Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Speicher, 11 Mar 2008.

  1. Speicher

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    I will be visiting Slovenia in June. One week in a hotel in Kransjka Gora and one week with Explore touring the rest of the country.

    Apart from learning how to say please and thank you and two beers please and two coffees please and where are the toilets please, is it worth learning more in Slovenian or do most Slovenians speak English?

    I can speak German, is this any help or do they not like people to speak German?

    I am sure some of the well-travelled people on here might be able to help.
    Thank you.
  2. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    As with trips to most foreign countries, if you look cheery and are able to be courteous (please, thank you, excuse me, hello, goodbye etc.) that will stand you in good stead.
    Trouble with learning a few phrases is that even if you have them down to a tee, you won't have a clue what their reply means! :rolleyes:
  3. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile


    I spent a long weekend once in Maribor and managed to get by with English or German. Everybody seems to have one or the other. That said, as is ever the case, the learning of the twenty basic phrases (all now forgotten of course) certainly gets people on your side.
  4. Foghat

    Foghat Veteran

    Good choice.

    Slovenia is a very pleasant country indeed. Beautiful scenery, Mediterranean climate, fine wines, very friendly people and interesting culture. A real up-and-coming vibe too.

    Some observations I made whilst exploring the country:

    It's a very hilly nation, and almost every hill seems to have a church on it.

    Only four women in the whole country don't dye their hair orange.

    Drink-driving in rural areas is rife, especially at night. When you visit a household, you'll have fine hospitality forced upon you; this will include copious quantities of alcohol (and much food), so if you're driving it really takes a politely assertive manner and strength of character to decline; insistence on consumption is, somewhat regrettably, the order of the day! Usually the roads are so quiet out in the sticks, drunk drivers often manage just to take themselves out, but be aware of the danger.

    Slovenes (this is the preferred noun and adjective), like inhabitants of much of the former Yugoslavia, really don't like Albanians. Even educated and otherwise reasonable people won't hold back with expressing their detestation.

    The fascinating architecture of capital city Ljubljana, and to a lesser extent the smaller cities of Celje, Maribor etc, is heavily influenced by the work of the renowned Plecnik, whose signature styles are evident almost everywhere you go, and very distinctive.

    Almost all young people speak English very well - as with most European countries, it's the default second language. Among older people, the ability to speak it is significantly less widespread, and much of the older rural population speaks very little. In the cities, you'll have no communication problems. If you buy an English-Slovene dictionary in Slovenia, it will probably be very expensive (mine was £30 for a fairly compact one), so order one before you go if on a budget. Being a Slavic language, Slovene is not easy to learn; however, making an effort to communicate in the native tongue is definitely appreciated, so studying a phrasebook before going is highly recommended.

    I wasn't cycling there, but I'd suggest it would be an ideal country to tour by long as you like hills! :biggrin:
  5. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Thank you all for your helpful responses. I think I will try to find a Slovenian Phrase book in this country, and practice a few polite expressions. Even when I am fairly confident speaking a foreign language, I always try to start the sentence with "please". Then if I do make a mistake and do not get to the end of the sentence, at least I have started off politely.

    I will not be doing any cycling, mostly walking, enjoying the scenery etc.
    I presume the tour leader from Explore will speak Slovenian.
  6. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Slovenia is reportedly hilly ive been told!
  7. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Yes, it might be slightly hilly. The fact that it includes some hills called the Julian Alps might give a teeny weeny clue. ;););):smile:
  8. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Oooooppps apologies Yenrod ;). That was a very sarcastic reply, which was not necessary at all. ;):blush:
  9. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    And can keep out of the way of drunk drivers?
  10. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    Spent many a summer in Kranjska Gora - beautiful place. Sadly not been able to afford a visit since 2003, but I made many friends there over the years and it's a place I long to go back to. My daughter was named after the lake just outside Kranjska, Jasna. Stunning alpine scenery,

    Nearly everyone in Kranjska speaks at least 3 or 4 languages (which puts us Brits to shame), but it's nice to be able to speak a few words, even if they're just the basics.

    Dober dan ! - Hello / good day
    Dober vecer ! Good evening !
    Lahko noc - night !
    Kolik stane ? - How much ?
    Ena malo toceno, prosim ! - a small draft beer, please.
    Dve mali pive - two small beers
    Pivo - beer
    Crno vino - red wine
    prt - tablecloth
    vrt - garden
    grt - hedgehog
    Kako ste ? - How are you ?
    Adio ! - cheerio
    Dobrodsli - welcome
    Ne govorite Slovensko - I don't speak Slovene

    Obviously I can't get the accents and diacritics in here, but you should be able to find Slovene phrasebooks in the Turisticna (tourist office) in the centre.

    Do take a stroll along to Podkoren whilst you're there (Sir Humphrey Davey lived there), or go the other way to Gozd Martuljek.

    I have some photos of Kranjska here
  11. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    There are some recorded handy phrases here, and this site is the best as an intro. Loads and loads of useful conversational phrases for all situations, and you can click on them to hear them said !

    Na svedenje !
  12. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Lovely photos. Were you just lucky with the weather, or is it usually sunny in the summer? I see what you mean about Lake Jasna.

    What was the food like? I have often been to Austria, which is what made me think about Slovenia, as it is just "next door". I think I will get a phrase book, the Map Shop in Upton has them.
  13. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    It's usually glorious and very hot. They call Slovenia 'the sunny side of the Alps' for a good reason. You can get spectacular thunderstorms, but they clear up very quickly.

    The food.... hmmmm !! I'm a veggie, so I was always rather limited in my options. But there's lots of good stuff around. They're very into their game and their seafood, but do great pizza and pasta too as they're right on the Italian border so there's lots of influence on the cuisine. The mushroom soup and garlic soup are out of this world - and are sometimes served in a hollowed out bread 'pot'. They also have a very un-Slavic love of salads, so everywhere you go you'll get massive salad choices.

    Make sure you try and pop into some of the small, mountain-path or mountain-road Doms to eat - they have usually rustled up food made from fresh produce they have in their vicinity, so you get great wild mushroom soups and lovely berry cheesecakes.

    I see they now have a Bike Park in Kranjska (which wasn't there in 2003), so you can do some MTB stuff.

    Try and take a walk up the Vrsic Pass if you can - real TDF mountain stage stuff there - used to marvel at the guys going up on bikes and then enjoy watching those coming back down at speed. Of course, some just caught the bus by Jasna which has a bike rack and got dropped off up on Vrsic so they could whizz down....
  14. Foghat

    Foghat Veteran

    How was Slovenia, Speicher?
  15. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Thank you for asking but I did not go. Many people on here may know that I have injured my back, ruling out anything too energetic. ;)

    The first week would have been nice and quiet, but the second week was with Exodus, touring the rest of the country. The travelling would have been too much. Also the pain killers I was given made me extremely ill.
    So ill, that I did not really leave the house for about six weeks. :biggrin:

    Some friends went early in the year, and said how much they enjoyed it.
    So perhaps next year. :biggrin:
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