Slovenija

Translation: Slovenia

I mean, it’s about time to bring Slovenija into the spotlight. This being a language blog, I will refrain from posting touristic click baits. A few important derivatives:

Slovenec – a male Slovenian
Slovenka – a female Slovenian
slovenski – Slovenian (notice that it is not capitalized!)

Examples:

Slovenija leži na sončni strani Alp.
(Slovenia lies on the sunny side of the Alps.)

Barve na slovenski zastavi so: bela, modra, rdeča.
(The colors on the Slovenian flag are: white, blue, red.)

Med potovanjem po Kitajski sem srečal Slovenca.
(During a trip accross China I met a Slovenian.)

Vsak dan se na delo vozi iz Italije v Slovenijo.
(Every day, he drives to work from Italy to Slovenia.)

Kaj na meniju je tipično slovensko?
(What on the menu is typically Slovenian?)

Extra:

Much to our chagrin, Slovenia is often mixed with Slovakia. It usually happens at sports events: a Slovenian wins a race (yeah!), the organizers raise a Slovakian flag or play the wrong anthem–you know, the usual. I’m not sure whether the locals would hold it against you if you made a blunder. Better safe than sorry, though.

Just kidding:)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

politika

Translation: politics, policy

Populism, policy, ratings, arguments, affairs–all that, and much more, is politics. Public perception of politics in Slovenia is quite negative. Yet it is at the forefront of many conversations and a catalyst of many heated arguments.

Different kinds of politics are:

zunanja politika – foreign politics
lokalna politika – local politics
strankarska politika – party politics

Politika is also used as policy:

uredniška politika – editorial policy
davčna politika – tax policy

Examples:

Slovenska politika se sooča s krizo vrednot.
(Slovenian politics is facing a crisis of values.)

Kmetijska politika Evropske unije se je v zadnjih letih močno spremenila.
(Agricultural policy of the European Union has change a lot in recent years.)

Politiki so podprli predlog vlade.
(Politicians supported the government’s proposal.)

Kitajska je imela politiko enega otroka.
(China had a one child policy.)

Expressions:

politika je kurba
(politics is a whore; a popular R-rated saying, note that kurba is a reasonably strong swearing word)

Related:

politik/političarka – male/female politician
predsednik – president
stranka – party
predsednik vlade (premier) – prime minister

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

basen

Translate: fable

A change of format for this one. Here is a fable from the book Ezopove basni (Aesop’s fables). Aesop was a Greek storyteller born about 620 BC. I got a wonderfully illustrated collection of his fables as a kid. Note that the English version below is not a verbatim translation of the Slovenian text.

Medved in čebele

Medved je naletel na podrto drevo, v katerem so imele čebele skrito svojo zalogo medu. Ko je tako vohljal za medom, je s cvetočega travnika priletela čebela. Dobro je vedela, kaj naklepa medved, zato ga je z vso močjo pičila in se skrila v votli hlod. Medved se je razjezil in s šapo udaril po hlodu, da bi uničil čebelje gnezdo. Tedaj pa je iz hloda privršal cel roj jeznih čebel in medved se je pognal v beg, kar so ga nesle noge. V strahu za svojo kožo je skočil v bližnjo mlako.

Nauk:
Bolj modro je tiho pretrpeti prvi udarec kot si z jezo nakopati tisoč sovražnikov.

The Bear and The Bees

A Bear roaming the woods in search of berries happened on a fallen tree in which a swarm of Bees had stored their honey. The Bear began to nose around the log very carefully to find out if the Bees were at home. Just then one of the swarm came home from the clover field with a load of sweets. Guessing what the Bear was after, the Bee flew at him, stung him sharply and then disappeared into the hollow log. The Bear lost his temper in an instant, and sprang upon the log tooth and claw, to destroy the nest. But this only brought out the whole swarm. The poor Bear had to take to his heels, and he was able to save himself only by diving into a pool of water.

Moral:
It is wiser to bear a single injury in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

nogomet

Translation: soccer

I admit: soccer is not my thing. But it plays such a big role in public life, I might as well cover it here. Nogomet is constructed from two words: noga (a leg) and met (a throw). Sometimes a more appropriate žogobrc is used, coming from žoga (a ball) and brcati (to kick); but that sounds a bit funny to a native. Use žogobrc only to impress!

Examples:

Nogomet je igra z žogo.
(Soccer is a game with a ball.)

Nogomet je najpomembnejša igra na svetu.
(Soccer is the most important game in the world.)

Nogomet ali košarka, to je vprašanje.
(Soccer or basketball, that is the question.)

Slovenska nogometna reprezentanca je osvojila turnir v nogometu.
(Slovenian national team won the soccer tournament.)

Rezultat nogometne tekme je bil nepomemben.
(The score of the soccer match was unimportant.)

Related:

nogometaš – a soccer player (male)
nogometašinja – a soccer player (female)
žoga – ball
gol – goal

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

kapa

Translation: cap, hat

Volnena kapa (woolen cap) is an essential piece of clothing on winter days. Some other types are:

kuharska kapa – chef hat
plavalna kapa – swimming / bathing hat
kapa s ščitnikom – baseball hat
kapa s cofom – pom-pom hat

Examples:

Zeblo jo je, ker je pozabila kapo doma.
(She was cold, because she forgot the cap at home.)

