The Slovene language
OMG, the language! I always say that they should have let the person who invented Slovenian grammar die a very slow and painful death! What a complicated language….. unbelievable. So many crazy and incomprehensible rules. I guess I can say that I have good language skills. I speak German and English very well and a little word of French. Foreign languages have always been fairly easy for me. But this ….. And although I have learned to speak Slovenian quite well, it’s absolutely not flawless and I will never ever succeed in that. First of all, the Slovenian language has 25 letters in the alphabet instead of our 26. They do not have Q, W, X and Y, but they do have Č (tj), Š (sj) and Ž (zj). Moreover, they pronounce the C as »Ts«, the G is the same as the English G, they pronounce the H as a Dutch G and the V as W. Now try to pronounce the word Begunščica :).
Second of all, besides the singular and plural form, they also have a »double« form. This means that they have different conjugations for 1 person, 2 people and 3 or more people. A little example: “I’m going home” is: Jaz grem domov. When Bine and I go home together (2 people) you say: Midva (us two) greva domov. If Larsen and Lexi go with us as well (3 or more people) it has to be: Mi gremo domov.
If you think this is complicated ….. The Slovenian language also has no less than 6 cases! Moreover, everything is conjugated, including names. Example: »Bine’s sister« you translate as Binetova sestra. Go figure!! You cannot make this stuff up, now can you? In the beginning, it was a real disaster. I regularly got confused, for example because »without Peter« is translated as Brez Petra (2nd case). That made me think they were talking about a woman named Petra instead of Peter, a man. Do you still follow ;)? Well, I didn’t either.
In addition, male and female words are all conjugated differently. Whenever you use the word »have«, it is always the fourth case. Masculine words are not conjugated here, unless they are “alive”, such as the word “son« (sin). Those words are given an A at the end. So when I say: »I have a son« you translate that as Jaz imam sina. Female words, on the other hand, are given an O as an ending. For example: »I have a house (hiša)« then becomes Jaz imam hišo.
If you use the word »with«, it is always the sixth case which means that male words get OM or EM in the end and female words again an O. »With a car« becomes z avtom. But you also say: z Binetom (with Bine). And »With my (moja) sister (sestra)« you translate as z mojo sestro. If you have paid close attention, you will see that the adjective is also conjugated. But I will not blame you if, by now, you have been thinking about the laundry you have to do tonight ;).
My point of this explanation is hopefully clear. The Slovenian language is a grammatical disaster. The fact that there can also be several consonants in a row is often cause for hilarity when foreigners try to pronounce those words and almost break their tongue doing so. For example, how would you pronounce Krka (the name of a river)? Or the word for »square«: trg. I would like to hear you try it once: D. Feel free to send me the recording, hahaha.
It is nice, however, that the Slovenians appreciate it very much when you try your best to speak their language and I still receive compliments regularly on how well I speak the Slovene language. Let’s just be happy with that and not worry about all the mistakes I make;).