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Slovenian profile

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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 6971 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 1 of 7
07 July 2007 at 10:46pm | IP Logged 
* I thank aljosa for the comments and corrections on this profile.

INTRODUCTION

Slovenian (Slovenščina) is a Slavonic language spoken by approximately 2 million people worldwide. Slovenian is most closely related to the Kajkavian dialects of northwestern Croatia. It shows less affinity to the other Southern Slavonic languages such as Bulgarian and Serbian, and even less to other Slavonic languages such as Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Czech. It is the official language of Slovenia.

USEFULNESS

The usefulness of Slovenian is limited to Slovenia and certain regions of Austria and Italy. For Slovenian communities outside Slovenia, one can usually communicate in other languages (e.g. one can usually communicate in English with Slovenes who live in the USA). As is the case in Eastern Europe, ESL teaching is widespread and many young adults and teenagers speak at least some English. German and Italian are also common choices as foreign languages among Slovenes partially because of the volume of tourists from Austria and Italy.

In a more general sense, learning Slovenian is an useful introduction to future learning of Slavonic languages as it still shares many of the features of other Slavonic languages. As mentioned above, Slovenian is closely related to the Kajkavian dialects of northwestern Croatia and would be helpful for learning the colloquial speech of people living in Zagreb, Croatia.

CHIC FACTOR

Slovenian is not considered to be a chic language and it is not a very popular choice for language learners who wish to learn Slavonic languages. Russian seems to be the most popular Slavonic language chosen by foreign learners. Because of the relative novelty of foreigners learning Slovenian as a foreign language, Slovenes are often pleasantly surprised by foreigners' efforts to speak the language or their attempts to learn it. I've experienced this reaction first-hand when meeting Slovenian acquaintances and friends. Slovenes are both proud and very appreciative when they hear outsiders speak their language.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

"With a GDP per capita substantially greater than the other transitioning economies of Central Europe, Slovenia is a model of economic success and stability for its neighbors from the former Yugoslavia. The country, which joined the EU in May 2004 and joined the eurozone on 1 January 2007, has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and an excellent central location. Privatization of the economy proceeded at an accelerated pace in 2002-05. Despite lackluster economic performance in Europe in 2001-05, Slovenia maintained moderate growth. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and have helped to lower unemployment. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. Despite its economic success, Slovenia faces growing challenges. Much of the economy remains in state hands and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia is one of the lowest in the EU on a per capita basis. Although tax reforms were implemented in December 2006, taxes are still relatively high. The labor market is often seen as inflexible, and legacy industries are losing sales to more competitive firms in China, India, and elsewhere. The current center-right government, elected in October 2004, has pledged to accelerate privatization of a number of large state holdings and is interested in increasing FDI in Slovenia. In late 2005, the government's new Committee for Economic Reforms was elevated to cabinet-level status. The Committee's program includes plans for lowering the tax burden, privatizing state-controlled firms, improving the flexibility of the labor market, and increasing the government's efficiency." (direct quote from the CIA's factbook, updated June 19, 2007) (Source). GDP (estimated 2006): $47.01 billion US (Source)

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES

Ljubljana - This is the capital and the most cosmopolitan Slovenian city. It has the typical features of an European capital with public transit, office buildings etc. On the other hand, the architecture of the Old Town shows a strong influence from the Neoclassical and Secession styles. (17th and 18th centuries), and may remind one of towns in Austria. There is also the castle of Ljubljana perched on a hill overlooking the town from the south. Finally, Ljubljana also has a lively nightlife with bars, cafes, nightclubs, theaters and concert halls for those looking for something to do on a Friday night...

Bled - This is arguably the most popular attraction for tourists. The town of Bled in the Julian Alps is adjacent to Lake Bled which has an island with a church. Its appearance and location are unique and photogenic.

Karst plateau – This plateau of limestone extends from southwestern Slovenia to northeastern Italy and contains many caves. Škocjan Caves are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site and popular with tourists.

