Usually when you translate verbs from one language to another, you will end up with a direct translation. Although, an interesting verb in Slovene is the verb “to know” in English, because depending on the context, it can be translated into three Slovene versions.
Vedeti – to know
The verb vedeti (to know) is used for common knowledge or things that can be learnt through information or observation.
- Vem, da je Slovenija v Evropi5. (I know that Slovenia is in Europe).
- A veste koliko je 5 krat 5 (Do you know how much is 5 times 5)?
- Vem, katera kavarna ima najboljšo kavo4 (I know which coffee shop has the best coffee).
- Veliko veste o politiki5(You know a lot about politics).
Znati – to know
The verb znati (to know) is used for knowledge, like a language or a skill.
- Znam slovensko4, angleško4, francosko4 in kitajsko4.
(I know Slovene, English, French and Chinese).
- Pika zna plavati, kuhati in voziti (Pika knows to swim, to cook and to drive).
Poznati – to know
The verb poznati (to know) is used when you know about someone or something.
- Poznam to pesem4 (I know this song).
- A poznate Martino4 ki živi v Kranju5 (Do you know Martina that lives in Kranj)?
- Tina veliko potuje in pozna veliko držav (Tina travels a lot and knows many countries).
Bonus : Spoznati – to meet, to get to know, to realize
The verb spoznati (to meet, to get to know, to realize) can be confusing because it contains the verb znati and poznati, but has a different meaning.
- Tilen in Maja sta spoznala na jezikovnem tečaju5 (Tilen and Maja met at the course).
- Karl hoče spoznati Katjo4 (Karl wants to get to know Katja).
- Jan je spoznal, da voziti med prometni konici5 ni dobra ideja. (Jan realized that driving during rush hour is not a good idea).
When you’re not sure which Slovene verbs to use, always remember the context! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!