Bye-bye Slovenian. Or Slovene. Or should I just say Slavic? Because that’s what the language literally means (like Slovak) and it in every way lives up to its name.
Slovenian was not as breezy as I thought, to be honest. Some interesting words I learned:
dan – day
oprostite – I’m sorry
ena – one
Četrtek – Thursday
dobro – good
Ever wonder what Slovenian music sounded like? So did I …
Cute little song, isn’t it?
SUMMARY: The groundwork for the Slovenian language can be credited to several events during the Middle Ages. While Slovenia’s predecessor, Carantania was annexed to the Holy Roman Empire, the Freising Manuscripts, liturgical texts written in Proto-Slovenian, appeared around 1000 AD. The texts are known as the oldest surviving evidence of any Slavic language written in a Roman alphabet (e.i., not Cyrillic). If you jump 500 years later, Primož Trubar, a Protestant reformer, got the ball rolling in a big way by creating the first book printed in Slovenian. Along with Jurij Dalmatin‘s huge contribution of the Slovene Bible, literacy became a possibility. Although the Counter-Reformation and rule by Austria-Hungary sort of squandered progression, a growing Slovenian identity in the mid-1800s helped bridge the way for the language to replace state-imposed German, Hungarian and Italian. The language is spoken by roughly two million people, specifically in the Balkans.
FINAL IMPRESSIONS: Hmm … I’m not really sure what to think. While Slovenian doesn’t appear to be much different than its other South-Slavic neighbors, the language sounds harder to understand. Regarding pronunciation, some vowels are pronounced differently in words, not to mention consonant combos I mentioned that threw me for a loop. I still have trouble saying, “Ljubljana.” But maybe this is because almost none of the words seem familiar at all, apart from a few cognates.
Slovenian is also unique because it has an extra dual number form in conjugation (think of both vs. all in English), which means it has three forms: singular, dual and plural. When the role of formality and gender are combined, this increases the permutations of forming a sentence.
Like most Slavic languages, Slovenian is highly inflected. Endings for words can change at the drop of a dime and in a lot of cases, pronouns aren’t even used, which means that the noun cases depends on what a verb’s ending is. Also, Slovenian uses an SVO order, but words can jumble and you are still meant to understand without difficulty.
Maybe this is what I get for doing two Slavic languages in a row.
COMING UP: Malagasy