At school or in books, standard Slovene – knjižna slovenščina is taught with the proper grammar and vocabulary. This literary version of the language is found in newspapers, on TV and such. On the other hand, colloquial Slovene – neknjižna slovenščina, is used in familiar and informal conversation or online chat. Sometimes, you will notice that it sounds like it was borrowed from another language, such as German or English.
I noticed that while chit-chatting with my in-laws, family, neighbors, friends, family in Slovenia, they used some words, po domače (at home), that I wouldn’t understand right away. Now I’m using them everyday.
means sladkor (sugar) | i.e. Cuk’r mi je padel (My sugar is dropping).
means svež (fresh) | i.e. Vsak dan jem friš’n kruh (Everyday I eat fresh bread).
means čas (time) | i.e. A ‘maš cajt (Do you have time)?
means lepo (nice, pretty) | i.e. Fajn se ‘mejte (Have a good day).
means jaz (I) i.e. Jest ne jem torte (I do not eat cake).
means kosilo (lunch) | i.e. Južna je že na mizi (The lunch is already on the table).
means teči (to run) | i.e. Pes laufa zunaj (The dog is running outside).
means kava (coffee) | i.e. Kdo bo kofe (Who will have a coffee)?
means paziti (to look after) | i.e. A lahko merkaš Nino za pet minut (Can you look after Nina for 5 minutes)?
means volnena odeja (woolen blanket) | i.e. Spim brez deke (I sleep without blanket).
means ravno (just, exactly) | i.e. Sem glih prišla domov (I just came home).
means hudoben (malicious, wicked, naughty) | i.e. Ona ima žleht jezik (She has a wicked tongue).
means hlev (stall) | i.e. Krave so v štali (The cows are in the stall).
means potrebovati, rabiti (to need) | i.e. Kaj nucaš (What do you need)?
means juha (soup) | i.e. Danes sem jedla govejo župo (Today I ate beef soup).
means urediti se (to arrange yourself) | i.e. Za zmenek se bom lepo uštimala (For my date I will arrange myself prettily).
means utrujen (tired) | i.e. Danes sem zmartrana (Today I am tired).
means štedilnik na trda goriva (wood-burning stove) | i.e. Doma imamo šporget (We have a wood-burning stove at home).
means gneča (terrible crowd) | i.e. Na sejemu je bila gužva (There was a terrible crowd at the fair).
Added by readers 🙂
“flaša” – steklenica (bottle); “šalca” – skodelica (cup); “štenge” – stopnice (stairs); “rampe” – zapornice (railway gate); “lojtra” – lestev (ladder), “šajtrga” – samokolnica (wheelbarrow)
This is just a short list, I’m sure that there are a lot more po domače words. If you can think of any, please let me (and others) know via comments! Knowing about them (and integrating them) is an excellent way to converse informally with Slovenians! But do keep in mind about the standard Slovene as well.
Please note that I live near Tržič, which is close to the Austrian border, therefore, many of the words are inspired by German.
Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene Adjectives, Slovene Syntax, Slovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.
8 thoughts on “Colloquial Slovene – Vocabulary”
This was such a fun post! Thank you, Anna! Every one of your examples were familiar to me as my parents and grandparents used these common terms. it felt like home reading your examples. Thanks. I love your blog!
Thanks Dorothy, I’m glad that you enjoyed it! 😉
Pomeni “neknjižna slovenščina” pogovorna slovenščina po knjižno slovensko? Prvič slišim izraz 🙂
Ne vedno. Lahko poglejdate v slovarju: http://bos.zrc-sazu.si/sskj.html
Wow so many of those words come from German.
Yup, it is true 🙂
Hi, Anna, štala means something bad or troubling when related with slang. Eg “totalna štala”,ne vem, kaj naj naredim”.
I’ve checked it. From my understanding, “štala” can also be used express a “mess”.