Learn Slovenian - Basics | Slovene 101

How to Learn Slovenian


Getting the Basics Down

  1. Start with the Slovenian alphabet.There are 25 Latin letters in the Slovenian alphabet, although many are pronounced far differently than they would be in English. The Slovenian alphabet does not have the lettersq,x,y, orw.
    • The Slovenian alphabet has 3 letters with carons above them: č, š, and ž. The letterčis pronounced like the letterschin the English word "cherry,"šlikeshin "show," andžlike thesin "pleasure" or the secondgin "garage" (conveniently, "garage" in Slovenian isgaraža).
    • The letterjin the Slovenian alphabet is pronounced like theyin the English alphabet.
  2. Pronounce long and short vowels.Like many languages, Slovenian has 5 vowels:a,e,i,o, andu. These vowels are pronounced similarly to the way they are pronounced in Spanish. For example, the longiis aneesound.
    • A longais pronounced like theain the English wordfar. A shortais pronounced like theainabove.
    • Longeis pronounced like theeinbled. Shorteis pronounced like theeinmet.
    • Longiis pronounced like theeeinsee. Shortiis pronounced like theiinbit.
    • Longois pronounced like theoaincloak. Shortois pronounced like theoinobey.
    • Longuis pronounced like theooinpool. Shortuis pronounced like theooinbook.
  3. Combine vowel sounds in common Slovenian diphthongs.A diphthong is two vowels in the same syllable that are combined together to create a different sound. Most common Slovenian diphthongs consist of the letterjcombined with another vowel.
    • Ajis pronounced like the English word "eye."
    • Ejis pronounced like the "ay" in "pay."
    • Ojis pronounced like the "oy" in "toy."
    • Ujis pronounced like the "ee" in "week."
  4. Practice Slovenian consonants.Particularly if your first language is English, you may have trouble with some Slovenian letters. For example, the letterris always rolled in Slovenian, similar to Italian or Spanish pronunciation.
    • Also similar to Spanish, the letterjin Slovenian is always pronounced like theyinyankee.
    • The way a letter is pronounced can differ based on its placement in the word or the letter that comes before it. For example, if the letterlfalls at the end of a word or after any letter other thanj, it is pronounced like awin English.
  5. Identify which syllable to stress in Slovenian words.Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about which syllable to stress. However, the stress usually falls on the second or third-last syllable. Listening to someone speaking while you read what they're saying can help you learn to put the stress on the right syllable.
    • When you have a word with a long vowel sound, the syllable with the long vowel is always stressed.
  6. Find English-Slovenian cognates.If you speak English, you already know a number of Slovenian words. Cognates have a common origin, and typically have similar meanings. Many of these words are borrowed from another language.
    • For example, the Slovenian word for "mother" ismama. Other cognates includedirektor,elektrika,televizija, andinformacija.
    • Slovenian also has many words in common with other Slavic languages, and with German.
  7. Determine the gender of nouns.Slovenian nouns can be one of 3 genders: feminine, masculine, or neuter. While there are exceptions to every rule, you typically can figure out the gender of a noun by looking at the last letter.
    • Nouns that end inaare almost always feminine. A few are masculine.
    • Nouns that end in a consonant are usually masculine, although a few are feminine.
    • Nouns that end inoare usually neuter, although a few are masculine.
  8. Familiarize yourself with thedualconcept.Slovenian is one of the only languages in the world that has adualconcept apart from the plural. With nouns and pronouns, you have separate word endings to indicate whether you are talking about 2 people or things, or 3 or more people or things.
    • Note, however, that things that normally come in pairs, such as eyes or legs, take the plural rather than the dual. Use the dual in situations where you want to emphasizeboth.

