Just like English or any language, Slovene also has some homonyms, enakozvožnice – words with same spelling or pronunciation but different meaning. It can be quite tricky and confusing at the beginning, especially when trying to expand your vocabulary, but if you think it that way: it’s like to kill two (or more) birds with one stone!
1. corner, angle | i.e. Stol je v kotu5 (The chair is at the corner).
2. like | i.e. Tiha kot miš (Quiet like a mouse).
1. language | i.e. Koliko jezikov2 govorite (How many languages do you speak)?
2. tongue | i.e. Kača ima dolg jezik4 (Snake has long tongue).
It is the similar in French.
1. bench | i.e. Sedim na klopi5 (I’m sittng on the bench).
2. tick | i.e. Pazi se klopov2 (Beware of ticks)!
1. little butterfly | i.e. Vidim lepe metuljčke4 (I see pretty little butterflies).
2. bowtie | i.e. Janez nosi metuljček4 vsak dan (Janez wears a bowtie everyday).
1. is | i.e. Žan je prijazen (Žan is nice).
2. eats | i.e. Marko je pico4 (Marko eats pizza).
It is written the same, but the pronunciation is different
1. forehead | i.e. Ema ima buško4 na čelu5 (Ema has a bump on her forehead).
2. violoncello | i.e. Anita igra čelo4 (Anita plays violoncello).
1. course | i.e. Grem na tečaj4 slovenščine2 v Ljubljani5 (I go to Slovene course in Ljubljana).
2. rate | Banka ima menjalniški tečaj4 (The bank has exchange rate).
3. pole | i.e. Božiček živi na severnem tečaju5 (Santa Claus lives in North Pole).
Added by readers 🙂
Kopati – 1. to bathe 2. to dig
Hotel -1. the building 2. masculine and singular participle for past and future tense.
These are just a few examples of Slovene homonyms that I can think of at the moment. I am certain that there are way more – if you can think of any, share them with me in comments and I will add them!
Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene Adjectives, Slovene Syntax, Slovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.
11 thoughts on “Homonyms in Slovene”
For “eats”, I think it is written jé.
Tečaj is a great one! I wonder a lot about it…
If you write for “pronunciation”, then yes. Otherwise, you won’t find it written as “jé”, like in the newspapers.
I just learned that “kupati” can mean either to bathe or dig depending on where you put the emphasis.
You’re right, “kopati” (with an o) can mean to bathe or to dig. Nice one!
Hello Anna, thanks for creating these wonderful resources!
For now I can think of “sem” for:
1. The conjugated form of Biti at the first person > Jaz sem
2. (Come) here > Pridi sem
3. Now (and then) > Sem in tja
And “list” for:
1. a leaf
2. a paper or a document > (potni) list = passport
3. a menu > (jedilni) list
4. a sole (the fish) > (morski) list
For “hotel”, your description is only missing the verb you are talking about… 😉
Hvala in lep dan! (You choose the meaning: beautiful, nice, good…)
Thanks for the awesome add ups, Emile 🙂 I will add them to the list!
You’re welcome! It’s Emile, the guy’s name :-p
Oops… I made the correction, sorry >.<
Nič hudega. Since I’m in Slovenia I should know better to use the shorter version of “Emil” 😉
Nič hudega. Since I live in Slovenia, I should know better and use the shorter of my name “Emil” to avoid confusion. And I won’t even go in details regarding my last name which contains an accent on “é”, “an” for the nasal sound “ɑ̃” and “que” at the end… 😅