A poem translates to pesem, which also means a song in Slovenian. For this week, I prepared two famous poems written by Tone Pavček. Given the purpose of this blog, I translated them quite literally. A proper translation would require a bit of playing with words–as it is with every good poetry.
(Without a title)
Na svetu si, da gledaš sonce, na svetu si, da greš za soncem, na svetu si, da sam si sonce in da s sveta odganjaš – sence.
(You are in the world, to watch the sun you are in the world, to follow the sun you are in the world, to be the sun and to repel from the world – the shadows.)
Pesem o zvezdah (Song about stars)
Vsak človek je zase svet, čuden, svetal in lep kot zvezda na nebu…
Vsak tiho zori, počasi in z leti, a kamor že greš, vse poti je treba na novo začeti.
Tako živimo ljudje. Vsak zase krmari k pogrebu. Svetloba samo nas druži kot zvezde na nebu.
A včasih so daleč poti, da roka v roko ne seže, a včasih preblizu so si, da z nohti lahko srce kdo doseže…
Od tega menda človek umre, od tega z neba se zvezda ospe.
( Every man is a world in themself, strange, bright, and beautiful like a star in the sky…
Each one quietly matures, slowly and with years, but wherever you go, all paths need to be started anew.
That is how we people live, each one steers themself to a funeral. Light only connects us like the stars in the sky.
But sometimes the paths are far, that a hand does not reach a hand, but sometimes they are too close, that with nails a heart anyone reaches.
From that supposedly a man dies, from that from the sky a star falls.)
Let us look at a verb today for a change. Stati is the infinite form; it changes depending on the subject to which it applies and to the tense. Anna in Slovenia has a nice explanation of how to handle the verbs. This one is used in versatile ways. Especially the “stand” meaning is used figuratively in many different circumstances.
Koliko stane krilo? (How much does the skirt cost?)
Kava stane en evro. (Coffee costs one euro.)
Počitnice so nas stale pet tisoč evrov. (Holidays cost us (past tense) five thousand euros.)
Stojimo v vrsti. (We stand in line.)
Telovadec stoji na glavi. (The gymnast stands on his head.)
Stojim za svojimi besedami! (I stand by my words!)
Testo naj pol ure stoji, preden gre v pečico. (Let the dough rest for half an hour, before it goes into an oven.)
naj stane, kar hoče (at any price, at all cost; lit. let (it) cost, whatever (it) wants)
stati do kolen v dreku (to be in a very uncomfortable and complicated position; lit. to stand in shit up to knees)
stati kot pribit (to be immobile; lit. to stand as if being nailed)
stati križem rok (to be lazy; lit. to stand cross-armed)
sedeti – to be seated / to sit sesti – to sit down stanje – condition, state
Petrol is the biggest Slovenian petrol company. This post is not meant as an endorsement of the company, though it is quite an important name to pay attention to. For example, when a Slovenian says “Grem na Petrol.”, they mean “I’m going to the gas station.” The company name became a synonym for a gas station.
The real reason for today’s post is actually a fun one. It turns out that in Slovenian you can write not only full sentences but even a short story in which every single word starts with a letter “p”. Petrol made a fun advertisement decades ago based on that quality. Watch it here:
Here is a sentence by sentence translation. Can you twist your language in the same way?
Prelestno pokrajino preveva pomlad. (A delightful countryside is permeated by spring.)
Petra pa Primož, pravkar poročena, potujeta po prašni poti. Potem pa: PUF PUF (Petra and Primož, just married, travel on a dusty road. And then: PUF PUF)
Primož: »Presneto!« Prelepo potovanje postane problem. (Primož: “Damn!” The beautiful journey becomes a problem.)
Prepotena, prašna, prestradana, prrririneta pred Petrolovo postojanko. Poskočen prodajalec ponudi pomoč. (Sweaty, dusty, starving, they push (themselves and the car) in front of the Petrol post. A jumpy salesman offers help.)
»Pozdravljena, potrebujeta pomoč?« (Welcome, do you need help?)
Parčku pa predlaga pogledati po prodajalni. (And he suggests the couple to look about the store.)
Translation: capital (as: the city with the seat of government)
It is also common to say glavno mesto (main city) instead of prestolnica. Prestolnica can further be used to describe a center of a certain activity (eg. prestolnica kulture – cultural capital).
Ljubljana je glavno mesto Slovenije. (Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia.)
Lani je Luka obiskal skoraj vse evropske prestolnice. (Last year Luka visited almost all European capitals.)
Maribor je bil leta 2012 razglašen za evropsko prestolnico kulture. (In 2012, Maribor was pronounced the European capital of culture.)
prestol – throne
Here is a very short list of capitals (and countries) in Slovenian. You will recognize most, but some names are… different.
Ljubljana (Slovenija) – Ljubljana (Slovenia) Dunaj (Avstrija) – Vienna (Austria) Rim (Italija) – Rome (Italy) Budimpešta (Madžarska) – Budapest (Hungary) Berlin (Nemčija) – Berlin (Germany) Pariz (Francija) – Paris (France) London (Združeno kraljestvo) – London (United Kingdom)
Various examples/phrases, where knjiga plays the central role:
mladinska knjiga – young adult book spominska knjiga – memorial book žalna knjiga – condolence book matična knjiga – register zemljiška knjiga – land register šolska knjiga – school book e-knjiga – e-book
Knjiga ima dvesto strani. (The book has two hundred pages.)
Vsak teden preberem vsaj eno knjigo. (Each week I read at least one book.)
Všeč so mi knjige s trdimi platnicami. (I like hardcover books.)
Pisateljica se je z novinarjem pogovarjala o svoji novi knjigi. (The writer talked with the journalist about her new book.)
Gospodar prstanov je roman v treh knjigah. (Lord of the rings is a novel in three volumes.)
Kaj misliš o e-knjigah? (What’s your opinion of e-books?)
biti kot odprta knjiga (to be an open book)
Njen sin je zelo družaben. Je kot odprta knjiga. (Her son is very sociable. He is an open book.)
požirati knjige (to read books in a fast succession)
Tako pameten je, ker cele dneve požira knjige. (He is so smart because he reads books all the time.)