Piran - A town on Slovenia’s short coast with the Adriatic Sea. The town and region surrounding it have a strong Mediterranean atmosphere and both Italian and Slovenian are official languages here.

Maribor - Second-largest city of Slovenia and began life as the site of a castle built by Germans in the Early Middle Ages. Attractions include the castle of Maribor dating from the 15th century and the district of Lent located on the banks of the Drava river with bars, restaurants and the world’s oldest vine.

Nature – For such a small country, Slovenia has four landscapes: the mountainous Alpine and Dinaric areas in the center (excellent for skiing, caving or hiking), the Pannonian region with its gentle hills, fields and vineyards in the east, and the Mediterranean coast in the west.

COUNTRIES

Slovenia (official language). It is also spoken by Slovenian immigrants and people of Slovenian origin who live around the world.

SPEAKERS

Approximately 2 million speakers of Slovenian live in Slovenia, while most of the remaining 200,000 live in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Australia, Canada and the USA.

VARIATIONS

Standard Slovenian is taught in all schools and used as the official language. Partially because of Slovenia’s mountainous terrain, speakers of Slovenian dialects had relatively little contact with each other thus encouraging independent development of dialects. Depending on sources, there are at least 32 dialects of Slovenian. The standard language is based on central dialects from southeast of Ljubljana.

CULTURE

Slovenian culture is not very well-known to foreigners but it has existed in some form or another since the Middle Ages. The country is predominantly Roman Catholic and it has been strongly influenced by the Catholic ethos since the Middle Ages. Much of the Slovenes’ historically western orientation is attributable to its Catholicism as well as its domination by the Habsburg Empire since the Renaissance. As much of modern-day Slovenia was under Austrian control for several centuries, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint something that is singularly Slovenian. A couple of famous Slovenes include the poet France Prešeren and architect Jože Plečnik, while chemist Friderik Pregl (winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1923) was of Slovenian and German heritage and born in Ljubljana. For North American sports fans, the Slovenes Anže Kopitar (center for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League) and Beno Udrih (point guard for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association) may be also familiar.

DIFFICULTIES

For English speakers, the greatest difficulties in my opinion are:
1) Verbal aspect
2) Mastering the pitch/tones and variable stress.
3) Nominal and adjectival declension
4) Syntax
5) Vocabulary

GRAMMAR

Like most other Slavonic languages, Slovenian has elaborate inflections for nouns and adjectives.

There are six cases for nouns and adjectives: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, locative and instrumental.

There are three numbers: singular, dual and plural

There are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter with masculine divided further into animate and inanimate categories in the declensions of the nominative, accusative, and genitive.

There are three moods: indicative, conditional and imperative

There are two voices: active and passive

There are four tenses: pluperfect, past, present, future.

There are two verbal aspects: imperfective and perfective (these aspects deal with the concept of whether the verb describes an action that was/is/will be repetitive/ongoing OR an action that was/is/will be completed.). This means that most actions are expressed with an imperfective and a corresponding perfective verb.

Because of Slovenian’s inflective nature, personal subject pronouns are usually omitted unless the speaker wishes to emphasize or clarify the subject of a sentence. Syntax is usually with the verb in the second position BUT this can change depending on the focus or nuance that a speaker wishes to convey. Thus, syntax can be rather flexible compared to English as much of the relevant grammatical information of a sentence is revealed in the inflections, conjugations, suffixes and prefixes of the words. Syntax is also affected by "enclitics" and there is a strict order when using them.

Adjectives precede the nouns that they describe.

