What brings luck to Slovenians?

Depending on the culture, there are many beliefs that certain things bring luck, while other bring bad luck – it is the same for Slovenians.

Holding a button when meeting the dimnikar brings luck

Dimnikar (chimney sweeper) is a very important profession in Slovenia, because many house burn logs as a main source of heat. Therefore, it is important that the chimney is cleaned and inspected.

I’ve been told that if I hold a button when the chimney sweeper comes, then something good will happen on the same day! Unfortunately, I always forget to wear something with a button when it’s time for inspection… (lol).

Seeing a spider in the house brings luck

Personally, I do not like  pajki (spiders) at all, especially inside the house. I just have this pressing urge to smack them right away. Until one day, as I was about to get rid of one, my Slovenian mother-in-law told me that spiders found in the house were believed to bring luck for a short period of time.

All I can say is… the spider got really lucky on that day.

Hearing the cuckoo brings money

One year while on a walk with my Slovenian mother-in-law, we heard koo-koo koo-koo and she told me that she doesn’t have a coin with her. I was like… uh? Apparently,  there’s a belief around that too.

If you have a coin in your pocket the first time of the year that you hear the sound of the cuckoo, then you will have enough money for the upcoming year!


From now on, for the sake of luck and money, are you going to always wear something with a button, let spiders make webs in your house or carry a coin with you? Do you know any other similar beliefs? If you so, you are welcomed to share them with me via comments!

Until next lucky round,
Anna.

Learning Slovenian Slang #003

Have you ever heard some words used by Slovenian locals that you couldn’t exactly find in a dictionary? Well, those words could be slang. Learning them is an interesting way to jump into the Slovenian culture!

*Keep in mind that I live near Tržič, which is close to the Austrian border, therefore, many of the slang are influenced by German. I’ve also used Tržiški slovar, edited by Tereza Gosar and Jožica Koder, as reference.


Fruštek

means zajtrk (breakfast).  It comes from frühstück, which translates into breakfast in German. Other meals in Slovene: malica means snack (but in restaurant, especially for workers, it is a good portion of food), kosilo is lunch and večerja is dinner.


Špajza

means shramba (storeroom, pantry).  Interestingly, it has the same meaning in Kajkavian – a northern Croatian dialect, but it origins from the Austrian-German word Speise (food).


Oštarija

means gostilna (inn, pub).  It comes from the Italian word osteria, which means tavern or pub.


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s learn Slovene po domače,
Anna.

Happy Easter 2020!

Hello Everyone!

Wishing you a Happy Easter! Vesele Velikonočne Praznike!

Because of COVID-19, this year’s celebration is a lot more quiet. We watched Mass on TV, no visit or gathering, but we still and try to keep up the traditions as much as we could.

Happy Easter 2020 | AnnainSlovenia@wordpress.com

Happy Easter 2020

Suho meso (dry meat), suhe želodec (stuffed pig stomach), rdeči pirhi (red dyed eggs), hren (horseradish), Potica, homemade bread and of course, lots of chocolate! 🙂

Something funny, my son went straight biting into the meat while my daughter directly grabbed all the chocolates… It was a bit funny to see what was more important to them.

Anyways, happy holidays.
Stay home, stay safe! #ostanidoma

Anna.

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #006

Every language has idioms and expressions, Slovene is no different. Compared to grammar, learning idioms is a funnier and more practical way to use daily Slovene. It is also a creative way to get familiar with the Slovenian culture and heritage!

  • Odkriti Ameriko – To discover America
    It doesn’t mean to go on a trip to  America as a trip, but like Columbus: to discover something new.
  • Španska vas – Spanish village
    Where exactly do you look for a Spanish village on a map? Actually, it doesn’t refer to a specific place, but somewhere that is completely unknown (to you).
  • Narediti se Francoza – To make oneself French
    It doesn’t refer to getting a French citizenship or residency, not even having the lifestyle of a French. It simply means to do something stupid or to act indifferent.
The audio file is a courtesy of my friend Jure from Slovenian Word Of The Day.  You can listen to his explanation of vocabulary words, such as vas, on his website.

Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s speak like Slovenians,
Anna.

Learning Slovenian Slang #002

An interesting way to immerse into the Slovenian culture and interact with locals is to learn their slangs. It’s fun and it totally gives a break from the difficult Slovene grammar 😉 And the most amazing part of it? You probably already know some of them!

*Keep in mind that I live near Tržič, which is close to the Austrian border, therefore, many of the slangs are influenced by German. I’ve also used Tržiški slovar, edited by Tereza Gosar and Jožica Koder, as reference.


Ajnpren / Ampren

means prežganje (roux). For those who are familiar with cooking, roux is a way to thicken sauce, soup or stew by adding flour to melted fat. Sometimes, chopped čebula (onion) is added in too.


Špajza

means shramba (storeroom, pantry).  Interestingly, it has the same meaning in Kajkavian – a northern Croatian dialect, but it origins from the Austrian-German word Speise (food).


Oštarija

means gostilna (inn, pub).  It comes from the Italian word osteria, which also means tavern or pub. So, don’t be surprised if you encounter various restaurants in Slovenia with “oštarija” in their name!


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s learn Slovene po domače,
Anna.

Learning Slovenian Slang #001

In my opinion, slang is an important part of the linguistic heritage of Slovenia. Knowing about them is also a fun and amusing way to learn Slovene. And the best of it? You might have heard some of them already!

*Keep in mind that I live near Tržič, which is close to the Austrian border, therefore, many of the slang are influenced by German. I’ve also used Tržiški slovar, edited by Tereza Gosar and Jožica Koder, as reference.


Auš a nauš

means ali boš ali ne boš (will you or will you not). To which you can answer: bom (I will) or nam – ne bom (I won’t).

Also note that this slang can be conjugated as am, auš, au, ava, auta, amo, aute, aujo and nam, nauš, nau, nava, nauta, namo, naute, naujo.

Britof

means pokopališče (graveyard).  Interesting fact:  the settlement Britof, which is northeast of Kranj, actually doesn’t have its own graveyard!


Firbec

means radovednež (curious).  I wasn’t even aware that it was a slang until now because one popular point of interest in Tržič is the last “firbec okno” (the curiosity window), which allowed women to peek outside without opening the window. Also, there’s a really good place to eat Restavracija Firbc’ okn  named after it.


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s learn Slovene po domače,
Anna.

Every Day with Slovenian Idioms #002

The best way to understand and remember Slovenian idioms is to integrate and use them in every day situations, when possible and appropriate.

For example, one afternoon, my daughter woke up from her nap and my mother-in-law smiled and said to her:

  • Gledaš kot miška iz moke – You look like a mouse from the flour
    When I heard it the first time, I was like… What?! The image that instantly pooped into my mind: all white and two little black eyes. It’s a cute way to say that she just woke up and all we could see were her tiny eyes.

Another day, my daughter was playing on her play mat and we heard “puu-pu-pu” then my mother-in-law laughed and said:

  • hahaha stresaš orehe – hahaha you are dropping nuts
    I was like… Uh, did I understanding it right?! Because, sometimes some Slovene words just sound very similar. I understood it right, and it really means “dropping nuts”. What an adorable way to say that she farted. 😛

I can’t wait to find out more cute and adorable idioms to use with children!


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s speak like Slovenians,
Anna.

Cloudy Easter Monday in Logarska Dolina

Recently, the weather has been a mix of sun, clouds, wind and rain, but I can’t really complain because it makes the grass happy. 🙂 Despite the uncertain weather, we decided to take advantage of the day off and go on izlet in Logarska DolinaLogar Valley.

Located in the Kamnik Alps, Logarska Dolina is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in Europe. The valley consists of a few touristic farms and it is an ideal destination for those who wants to taste self-sustained local products and hikes.

Entrance of Logarska Dolina

Entrance of Logarska Dolina

At the entrance of the valley, a herd of beautiful Highland cows are peacefully eating grass, next to the Kapela Kristusa Kralja – Chapel of Christ the King, designed by the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik.

