2 ingredient recipe: How to piss off a Slovene just by using the SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE and your CLUELESSNESS

Oh boy! Have I thought that I am fluent and cool when speaking to Slovenes! I was so proud of myself when they kept telling me how good my Slovene is. For over a year I haven´t spoken to a Slovenian person in another language than Slovenian. I knew I wasn´t perfect and still had a long way to go, but I was writing essays in Slovenian and had all of my classes in that language, so one can guess that my confidence was high. One could also guess that this article will not be about my Slovenian superpowers. Quite on contrary. I am looking forward to tell you about one of the biggest turn-offs which I have shown to some dear Slovenian native speakers.

The phrase »ne da se« seems so innocent at first. When you say »v tem vremenu se res ne da iti v gore«, the situation is clear and understandable. It is impossible to go to the mountains in this weather. Okay. When learning this phrase, I was pleased, since we had the same one in my native language.

However… »Danes se mi ne da iti v gore«. Should have the same meaning, right?
Wrong, you guessed it.

If you say »ne da se mi«, you are basically saying to the Slovenes that you are not willing to do something, that you are either not in the mood or too lazy to do the thing.
Needless to say, I have found out about it a bit too late.

So at first, I was writing an e-mail to my professor. In a very formal way (as you do with academic authorities) I have tried to explain to him that I need to write my exam in a later term because of my other obligations. So it looked something like this:

Spoštovani izred. Prof. XY,
Zelo se opravičujem, ampak zaradi drugih študijnih obveznosti se mi ne bo dalo priti na prvi termin izpita. A bi lahko prišla na drugi termin?
Že vnaprej se Vam zahvaljujem za odgovor in razumjevanje in lepo pozdravljam.

How sweet of me! I have basically written to him:

Dear Mr. Professor,
I am really sorry but I don´t feel like coming to the first term of the exam because of my other obligations. Could I come to the second examination term?
Thank you very much for understanding and for your answer.

He wasn´t too pleased but have still allowed me to attend the second term, so I haven´t got the hint.

The other time I have apologized to my classmate that I wasn´t »able« (nise mi dalo) or- in fact –willing to work on our project because I was sick. She was angry, I had no clue what has happened. Why are all Slovenes so short tempered?

And then finally I was saved. One day my boyfriend has rushed from work to see me. I was surprised that he had finished so early because I have made some other plans before the evening. You already know what followed – »ne da se mi prej«, I don´t feel like meeting you earlier. And one argument later I felt absolutely confused. Is this some weird Slovenian manner, getting pissed off for no reason?

Way later I was told what »ne da se mi« really means. At first I felt relieved, thinking »So that´s why…!«. Then I froze for a second and started to think about all the moments when I have used the phrase in a wrong way. I guess I turned pale white and disconnected myself from the humanity for the following few minutes.

What could have been done differently to prevent this situation? I have no clue. Personally I would not feel like telling a foreigner who is speaking my native language that the rude thing he just said was probably not what he meant to say. No way. I would think this person was an asshole. Therefore, unfortunately, the rare moments of not fitting into a new language community seem to be a MUST for the most of us foreigners, however hard we are trying to assimilate.

You will have misunderstandings, you may piss some people off and even lose some good chances. But think positively. You may have said that stupid thing in the national TV in front of the whole nation. Or have written that in an official letter to the prime minister of the country. Or in a not-so-appropriate response to your potential employer, who has just offered you the job with the monthly 3000€ payment. None of these have happened? So you still will be able to laugh about it one day. Do that. It is the only way how to survive the awkward moments of being a clueless foreigner.

KL, 2016

NEWS from SLOV:SLOV (August)

August was a productive and fascinating month in both Slovenia and Slovakia. So let´s keep the news coming!

