Other learning materials


(Only selected chapters are available on this page; you'll find the complete book on the following new page http://www.ff.uni-lj.si/sft/.)

Miran Hladnik

Slovene for Travelers
Slovenščina za popotnike

By Miran Hladnik and Toussaint Hočevar

Kranj, 1994

ISBN 961-90085-1-0

Copyright by Miran Hladnik. Vse pravice pridržane. (All rights reserved.)

1. izdaja—edition 1988.
2., popravljena izdaja—2nd, revised edition, 1994.

The audio-cassette (90 minutes), audio CD or CD-ROM for easy learning available.


Key to Symbols and Abbreviations
Slovene Alphabet and Pronunciation
Common Expressions

Other Polite Expressions
Personal Data
Conversation at First Meeting
Language Problems
Forms of Address
Time of the Day
Days of the Week
Months, Seasons, a Year
Various Time Concepts
How Much, How Many?
Signs and Notices
Congratulations and Condolences
Short Instructions
Expressing Opinions, Wants, etc.

Getting There
Meeting Friends on Arrival
Currency Exchange
Hotels and Other Accomodations
Post Office
Sending Telegrams, E-mail
Sending Money
Eating Out

Potatoes, Rice, Dumplings, etc
Pastry and Other Sweets
Beverages—What, When, and Where
Where to Buy What

Souvenir Shopping
Farmers' Market
Flowers, Flowers
Newsstand, Tobacconist
In a Department Store
Photographic Supplies
Books, Stationery, Records
Sporting Goods
Clothing, Accessories, Notions
Shoes, Shoe Repair
Personal Services

Dry Cleaners and Laundry
Beauty Salon, Barber
Medical Care
Recreational Activities

Churches, Castles, Other Monuments
Concerts, Opera, Folklore Events
Golf, Tennis, Bowling, Horseriding, Cycling
Swimming, Sailboarding, Canoeing
Skiing, Curling
Hiking and Mountaineering
Vacationing on the Farm
On Weather

Slovene Cooking (Recipes)
Searching for Slovene Roots
Letter Writing
Some Slovene Songs
Select Vocabulary
Useful Books
Measurements and Conversion Tables


This phrase book will help you to communicate where Slovene is spoken: in Slovenia, in the neighboring Trieste, Gorizia, and Udine provinces of Italy, and in Austrian Carinthia. Even a limited proficiency in Slovene should go a long way toward making your trip both easier and more rewarding. It should save you time in finding what you want, whether it is a hotel room, a special dish on the menu or an item you are shopping for.

Conversational phrases anticipate situations you are likely to encounter, with comments on customs and lifestyle providing the necessary background information. Moreover, the booklet could be useful in planning your trip, since it covers places to see and things to do. Topics range from hunting, fishing, water sports, and skiing to spas, castles, musical events, folk festivals, and vacationing on the farm. There is a section to help those of Slovene ancestry searching for their roots, another on letter writing, and yet another on Slovene cooking, with recipes.

The book is designed for self-study. The audio-cassette should help you in mastering the pronunciation. Pause the recorder after each phrase and repeat aloud what you hear. Start with side 1, p. 9, with words intended to familiarize you with the Slovene pronunciation of each letter of the alphabet. From the beginning, try to place the stress on the right syllable. To make this easier, stressed vowels have been printed in distinct characters throughout the book. Note that conversational phrases are not word-by-word translations of English expressions, but rather their idiomatic equivalents.

The writing of this book benefited from Miran Hladnik's experience as a lecturer in Slovene at the University of Kansas and at the University of Pittsburg, Kansas, under the auspices of the American CIES (Council for the International Exchange of Scholars). Miran Hladnik is a professor of Slovene literature at the University of Ljubljana. Toussaint Hočevar (1927-1987), the author of the majority of English text in the book, was a professor of economics at the University of New Orleans and the founder of the Society for Slovene Studies. Moreover, both authors are indebted to many colleagues and students for their valuable comments, especially to Timothy Pogacar and Michael Biggins for translating numerous phrases, Duška Primožič (+), Miha Bregant, Boštjan Lajovic, Marja Bešter and Velemir Gjurin, who have lent their voices for the tape recording. None of these persons is of course responsible for any errors which may still be lurking around.

For the second edition it was not possible to make new recordings on the tape; only some inadequate phrases were omitted. That is also the reason some useful proposals for corrections of the Slovene part of the book made by Ms. Daša Komac were not taken into account; the remarks concerning the English part were accepted with appreciation. Thanks also to Marta and Marc Greenberg for proofreading the galleys.