The drive to Logarska Dolina was decently long and on curvy roads. By the time we arrived, we were famished. We randomly pick a place to eat and had a fantastic homey lunch at Penzion Kmečka hiša Ojstrica – pension Country house Ojstrica, near the entrance of the valley.

At the far end of the Logarska Dolina is the impressive Slap Rinka – Rinka waterfall. A waterfall of 105 m height with a single 90 m drop.

Rinka Slap and Eagle's Nest

Rinka Slap and Eagle’s Nest

Slap Rinka is the source of the Savinja River, which flows through the Savinjska region of Slovenia and almost as soon as it hits the bottom, its water goes underground and reappears as Izvir Črne – Spring of Črna, in the lower part of the valley. Next to Slap Rinka is a little rest spot, the Orlovo Gnezdo – Eagle’s Nest, that serves drinks and ice cream.

I was curious about how the bottom of the waterfall looked like, so we went all the way to the feet of the waterfall, with the mix of water and wind, we got wet so quickly! It must be very refreshing during hot summer days, but not that day. 😉

Until next time,
Anna.

Every Day with Slovenian Idioms #001

A great way to discover and integrated into the Slovenian culture is through its idioms. And they are everywhere in my daily life.

Recently, we’ve been doing some significant shopping and indeed, price, quality and needs are three important factors. Then, the other day, my husband told me:

  • Nisem dovolj bogat, da bi poceni kupoval –  I am not rich enough that I would buy cheap things
    At first, I found it quite contradictory because, logically, if you are tight on money, you would tend buy cheaper things, no?

But what we should really understand from it is that “I am not rich enough that I can afford to buy it again”, with the logic that “cheaper” things are not good quality and will break faster, thus needing to be replace.

Therefore, nisem dovolj bogata da, bi poceni kupovala.


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s speak like Slovenians,
Anna.

My favorite “Made in Slovenia”

Like anyone, when I travel to a new place, I like to bring back some nice souvenirs with me. The first time I visited Slovenia, I was overwhelmed with all the goodies and I even bought many “gifts” for myself, family and friends. A lot of them consisted of food.

Now, when I visit my family and friends in Canada (or elsewhere), I love to bring something “made in Slovenia” with me. I think it’s a nice way to share and spread the beautiful (and delicious) things that Slovenia has to offer. A lot of them consisted of food, but here’s what I usually bring with me:

Salt from Piranske Soline

Part of the Slovenian heritage is the Traditional Salt-Making in Sečovlje. For anyone who loves food, solni cvet – salt flower, also known as fleur de sel, is a must at the table. A small pinch of it will enhance the flavor of any dishes.

Cookies from a Local Bakery

One of a must-bring (at my mom’s special request), is at least 1-2 kg of cookies from Slaščičarstvo Cerkovnik, my favorite local bakery. One box offers a variety of flavors and beautifully made cookies: nuts, coconuts, jam, chocolate and much more.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

One of the most wonderful ingredient I’ve discovered in Slovenia is pumpkin seed  oil, a delicacy from the Pomurska Region. I use it as condiment for salads and a few drops of it adds an unique flavor to carrot or pumpkin soup. Yum!

Laces from Idrija

An ideal gift for women is indeed some laces from Idrija. Made from threads with the help of needles and bobbins, beautiful laces items are created: decorative art pieces, gloves, table clothes and jewelries. The first time I saw it, I was totally in ❤ !

Wine and Liquor

I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I enjoy to gift and share some bottles of Slovenian wines with my friends and family. There’s many choice of good bottles and I like to bring something new with me every time: renski rizling, modra frankinja or teran.

Liquors are part of the Slovenian traditions. They come in different interesting, such as teran (yes, from the wine), blueberry and my favorite: pear liquor!



Other popular souvenirs to bring back from Slovenia: decorative beehives panels, fancy crystal pieces from Rogaška, Slovenian honey, handmade leather slippers, wooden folk crafts and Dražgoše honey bread.

I also like to bring back some of Gorenjka chocolates with me. They come in a variety of delicious flavor such as lime, raspberry and my all time favorite: apple and cranberry mix. Yum!!

Until next time,
Anna.