I’m super happy that I won the first prize! Hopefully I will be able to attend another course soon and start improving my Slovene! A few years back, I’ve already went to two of their courses and it was awesome! So, I can only highly recommend them!
When I travelling around Slovenia, I never paid much attention to all the town names sign on the road until I got a better understanding of Slovene. Then I noticed some translated names were quite funny. It is not uncommon that some places would be named after the surroundings, I mean, anywhere in the world.
Triglav – Three Heads
Triglav is one of the most significant symbol of Slovenia. It is on the national flag and a well-known point of interest. Located in the center of Triglav National park, it is highest mountain in Slovenia, as well as the highest peak of the Julian Alps. Important landmark includes the famous Aljaž Tower, which is a small storm shelter at the top of the mountain.
Novo Mesto – New Town
Located in the Dolensjka region, Novo Mesto is the 7th biggest town of Slovenia. Cvičekis a famous Slovenian red wine, that is produced in the region. Novo Mesto is also known for Otočec Castle – a castle hotel on a small island on the Krka river.
Podčetrtek – Under Thursday
Podčetrtek is a very destination for a day trip in the Savinsjka region with various point of attractions. For spa relaxation, go to TermeOlimiafor spa. For a homemade culinary experience, visit Jelenov Greben. Another points of interest are Olimje Chocolate shop, which is near the Olimje Monastery – known for its pharmacy and herbal garden.
Slovenske Konjice – Slovenian Cavalry
Located in the Savinjska region, Slovenske Konjice is a medieval town with a white horse as its coat of arms! It is also a nice town to visit: on one side is the Konjice mountain and on the other side are the wine-growing hills of Škalce.
Ribnica – Fishpond
Located in the Dolenjska region, Ribnica is surprisingly not known for its fishes, but for its traditional woodenware and pottery. The Ribnica Handicraft Center is also a museum. Another point of interest is the Škrabec Homestead, the birthplace of the greatest Slovene linguist of the 19th century: Friar Stanislav Škrabec. His main work was the phonetics and orthographs of Slovene!
Mirna Peč – Peaceful Furnace
Mirna Peč is a settlement in the Dolenjska region with a very interesting name. The most probable origin of the name comes from the German term “Hönigstein” (honey stove). It refers to the color of the cliff Zijalo at the north of the town.
Mokronog – Wet Feets
Mokronog is settlement along the Mirna Valley and Radulja hills in the Dolenjska region. There is actually a human foot on its coat of arms! This particular symbol has been kept and passed down all the way from the medieval period.
Other examples that I can think of:
Jelendol – Deer Down
Medvode – Between Waters
Črni Vrh – Black Peak
Višnja Gora – Sour Cherry Mountain
Dolga Vas – Long Village
Have you noticed any others interesting and funny translation of Slovenian towns? If you do, please share it with me!
An interesting and playful way to discover Slovene as a language is by learning the idioms. Some doesn’t seem to make much sense at first, but what’s more significant is to understand the meaning behind the words!
Imeti maslo na glavi – To have butter on the head It doesn’t actually mean to have butter on the head, but instead, it means to be guilty of something – like to have a guilty conscience.
Skakati čez plot – To jump over the fence It doesn’t refer to an innocent athletics action as to jump over the fence, but it actually means to be cheating in marriage. s not to jump “over” the fence, just across the fence, which means to
Ugrizniti v kislo jabolko – To bite into a sour apple It is obviously not very pleasant to bite into a sour apple instead of a sweet one – it means having to deal with something unpleasant or to go ahead and “bite the bullet”.
A casual and engaging method to learn Slovene is to master the Slovenian idioms. Knowing the theory is one thing, but actually applying it is another. But the day that you will, you can be very proud!
Zaradi dreves ne videti gozda – Because of the trees, can’t see the forest Personally, I think that this idiom is beautifully so written. It means that if you look at each tree individually, then you can’t see the larger forest (which is formed by trees). The deeper meaning is that because of individuality, you lose the perception of a whole.
Rasti kot gobe (po dežju) – To grow like mushrooms (after the rain) With some imagination, I find this idiom very amusing. The meaning points at a very very fast growth (or multiplication), like mushrooms after the rain. It can be use to describe a massive crowd of tourists during holidays, or money after an excellent investment.
Govoriti kot dež – To talk like the rain How does the rain talk, like a quiet mist or a crazy deluge? In this case, it means to talk at a very fast rate or to talk a lot – so, the latter one. You can try to imagine a sudden downpour of heavy rain… but made of words.
It’s amazing how you can encounter and learn Slovenian idioms everywhere, everyday!
A while ago, there was a Belgian movie on TV. Unfortunately, it was late and I actually didn’t watch the movie… but the Slovenian title really caught my attention. And it happened to be an idiom!
Ponoči je vsaka krava črna– At night, all cows are black. It sounds so logic, right? What I found funny is that “cows” would be used instead of “cats”.
The original French title is “Tous les chats sont gris“, which comes from the expression “La nuit, tous les chat sont gris” – “At night, all cats are grey”. Which means that, in the dark, physical appearance is not that important.
It is true that at night, all cows are black. Therefore, ponoči je vsaka krava črna.
the other day, after putting both kids to sleep, I was enjoying a nice hamburger from McDonald’s (yes, sometimes I do miss the awesome junk food…) while randomly watching TV – a Slovenian Quiz Show called “Joker” on RTV Slo.
One question in particular caught my attention.
“Kaj ni eno od tradicionalnih slovenskih imen za steklenico za strežbi vina?”
(Which is not a traditional Slovenian name for bottle for serving wine?)
Possible answer : Martin, Neža, Urban or Marjeta.
Personally, I’m not a wine drinker or connoisseur, but it still picked my curiosity. I had no idea that in Slovenia, bottles had “names”. So I did a little research, and it’s true!
The traditional name for Slovenian bottle, especially for wine is Štefan, and it has a volume of 2 liters. Other names are:
Polič for 0,75L bottle,
Janez or Neža for 3L bottle,
Urban for 4L bottle,
Martin for 5L bottle,
Pic for 100L bottle and
Bok for 250L bottle.
We can learn so many stuff by watching the right TV programs! “Joker” or similar shows are indeed of one the best way to learn something random but interesting about Slovenia! Hope you enjoyed!
I’ve been quite busy with hay, but now that it’s rainy, I get to rest a little bit.
The other day, between two batches of hay, I came across a very interesting documentary series and thought to share with you guys : Slovenska narečja – Slovenian dialects on RTV Slo. Although, there are no subtitles, it can still be fun to watch.
As we know, there are around 50 dialects in Slovenia, divided into 7 regions. Some dialects are so different that it wouldn’t be weird if two Slovenians from two different regions wouldn’t entirely understand each others. 😛
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!
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.
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.
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).
means gostilna (inn, pub). It comes from the Italian word osteria, which means tavern or pub.