Key to Symbols and Abbreviations

/ or
(f.) feminine
(fam) familiar(coll.)
(coll.) colloquial
( ) commentary or parts of a phrase that can be omitted

Italic letters in the Slovene part of the text designate word stress or logical sentence stress.

Slovene Alphabet and Pronunciation

The Slovene alphabet has 25 letters. It does not have the letters W, Q, X, Y. But you have to learn three new letters: Č (pronounced as ch in English), Š (sh), and Ž (zh, as in azure). The mark above the letters is called a carrot, or, in Slovene, strešica (literally: little roof).

Listen carefully to the following words on the cassette for pronunciation. If a given letter has several phonetic values, then examples and similar English sounds are given for each. To listen the phrases on-line, please load the mpgaudio sound driver.
Slovene spelling Examples Similar English sounds
Amama mom father
Bbiti to be to be
Ccena price tse-tse fly
Cčokolada chocolate chocolate
Ddan day day
Ecena price bed
teta aunt fat
pes dog the
Ffant guy far
Ggaraža garage garage
Hhiša house Spanish Juan
Ividim I see see
Jjej! eat! Yankee, hey
Kkam where to kick
Llevo left left
Mmama mom mom
Nnič nothing nothing
Otelefon telephone horn
oče father hot
Ppot path path
Rroža flower road
Ssedem 7 seven
Sšest 6 shock
Ttaksi taxi taxi
Uura hour soon
Vvaza vase vase
Zzob tooth zero
Zžena wife pleasure

L and V at the end of a word or before another consonant are pronounced like English w:
pol half, volk wolf know
nov new, v mestu in town wrong

D and Z together are pronounced like English j:
Madžarska Hungary Jane

Common Expressions


Slovenes divide their day into four parts: early morning, daytime, evening, and night. Thus for 'good afternoon' there is no special expression. The parting expression na svidenje translates 'see you again.' The now seldom used expression for permanent parting zbogom means 'with God.' In the mountains one often hears the word srečno 'good luck' in parting.


Good morning.
Dobro jutro (before 8 a.m.).

Good day.
Dober dan (8 a.m.-sunset).

Good evening.
Dober večer.

Dobrodošli./Pozdravljeni. (Usually for groups.)



Good bye.
Na svidenje.


Good night.
Lahko noč.

Good luck.


Have a good/nice time.
Lepo se imejte. / Lepo se imej (fam.).


Let me introduce myself.
Dovolite, da se predstavim.

My name is John Blatnik.
Jaz sem John Blatnik.

Glad to meet you.
Me veseli.

I'd like you to meet my wife.
Vam smem predstaviti svojo ženo?

This is my daughter Jane. This is my son Alex.
To je moja hčerka Jane. To je moj sin Aleks.

Signs and Notices

CENIK Price list
CENTER Downtown
ČAKALNICA Waiting room
DATUM PROIZVODNJE Date of manufacture
DELOVNI ČAS Business hours
DOVOLJENO ZA Allowed for only
GARDEROBA Coat/Baggage check room
HUD PES Beware of dog
IZSTOP Exit (on buses)
NE HODI PO TRAVI Keep off the grass
NEKADILCI Non-smokers
NEVARNOST PLAZOV Danger of avalanches
NI VSTOPA No entrance
OBVOZ Detour
ODHODI Departures
ODMOR On break
ODPADKI Waste paper
PAZI, STOPNICA Caution, step
POZOR Caution
PRIDEM TAKOJ I'll be right back
PRIHODI Arrivals
PRIVATNA POT Private drive
REZERVIRANO (ZA INVALIDE) Reserved (for handicapped)
ROK TRAJANJA/UPORABE Best when used before
SOBE Rooms
SREČNO (POT) Bon voyage
STRUP Poison
ŠOLA School
UPORABNO DO Use before
URADNE URE Office hours
VHOD Entrance
VOZNI RED Timetable
ZAPIRAJTE VRATA Close the door
ZASILNI IZHOD Emergency exit
ŽENSKE Women/Ladies

Short Instructions

Prosim (please) can be used before or after all phrases below.