August 2016 in Slovenia:

  • The Global Peace Index 2016 ranked Slovenia as 10th most peaceful country in the world 🙂
  • Slovenia, often referred to as The Beekeeper of Europe, is home to the Carniolan bee. A new tour takes visitors around bee hives and api-wellness centres.
  • In Rio 2016 Tina Trstenjak won our first gold medal in Judo! Peter Kauzer won silver medal in kajak, Ana Velensek bronze medal in Judo and Vasilij Zbogar silver medal in sailing. Congratulations!
  • Historical buildings turned into hotels or hostels. Read more: http://www.slovenia.info/en/A-dynamic-holiday-among-tales-from-long-ago.htm?zivahne_pocitnice_med_zgodbami=0&lng=2
  • Postojna Cave passed yet another important milestone, as it received its 37 millionth visitor!
  • The 28th international music festival Nights in Ljubljana Old Town offered performances of 200 musicians from 26 countries. Nights in Ljubljana Old Town is the biggest street festival in the capital, which traditionally takes place in the last week of August at various venues across the old city core, attracting around 60,000 visitors from Slovenia and abroad.
  • Ljubljana, the Green Capital of Europe 2016, is focusing on sustainable mobility and air quality in September. Coinciding with World Car Free Day and European Mobility Week, the month will be highlighted by several events throughout the city. Read more: http://www.sloveniatimes.com/ljubljana-forefronts-sustainable-mobility-in-september

 

August 2016 in Slovakia:

  • New English.speaking kindergarten opened in Stupava. It is a bilingual kindergarten.
  • Czech President Miloš Zeman attended the opening of the Czech Olympic House in Rio de Janeiro, together with Slovak President Andrej Kiska.
  • Irish low-cost airline Ryanair expanded its Leeds Bradford Airport winter 2016 schedule adding two new routes to Bratislava and Vilnius. As a result, the winter 2016 winter schedule now includes four new routes: Bratislava (two weekly), Gran Canaria (two weekly), Vilnius (two weekly) and Warsaw (two weekly). Lets all book a ticket now and fly away
  • The postage stamp, from the series Art, depicting a painting by Alfons Mucha gained 5th place in the competition of the International Philatelic Exhibition in Vienna (WIPA). Some philatelists consider it the most prestigious international competition for the most beautiful stamp in the world. The Slovak Posts always enters the international competition for the most beautiful stamps.
  • Slovakia celebrated the 24th anniversary of its constitution on September 1. #slovakrepublic #nationalday #freedom #independence

NEWS: 1-7th August

Slovenia

 

  • Entering the 8. month of its stint as the Green Capital of Europe in August, Ljubljana will focus on sustainable tourism this month. Read more: http://www.sloveniatimes.com/ljubljana-focusing-on-sustainable-tourism-in-august
  • Free beer was served on Friday to mark the International Beer Day by Union Brewery in their pub. Combining the taste of this summers’ hit – unfiltered Union – with visiting the beer museum next door.

Slovakia

  • The Czech Republic and Slovakia are planning to enter into an agreement on closer cooperation in air defense. The two countries already cooperate closely within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System.
  • Popular medical mushrooms in China grow also in Slovakia. The top mushroom and the most significant one is growing in Slovakia and it´s called the lingzhi or reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), which is also called the mushroom of eternal youth. Traditional Chinese medicine widely uses medicinal mushrooms, but we don’t use them for treatment purposes.

NEWS: 25-31st July

Slovenia

 

  • Slovenia took part in one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world, the so-called Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin, for the second time. The basic motive of the Slovenian presentation was to promote the diversity of Slovenia from the perspective of tourism as well as in the sense of developing respect for everyone.
  • Let´s talk about baseball. From 25th of July to 30th one of two European Championships C-Pool is taking place Ljubljana. Read more: http://greekbaseball.com/2016/07/25/european-championship-c-pool-in-ljubljana-slovenia-gets-underway-on-monday/
  • The Global Peace Index 2016 ranked Slovenia as 10th most peaceful country in the world!

