Slovene language

Words the Slovenes use the most – PART #2

Words the Slovenes use the most

Živjo, dobrý deň, hello, dear #grammarnazi fans!

Or should I just say Oj?

As you may or may not know, some time ago I wrote a pretty successful article named Words the Slovenes use the most, which you can read right here. In this one, I mentioned words like pa, kar and others as the ones that Slovene use the most frequently. Because I received TONS of feedback that I forgot some other ones, voilá part #2:

Oj! – if I would be doing a beauty blog or a Youtube makeup tutorial, I would say that this word belongs to my November favourites! This little wordie with meaning of an informal greeting such as Hi or Hey is used either in person but especially when starting a telephone call.  I looove this word mainly because of it’s wonderful combination of written and phonetic form – it looks funny and Slovenes usually pronounce it with a great amount of accentuation and energy. It sounds more like Oj!!! Like you would shout to a horse to stop. Or to a dog to stop tearing your trousers 🙂 Well, as I said it is a great word and I love it!

Typical phone conversation:

A: Oj! A si že doma?

B: Oj, lih sm pršu!

Pač –  Whereas some people totally overuse this word, some people don’t use at all. Similarly, to kar or pa, it also belongs to the group of words which are pretty hard to translate. If I am not mistaken (and yes, I just need to guess because even Slovenes cannot explain it), I think this word is more of a conversation filler than a real word. So, it basically means something like ummm, actually… A small addition to language freaks like me – interestingly, this word exists also in certain dialects of Czech and means the same – nothing.

Example: To je pač tako… hoteli smo pač…

Itak – not sure if it’s just my impression but this word is rising on popularity nowadays. I have a feeling that it is coming to me from all sides, everyone uses it, from ordinary people to TV and radio presenters. Interestingly, I needed a few weeks till I managed to remember its meaning. Probably influenced by my mother tongue (Slovak) I thought this means something like also, as wells, anyway…BUT no! The meaning of this word is of course. The most common phrase is Ja, itak meaning yes, of course. Sometimes also used with an addition of special undertone where it’s meaning changes from pure of course to Of course! What the hack did you think?

A ne? – old good classic. A conversation filler with equivalent in many other languages can translated as isn’t it? in English, ne? or nicht? in German or že? Or všakže?, že? in Slovak.

In terms of using it, Slovenes can be devided into three categories:

1, General users – use this phrase in an appropriate an acceptable amount without sounding disturbing. Acceptable amount can be defined by using it with frequency lower than once per 20 words.

2, Superusers –  mostly found in the region of Štajerska where the frequency of usage is once per 5 words, in extreme cases also once per 2 or 3 words.

3, No users – are Slovene speakers who never say A ne. No results found in this category.

Do you agree? Or did I miss something again? In both cases, I will very much appreciate if you let me know by leaving a COMMENT!

Lots of love

xxPetra

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8 thoughts on “Words the Slovenes use the most – PART #2

  1. Advanced superuser from Štajerska here ☺ We take it even a step further and say “ja, ne” That, in combination with “pa, te, čuj, pač, a-a, nea…” means roughly 70% of our conversation actually consists of random sounds and fillers 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, I had the honour to speak to a few of your fellow Štajerska friends and I can confirm that. About čuj I only learned from a Youtube video, I have never noticed it here in Gorenjska or in Ljubljana. But maybe I just don’t listen well 🙂

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  2. Hahaha, pa gives me the creeps sometimes. I don’t understand what they are trying to say sometimes, depending on the context I guess but sometimes I fail to recognize it. Great post!!

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  3. “Čuj” is used only in Štajerska and is becoming popular again precisely for this fact – as an instant marker for people from that region (I am originally from that region).

    “Ja, ne” is a funny one, meaning literally “yes, no” 😀

    “Ma” is very often used in the Primorska region and you cannot translate it, it means many things: pa, pač, ampak, vendar”.. or just a general filler. I like it very much and I picked up from my friends from Primorska, though I live in Ljubljana.

    “Ma ja” – means something like “meh, yeah right, surely”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Maja, it is pretty interesting how such a small country like Slovenia (there’s nothing bad about it, just saying) has such a great variety of dialects and words being used in certain regions only 🙂

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  4. Pač – It has a little bit of meaning, if you use it right 😛 Depending on the intonation and where in the sentence it is used, it helps express irritation, and other things probably too..

    1) Bil sem v kinu. VS 2) Pač bil sem v kinu.
    I was in the cinema. VS I was just in the cinema.. (/what do you care?/if you have to know/…)

    To je staro. VS To je pač staro.
    This is old. VS This is really/obviously old.

    It can help express some things without using other words, or make your statement stronger. It can also be used to say that the thing you are saying is quite obvious.

    Explore the language more, a lot of times some meanings are hidden behind the general knowledge of us, native speakers 😛 I like what you’re doing 🙂

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