Answer! Odgovorite!/Odgovori (fam.)!
Listen! Poslušajte!/Poslušaj (fam.)!
Tell me! Povejte!/Povej (fam.)!
Speak!/Talk! Govorite!/Govori (fam.)!
Look! Poglejte!/Poglej (fam.)!
Show me! Pokažite!/Pokaži (fam.)!
Find it! Poiščite!/Poišči (fam.)!
Leave that! Pustite!/Pusti (fam.)!
Hurry! Pohitite!/Pohiti (fam.)!
That's enough! Dosti!/Dovolj!
Call! Pokličite!/Pokliči (fam.)!
Quiet!/Silence!/Calm! Tiho!/Tišina!/Mir!
Give me! Dajte mi! / Daj mi (fam.)!
Take it! Vzemite!/Vzemi (fam.)!
Bring me! Prinesite!/Prinesi (fam.)!
Here! Nate!/Na (fam.)!
Come here! Pridite sem! / Pridi sem (fam.)!
Come in! Vstopite!/Vstopi (fam.)!/
Naprej! (When knocking.)
Stop it! Nehajte!/Nehaj (fam.)!
Stop! Ustavite se! / Ustavi se (fam.)!/
Stojte!/Stoj (fam.)! (Stronger.)
Open! Odprite!/Odpri (fam.)!
Close the window! Zaprite okno! / Zapri okno (fam.)!
Careful! Pazite!/Pazi (fam.)!
Put your shoes on! Obujte se! / Obuj se (fam.)!
Take your shoes off! Sezujte se! / Sezuj se (fam.)!
Get dressed! Oblecite se! / Obleci se (fam.)!
Get undressed! Slecite se! / Sleci se (fam.)!
Sign here! Podpišite tu! / Podpiši tu (fam.)!
Jump! Skočite!/Skoči (fam.)!
Turn on! Prižgite!/Prižgi (fam.)!
Turn off! Ugasnite!/Ugasni (fam.)!
Put out the cigarette! Ugasnite/Ugasni (fam.) cigareto!


Getting There

Besides the Ljubljana International Airport, which is served by scheduled non-stop flights from several European cities, there are also the smaller Maribor and Portorož international airports. Should you be traveling by train from Italy, the point of entry is Sežana; from Austria, Jesenice or Maribor. Citizens of European Community countries may enter Slovenia with a valid identity card only.

A tourist visa for entry to Slovenia will be stamped in your passport during the passport control at the Slovene border or airport. You can ask:

A tourist visa, please.
Turistični vizum, prosim.

How long will you stay in Slovenia?
Koliko časa ostanete v Sloveniji?

One month. / Two months. / Three weeks.
En mesec. / Dva meseca. / Tri tedne.

Eating Out


Breakfast (zajtrk) is usually included in the price of a hotel room and consists of bread / bread rolls (kruh/žemlje), butter (surovo maslo), and jam (marmelada), served with coffee (kava) and milk or tea. You can ask that breakfast be brought to your room or have it in the dining room.

I would like to have breakfast for two.
Zajtrk za dva, prosim.

The room number is twenty.
Soba dvajset.

One coffee with milk and one tea, plain.
Eno belo kavo in en čaj brez.

eggs sunny side up jajca na oko
eggs with ham/bacon jajca s šunko / jajca s slanino
soft boiled egg mehko kuhano jajce
scrambled eggs zmešana jajca

Milk bars (mlečna restavracija) and some gostilnas open early to accomodate people going to work. There you may order:

yogurt jogurt
(cold) milk (hladno) mleko
strudel zavitek/štrudelj (coll.)
raised doughnut krof
tea with lemon/rum/milk čaj z limono/rumom/mlekom
bread roll žemljo
croissant kifeljček
cold sandwich sendvič

Espresso is the type of coffee most commonly served. Turkish coffee is also served, especially in the absence of an espresso machine. The way to order is:

coffee (you will get demi-tasse espresso) kavo
coffee (regular cup) dvojno kavo
cappuccino kapucinarja
ice coffee ledeno kavo

With whipped cream?
S smetano?

Yes, please. / No, without.
Prosim. / Brez.


