions linked with this word; only the most common ones are covered here.

Examples:

Mami, Klara mi je pokazala jezik!
(Mom, Klara stuck out her tongue at me!)

Težko govorim. Včeraj sem se ugriznil v jezik.
(It is difficult for me to talk. Yesterday I bit myself in my tongue.)

Ali se učiš kakega tujega jezika?
(Are you learning any foreign language?)

Najraje berem knjige napisane v maternem jeziku.
(I like to read books written in my mother tongue the most.)

V znanosti uporabljamo matematični jezik.
(We use the language of mathematics in science.)

Expressions:

biti brez dlake na jeziku
(to be direct; lit. – to be without a hair on tongue)

imeti nabrušen jezik
(to be sharp-tongued)

vzeti komu besedo z jezika
(to say something that is on a conversationist’s mind; lit. to take someone a word from (their) tongue)

imeti dolg jezik
(to talk a lot; lit. to have a long tongue)

jeziček na tehtnici
(the decisive element; lit. a small tongue on a scale)

Neopredeljivi volivci bodo na tokratnih volitvah jeziček na tehtnici.
(The undecided voters will decide these elections.)

Related:

jezikati – to talk back (to the authority)
jezikati – to babble
jeza – anger

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

čas

Translation: time

Time for a new Slovenian word! Source

Čas is again one of those common words that are entwined in everyday life. The examples show some of the more common uses. I only include a few more common expressions.

Examples:

Že dolgo časa ni bilo dežja.
(It hasn’t rained for a long time.)

Prideš na kavo? Ne, nimam časa.
(Are you coming for a coffee? No, I don’t have time / I’m busy.)

Objavili so datum, čas in kraj prireditve.
(They announced the date, time, and location of the event.)

Ta čas mi bo za vedno ostal v spominu.
(That time/period will stay in my memory forever.)

Za tisti čas so bile njegove ideje napredne.
(His ideas were progressive for that time/period.)

Dolgčas mi je.
(I’m bored.)

Prostor-čas in gravitacija: uvod v splošno teorijo relativnosti
(Space-time and gravity: an introduction to the general theory of relativity)

Expressions:

Čas je zlato.
(Time is money; lit. time is gold)

čas kislih kumaric
(lit. time of pickles; it refers to the summer period (when pickles are typically made) when the media usually lack important news and start publishing trivial artickles.)

krasti komu čas
(to waste someone’s time; lit. to steal someone’s time)

Related:

časovni pas – time zone
kratkočasiti se – to pass time with an (useless) activity
časopis – newspaper

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

boj

Translation: fight, battle, combat [noun, m]

Examples:

Padel je v boju za svobodo.
(He died (lit. fell) in the fight for freedom.)

Boj je najprej potekal na kopnem, kasneje tudi na morju.
(The combat was first fought on land, later also at sea.)

Družbene spremembe so nastale kot rezultat boja delavcev.
(Social changes happened as a result of the worker’s fight.)

Boj za pravice živali.
(A fight for animal rights.)

Expressions:

boj na nož
(fight to death – lit. fight on knife)

boj z mlini na veter
(fighting an imagined danger – lit. fight with windmills)

boj za stolček
(fighting for position – lit. fight for a little chair)

Related:

svoboda – freedom
pravica – right, privilege
vojna – war
bojevati se – to fight

Extra:

France Prešeren, the most famous Slovenian poet, wrote the following verse in his epic poem Krst pri Savici:

al komej vrata so odprte, vname
se strašni boj, ne boj, mesarsko klanje:
Valjhun tam s celo jih močjo objame.

The excerpt ne boj, mesarsko klanje (not a battle – a carnage!) has become a very standard expression, especially in sports, to describe a heated and passionate match between teams or players.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

božič

Translation: Christmas

Examples:

Vesel božič in srečno novo leto!
(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year)

Božič je predvsem družinski praznik.
(Christmas is mainly a family holiday.)

Kaj boš počel za božič? – Šel bom na božični koncert. Moj najljubši zbor bo pel božične pesmi.
(What are you going to do for Christmas? – I will attend a Chrismas concert. My favourite choir is going to sing Christmas songs.)

Related:

novoletna jelka – christmass tree (lit. new year’s fir tree)
cerkveni praznik – religious holiday

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

medved

Translation: bear [noun, m]

Bears are a recurring theme in Slovenia. The increasing population of brown bears is causing ocassional conflicts between the animals and humans-and heated debates between the farmers and hunters (the kill-many camp) and the environmentalists (the kill-none camp).

Examples:

Medved je nevarna zver.
(Bear is a dangerous beast.)

Medvedek Pu ima rad med.
(Winnie-the-Pooh likes honey.)

Populacija rjavega medveda raste iz leta v leto.
(The brown bear population is growing each year.)

Expressions:

zaščiten kot medved
(protected, untouchable – lit. protected like a bear; the saying comes from the fact that the bear population in Slovenia enjoys protection from hunting.)

Direktorja so želeli odstaviti, a ga niso mogli–bil je zaščiten kot medved!
(They wanted to depose the manager, but couldn’t-he was well protected.)

tristo kosmatih medvedov
(lit. three hundred hairy bears; this is a famous Slovenian curse. It is more funny than serious. You can also omit “medvedov“.)