Ex. slovenski jezik = Slovenian language

In turn, some adjectives can take endings that determine whether the object is definite or indefinite.

nov kot = a new corner

novi kot = the new corner

In addition, adjectives must agree with the nouns that they describe:

tih fant = a quiet boy (masculine animate nominative singular)

tihi fant = the quiet boy (masculine animate nominative singular)

velik grad = a big castle (masculine inanimate nominative singular)

veliki grad = the big castle (masculine inanimate nominative singular)

majhna knjiga = small book (feminine nominative singular)

novo mesto = new city (neuter nominative singular)

dva tiha fanta = two quiet boys (masculine animate nominative dual)

dva velika gradova = two big castles (masculine inanimate nominative dual)

dve majhni knjigi = two small books (feminine nominative dual)

dve novi mesti = two new cities (neuter nominative dual)

tihi fantje = quiet boys (masculine animate nominative plural)

veliki gradovi = big castles (masculine inanimate nominative plural)

majhne knjige = small books (feminine nominative plural)

nova mesta = new cities (neuter nominative plural)


PRONUNCIATION

For most native speakers, a vowel that is stressed is long. One that is unstressed is short. There is no general restriction on where stress can fall in a word but the most frequent tendency is that stress falls on either the second-last ("penultimate") or third-last ("ante-penultimate") syllable. A schwa (written in Slovenian as e) is always short regardless of whether it is stressed or not. One of the two variants of Standard Slovenian also has pitch-accent (somewhat similar to tones) like Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. However, pitch-accent is not used in some dialects and the other variant of Standard Slovenian.

The stress and tone of Slovenian words isn’t marked by accents or diacritics in most texts. Thus it's difficult for a learner of Slovenian to know how to pronounce correctly an unfamiliar word that he or she sees in print unless the pitch and stress are marked explicitly (as is the case in etymological dictionaries or a few textbooks for foreigners.). Lastly, Slovenian (somewhat like English and Russian) also shows some vowel reduction (e.g. unstressed "e" tends to sound more like a ә ("schwa").

In spite of this, the variable stress and tones give to spoken Slovenian a certain melody and rhythm that is unique from other Slavonic languages.

VOCABULARY

Slovenian vocabulary is generally quite removed from that of English even though both languages are both Indo-European languages.

dva = two

tri = three

štiri = four (it's a distant link - only a linguist can explain how the 'št-' is connected to 'f-' in 'four'.)

pet = five

mleko = milk

voda = water

brat = brother

sestra = sister

sin = son

žena = wife (cf. English 'queen' - it's a distant cognate)

živeti = to live (cf. English 'quick' - it's a distant cognate)

sneg = snow

ti, vidva, vi = you (singular), you (dual), you (plural)

noč = night

god = nameday (cf. English 'good' - it's a distant cognate)

nos = nose

jutri = tomorrow

danes = today

včeraj = yesterday

In addition to the native Slavonic vocabulary, Slovenian has borrowed many words from other languages, including Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian and Serbo-Croatian. It has also incorporated words from German by calquing. English loanwords are more prevelant in contemporary Slovenian than in older varieties of the language because of the influence of American pop culture, the internet and sports.

ex. geslo = slogan (cf. Czech 'heslo’ = password ); skladba = musical composition

ex. kegelj = skittle (cf. German ‘Kugel’); ja = yes; ura = hour; clock (cf. German ‘Uhr’)

ex. kočija = coach (cf. Hungarian 'kocsi'); soba = room (cf. Hungarian 'szoba'); hasniti = to be of use (cf. Hungarian: 'használ’)

ex. minuta = minute (cf. Italian 'minuto'); briga = care (cf. Italian ‘briga’ = “bother”)

ex. kompjuter, internet, menedžer (manager)

TRANSPARENCY / INTELLIGIBILITY TO PEOPLE KNOWING OTHER LANGUAGES

Most English-speaking learners will find little in Slovenian that is instantly familiar at the outset apart from most of the Slovenian alphabet and the occasional internationalism (e.g. hotel, mobilni telefon, policija).

Slovenian is intelligible in varying degrees to native speakers of other Slavonic languages without courses or special training, although this "untrained intelligibility" isn't that high unless one knows the Kaykavian dialect/language of northwestern Croatia. Here are some hints that may help with making sense of Slovenian for people speaking at least one Slavonic language other than Slovenian.

