juha

Translation: soup

Every decent traditional Slovenian meal includes soup as a starter. Some common soup types are:

goveja juha – beef soup (very traditional)
zelenjavna juha – vegetable soup
fižolova juha – bean soup
paradižnikova juha – tomato soup

Examples:

Miha, če je juha prevroča, jo malo popihaj.
(Miha, if the soup is too hot, blow on it a bit.)

Moja babica skuha najboljšo juho.
(My grandma cooks the best soup.)

Imaš rajši zelenjavno ali govejo juho?
(Do you prefer vegetable or beef soup?)

Expressions:

ne priplavati po juhi
(to have enough experience that you are not being taken for a fool; lit. to not swim over on a soup)

Kaj praviš? Da si z golimi rokami ujel tigra? A misliš, da sem po juhi priplaval?
(What are you saying? That you caught a tiger with your bare hands? Are you taking me for a fool?)

vroča juha
(an unpleasant situation; lit. hot soup)

Vodstvo se je prepozno odzvalo in še tri dni pogrevalo vročo juho.
(The leadership (or management) reacted too late and persisted in the unpleasant situation for three days.)

Extra:

In several Slovenian dialects, juha is replaced by župa. Župa is a
so-called germanizem, a word that has been adopted, and over time
slightly transformed, from German. Here is a short article about these
words (if you can read a bit of Slovenian). Some other examples are:

šraufenciger (izvijač) – screwdriver
fuzbal (nogomet) – soccer
zic (sedež) – a seat

While such words are not considered a beautiful Slovenian, they are very
common in everyday speech.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

vrt

A popular activity in Slovenia. Source

Translation: garden

Vrt is a place for growing vegetables or flowers, or a place with grass and flowers where one can take a walk. If you want to be more specific you can talk of zelenjavni vrt (vegetable garden) or cvetlični vrt (flower garden).

Examples:

Na mojem vrtu rastejo solata, korenje in zelje.
(Salad, carrots, and cabbage are growing in my garden.)

Spomladi večino prostega časa namenim delu na vrtu.
(In spring I devote most of my free time to the work on the garden.)

Odkar sem v pokoju, redno vrtnarim.
(I regularly work in a garden since I am in retirement.)

Hotelski gostje se pred večerjo radi sprehajajo po vrtu.
(The guests of the hotel like to stroll in the garden before dinner.)

Gremo v živalski vrt.
(We go to the zoo.)

Related:

vrtec – kindergarten
vrtiček – a small garden
vrtičkar – someone who owns a small vegetable garden and spends a lot of time working on it
vrtnariti – to garden
vrtnarjenje – gardening
botanični vrt – botanical garden
živalski vrt – zoo

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

krompir

Translation: potato

Krompir is found in many Slovenian dishes either as the main or side dish. Basic potato side dishes are:

pečen krompir – baked potato
pomfrit – French fries
tenstan krompir – mashed potato
pire – puree

Examples:

Mami, kaj bo za kosilo? – Juha, meso in krompir.
(Mom, what will we have for lunch? – A soup, meat, and potato.)

Zaradi deževnega poletja bo letošnja letina krompirja slaba.
(This year’s potato crop will be bad because of the rainy summer.)

Krompir je hrana revežev.
(Potato is the food of the poor.)

Expressions:

imeti krompir
(do be lucky; lit. to have potato)

Neumen kmet ima debel krompir.
(the less you think the better you will do in life; lit. A stupid farmer has/grows fat potatoes.)

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

The love for tenstan krompir, also known as pražen (roasted) krompir, has somehow escalated completely in Slovenia. There is a society (Društvo praženega krompirja) taking this kind of potato very seriously. They claim that their recipe is the official recipe and they organize festivals where the main dish is… tenstan krompir. It is all just as silly as you imagine.

Tenstan ali pražen krompir. Source

vas

A typical village in Slovenia. Source

Translation: village

The straightforward translation of vas is village. However, you will encounter this word a lot in a completely different setting: vas is also an object pronoun, used in two different roles:

2nd person plural

Videl sem vas hoditi po cesti.
(I saw (multiple) you walking down the road.)

