Slovenian (slovenski jezik) or Slovene (slovenščina) is the national language of Slovenia, an official regional language in southern Austria and northeastern Italy and one of the EU's official languages. It is not to be confused with Slovak (slovenčina). Slovenian is a South Slavic language closely related to Serbian and Croatian and spoken by approximately 2.4 million speakers worldwide. In Slovenia, you may face some problems with understanding, even if you speak Slovene, because of the 56 dialects that are spoken in Slovenia.
A, B, C, Č, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, Š, T, U, V, Z, Ž / a, b, c, č, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, š, t, u, v, z, ž
There are five vowels in Slovene: a, e, i, o, u are similar to the Spanish vowels.
In some Slovene words the letter r, like Serbo-Croatian, becomes a hard semi-vowel when it stands before another consonant, as in rdeč (red) or rjav (brown), or when it stands between two consonants, as in Brnik (the Ljubljana airport) or vrt (garden). Like other Slavic languages, the sound of each vowel is pure and clear. Notice the vowels have both long and short sounds.
There are twenty consonants in Slovene. They can be voiced or unvoiced. They are pronounced as they are spelled (refer to the alphabet).
The voiced consonants are b, d, g, j, l, m, n, r, v, z, ž. The unvoiced consonants are c, č, f, h, k, p, s, š, t.
Look carefully at the letters č, š, and ž. They are typical for Slovene and some other Central and South European languages. Also, note how you pronounce j and h in Slovene.
Certain letters will at times be grouped with certain other letters and have a slightly different pronunciation. The same happens when they occupy a certain position in the word.
When l is at the end of a word or placed after any consonant other than j, it is pronounced as w as in bel (BEW, "white"), popoldan (POPOWDAN, "afternoon").
V is pronounced as 'v' before vowels (vaja "exercise", voda "water"), before the consonants r (vrt "garden", vreme "weather") and before vowels within a word (živeti "to live", zvezek "notebook"). When v is at the end of the word, after a vowel or before a consonant (except r and l) it is pronounced as w, as in prav[prow] ("OK"), kovček[kowcheck] ("suitcase"). When v is at the beginning of the word or when it appears between consonants or before two or more consonants it is pronounced as 'u' as in vprašati[uprashati] ("to ask"), vhod[ukhod] ("entrance"), avto[auto] ("car, automobile").
In different parts of Slovenia, people pronounce word differently. In Maribor they say vprašati[fprashat] ("to ask"), vhod[fkhod] The Slovene r is pronounced strongly, slightly rolled. It is pronounced as er when it stands before another consonant or when it stands between two consonants.
In western Slovenia, "how" is "kako", while in eastern Slovenia, "how" is (like in Russia) "kak".
In the few words in which they appear, two identical vowels or consonants are pronounced as one long one, as in priimek ("surname"), oddelek ("department").
The Slovene diphthongs are generally considered phonemically as combinations of two phonemes, a vowel and /j/ or a vowel and [w] (often written as [u]. The Slovene phonetic diphthongs are [ew, Ew, aw, Ow, ej, oj, Oj, aj, uj]. The diphthongs [aw] and [aj] can safely be used as equivalents of the English /aU/ and /aI/.
Like Serbo-Croatian, stress usually falls on the second or third-last syllable, but in any case the stressed is always put in capital letters.
Time & Dates
Writing Time and Date
time: 18:47, quarter past 8 - četrt na 9, quarter to 4 - tričetrt na 4, half past 9 - pol 10
date: (day/month/year) 12. avgust 2005, 12.8.2005
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NOTE Slovenia now utilises the euro (€, EUR) as its currency, having previously used the Slovenian tolar (SIT).
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