Soup is usually the first course of a meal. For somewhat special occasions or when eating out, soup is either replaced or preceded by an appetizer. This could be a plate of kraški pršut (thinly sliced dried ham): you may be familiar with the Italian prosciutto, but note that the best such air-dried ham comes from the Kras, an area north of Trieste, known for its dry wind burja. The same area produces a purple-red wine called teran, which goes especially well with pršut. Other very good appetizers are domača salama (home-style salami), šunka (boiled ham), and želodec (slices of large pork sausage). While visiting relatives or friends you may be offered such smoked meats, called narezek, served with wine, any time during the afternoon or evening.

domača šunka s hrenom home-cured ham with horseradish
tatarski biftek beefsteak tartare
govedina v solati beef vinaigrette
francoska solata cubed potatoes and vegetables with mayonnaise
bohinjski sir Bohinj cheese
riba v marinadi marinated fish

Recreational Activities


As you travel through Slovenia, scenic sights will unfold along the road: the snow-capped Alps, the blue Adriatic, white chapels (cerkev) dominating the hilltops, the traditional hayricks (kozolec) in the fields and meadows, and here and there an ancient castle (grad). Especially popular with tourists is the Castle of Bled (Blejski grad), on a bluff overlooking the lake. The Castle of Ljubljana (Grad), with a magnificent view of Ljubljana and the surrounding mountains, can be reached by car or by following a pedestrian path from Gornji trg in the old town section. World-famous is the Cave of Postojna (Postojnska jama). A train will take you through the miles-long cave. You will see giant stalactites and stalagmites, the underground Pivka River, a natural concert hall, and the so-called human fish (človeška ribica), which lives only in this cave. Maybe even more breathtaking are the adjacent Caves of Škocjan (Škocjanske jame). While in Postojna you can also visit Predjamski grad. This unusual fourteenth-century castle seals the entrance to a huge cave through which supplies could be brought during siege. To the west of Postojna is the stud farm of Lipica, the original home of Lippizaner horses. Watch the white stallions grazing in the open or as they perform in a daily scheduled show. Horseback riding is also available. One-day bus tours to Postojna and Lipica are scheduled out of Bled and Portorož during the summer. From Portorož one can also take a one-day trip to Venice (Benetke) by hydrofoil (gliser). On a clear summer day a bus excursion out of Bled across the Vršič Pass (1,611 m / 5,285 ft.) to the Soča Valley is recommended. For a view of Lake Bohinj and the surrounding Julian Alps take the cable car to Vogel (5,052 ft.) from Bohinj. There is a hotel and restaurant at the top. Halfway between Ljubljana and Zagreb, on the Krka River near Novo mesto, lies Otočec, a thirteenth-century castle, now hotel and restaurant. A road from Celje through Ljubno brings you to Logarska dolina, a beautiful Alpine valley. Along the road, under a rock formation called Igla (Slov. for needle), you will see a source with intermittent flow,caused by an underground siphon releasing the water every three minutes. On a larger scale, Lake Cerknica (Cerkniško jezero), 30 miles out of Ljubljana disappears and reappears seasonally, also through siphons. An impressive waterfall is that of Savica, which flows through Lake Bohinj. Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica) is one of the two sources of the Sava River. The other one is near Kranjska Gora. A trip by train from Ljubljana to Koper offers scenic views, especially as you descend to the Adriatic Sea (Jadransko morje). After the last tunnel, watch for the Romanesque church of Hrastovlje surrounded by stone walls. Its fourteenth-century frescos are worth a special trip. If you happen to be in Maribor, take the cable car to the wooded Pohorje Mountains, where you can pick wild blueberries in July.

Here are a few other places with panoramic views, reachable by car or by cable car (gondola) where specified. The nearest town is given first.

Bovec: Kanin, 8,198 ft. Cable car. Mangart, 6,253 ft. The serpentine road is the locale of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

Celovec/Klagenfurt: Sele/Zell-Pfarre, 3,110 ft. A picturesque Carinthian-Slovene village (Austria).

Cerklje: Krvavec, 5,525 ft. Cable car.

Jesenice: Golica. Pick wild jonquils (narcise) in May. Peričnik Waterfall and Vrata Valley, with a view of Triglav.

Ilirska Bistrica: Snežnik, 5,893 ft. Walk the final mile for a breathtaking view.

Kamnik: Velika Planina, 4,616 ft. Unusual alp dwellings. Cable car.

Kozina: Slavnik, 3,373 ft.

Kranjska Gora: Gozd Martuljek (on the main road). Planica ski jump. Tamar Valley, 4,313 ft.

Kropa: Jamnik, 2,080 ft. Ask for local kirsch (češnjevec).

Ljubljana: Rakitna, 2,588 ft.

Sv. Katarina. Favorite outing for Ljubljanites.

Maribor: Duh na Ostrem vrhu, 2,963 ft. Good restaurant (gostilna).

Nova Gorica: Sveta Gora, 2,234 ft. Nova Gorica is a Slovene gambling center.

Novo mesto: Gospodična, 2,717 ft.

