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.

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.

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.

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 & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

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.

Celebrating St. Martin’s Day in Slovenia

Any occasion is a good excuse to open a good bottle of wine, right? On November 11th, St. Martin’s Day, also known as Martinovanje, is celebrated through Slovenia. It is an important event, especially in the wine-producing regions: Podravska, Spodnjeposavska and Primorska region (also known as Goriška and Coast-Karst region).

The Must turns into Wine

It was believed that St. Martin was able to change water into wine. Therefore, on St. Martin’s Day, it is traditionally believed that it is the time when the must turns into wine – an important event for the winemakers. The must, believed to be impure and sinful, is often blessed by a bishop and then, it becomes wine.

Feast of St. Martin

St. Martin’s Day is the Feast of St. Martin of Tours. According the legend, St. Martin was so reluctant to the idea of being appointed as Bishop that he hid in a barn of full of geese. The geese cackled at the disturbance and betrayed his hideout and he was appointed Bishop anyways.

Eating goose became the traditional symbol of the Feast of St. Martin. Although, not everyone could afford to eat goose, many ate some sort of poultry instead, such as duck or chicken.


For St. Martin’s Day, we had turkey with stewed red cabbage. Yum! And the feast wouldn’t be completed without a delicious dessert, right?

Wondering where I found those goodies? It’s from a friendly restaurant near our house: Gostilna Pr’Krvin 🙂

Updates January 2017 – I am sad to announce that Gostilna Pr’ Krvin is now closed.

Until next time,
Anna.

A Walk Around Lake Bled on Halloween

Hey guys,

while for most of us, October 31st is Halloween, in Slovenia, it is Reformation Day, a religious and public holidays. It is celebrated in remembrance of the Protestant Reformation.

Like many Slovenians, we took advantage of the day off and went for a beautiful “family” walk around Lake Bled. We parked at train station and started our nice walk around Lake Bled.

The weather was cold and cloudy – a typical autumn day (unfortunately, not the best day for photography).

Some courageous visitors took a Pletna boat ride to the Bled island. Other decided to rent a canoe and went by themselves. Many fishermen were stationed around the lake in hope of catching some fishes.

It was my first time walking all-around (I usually walk about half of it) Lake Bled, and at a leisure-pace, it took us approximately 3 hours. It was a very easy, family-friendly and nice walk. There was also a special Halloween event for children at the Bled Castle.


Afterward, in preparation for tomorrow’s Remembrance Day of the Dead, we went to the graveyard with floral arrangements and candles.

I had a great day and enjoyed spending time with family 🙂

Until next time,
Anna.

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #005

A fun way to explore the Slovenian culture is by getting familiar with its idioms, which is the essence of the language. Through the idioms, we can understand part of the Slovenian culture and heritage.

  • Kaditi kot Turek – To smoke like a Turk
    It doesn’t point at a manner or any special way that a Turk smokes – it simply means to smoke a lot!
  • Brez muje se še čevelj ne obuje – Without effort you can’t put a shoes on
    To achieve anything, it requires some efforts (even the simple task of putting a shoe on).
  • Biti copata – To be a slipper
    (What can being a slipper possibly mean… 😛 ) In Slovene, “being a slipper” is used to describe someone who is submissive or bent at will.

Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s speak like Slovenians,
Anna.

Supper at Hiša pod Gradom with Zvezdar

My husband and I often like to “last minute” date plan, either for eating out, shopping, movie night or day trip,  we rarely plan much ahead of time. We like to enjoy the spontaneous inspiration of the moment! 🙂

Zvezdar – Večerja pri mojstrih okusov

So, on a Friday evening, we decided to do an impromptu drive to Ljubljana. Eventually, we got hungry and decided to try our luck with out Zvezdar gift certificate: Večerja pri mojstrih okusov – a voucher for dinner at a selected restaurant, for two. We could choose from more than 30 Slovenian restaurants. Yum!!

Zvezdar Restaurants Presentation Booklet

Zvezdar Restaurants Presentation Booklet

Since we were already in Ljubljana, we decided to try a restaurant that was in the area. The booklet suggested that we have a reservation… but last minute as we are, we didn’t. We called a few place to see if we could get a table and fortunately, we managed to get a quick “reserved” table at Hiša pod Gradom, a restaurant just below the Ljubljana Castle.

Restaurant Hiša pod Gradom

Upon arrival, we were immediately seated. The restaurant was cozy and nicely lighted. The staffs were really friendly. Somehow, most of the guests didn’t seem to be Slovenians and the waiters spoke decent English. 🙂

At Hiša pod Gradom, the voucher was for an exclusive plate for two and glasses of wine (each restaurant has a different menu). Their menu usually changes with the seasons. (Our plate for two wasn’t on the actual menu.)

Menu for Two at Hiša pod Gradom

Menu for Two at Hiša pod Gradom (Sorry, photo taken with my phone…)

Main dishes: salmon filet, two tuna filets, four chicken filets in mustard-pepper sauce and chicken in mustard sauce, pršut-wrapped chicken. Side dishes: delicious vegetables and amayingly good potatoes fries.

Usually “plates for two” in Slovenia can feed like 3-4 people, but the portion at Hiša pod Gradom was perfect. We were very full but managed to finish everything, without wasting any food. 🙂


Glutton as I am, I peeked at what other people were eating. And I was quite excited to find out that all portions were gigantic and looked delicious. The prices on the menu were also very affordable!

Overall, we had an excellent food experience. Thanks to the voucher (and the person who gave it to us), we didn’t have to “pay” and got to enjoy an excellent evening together!

Until next time,
Anna.