Ne slišim vas!
(I don´t hear (multiple) you!)

The formal version of the 2nd person singular (see also Extra)

Gospod Novak, dolgo vas že nisem videl.
(Mr Novak, I haven´t seen you for a long time.)

Gospod Novak, vabimo Vas na sestanek članov odbora.
(Mr Novak, we invite you to a meeting of the board members.)

Examples:

Življenje na vasi je idilično.
(Village life is idyllic.)

Z vasi je prišel v mesto.
(He came from a village to the town.)

Novica se je hitro razširila po vasi.
(The news has spread quickly throughout the village.)

Vas ima sto prebivalcev.
(The village has a hundred dwellers.)

Expressions:

Zame je španska vas.
(it´s all Greek to me; lit. For me it is a Spanish village; note that another version with the same meaning is deveta vas, which translates into “ninth village”)

Dober glas seže v deveto vas.
(what is good, or of good quality, is famous very far away; lit. – a good voice reaches to the ninth village)

Related:

zaselek – hamlet
mesto – town
velemesto – city

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

Extra:

You address other people formally when you want to show respect. Typically you would use this form when talking with someone you don´t know or someone older you know, but not well enough to be on a friendly basis. In writing you can be extremely formal by capitalize it (Vas instead of vas). In Slovenia, this formal address is still very common and even expected; forgetting to use it in certain situations is considered rude.

virus

Nasty little buggers. Source

Translation: virus

It seems like an appropriate word to discuss in the light of coronavirus. The word serves a similar purpose as in English, but mind the different pronunciation.

Examples:

V boju proti koronavirusu so ukrepi podobni kot pri drugih nalezljivih boleznih.
(The measures against the coronavirus are similar to the measures against other contagious diseases.)

Redno si umivajte roke z vodo in milom.
(Regularly wash hands with water and soap.)

Podatki o inkubacijski dobi so negotovi.
(The data about the incubation period are uncertain.)

Po spletu straši nov izsiljevalski računalniški virus.
(A new blackmailing computer virus is haunting the internet.)

Računalniški virus je programska koda, ki lahko uniči vaš računalnik.
(Computer virus is a code capable of destroying your computer.)

Related:

nalezljiv – contaigeous (adj)
okužen – infected
bolezen – disease
inkubacijska doba – incubation period

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.

pismo

Translation: letter

Apart from the main meaning, the word pismo is used on a daily basis as a soft cursing word (like blast!, damn! or darn!).

Examples:

Svoji punci je poslal ljubezensko pismo.
(He sent a love letter to his girlfriend.)

Pismo je bilo naslovljeno na njegovega brata.
(The letter was addressed to his brother.)

Včasih je bilo dopisovanje prek pisem bolj pogosto.
(Conversation by means of letters used to be more frequent in the past.)

Pismo mi gre ta ženska na živce.
(Damn! I can’t stand that woman.)

Pismo! A se lahko umakneš?
(Damn! Can you move aside?)

Extra:

Pismo as a curse word likely comes as a children-friendly substitute for a much juicier pizda (cunt). A comprehensive list of Slovenian curse words, ranging from soft to hardcore, can be found here. Yes, it is a rather long list, and most of them are encountered frequently in various situations. Good luck.

Listen to the pronunciation of Slovenian words and phrases.

itak

Translation: as it is, of course, duh

This informal word is very popular among Slovenians; you will hear it all the time in everyday speech. Its meaning depends on the context.

Examples:

Pojdi, tukaj nas je itak preveč.
(Go, there are too many of us here anyway / as it is.)

Po parih pranjih so itak vse majice zanič.
(After a few washings all the t-shirts are naturally useless.)

Si res pripravljen? Itak.
(Are you really ready? Of course / Duh.)

Kar ostani še malo, vlak si itak zamudil.
(Just stay for a while, you missed the train anyway.)

Ne bom je predstavljal, saj jo itak poznate.
(I will not introduce her, because you already know her.)

Related:

tako in tako – as it is
seveda – of course

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.