1) The Late-Common Slavonic cluster of *-tj- evolved into -č- as in Belorussian, Russian and Ukrainian.

e.g.
*světja > sveča (Slovenian); свечка (Belorussian); свеча (Russian); свічка (Ukrainian) "candle" (Cf. sv(ij)eća (BCMS/SC); свещ (Bulgarian); svíce (Czech); свеќа (Macedonian); świeca (Polish); svieca (Slovak))

2) The Late-Common Slavonic cluster of *-dj- became -j- which is not used in any of the other Slavonic languages.

e.g.
*medja > meja (Slovenian) "boundary" (Cf. мяжы (Belorussian); međa (BCMS/SC); межда "landmark" (Bulgarian, Macedonian); meze (Czech); międza (Polish); межa (Russian, Ukrainian); medza (Slovak))

3) The Late-Common Slavonic *g is retained as in BCMS/SC, Bulgarian, Lower Sorbian, Macedonian, Polish and Russian. In the remaining Slavonic languages it has become "h". This is also tied to why 'h' does not occur frequently in Slovenian.

e.g.
govor (Slovenian, BCMS/SC); говор (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian); gwar = "noise" (Polish) "speech" (Cf. гаворка = "talking" (Belorussian - pronounced 'havorka'); hovor - "talk" (Czech, Slovak); гoвip "dialect" (Ukrainian - pronounced 'hovir'))

4) Slovenian stress can fall on any syllable as in Belorussian, Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian.

5) Slovenian vowels can be long or short as in Czech, Slovak and BCMS/SC.

6) Final -l and -v and u- and v- before consonants initially are pronounced like English 'w'. This is vaguely similar to Ukrainian where initial в- can be pronounced as 'w-' or Belorussian and Slovak where final -v is pronounced as -w.

E.g.

brez študentov (Slovenian - pronounced like "brez shtoodentow"); без студэнтаў (Belorussian - pronounced like "bez stoodentaw"); bez štuedentov (Slovak - pronounced like "bez shtoodentow"); без студентpів (Ukrainian - pronounced like "bez stoodentiw") "without the students" (Cf. bez studentów (Polish - pronounced like "bez stoodentoof); без студентов (Russian - pronounced like "bez stoodentoff)

7) Slovenian uses the dual like Sorbian.

8) Slovenian verbs of motion are similar to those of BCMS/SC, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Slovak in that motion on foot is not distinguishable from motion with a vehicle based on the verb alone.

e.g.

grem (Slovenian); idem (BCMS/SC, Slovak); ида (Bulgarian); идам (Macedonian) "I go [on foot]" (Cf. idę (Polish); іду (Belorussian, Ukrainian); jdu (Czech); иду (Russian))

grem z avtobusom (Slovenian); idem autobusom (BCMS/SC, Slovak); ида с автобус (Bulgarian); идам со автобус (Macedonian) "I go via/by bus" (jadę autobusem (Polish); еду аўтобусам (Belorussian); jedu autobusem (Czech); еду автобусом (Russian); ïду автобусом (Ukrainian))

9) Slovenian can express the future of an imperfective verb by combining the future tense of "to be" and the quasi-past participle as in Polish. (N.B. The defined future tense in BCMS/SC (called "futur II") also uses this combination although it does not convey the same nuance of general future activity as in Polish and Slovenian)

e.g. bum videl(a) (Slovenian); będę widział(a) (Polish) "I will be seeing" (Cf. vidjet ću (BCMS/SC); буду видеть (Russian); budem vidieť (Slovak))

10) As in Czech and BCMS/SC, the Slovenian accusative plural endings for adjectives and nouns denoting masculine humans are distinct from those for the genitive plural

e.g.

"I see new [male] students"
Jaz vidim nove študente (Slovenian)
Ja vidim nove studente (BCMS/SC)
Aз виждам нови студенти (Bulgarian)
Ja vidím nové studenty (Czech)
Jac гледам нови студенти (Macedonian)

(N.B. Bulgarian and Macedonian aren't really applicable since almost all of their original cases outside those for pronouns have merged into the nominative)

versus...

