mojster

Translation: artisan, master craftsman

Mojster (the female form is mojstrica) is typically someone who is either the most experienced craftsman in a company or someone who does something (a job) very well. The word, used in a phrase, can mean very specific professions, the most common being:

šahovski mojster – chess champion
tonski mojster – sound engineer
kuharski mojster – master chef

Examples:

Slavni mojster ga je učil igrati violino.
(A famous master thought him to play the violin.)

Po letih učenja in težkega dela je postal mojster svojega poklica.
(After years of learning and hard work he became the master of his profession.)

V Sloveniji je vse manj mojstrov kovačev.
(There are less and less master blacksmiths in Slovenia.)

Včeraj je Roglič zopet zmagal tekmo. – Ja, on je res mojster.
(Yesterday Roglič won the race again. – Yes, he is really good.)

Expressions:

mojster besede / mojster peresa
(a wordsmith / a skillful writer)

vaja dela mojstra
(practice makes perfect)

Related:

strokovnjak – a professional, expert
poznavalec – connoisseur

Extra:

Slovenian children are familiar with two famous “masters”. You know the famous Frère Jacques? Our version goes under the name of Mojster Jaka. Listen to it here.

Bob the Builder is a renowned children’s animated series. In Slovenia, the series is called Mojster Miha. Here is one episode for the taste.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

šiv

Sewing masks has become a necessary hobby. Credit

Translation: stitch, seam

The thing that holds our clothes together. You won’t encounter the word “šiv” in many situations; here are some more frequently used derivatives:

šivati – to sew, stitch
šivilja, šivilec – seamstress, seamster
kroj – cut, sewing pattern
krojiti – to tailor
krojač, krojačica – tailor

Examples:

Večere je preživljala ob šivanju oblek.
(She spent evenings sewing clothes.)

Ker mu je bila obleka preozka, so ji začeli pokati šivi.
(Because his suit was too tight, its seams started to burst.)

Zvok šivalnega stroja ga je pomiril.
(The sound of the sewing machine calmed him down.)

Sestra mu je rano na dlani zašila s šestimi šivi.
(The nurse sutured the wound on his palm with six stitches.)

Expressions:

pokati po šivih
(to burst at the seams; to be very busy)

Slovenska obala je med vikendom pokala po šivih.
(Slovenian coast was very busy on weekend.)

Related:

volna – wool
preja – yarn
igla – needle

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

štala

Translation: a stable, confusion (informal)

Štala is a colloquial word for a stable. But you will also hear it used in everyday speech as a description of a confused, disorderly situation or happening (pandemonium).

Examples:

Kmet je imel v štali pet krav.
(The farmer had five cows in the stable.)

In takrat se je začela prava štala.
(And that is when the pandemonium began.)

Včeraj sem domov prišel zelo pozno. Ženi ni bilo všeč – bila je cela štala.
(Yesterday I came home very late. My wife didn’t like it – it wasn’t pretty.)

Expressions:

Najprej štalca, pol pa kravca.
(lit. first a little stable, and then a small cow. You say it when you first want to be financially independent, to have a house, and only then you think of children.)

Related:

hlev – a stable
kaos – chaos
norišnica – asylum, pandemonium

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

cepivo

Brrr, needles. Source

Translation: vaccine

Let’s face it, the vaccine is on everyone’s mind these days. Hardly a day goes by without an article, a round table, or a radio show discussing the ultimate question: when?

Examples:

Cepivo proti ošpicam uspešno preprečuje smrt otrok.
(The measles vaccine successfully prevents children’s death.)

Nasprotniki cepiv se igrajo z ognjem.
(Vaccine opponents are playing with fire.)

Razvoj cepiva traja leta.
(The development of the vaccine takes years.)

Ampak, ali bo cepiva dovolj za vse?
(But, will there be enough vaccine for everyone?)

Related:

cepiti – to vaccinate
cepljenje – vaccination
bolezen – disease
gripa – flu
ošpice – measles

Extra:

Completely unrelated: cepiti doesn’t mean only to vaccinate, but also to chop wood (eg. cepiti drva). You have been warned.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

jabolko

The red or green: which do you prefer? Source

Translate: apple

I always associate autumn with apples and apple pies.

Examples:

Iz jabolk je naredila slastno jabolčno pito.
(From the apples she made a delicious apple pie.)

Jeseni se listje obarva v tople barve.
(In autumn, leaves are colored in warm colors.)

Sredi vrta stoji stara jablana.
(An old apple tree stands in the middle of the garden.)

Adamovo jabolko je izboklina na moškem vratu.
(Adam’s apple is a bulge on a men’s neck.)

Expressions:

Jabolko ne pade daleč od drevesa.
(The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

jabolko spora
(an apple of discord)

ugrizniti v kislo jabolko
(to grasp the nettle; lit. to bite into a sour apple)

Related:

hruška – pear
sliva – plum
jesen – autumn

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

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.