Trbovlje: Kum, 4,003 ft.

Trojane (on the Ljubljana-Celje highway): Stop at Trojane Pass for the famous, always fresh doughnuts (krofi), then proceed to the picturesque village of Čemšenik, 2,034 ft.

Polzela: Gora Oljka, 2,405 ft.

Portorož: Koštabona, 863 ft. Picturesque village.

Trbiž/Tarvisio: Višarje, 5,794 ft. Here the Slavic (Slovene), Germanic (Austrian), and Latin (Italian) civilizations converge. Frescos in the church are by the Slovene expressionist Tone Kralj (1930). Cable car out of Ovčja vas / Valbruna (Italy).

1 m = 3.28 ft. 1 ft. = 0.3 m

Can you suggest a sightseeing trip to the surrounding area?
Lahko predlagate kak izlet v okolico?

Can I get a tourist map of Slovenia?
Lahko dobim turistični zemljevid Slovenije?

Could you give me some brochures about Bled and the surrounding region in English?
Mi lahko daste kakšne prospekte o Bledu in okolici v angleščini?

A ticket / Two tickets for the guided bus tour to Postojna.
Eno karto / Dve karti za avtobusni izlet v Postojno.

At what time do we return to Bled/Portorož?
Kdaj se vrnemo na Bled / v Portorož?

When is the cable car leaving?
Kdaj odpelje gondola?

We would like something to eat/drink.
Radi bi kaj pojedli/popili.

What are you serving?
S čim lahko postrežete?

Six doughnuts, please.
Šest krofov, prosim.

Churches, Castles, Other Monuments

Some of the chapels that dot the Slovene countryside contain medieval frescos that have been discovered during recent restorations. Churches that now have a baroque appearance may contain earlier Gothic or even Romanesque elements. A good many of them have richly sculptured wooden baroque altars, reliefs, and statues. Under restoration are many old pipe organs (orgle), works of art in themselves. In chapels which are subordinate to a parish church, services are held only on the day of the patron saint or on the following Sunday, joint by popular festivities called žegnanje. Should you want to visit a chapel, ask in one of the nearby houses for the sacristan (mežnar), who has the key (ključ). Although contemplative orders have been disolved during the reign of Joseph II in the eighteenth century, a few old monasteries (samostan) still serve their original purpose, e.g. the twelfth-century Cistercian Abbey of Stična near Trebnje. The equally old Charterhouse of Žiče is now in ruins, but Carthusian monks occupy the younger Charterhouse of Pleterje near Šentjernej. The Bistra Charterhouse at Vrhnika is now a museum, and the Kostanjevica monastery an art gallery.

Many castles were set afire during the Revolution in World War II. Some have been, or are being, restored. A few serve as hotels: Otočec (Novo mesto) and Mokrice (Brežice), both on the Ljubljana-Zagreb highway, Podvin near Radovljica, and Štatenberg near Ptuj, some as museums. Finally, note the beautiful facades of the burgher residences in the old sections of Ljubljana, Maribor, Ptuj, Novo mesto, Kranj, Kamnik, Radovljica, Tržič. Reminiscent of Venice are the old patrician residences in Koper, Izola, and Piran. A select list of other monuments follows. The nearest town comes first.


Brežice: Brežiški grad, Grad Olimje (Podčetrtek), Grad Podsreda, Bizeljski grad, Kunšperk.
Celje: Celjski grad.
Kamnik: Grad Zaprice.
Koper: Socerb.
Panoramic view of Trst/Trieste.
Litija: Grad Bogenšperk. Witchcraft museum.
Ljubljana: Ljubljanski grad, Grad Turjak (Velike Lašče), Grad Goričane (Medvode).
Murska Sobota: Grad na Goričkem.
Novo mesto: Grad Hmelnik.
Ptuj: Ptujski grad, Grad Borl, Dornava.
Stari trg: Grad Snežnik.
Škofja Loka: Škofjeloški grad.
Velenje: Velenjski grad.


Bled: Church on the island, reachable by typical boats called pletnja.
Bohinj: Sv. Janez (Sv. = Sveti, Saint).
Celje: Sv. Rok in Šmarje near Jelše.
Djekše/Diex (Austria).
Kamnik: Sv. Primož.
Koper: Cathedral.
Kranj: Sv. Kacijan.
Ljubljana: Cathedral, Šmarna gora, Dvor (Polhov Gradec).
Maribor: Spodnja Muta (rustic 12 c. chapel).
Mežica: Leše.
Murska Sobota: Romanesque round chapel in Selo na Goričkem, modern church by Plečnik in Bogojina.
Piran: Cathedral and baptistery.
Ptuj: Dominican church, Ptujska gora.
Ribnica: Nova Štifta.
Škofja Loka: Sv. Janez na Suhi, Crngrob.

