Slovenia: The Country and Its Languages - Part 2

By Stacey
Jul 20, 2016 · 3 min

Slovene is an Indo-European language and is the official language of Slovenia.

Slovenia: The Country and Its Languages - Part 2 | One Hour Translation

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The Slovene Language

Slovene is an Indo-European language and is the official language of Slovenia: it uses the Latin alphabet. The Slovene language is a rare and unique language in that it uses dual grammatical forms as well as the plural and singular.

An Unusual and Unique Language

In Slovenia, the Slovene language has played a large role throughout its history, and today it’s still considered one of the foundations of national identity. It’s always managed to retain its special linguistic features (despite various influences) with the most unusual feature being the preservation of the dual form. This refers to the grammatical number used for two things (or people) in all inflected parts of speech. Together with Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian and Croatian (and even though it has many features in common with the West Slavic branch) this language is classified within the South Slavic branch of the Slavic languages.

The Slovene Alphabet

Geographically, the territory of Slovene lies in one of Europe’s most complex linguistic areas, an area where Slavic converges with Germanic, Romance, and Finno-Ugric. In the areas of morphology, lexicology, and phonology (and when compared to most of the other Slavic languages) the Slovene language has a number of characteristic features. Slovene uses 25 Latin letters to orthographically represent its 29 phonemes, including three with a wedge - č,š,ž.

Even though this language is limited to a small number of speakers in a relatively small territory, dialectologists have determined that there are up to fifty clearly defined dialects, and these are divided into six regional groups, namely – Upper Carniolan, Lower Carniolan, Carinthian, Littoral, Styrian, Rovte, and Pannonian.

Today, there’s a growing interest in Slovene as a foreign language, and Slovene is taught at many universities around the world.

Did you know that…

  • The Slovene language is generally considered one of the most archaic languages in Europe.
  • In 1550, the first book in Slovene titled The Catechism, was published. It was written by a Protestant parson by the name of Primož Trubar during the Reformation period: Trubar is considered the father of the Slovene literary language. He wrote in the language spoken in the City of Ljubljana, combined with elements of dialects of the Gorenjska and Dolenjska provinces – thus creating the standard Slovene.
  • Jurij Dalmatin translated the Bible into Slovene in 1584. Slovene was the 12th language in the world to receive a Slovene translation of the Bible.
  • People of Slovenia who live in opposite parts of the country could well have difficulties understanding each other because this is a language with up to 50 dialects in 7 dialect groups – namely, Gorenjska, Panonska, Primorska, Dolenjska, Rovtarska, Štajerska, and Koroška. This variety of languages is the result of historical, political, geographical, social, and other factors.
  • Because it’s a Slavic language, it means that anyone who speaks Slovene is only one step away from 400 million speakers of these languages.
  • One Hour Translation can handle all your Slovene translations. Contact us today!

Some Slovene Words and Phrases with Their English Translation

Dobro jutro -  Good morning

Dober dan -  Hello

Nasvidenje - Goodbye

Dober večer - Good evening

Kje je stranišče? - Where is the toilet?

Koliko stane? - How much (does this) cost?

Prosim, hvala - Please/thanks

Letališče - Airport

Koliko je ura? - What's the time?

Pošta - Post office

Hotel - Hotel

Bolnica - Hospital

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