Slovene/Lesson 1

Pronunciation and greetingsEdit

PronunciationEdit

The Slovenian language uses the Latin alphabet (Ljudevit Gaj's variation, Gajica) with 25 letters used to represent 29 sounds.

The following table lists all of the letters, together with pronunciations and "like in..." notes for easier pronunciation.

Slovenian alphabet(Slovénska abecéda)
Letter Name Pronunciation Note
A a a [a] like "a" in "father", but it is pronounced short
B b be [b] like "b" in "to be"
C c ce [ʦ] like "ts" in "tse-tse fly"
Č č če [ʧ] like "ch" in "chocolate"
D d de [d] like "d" in "day"
E e e [e] like "e" in "bed", like "e" in "fat", or like "e" in the
F f ef [f] like "f" in "far"
G g ge [g] like the first "g" in "garage"
H h ha [x] like in Spanish "Juan"
I i i [i] like "ee" in "see", but it is pronounced short
J j je [j] like "y" in "Yankee" or "hey"
K k ka [k] like "k" in "kick"
L l el [l] like "l" in "left"
M m em [m] like "m" In "mom"
N n en [n] like "n" in "nothing"
O o o [o] like "o" in "horn", or like in "hot", but it is pronounced short
P p pe [p] like "p" in "path"
R r er [r] like "r" in "road", but rolled, more like "r" in Scottish
S s es [s] like "s" in "seven"
Š š [ʃ] like "sh" in "shock"
T t te [t] like "t" in "taxi"
U u u [u] like "oo" in "soon", but it is pronounced short
V v ve [v] like "v" in "vase"
Z z ze [z] like "z" in "zero"
Ž ž že [ʒ] like "z" in "seizure"

Pronunciation rules

Vowels:

Slovenian has 8 vowels: /a/, /e/, /ɛ/, /ə/, /i/, /o/, /ɔ/, /u/. They are written using the letters A, E, I, O and U. The schwa /ə/ is sometimes repesented by the letter R, taking place before said letter.

The Slovene diphthongs are generally considered phonemically as combinations of two phonemes, a vowel and /j/ or a vowel and [w] (often written as [u]. The Slovene phonetic diphthongs are [ew, Ew, aw, Ow, ej, oj, Oj, aj, uj]. The diphthongs [aw] and [aj] can safely be used as equivalents of the English /aU/ and /aI/.

  • aj

Like the word "eye"

  • ej

Like 'ay' in "pay"

  • oj

Like 'oy' in "toy"

  • uj

Like 'wee' in "week"

  • ae

Like 'a' in "father" and 'e' in "empty"

  • ija

Like 'ia' in "Lydia"

  • ije

Like 'ie' in the Spanish word "miedo"

GreetingsEdit

  • Dobro jutro - Good morning ('doh-broh 'yuh-troh)
  • Dober dan - Good day ('doh-behr dahn)
  • Dober večer - Good evening ('doh-behr veh-'cher)
  • Lahko noč - Sleep well ('lah-kho noch)


  • Živijo - Hello ('zhi-vi-yoh)
  • Zdravo - Hello ('zdrah-vo)
  • Čao* - Hi (like the italian 'ciao'; chau)


  • Na svidenje - Goodbye (literally 'to the meeting', untill we see eachother again) (nah 'svih-deh-nye)
  • Adijo - Bye (ah-'dioh)
  • Zbogom - Goodbye (literally 'with God', with a connotation of 'we won't meet again') ('zboh-ghom)
  • Čao* - Bye (like the italian 'ciao'; chau)


* The word 'čao' is a slang word, used both to say hello and goodbye.

Note: it is recommended that you learn the pronunciation of slovene letters, as their sounds are almost always exactly the same as written (the exception being v, l, and some vowels)


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Last modified on 1 January 2012, at 13:59