Ja widzę nowych studentów (Polish)
Я бачу новых студэнтаў (Belorussian)
Я вижу новых студентов (Russian)
Ja vidím nových študentov (Slovak)
Я бачу нових студентів (Ukrainian)

SPELLING

Slovenian spelling is not entirely phonetic and as mentioned earlier it often doesn't give clues about the location of stress and quality of tone in words. This is most problematic in the tonal variant of Standard Slovenian. In addition, ‘v’ is pronounced more like the English ‘w’ or ‘u’ in certain positions, while final ‘l’ is pronounced more like as English ‘ow’. Depending on the word, ‘e’ can also be pronounced like ‘ә’ or ‘i’. Slovenian uses the Latin alphabet with special characters č, š and ž.

TIME NEEDED

According to FSI, it takes approximately 1100 class hours to acheive professional speaking and reading proficiency in Slovenian.

Naturally, the time needed will vary on each person's level of motivation, background in other Slavonic languages, access to material and environment. Given such factors, the time needed to acheive professional speaking and reading proficiency in Slovenian can take as little as a year to as much as infinity. ;-)

BOOKS

1) Teach Yourself Slovene (Andrea Albretti et al.) (price: approx $25 US)

- It comes with two CDs or audio cassettes and a textbook.
- What I enjoyed most about this course was that it had some lively dialogues.
- It also comes with exercises for each chapter and answers at the back of the book.
- What I enjoyed least about this course was that its presentation of grammar was fairly unstructured and could intimidate the learner at first. In fact, the dual got relatively little attention even though it is important. In the interest of keeping lively dialogues, it's natural that the language used would have relatively complex structures for a beginner and some idioms. The grammar section of each chapter would focus on the grammatical aspects of each set of dialogues. It would have been desirable if the textbook had included more exercises.

2) Colloquial Slovene (Andrea Albretti) (price: approx. $45 US)

- It comes with two CDs or audio cassettes and a textbook.
- This course is written by the same author as that of Teach Yourself Slovene.
- It suffers from the same flaws as Teach Yourself Slovene with cursory explanations of grammar and relatively few exercises.

3) Slovenščina Slovene, a Self-Study Course (price: approx. $100 US)

- It comes with 12 cassettes and 3 booklets.
- I cannot vouch for its quality as I only came across this course by chance while checking internet booksellers for Slovenian courses.

4) Slovene: A Comprehensive Grammar (Peter Heritty) (price: approx. $60 US)

- This guide is an useful supplement if you’re studying Slovenian
- It is part of Routledge’s series of descriptive grammars on various languages.

Because of the lack of exposure given to Slovenian, there are indeed very few printed resources in the English-speaking world for Slovenian. Apart from the widely-available but skimpy courses by Albretti, the best way to find any good material would be to visit Slovenia. During a recent trip to Ljubljana, I did come across a textbook that would be suitable for English-speakers. Unfortunately I do not remember the title of that book, but it did seem to be better organized and comprehensive than Albretti’s works.

By extension, English-Slovenian/Slovenian-English dictionaries are also hard to come by. What is available often comes from Hippocrene Books and in general, their dictionaries are little more than word lists which fail to give any useful information to foreign students.

SCHOOLS
Classes in Slovenian for foreigners are very few outside Slovenia. The University of Kansas, Indiana University, University of Nottingham, and School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College in London offer classes in Slovenian. Within Slovenia it is possible to take courses of varying lengths at the Centre for Slovene as a Second/Foreign Language or at the Cene Štupar Center for Continuing Education. There is also a summer course of Slovene organized in Koper with support from the Science and Research Center of Koper and University of Primorska.

LINKS AND SOURCES

Discussions on HTLAL involving Slovenian
- How close to B/C/S is Slovenian?
- Lesser Known Slavic Languages
- Slovene
- Slovenian!