Za rojstni dan mu je podarila volneno kapo.
(She gave him a woolen cap as a birthday present.)

Plavalna kapa v bazenu je obvezna.
(Swimming hat in the pool is mandatory.)

Expressions:

Kapo dol!
(Hats off!; especially overused with respect to sports)

Denis se je žrtvoval za ekipo. Kapo dol!
(Denis sacrificed himself for the team. Hats off!)

Related:

klobuk – hat
pokrivalo – headgear
šal – scarf
rokavica – glove, mitten

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

hrana

Translation: food

Slovenia has a varied cuisine. Bread (kruh) is a constant, potato (krompir) is the king, and nothing beats potica in terms of a dessert. The meals of the day are:

zajtrk – breakfast
kosilo – lunch
večerja – dinner
malica – snack

Examples:

Ptice iščejo hrano.
(Birds are searching for food.)

Dobra knjiga je hrana za dušo.
(A good book is food for the soul.)

Iz kuhinje je zadišalo po hrani.
(A smell of food wafted from the kitchen.)

Ne pozabi nahraniti zlate ribice.
(Don’t forget to feed the goldfish.)

Related:

nahraniti – to feed
jesti – to eat
piti – to drink
Dober tek! – Bon appetit!

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

stranišče

Translation: toilet, bathroom, lavatory

Stranišče is both the lavatory and the piece of furniture that you use to do… things. The full name for the furniture is straniščna školjka (lit. toilet shell).

Examples:

Oprostite, kje je stranišče?
(Excuse me, where is the toilet?)

Počakaj! Predem odidemo, moram na stranišče.
(Wait! Before we leave, I have to go to the toilet.)

Kdo je na vrsti, da počisti stranišče?
(Whose turn is it to clean the toilet?)

Sedim na stranišču, in razmišljam.
(I sit on the toilet, and I think/contemplate.)

Na stranišču neznosno smrdi.
(There is an unbearable stench in the lavatory.)

Related:

stranišče na štrbunk – latrine
kopalnica – bathroom
umivalnik – sink, washbasin
smrad – stench, stink

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

vino

Translation: wine

For better and worse, wine permeates Slovenian culture. Several regions in Slovenia are known for their stunning vineyards. And wine, obviously.

Examples:

Kakšno vino bi radi: belo ali rdeče?
(What kind of wine would you like: white or red?)

Steklenica vina stane petnajst evrov.
(A bottle of wine costs fifteen euros.)

Ne maram vina; raje pijem pivo.
(I don’t like wine; I prefer drinking beer.)

Vrhunsko vino potrebuje vrhunsko grozdje.
(A topmost wine needs topmost grapes.)

Expressions:

V vinu je resnica.
(In vino veritas. – lit. In wine lies the truth.)

vino mu je stopilo v glavo
(he got drunk – lit. the wine set foot into his head)

naliti si čistega vina
(to face the unpleasant truth/fact – lit. to pour oneself some clean/pure wine)

Extra:

Each year on November 11th, Slovenia celebrates St. Martin’s day (martinovanje).
On this magical day, must turns into wine. It is an opportunity for socializing and entertainment, encouraged by the noble droplet (žlahtna kapljica), as we sometimes refer to wine.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

mnenje

Translation: opinion, view

Everyone has it. Some are expressing theirs a bit too enthusiastically, especially
on social media. Mnenje can be:

objektivno mnenje – objective opinion
javno mnenje – public opinion
strokovno mnenje – expert opinion
komentatorsko mnenje – commentator’s opinion

One can also do things with mnenje:

spremeniti mnenje – to change one’s opinion
vsiljevati komu svoje mnenje – to impose one’s opinion on somebody
ustvarjati si mnenje – to make one own’s opinion
oblikovati javno mnenje – to form public opinion
povedati svoje mnenje – to give one’s opinion

Examples:

Po mojem mnenju so novi ukrepi proti koronavirusu slabi.
(In my view are the new measures against the coronavirus bad.)

Svoje mnenje je delil na twitterju.
(He shared his opinion on Twitter.)

Po pogovoru je spremenil svoje mnenje.
(After the conversation he changed his opinion.)

Preden začnem graditi hišo, moram pridobiti strokovno mnenje.
(Before I start building a house, I have to obtain an expert opinion.)

O njej imam dobro mnenje.
(I think highly of her.)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

jokati

Translation: to cry

Cry me a river!

Examples:

Otrok je jokal in se oklepal matere.
(The child cried and clung to his mother.)

Včeraj je jokala, danes pa se smeje.
(Yesterday she cried and today she smiles.)

Jokam od sreče.
(I cry with happiness.)

Zaradi hude bolečine v hrbtu je jokal.
(He cried due to a bad pain in his back.)

Related:

jok – crying
solza – a tear
cmera – a cry-baby

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.