Starting Brief Conversations

  1. Greet people in Slovenian.Saying "hello" and "how are you?" is the beginning of any typical conversation. Pick up a few basic greetings in Slovenian and you'll be on your way to making small talk using the language.
    • The basic word for "hello" in Slovenian isživjo(ZHEE-vyoh). Following that, you might as "kako si?" (kah-KOH-see), which means "how are you?" The typical reply is "hvala, dobro" (HVAH-lah, DOH-broh), or "fine, thanks."
    • You might want to use different greetings depending on the time of day. In the morning, you might say "dobro jutro" (DOH-broh YOO-troh), which means "good morning." During the day or in the afternoon, say "dober dan" (DOH-ber dahn), or "good day." In the evening, you would use "dober večer" (DOH-behr veh-CHEEHR) to say "good evening."
  2. Introduce yourself in Slovenian.After greeting someone, you may want to exchange names. Say "ime mi je" (ee-MEH mee yeh) followed by your name to introduce yourself. You might then ask the other person's name by saying "Kako ti je ime?" (kah-KOH tee yeh ee-MEH).
    • If you're speaking to an older person or someone in a position of authority, say "kako Vam je ime?" (kah-KOH vahm yeh ee-MEH). It's more formal and polite.
    • If at this point you've basically exhausted the Slovenian you know, you might say "Govorite angleško?" (goh-voh-REE-teh ahn-GLEHSH-koh), which means "Do you speak English?"
  3. Ask basic questions.To find something in particular, or navigate in Slovenia, use "kje" (kyeh) for where. Add "je" (yeh) to say "where is." Other basic question words includekako(kah-KOH), meaning "how" andkdo(KH-doh), meaning "who."
    • The wordkaj(kai), meaning "what," may also be useful if you want to know the Slovenian word for something or didn't understand what someone said.
    • The words for "yes" and "no" areda(dah) andne(neh). If someone says something you don't quite get, you might say "ne razumem" (neh rah-ZOO-mahm), which means "I don't understand."
  4. Mind your manners with polite expressions in Slovenian.Being polite can go a long way, especially when you're just learning a language. People will generally be more willing to help you if you speak to them politely and respectfully.
    • If you've just started speaking Slovenian, you may find yourself wanting to apologize a lot. The word for "I'm sorry" isoprostite(oh-prohs-TEE-teh). Use the same word to say "excuse me," unless you're trying to slip through a crowd. In that case, you would saysamo malo, prosim(sah-MOH MAH-loh, PROH-sihm).
    • The wordprosimmeans "please" in Slovenian. For example, you might say "Lahkno govorite malo počasneje, prosim?" (lah-KOH goh-voh-REE-teh MAH-loh poh-chahs-NEH-yeh PROH-sihm), or "Could you speak more slowly, please?"
    • After someone helps you, say "hvala" (HVAA-lah) for "thank you." If they helped you a lot, you might even say "hvala lepa" (HVAA-lah LEH-pah), which means "thank you very much." The person will likely say "prosim" back, because in Slovenian this word is also used to mean "you're welcome."
  5. Close conversations and take your leave politely.When you're done talking to someone, use a word such asnasvidenje(nahs-VEE-deh-nyeh) to say goodbye before you go. You might also use "živijo" (ZHEE-viyoh), which means "see you later."
    • Another casual word to use with friends or close acquaintances isadijo(ah-DYOH), which means "so long."
    • In the evening, you could also say "lahko noč" (LAA-koh nohtch), which means "good night." This is commonly used before going to bed for the night.

Immersing Yourself in Slovenian

  1. Label items around your home to increase your vocabulary.Once you have some basic vocabulary, place a sign on objects around your home with the Slovenian word for that object. Over time, your brain will automatically associate the object with the Slovenian word.
    • You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money on a fancy label maker. Sticky notes will stay on most surfaces and won't damage anything.
  2. Access Slovenian newspapers to practice reading.There are several Slovenian newspapers online. Bookmark the websites and you can read the day's news in Slovene. Some newspaper sites may also have video and audio.
    • Major Slovenian newspapers include Zurnal (), Dnevnik (), and Delo ().
    • News articles can also expose you to the Slovenian perspective on global events of which you were already aware.
  3. Listen to Slovenian radio stations to improve your comprehension.There are a number of Slovenian radio stations streaming online that you can listen to for free. Find a genre of music you like or simply listen to talk radio while you are taking a shower or doing chores.
    • Listening to Slovenian music also can help you learn the language more quickly, since song lyrics are frequently simplistic and repetitive.
    • You can also search on YouTube for videos by Slovenian music artists.
  4. Read Slovenian books to get a feel for the language's flow.Reading Slovenian literature, especially novels with dialog, can give you a better understanding of how people talk and the words they use most often.
    • Being a relatively small language globally, you may find it difficult to find very many books written in Slovenian locally, particularly if you live in North or South America, where there aren't many people who speak the language.
    • Slovenia's University of Nova Gorica has a list of Slovenian e-books available online at .
    • Look for books you've already read in English that have been translated into Slovenian. It can be easy (and fun) to pick up new words from context when you're reading a story you're already familiar with.
  5. Find a language partner online to work on your conversational skills.Even if you live far away from Slovenia, you can still find a native Slovenian speaker to practice your conversational skills with. Search online for websites that connect native speakers with students of languages.
  6. Change the language settings on your computer.For the full immersive experience, you can and the language of many apps and web browsers to Slovenian.
    • You can change the language on your phone as well, and on many apps and websites that you use frequently.
    • While you won't necessarily acquire an extensive vocabulary simply by changing the system language on your electronic devices, it will expose you to basic technical terms.

Video: Learn Slovene! Basic Words & Phrases for Tourists Visiting Slovenia

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Date: 07.12.2018, 19:17 / Views: 41554