Other forums
- Unilang's forum for Slovenian

General collections of links
- A wide-ranging website on many aspects of the language (e.g. grammar, online courses, education, professional organizations, media)
- Large list of resources relevant to Slovenia hosted by University College of London.

General treatment and descriptions of Slovenian's learning difficulty
- A good but brief description of Slovenian
- Wikipedia's article on Slovenian
- Center za slovenščino kot drugi/tuji jezik (Center for Slovenian as a Second/Foreign language)

Dictionaries and other databases
- Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika (Dictionary of the Slovenian literary language - monolingual but excellent in giving some inflectional information for entries and example sentences illustrating different meanings)
- English-Slovenian dictionary at PONS.eu
- Slovensko-nemško-slovenski slovar (Slovenian-German/German-Slovenian dictionary)

Online courses, downloadable material or lists of available courses
- A brief evaluation of various textbooks and references for English-speaking learners of South Slavonic languages.
- List by Professor Marc Greenberg of the University of Kanasas which gives bibliographical information for other learning materials for Slovenian
- "A Basic Reference Grammar of Slovene" hosted at ERIC
- "Introduction to the Slovene Language" hosted at ERIC (text only)
- Slovenian for Travellers
- Extensive Australian site on Slovenian language and culture including correspondence course of Slovenian "Slovenščina na daljavo"

Institutions or organizations offering classes for Slovenian
- Slovenščina za tujce (Classes of Slovenian for foreigners at Cene Štupar Center for Continuing Education)
- Slovenian courses offered at the University of Kansas
- Slovenian courses offered at Indiana University
- Undergraduate modules at University of Nottingham (Course in beginners' Slovenian starts in second year of undergraduate studies)
- Evening classes in Eastern European languages including Slovenian offered at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.

Literature and authentic texts
- Collection of texts from the Center for Slovenian Literature
- Collection of texts from Slovenian literature
- Texts by younger authors from the former Yugoslavia
- Collection of texts from IntraText Digital Library
- Collection of children's literature from the International Children's Digital Library

Bookstores of interest for learners of Slovenian
- Bay Foreign Language Books Ltd.
-
Emka
- The European Bookshop
- Mladinska knjiga (largest publisher in Slovenia whose webpage has links to information for bookstores throughout the country)
- Schoenhof's Foreign Books
- Svet knjige

Downloadable/streamed media
- Lists of radio stations and television stations in Slovenia (stations' websites have content that is playable as a stream)

Edited by Chung on 06 August 2011 at 9:00pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 6971 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 2 of 7
07 July 2007 at 10:47pm | IP Logged 
I welcome corrections and comments from the native Slovenian speakers. Much of my knowledge is limited to what I have learned so far from completing "Teach Yourself Slovene", searching on the internet and a trip to Ljubljana.

Thanks
Chung
1 person has voted this message useful



aljosa
Diglot
Newbie
Slovenia
Joined 6069 days ago

14 posts - 16 votes
Speaks: Slovenian*, English
Studies: German, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 3 of 7
15 October 2007 at 4:28pm | IP Logged 
As a native speaker, I would like to point out some mistakes in your article...

GRAMMAR

There are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter with masculine divided further into animate and inanimate categories in the declensions of the nominative and accusative. -> The animate and inanimate categories differ also in the genitive case, next to the nominative and accusative.

novo selo = new village (neuter nominative singular) -> Selo is an extremely archaic word and no-one uses it, save some 19th century writers and Ivan Cankar (an inside joke :) ). "Vas" is far more appropriate. It declines "vas, vasi, vasi, vas, o vasi, z vasjo; vasi, vasi, vasema, vasi, o vaseh, z vasema; vasi, vasi, vasem, vasi, o vaseh, z vasmi".

dva tiha fanti = two quiet boys (masculine animate nominative dual) -> This is grammatically incorrect. It should be "dva tiha fanta".