 

Slovakia

  • While the Bratislava Region belongs to the most innovative regions of new member states of the EU, Slovakia is again between average countries when it comes to the study of innovative performance of the EU states and regions published by the European Commission.
  • Do you want to discover Bratislava but don‘t like tradicional guided tours? During Brainteaselava City Game you will visit the most famous places in Bratislava, but also its hidden streets with peculiar atmosphere. Read more here: https://www.visitbratislava.com/news/unique-city-game-bratislava-city-centre/

NEWS: 18-24th July

Slovenia

  • Alice in Waterland, acrobatic circus took place on 20 July at 8 pm on Novi trg square in Ljubljana.
  • Have you ever thought about paddle boarding? There is this new tour to explore the sights and sounds of Ljubljana in a unique way… Ljubljana is definitely one of the first capitals in the world to offer travellers an opportunity to explore the city standing up on a paddle board venturing along the central river canals! Read more about that adventure here: http://www.traveldudes.org/travel-tips/why-sup-ing-coolest-way-explore-city-ljubljana/70453
  • Between 23 – 24 July took place the Prima Water Slide at the Kongresni square in Ljubljana. Tobogan, what an idea!

Slovakia

  • The reconstruction of the Slovak National Gallery (SNG) was interrupted in July and set to last until October. This will be due to the events connected with the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union between July and October in the nearby Reduta building in Bratislava.
  • Bratislava’s SNP Bridge is about to forecast weather in the future. Coloured lights will give information on rain, wind and sun. Yellow will signal sunny weather to come, red will mean windy, blue will warn of rain and green indicates a foggy day. The project can be launched in full operation in September.

 

NEWS from Slovakia and Slovenia (11-17th July)

Slovenia

  • Laško Pivo in Cvetje (Beer and Flowers) Festival took place between 14-17th of July. This was the biggest festival event in Slovenia.
    Read more HERE:
  • The Slovenian handball team secured a spot at the 2017 IHF World Men’s Handball Championship in France after the victory over Norway in the final stage. Good job guys! 🙂

Slovakia

  • Free rail transport for children, students and pensioners launched in November 2014 has increased interest in rail travel. Although the cost of free rail transport for students and pensioners was over €14 million in 2015, Transport Minister – Minister Roman Brecely does not intend to abandon the measure.  Costs.numbers are big, but free travelling with trains is still happening 😉
  • Slovak cyclist and current world champion in road cycling Peter Sagan won the 16th stage of this year’s Tour de France. Keep up the great achievement!

NEWS from Slovenia and Slovakia (4-10th July)

Slovenia

  • Ljubljana Castle will play film premieres throughout July. The open air cinema will be held there every night at 9:30 pm. While the opening night (7 July) has sold out,a film will be shown each night until 30 July. So hurry up and buy your tickets!
    You can find the program here!
  • The Cyanometer by Martin Bricelj Baraga is a monolith that measures the blueness of the sky and visualises the quality of air in the city. It is located at the Plateau Ajdovščina at Slovenska street in Ljubljana. It will be on the display until the end of 2016. It is an instrument that raises awareness on the quality of air uses green energy and open source technology. Isn´t it just amazing? Read more here!

Slovakia

  • Due to events connected with the country’s EU presidency, the Bratislava Castle – and all the Slovak National Museum’s exhibitions, permanent and temporary, placed there – will be closed for the public on the following days: July 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 24.
  • Critically endangered bird of prey nested in Slovakia. Ornithologists have confirmed that red-footed falcons are nesting, which are critically endangered here.
    Read more here!
  • Slovakia holds a state holiday on July 5, commemorating the arrival of Byzantine missionaries, Saints Cyril and Methodius to the territory including a part of current Slovakia in the second half of the 9th century. As of 2006 the country marks the same day also as the Day of Foreign Slovaks.

SLOVENIA in pictures: Erasmus edition p.5

Slovenia is attracting more and more tourists every year and their excitement is really contagious! That is why we keep asking our friends from Erasmus to share their best experiences and memories from Slovenia.

This time we will visit the country with Viktoria from Vojvodina and her friends. Let´s see what her best moments in Slovenia were like!


Excited to see more? Visit our gallery!

pictures by: V. Filka