3+ Tips On How To Improve Slovenian Pronunciation

Slovenian Pronunciation

The hardest part of learning a new language is getting the pronunciation right. Slovenian, for example, can have some tricky sounds for foreign speakers to get the hang of.

In this post, I’ll walk you through Slovenian pronunciation. Whether you’re new to the language or just need to refresh your knowledge, it’ll be covered. Let’s discover the secrets of speaking Slovenian with ease!

What Should I Know About Slovenian Pronunciation?

In spoken Slovenian, when you read words, each letter makes its own sound, no matter where it is in the word. Unlike in English or German, where some letters can blend together to make new sounds, like ”th” or ”sch”, in Slovenian, each letter has its own sound.

The Slovenian Alphabet

The Slovenian alphabet has 25 letters. It uses Latin script, just like English, so you’ll see familiar letters like a, b, c, and so on. But there are also some extra letters specific to Slovenian, like č, š, and ž. Each letter represents one sound, making Slovenian spelling quite consistent. Here is a table on how to pronounce each letter in the alphabet:

LetterSounds LikeSlovenian Word Examples
aa in fatheravto (car)
bb in batbel (white)
cts in catscesta (road)
čch in cheesečas (time)
dd in dogdan (day)
ee in metelektrika (electricity)
ff in funfilm (movie)
gg in gogozd (forest)
hh in hellohiša (house)
ii in machineigra (game)
jy in yesjabolko (apple)
kk in kitekava (coffee)
ll in loveluna (moon)
mm in manmama (mom)
nn in notnoč (night)
oo in noteoče (father)
pp in potpot (road)
rrolled rriba (fish)
ss in sitsonce (sun)
šsh in shešola (school)
tt in toptorba (bag)
uoo in bootulica (street)
vv in vanvrata (door)
zz in zoozvezda (star)
žs in measurežoga (ball)

The Half Vowel ‘R’

In Slovenian, the letter ‘r’ is recognized in some words as a ‘half vowel’ or syllabic consonant. This phenomenon can be heard in words that don’t have any vowels, such as smrt (death), prst (finger), and grm (bush).

Pronunciation Tips For Slovenian Words

Here are some tips on how to pronounce Slovenian words:

  • In Slovenian words, the stress will generally fall on the first syllable, although this isn’t a strict rule.
  • There are no accent marks in written Slovenian, so if there are several syllables, check which one is stressed in a dictionary.
  • Slovenian vowels are pronounced fully and consistently. Each vowel gets equal emphasis and time when pronounced, and its pronunciation remains the same regardless of its position.

Practice the table above, because once you know the pronunciation of a vowel in one word, you can apply the same sound to it in other words. Check out my blog about the Slovenian accent for a more detailed explanation.

Pronouncing Some Basic Words

To give you an idea on how to pronounce certain simple words in Slovenian, I’ve prepared some examples, so you can try to say them out loud:

  • Thank you – Hvala (HVAH-lah)
  • Please – Prosim (PRO-seem)
  • Good afternoon – Dober dan (DOH-behr dahn)
  • Yes – Ja (yah)
  • No – Ne (neh)
  • How are you? – Kako si? (KAH-koh see)
  • Excuse me – Oprostite (oh-PROH-stee-teh)
Pronouncing different letters

How Do You Say Pronunciation In Slovenian?

In Slovenian, the word for pronunciation is izgovorjava. You see, the word govor means “speech,” and the word izgovorjava essentially means “speaking out,” which kind of captures the idea of pronunciation as articulating words or sounds.

Learning Slovenian grammar and pronunciation will require a lot of time and understanding, as they are not the easiest topic to learn. But if you’re truly invested and interested in learning the language, then no obstacle should stand in your way. To make things even easier, the Ling app was designed especially for learners like you; to guide you and make your language learning fun. Talk about convenient!

In the meantime, here is some easy vocabulary related to Slovenian pronunciation:

To speakGovoriti
To sayReči
To talkPogovarjati se
To whisperŠepetati

Frequently Asked Questions About Slovenian Pronunciation

What Language Is Slovenian Closest To?

Slovenian, or the Slovene language, is a South Slavic language, meaning it’s closely related to languages of countries near Slovenia, like Croatian, Serbian, and Macedonian. These languages share similarities such as grammar, vocabulary, and phonology because of their shared linguistic heritage. If you’ve got one of these covered, you can try learning another one, and it will be a piece of cake!

How Do You Pronounce Slovenian Names?

Slovenian names are pronounced according to the Slovenian rules for pronunciation. For example, this is how you would pronounce some common Slovenian names:

  • Ana: AH-nah
  • Luka: LOO-kah
  • Maja: MY-ah
  • Marko: MAR-koh

How Many Dialects Does Slovenia Have?

Even though Slovenia is a tiny country, you’ll be surprised to find out it has around 50 dialects! The reason for this is the heavy influence from neighboring countries. Each region has its own distinct linguistic features, so as a language learner, you may have trouble understanding what some people are saying, as even Slovenians sometimes have trouble understanding each other!

Learning pronunciation

Looks Like A Lot To Practice!

Learning to speak Slovenian words takes practice, especially nailing the pronunciation. Just remember: each letter has its own sound, making it pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. Pay attention to stress patterns and how vowels and consonants are pronounced.

And don’t forget, it’s okay to stumble along the way – that’s all part of the learning process! Keep at it, and soon you’ll be chatting away in Slovenian like a pro.

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