Related:

zver – beast
zaščititi – to protect
kosmat – hairy
volk – wolf

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

nič

Sneaky. We all know that it’s a chocolate number.

Translation: zero, nothing

The word nič has several distinct meanings, and it can be found in many phrases and expressions. It has many different grammatical roles in sentences; hopefully, the examples will make it clear how and when to use it.

Examples:

Nič je število.
(Zero is a number.)

Štejem od nič do neskončno.
(I count from zero to infinity.)

Z nič denarja se ne da nič kupiti.
(With no money one cannot buy anything.)

Nič ga ni spravilo v zadrego.
(Nothing made him embarrassed.)

Kaj se je zgodilo? Nič, pozabi!
(What happened? Nothing, forget it.)

Expressions:

Prepirati se za prazen nič.
(to argue without cause – lit. To argue for empty nothing.)

Vse bo šlo v nič.
(Everything will fall apart / will be ruined / will be destroyed. – lit. Everything will go to nothing.)

za nič na svetu
(for all the world – lit. for nothing in the world)

Svojega avta ne bi zamenjala za nič na svetu.
(I wouldn’t change my car for all the world)

Related:

ničesar – nothing

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

gladek

Translation: smooth, slippery, easy [adj]

Examples:

Spodrsnilo mu je na gladkem ledu.
(He slipped on slippery ice.)

Z dlanjo je podrsala po gladki površini.
(With her hand she brushed the smooth surface.)

Danes si imel izpit, kajne? Kako ti je šlo? – V redu, vse je šlo gladko.
(You had the exam today, right? How did it go? – OK, everything went smoothly.)

Expressions:

(nekdo) ni gladek
((someone) is crazy; Lit. (someone) is not smooth)

Veš, kaj mi je rekel včeraj? Da je revščina stvar odločitve. Ta tip res ni gladek.
(You know what he said to me yesterday? That poverty is a choice. That guy is crazy.)

Related:

spolzek – slippery (more slippery than gladek)
glad – hunger
lakota – hunger

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

copati

Translation: slippers

Slovenians usually don’t wear shoes in their homes – we wear copate. It is also common to have a few spare pairs at home in case we get visitors. The comfortable footwear looks like this:

Copate. Source

Note that športni copati refers to sneakers or gym shoes.

Examples:

Nikjer ne najdem svojih copat.
(I can’t find my slippers anywhere.)

Rok, obuj copate, da se ne prehladiš!
(Rok, put on some slippers, so that you don’t get a cold!)

Expressions:

biti copata
(to be henpecked, lit. – to be a slipper)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

One of the most famous fairytales among Slovenian children is “Muca copatarica“. It is about a cat who hides slippers of those children who don’t lay their slippers neatly next to their bed (but rather leave them carelessly lying around the room).

You can give the fairytale a try here: wiki

The book is beautifully illustrated. Source

stanovanje

Translation: apartment, flat

Slovenian makes a distinction between stanovanje (an apartment) and hiša (a house). However, note that a verb stanovati (to reside) applies to both situations.

Examples:

V petek se selim v novo stanovanje.
(I am moving to a new apartment on Friday.)

Kje pa ti stanuješ?
(And where do you live? Note: pa emphasizes the pronoun ti)

Ne morem si privoščiti stanovanja v Ljubljani – je predrago!
(I can’t afford an apartment in Ljubljana – it is too expensive!)

Lastnik stanovanja išče najemnika.
(The owner of the apartment is looking for a tenant.)

Proverbs:

Ljubo doma, kdor ga ima.
(Home sweet home.)

Povsod je lepo, doma je najlepše.
(There’s no place like home.)

Related:

stanovati – to reside (in a house or apartment)
vseliti se – to move in
seliti se – being in a process of moving to a new house; to migrate
dom – home

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

A random song titled “Ljubo doma“. A good practice to listen to a song with Slovenian lyrics (lyrics is also provided under the video!).

Try to follow the lyrics in Slovenian.

račun

I’ve been there…

Translation:
1. bill, invoice
2. account
3. calculation

Whether you go for a coffee, open an account, or help your kid with math homework– račun and its derivatives (see Related) will accompany you on every step.

Examples:

Natakar, račun, prosim!
(Waiter, a bill, please!)

Račun za elektriko je ta mesec precej visok.
(The electricity bill is quite high this month.)

Ne morem verjeti! Podjetje mi še vedno ni nakazalo denarja na moj račun!
(I can’t believe it! The company still hasn’t deposited the money on my account!)

Otroci, rešite ta račun.
(Children, solve this calculation.)

Računanje je igra.
(Calculation is a game. Note: this is a title of a popular textbook with math exercises.)

Expressions:

bogateti na tuj račun
(to make fortune on other’s account / expense; see also tuj)

račun brez krčmarja
(a failure of a task, because all circumstances haven’t been taken into account)

priti na svoj račun
(to reach a goal or to become satisfied)

Nogometna tekma je bila super–obiskovalci so prišli na svoj račun.
(The football match was great–the spectators were very satisfied by it.)

poravnati stare račune
(to settle old responsibilities or debts)

Related:

računati – to calculate (imperfect)
izračunati – to calculate (perfect)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.