Understanding Slovenian Idioms #010

An interesting way to learn Slovene (and speak like Slovenians) is to know and understand how to use their idioms. And the day that you will actually be able to use an idiom correctly, you will be so proud!

  • Nositi hlače – To wear pants
    It means “to be in charge”, the one that makes the decision and has the last word. There is a similar expression in English “to wear the trousers” and in French “porter la culotte”.
  • Kapo dol – Hat down
    It means “bravo”, when you recognize someone’s achievements. The expression comes from the habit of taking the hat off as a sign or greeting or respect.
  • Gledati skozi rožnata očala – To see through rose-colored glasses
    It doesn’t refer to a fashion item, but it means to beautify something, like to see something more beautiful that it really is. Just like the French expression “voir la vie en rose”.

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

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #009

An interesting way to learn and understand Slovene is through its local idioms. While using them, you get to speak like Slovenians and get an insight of the heritage and culture.

  • Beliti si glavo – To whiten your head
    It doesn’t mean to paint your head in white, but to think about something very hard in order to remember it (so much that you might grow some white hairs…).
  • Iz te moke ne bo kruha – From this flour there will be no bread
    As we know, flour is needed to make bread, but also other ingredients and actions (such as kneading and baking) as well. It means that not every effort will yield the expected result.
  • Nositi vodo v Savo – To bring water in Sava
    Sava is a river that goes through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Bringing water to Sava, means that all efforts made no difference.

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

Discover Slovenian Facts #002

Hey guys,
as you guys know, I’m currently attending a Slovene course and of course, I’m learning a lot of different things and discussing different topics as well. The other day in class, we talked about how some of the Slovene grammar was quite strange and almost “illogical”. After some thoughts, it is actually true, but also interesting and it can make it easier to remember.


Five Cats Sleep

To show it, I will just use a random example, such as “five cats sleep“. As you know, Slovene has three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral. Obviously, cats can only be male (m) or female (ž).

  • 1 mačekm / mačkaž spi (One cat sleeps).
  • 2 mačkam / mačkiž spita (Two cats sleep).
  • 3/4 mačkim / mačkež spijo (Three/four cats sleep).
  • 5 mačkovm / mačkž spi (Five cats sleep).

As you can see, when the amount reaches 5 (and more), the verb is conjugated in singular. That’s in Present tense.

There is another particularity with the participle used in Past tense and Future tense.

  • 1 mačekm / mačkaž je spal / spala (One cat slept).
  • 2 mačkam / mačkiž sta spala / spali (Two cats slept).
  • 3/4 mačkim / mačkež so spali / spale (Three/four cats slept).
  • 5 mačkovm / mačkž je spalo (Five cats slept).

Even more strangely, when the amount reaches 5 (and more), the participle changes into its neuter form. Even if the subject is masculine or feminine.

Of course, it also works when a quantifying adverb, such as veliko (a lot), dovolj (enough) nekaj (some), is used instead of a specific number.

  • Veliko študentov2(M) ima avto (A lot of students have a car).
  • Nekaj ljudi2(M) je pilo kavo (Some people drank coffee).

BONUS – Večina (most) and polovica (half) can function as a noun or as a quantifying adverb.

  • Večina1 je čokolado (Most eats chocolate).
  • Večina žensk2(M) je čokolado (Most women eat chocolate).

But be careful in Past and Future tense.

  • Večina1 je jedla čokolado (Most ate chocolate).
  • Večina žensk2(M) je jedlo čokolado (Most women ate chocolate).

It’s so fun to discover some “strange” grammatical rules, because of the “illogic”, it is easier to remember. I’m sure there are many more. Can you think of any, or some that you found especially weird? Please share them with me!


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

Let’s discover together,
Anna.

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #008

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”.

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

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #007

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.

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

Discover Slovenian Facts #001

Hey guys,
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!


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

Let’s discover together,
Anna.

Slovenian Dialects on RTV Slo

Hey guys,
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. 😛

What about us, foreign learners? …haha.

Until next time,
Anna.

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.

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.

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.