Other monuments

Cerkno: Bolnica Franja (World War II partisan hospital).
Celje: Roman cemetery in Šempeter.
Izola: Palazzo Beseghi degli Ughi, 1781.
Koper: Da Ponte Fountain, 1423; Loggia, 1464; Palazzo Lemrigone.
Ljubljana: Seminary Library, 1725; Robba's Fountain in Mestni trg (allegoric figures representing Carniolan rivers Sava, Ljubljanica, Krka); National and University Library designed by Jože Plečnik.
Sežana: Štanjel (picturesque Karst village).
Vipava: Vipavski Križ (15 c. hilltop town).

Do you sell the book Pipe Organs in Slovenia in English?
Imate knjigo Orgle na Slovenskem v angleščini?

How do I/we get to Bogenšperk Castle?
Kako pridem/pridemo do gradu Bogenšperk?

We would like to visit the church.
Radi bi si ogledali cerkev.

Where can we get the key?
Kje lahko dobimo ključ?

How old is this church/house/painting?
Kako stara je ta cerkev/hiša/slika?

Skiing, Curling

Kranjska gora is the largest Slovene ski resort. The nearby Planica is known for international competitions in ski jumping. Close to Ljubljana are the ski slopes of Krvavec and Velika Planina. From the outskirts of Maribor you can take a cable car to the ski slopes of Pohorje. Rogla ski resort is accessible from Celje. During the spring you can still ski beneath the peak of Kanin (8,488 ft.), near Bovec, and on Vogel above Bohinj. In winter, the frozen surface of Lake Bled provides a picturesque setting for curling. Excellent skiing equipment is manufactured in Slovenia (see Sporting Goods, p. 98).

Where is the ski rental?
Kje je sposojevalnica smuči?

I would like to rent
Rad bi si sposodil /
Rada bi si sposodila (f.)

ski equipment smučarsko opremo
cross country skis tekaške smuči
skis smuči
boots pancerje
ski poles palice

I am a reasonably good skier.
Sem kar dober smučar. /
Sem kar dobra smučarka (f.).

I am a beginner.
Sem začetnik. / Sem začetnica (f.).

I would like to join the ski school.
Rad bi se pridružil smučarski šoli. /
Rada bi se pridružila smučarski šoli (f.).

Two day-tickets. One afternoon-ticket.
Dve dnevni karti. Eno popoldansko karto.

Let's take the cable car/towrope/chair-lift.
Gremo na gondolo/vlečnico/sedežnico.

Boy, what fine snow / what a fog!
Fant, kakšen fin sneg / kakšna megla!

TEŽKA PROGA Difficult slope
SREDNJE TEŽKA PROGA Moderately difficult slope
LAHKA PROGA Easy slope
ZA ZAČETNIKE For beginners


European doctors often recommend warm mineral springs for ailments ranging from rheumatism and arthritis to heart and nervous conditions. Spas (toplice) have their own resident doctors, specialists in balneology. Since spas are beautifully situated, anyone can benefit from their relaxing atmosphere. You can enjoy recreational swimming, fitness trails (trim steza), tennis courts, concerts, good hotel accomodations and restaurants. The best known spas in Slovenia are Rogaška Slatina (near Celje) and Radenci (near Murska Sobota). Smaller spas are scattered through most of Styria (Štajerska) and Lower Carniola (Dolenjska). The establishment Terme in Portorož offers mud baths and thalassotherapy. A warm spring supplies water for the indoor swimming pool of the Grand Hotel Toplice in Bled. Here is the listing of other spas, with the nearest larger town given first.

Celje: Dobrna, Podčetrtek, Rimske Toplice, Laško.
Novo mesto: Dolenjske Toplice, Šmarješke Toplice.
Brežice: Čateške Toplice.
Murska Sobota: Moravske Toplice, Banovci.
Velenje: Topolščica.
Ptuj: Ptujske Toplice.

A folder on spas will be mailed to you if you write to Slovene Natural Spas' Association (Tomšičev trg 7, SLO-3000 Celje, tel. +(063)28-017, fax +(063)28-024).

