Slovenia Walking

Tag: Slovene

Slovene for Walkers


It is fortunate for foreign visitors that the Slovenians are excellent linguists. You will find that most young people speak at least some English while the older generation will understand German. Their language bears few similarities to English and the grammar is complex, but do try to use some words – your efforts will be much appreciated. Below we have listed basic words and phrases that should help in an emergency, and others that you will frequently come across while you are walking and touring. We have also included on another page a simple guide to Slovene pronunciation.

A few useful phrases and words.

Hello, Good morning Dober Dan
Good evening Dober večer
Goodbye Na svidenje
Please/you’re welcome/can I help you? Prosim
Thank you Hvala
Yes, No Ja, Ne
Do you speak English? Ali govorite angleško?
Help! Na Pomoč!
I’m lost Izgubil/Izgubila sem se (m/f)
How do I get to…? Kako pridem do…?
Where is…? Kje je…?
Straight ahead Naravnost naprej
Turn left/right at the… Zavijte na levo/desno pri…
Up/down Zgoraj/spodaj
To go up/down gor/dol
North, east, south, west Sever, vzhod, jug, zahod
Entrance, exit Vhod, izhod
Open, closed, diversion Odprto, zaprto, obvoz
Hotel Hotel
Inn, inn with accommodation Gostilna, gostišče
Room Soba
Toilets – men, women Stranišče – Moški, ženske

Below are some other useful words encountered on the maps and in our text in the book, as well as on Slovenia-Walking

Slovene English English Slovene
Bivak Bivouac/hut Alpine pasture Planina
Cerkev Church At/by/near Pri
Cesta Road Bivouac/hut Bivak
Dolina Valley Bridge Most
Dom Mountain hut/hostel Castle Grad
Gora Mountain Cave Jama
Gozd Forest Church Cerkev
Grad Castle Corner Kot
Hrib Hill Forest Gozd
Jama Cave Gorge Soteska
Jezero Lake Great V. (Veliki)
Koča Mountain hut Hill Hrib
Korito Ravine Hut (mountain) Koča
Kot Corner Hostel (mountain hut) Dom
M. (Mali) Little Lake Jezero
Most Bridge Little M. (Mali)
Naravni most Rock bridge Lower Sp. (Spodnji)
Planina Alpine pasture Middle Sr. (Srednja)
Po On/upon/by Mountain Gora
Pod Under/below On/upon/by Po
Pot Path/trail Pass/saddle/col Sedlo
Potok Stream Path/trail Pot
Pri At/by/near Ravine Korito
Razglednik Viewpoint River Reka
Reka River Road Cesta
Sedlo Pass/saddle/col Rock bridge Naravni most
Slap Waterfall Stream Potok
Soteska Gorge Street Ulica
Sp. (Spodnji) Lower Summit Vrh
Sr. (Srednja) Middle Under/below Pod
Ulica Street Upper Zg. (Zgornji)
Vrh Summit Valley Dolina
V. (Veliki) Great Viewpoint Razglednik
Zg. (Zgornji) Upper Waterfall Slap

Please, if you think we should add some other words to these lists (or spot a mistake) please leave a comment below or contact us.

Thanks to Bojan Kralj who kindly spotted and reported a few typos and suggested another entry.

Slovene – pronunciation


Slovene pronunciation guide. (Taken from “Slovenian for Travelers” with kind permission from the author, Miran Hladnik).
The Slovenian language has 25 letters. It does not have the letters W,Q,X,Y but it does have three others. These  are Č, Š and Ž. The mark above the letters is called a strešica or “little roof”.

A Father or but M Mom
B To be N Nothing
C Switzerland O Horn or hot
Č Chocolate P Path
D Day R Road
E Bed, fat or the S Seven
F Far Š Shock
G Garage T Taxi
H Spanish Juan or Scottish loch U Soon
I See or hit V Vase
J Yes or hey Z Zero
K Kick Ž Pleasure
L Left

L and V at the end of a word or before another consonant are pronounced like the English W.
D and Ž together are pronounced like English J.
Slovenian has some words that have few or no vowels. They are easier to pronounce than you might think e.g. the mountain Krn sounds like Kern and vrh (summit) sounds like ver.

Learning the Slovene language


I’m not a linguist. I failed my CSE French with a grade E or F, so getting to grips with Slovene was never going to be easy! (Sarah is much better and has a working grasp of both French and German). We have been travelling to Slovenia since 2001 and our Slovene is very basic. We have no excuse! Except, perhaps, that the Slovenes we bump into are usually very good English speakers and make life very easy for us. It is frustrating though when you meet someone, such as the shepherd on the summit of Golica, and you cannot communicate. However, we do try and we sense that our efforts are appreciated.

If you want to practise a few phrases and learn a few words then check our Slovene pronunciation guide and our Slovene for Walkers guide.  These two guides are also included in our book.

Slovenian for TravelersOne excellent online resource that we are happy to recommend is “Slovenian for Travellers“, written by Miran Hladnik and Toussaint Hočevar (Slovene and Slovenian seem to be interchangeable). On their website you can click on words or phases and hear how they should be pronounced. It is very instructive and gives you a head start. Sections include a pronunciation guide, common expressions, language for situations, eating out, where to buy what, personal services and recreational activities. They have CDs for sale as well

We own and have used the following books from Amazon.

Dictionary & Phrasebook

Colloquial Slovene

Slo-Eng, Eng-Slo Dictionary