When talking about grammar you should also mention the additional plural form for a definite number of objects that is or exceeds five and an indefinite number (as in "many" - mnogo) in certain genders (don't ask me which, I don't know :) ). For example - ena knjiga, dve knjigi, tri knjige, stiri knjige, pet knjig, sest knjig, MNOGO knjig. This is very complicated for most students and Slovene de facto has four numbers.

PRONUNCIATION

Usually, stress in Slovenian falls on any long vowel or the final syllable if a word has no long vowel. -> Actually, Slovene does not distinguish long and short vowels. If a vowel (except a schwa) is stressed, it becomes longer. It is therefore the stress that determines the lenght and not vice versa.

Slovenian also has tones which are reminiscent of those in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. -> In fact most dialects of Slovene do not have a pitch accent. It is used only in certain central-northern dialects and probably some others, while others have a fairly straight-forward stress accent. Literary Slovene does, however, permit the use of both types. Personally, I live in Maribor and I speak with a stress accent. I cannot immitate the pitch accent, but can understand it perfectly without even noticing the difference.

SPELLING

I would note here that stress placement is the most difficult thing in Slovene orthography. Tones are not much of a problem if you pick the stressed variety of Slovene and I also believe only two vowels know different kinds of stress - the "e" and "o". Both have two varieties and that is it, I guess. The "l" and "v" at the end have two varieties each. The other thing is also the non-marking of schwa or writing it with an "e". Not to mention various sandhi rules, which are not noted in order not to obscure word roots, but these are fairly straightforward.




I must say now that I was extremely happy to see an article about Slovene. I hope you don't see my corrections as a sign of antagonism, as I am delighted to see someone learn this beautiful, yet difficult language. If you need someone to talk to, just let me know, I'd be happy to help. :)
2 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 6971 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
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Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 4 of 7
05 February 2010 at 5:58am | IP Logged 
Najlepša Ti hvala, aljosa (even though I'm 2 years late :-P)

Just a comment about grammatical number... In common with several Slavonic languages, Slovenian nouns or adjectives that are modified by numerals greater than four are declined as being in genitive plural. This isn't a fourth grammatical number on the same level as singular, dual, and plural.
1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
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Joined 6971 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
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Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 5 of 7
27 February 2011 at 10:58pm | IP Logged 
In place of the original section on "Transparency", I have expanded it to mean intelligibility to people who speak a rather closely-related language (i.e. not just learners who speak English).

Over the next few weeks I'll be expanding the sections on transparency in other profiles that I've drawn up. As can be seen in this revised Slovenian profile, these sections on transparency include comments on intelligibility and a few reliable "shortcuts" or correspondences someone may use to get a slightly better grip on the language in question.
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t123
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South Africa
https://github.com/t
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139 posts - 226 votes 
Speaks: English*, Afrikaans

 
 Message 6 of 7
27 February 2011 at 11:11pm | IP Logged 
If anybody is considering purchasing Colloquial Slovene, the 2nd edition is coming out in September
(http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415559829/). It's by a different author and apparently has being completely written, considering
the 1st edition that was probably the only way to salvage it. I can only hope it's better than the original, but they'd be hard pressed to
make it worse in my opinion.
1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
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 Message 7 of 7
28 February 2011 at 4:24am | IP Logged 
t123 wrote:
If anybody is considering purchasing Colloquial Slovene, the 2nd edition is coming out in September
(http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415559829/). It's by a different author and apparently has being completely written, considering
the 1st edition that was probably the only way to salvage it. I can only hope it's better than the original, but they'd be hard pressed to
make it worse in my opinion.


No disrepect to Andrea Albretti who is the author of the current editions of TY Slovene and Colloquial Slovene and was a teacher at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, but this new edition looks promising and I'm admit that I'm a little excited about the prospect (hey, I'm a language geek!). The author of the forthcoming new edition is Marta Pirnat-Greenberg who seems well-suited for the job and is the husband of the Slavicist (specialist in Slovenian) Marc L. Greenberg. I may just brush up my Slovenian using the new edition as I never felt that I got a fair shake with Albretti's TY Slovene.


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