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
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