Searching for Slovene Roots

If you are of Slovene ancestry and want to know more about your family tree, contact your known relatives before going abroad. Ask what they know about your ancestors, including dates and places of birth. Your initial contacts may also provide information on other relatives here or abroad who may have known your family. In Slovenia vital records going back 100 years are kept by county (občina) vital statistics offices (oddelek za matične zadeve). A moderate fee is charged for birth and death records these offices supply. Records extending beyond the 100-year limit are kept in the Arhiv Republike Slovenije (Zvezdarska 2, SLO-1000 Ljubljana, tel. +(061)1251-266, fax +(061)216-551). Tombstones may be another source of information on relatives removed by one or two generations.

Sample letter of inquiry to the vital statistics office

Skupščina občine(Give name of the county seat here.)
Oddelek za matične zadeve


I would like to request the birth and other records for Janez/Anka Tičar, born ca. 1900 in Srednja vas near Cerklje. I would also like the data on his/her parents. I am enclosing copies of family documents and 5 dollars for your help and kindness. Thank you.


prosim za rojstne in druge življenjske podatke na ime Janez/Anka Tičar, roj. okrog 1900, Srednja vas pri Cerkljah. Obenem želim podatke o njegovih/njenih starših. Prilagam kopije družinskih dokumentov in 5 dolarjev za trud in prijaznost. Vnaprej lepa hvala.

(Your name and address.)


Letter Writing

Sample business letter

John Hribar
325 Sabal Drive
Warm Mineral Springs
Florida 79687, U.S.A.
fax +(305)1211-508

Hotel Turist
Dalmatinova 15
SLO-1000 Ljubljana


I would like to reserve a room with bath for one person / two persons for arrival on the 20th and departure on the 23rd of July. Kindly confirm my reservation by air mail or fax at above address, giving the rate and amount of deposit if any.



želim rezervirati enoposteljno/dvoposteljno sobo s kopalnico od 20. 7. do 23. 7. Prosim, da z letalsko pošto ali faksom potrdite rezervacijo na gornji naslov in navedete ceno ter višino morebitnega pologa.

Z lepimi pozdravi

Sample personal letter

Dear Urška,

I am coming to Slovenia with the Kollander tour in July. If you tell me how to get to Metlika, I would like to visit you and other relatives.

I have wanted for a long time to see the place my father talked so much about. The tour will be in Ljubljana from July 10 to July 20, and we will be staying at the Union Hotel. I hope to hear from you soon.

your cousin Barbara

Address on the envelope:
Ga. Urška Novak
Pot v Bitnje 16
SLO-4000 Kranj
Note: Married women always
use their own first name,
rather than their husband's.

Pierz, Minn. 15. 5. 1987

Draga Urška,

julija obiščemo Slovenijo s Kollandrovo skupino. Če mi poveš, kako pridem v Metliko, te obiščem in tudi druge sorodnike.

Dolgo si že želim videti kraj, o katerem mi je oče tolikokrat pripovedoval. Naša skupina bo v Ljubljani od 10. do 20. 7. Stanovali bomo v hotelu Union. Upam, da se kmalu oglasiš.

S prisrčnimi pozdravi
tvoja sestrična Barbara

Some phrases from which to choose

Thank you for your nice letter.
Hvala za vaše/tvoje (fam.) prijazno pismo.

I was very pleased to hear all the news.
Novice so me zelo razveselile.

It is good to know that you are all doing well.
Veseli me, da vam gre vsem dobro.

We are all in good health.
Pri nas smo vsi zdravi.

John graduated from high school/college.
John je končal gimnazijo/college.

Rosemary is getting married in June.
Rosemary se bo junija poročila.

I changed jobs.
Jaz imam drugo službo.

I am making more money.
Več zaslužim.

I am very happy.
Prav zadovoljen/zadovoljna (f.) sem.

We bought a house.
Kupili smo hišo.

I moved to another apartment.
Preselil/Preselila (f.) sem se v drugo stanovanje.

I really like it.
Res mi ugaja.

It is bigger.
Je večje.

We had a good trip home.
Srečno smo se vrnili domov.

We enjoyed our visit to Slovenia very much.
Zelo smo uživali na obisku v Sloveniji.

Many thanks for your hospitality.
Lepa hvala za vašo gostoljubnost.

I am glad I met you and other relatives.
Veseli me, da zdaj poznam tebe (fam.) in druge sorodnike.

The pictures we took on the trip came out very well.
Posnetki s potovanja so se lepo posrečili.

I am sending you pictures we took at your house.
Pošiljam vam posnetke, ki smo jih napravili pri vas.

We often talk about the nice time we had together.
Pogosto se spominjamo lepih uric, ko smo bili skupaj.

We are making plans to visit Slovenia next summer.
Prihodnje poletje nameravamo potovati v Slovenijo.

We will rent a car, so we can see the countryside, and visit relatives.
Najeli bomo avto, da si ogledamo deželo in obiščemo sorodnike.

I would like to spend a few days in Portorož.
Rad bi preživel nekaj dni v Portorožu. /
Rada bi preživela nekaj dni v Portorožu (f.).

I hope that one day you will visit us in Cleveland.
Upam, da nas nekoč obiščete v Clevelandu.

How is the weather in Ljubljana in July?
Kakšno vreme imate julija v Ljubljani.

It is very hot here in the summer.
Tukaj je poleti zelo vroče.

Some Slovene Songs

Pojdem na Štajersko (music 500 KB)

A young man is planning a trip to Styria, to visit his three girl friends. The first, who is a waitress, will give him something to drink. The second, a cook, will give him something to eat. The third, his beloved, will take him to her room.

Pojdem na Štajersko
gledat, kaj delajo,
gledat, kaj delajo
ljubice tri.

Prva je kuhar'ca,
druga je kelnar'ca,
tretja je ljubica
moj'ga srca.

Prva mi jesti da,
druga mi piti da,
tretja me v kamrico
svojo pelja.

Po Koroškem, po Kranjskem

All over Carinthia and Carniola the buckwheat is ready to be harvested. A maiden has been cutting it for three days. She is tired, her hands are blistered. After she has reaped three and a half sheaves her beloved comes to carry the sheaves home.

Po Koroškem, po Kranjskem že ajda zori,
že ajda zori, že ajda zori.
En deklič jo žanje, jo glav'ca boli,
jo glav'ca boli prav zares.

Tri dni jo že žanje, tri snopke ima,
tri snopke ima, tri snopke ima.
Pa na rok'ce pogleda -- vse žuljave ima,
vse žuljave ima prav zares.

Tri dni jo že žanje, tri snopke in pol,
tri snopke in pol, tri snopke in pol.
Pa pride njen fantič, jih nese domov,
jih nese domov prav zares.


Useful Books

Treasures of Slovenia. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 19933, 336 p. Large format, with full-page color illustrations.

Enciklopedija Slovenije, 1-12. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 1987-. Till 1994 7 volumes (A-N) of planned 12 of this extensive encyclopedical information on Slovenia appeared.

Atlas Slovenije (1:50,000). Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 19932, 383 p. Large format. Very detailed maps with city plans and index of even the smallest places.

Daša Komac and Ružena Škerlj: English-Slovene and Slovene-English Dictionary. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 199212, 787 p. Pocket size.

Anton Grad and al.: Veliki angleško-slovenski slovar. Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, 1994, 1377 p. College-type English-Slovene dictionary.

Anton Grad: Veliki slovensko-angleški slovar Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, 1982, 826 p. College-type Slovene-English dictionary.

Ema Andoljšek and al.: Slovenščina--Slovene. A Self-Study Course. Ljubljana: RTV, 1984, 158 + 144 + 32 p. + 12 cassettes.

Jože Toporišič: Zakaj ne po slovensko. Slovene by Direct Method. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, 19922, 271 p. + 4 cassettes.

Slovene books and periodicals as Flaneur, Slovenia-Weekly and Slovenija, intended to English speaking readers, can be ordered by mail from Državna založba Slovenije (DZS), Export-Import, Šmartinska 152, hala 12, SLO-1000 Ljubljana, tel. +(061)1851-722, fax +(061)445-896.

The following two books can be purchased from Slovenian Research Center of America, Inc., 29227 Eddy Road, Willoughby Hills, Ohio 44092:

Milena Gobetz and Breda Lončar: Slovenian Language Manual, I, II. Ohio, 1976, 1977.

Edward Gobetz: Slovenian Heritage, I. Ohio, 1982.

Prežihov Voranc: The Self-Sown. Bilingual Edition of a Slovene Classic (Translated and Introduced by Irma M. Ožbalt). New Orleans: Založba Prometej, 1983, 111 p. Available at Založba Prometej, P.O.Box 8391, New Orleans, LA 70128.

Škrjanček poje. Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, 19932, 277 p. 200 Slovene folk songs with melodies.

Created: June 1995, updated: March 21, 2002.

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