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The Slovenian language


One of the official languages of the European Union, Slovenian, is spoken by approximately 2.5 million people, the majority of which live in Slovenia.

Slovenian, also known as Slovene, is written in the Latin alphabet. 

Origins and Brief History:

  • Slovenian, or ‘slovenščina’, is a South Slavic language that evolved from the Proto-Slavic language, which began to diverge in the early Middle Ages.
  • It developed a distinct identity around the 9th century with the spread of Christianity to the Slavic regions. Christian texts were translated into Old Church Slavonic, and this laid a foundation for the later development of national languages, including Slovenian.
  • One of the earliest and most important written documents in Slovenian is the ‘Freising Manuscripts’ (Brižinski spomeniki) from the late 10th or early 11th century.

Number of Speakers:

There are approximately 2.5 million native speakers of Slovenian. 
The majority of these speakers reside in Slovenia.

Official Language Status:

  • Slovenia: The primary country where Slovenian is spoken and where it enjoys the status of the official language.
  • European Union: Slovenia’s accession to the European Union in 2004 made Slovenian one of the official languages of the EU.
  • Italian municipalities of San Floriano del Collio, San Pietro al Natisone, and Doberdò del Lago are regions with significant Slovenian-speaking minorities.

Example of Text:

English: “Hello! How are you?”
Slovenian: “Pozdravljen! Kako si?”

Usage of Slovenian:

  • In Slovenia: Slovenian is used in everyday communication, in schools, government, media, and all official documents.
  • Abroad: Besides Slovenia, there are Slovenian-speaking minorities in the neighbouring countries of Italy, Hungary, and Austria. They use Slovenian in daily communication, cultural events, and some official capacities.
  • Media and Literature: There are TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, and books published exclusively in Slovenian. The language has a rich literary tradition, with renowned poets like France Prešeren.

English Words in Slovenian:

Many English words, especially those related to technology, business, and popular culture, have found their way into Slovenian. Examples include:

  • Computer: “računalnik” is a Slovenian term, but many people also use “komputer” in casual conversation.
  • Internet: While “internet” is commonly used, “splet” is the native term.
  • Cool: Used as slang, similar to its usage in English.

Slovenian Words in English:

There aren’t many Slovenian words that have been integrated into the English language. However, because of shared cultural and historical factors, some Slavic terms or names might be familiar but not directly from Slovenian. For pure Slovenian origin, examples are scarce. One possible example is:

Kurent: This is a traditional Slovenian carnival figure. Its significance might be recognized by those interested in folklore or those who have visited Slovenia during the carnival season, but it’s not widely used in English.

In Conclusion:

The Slovenian language is a unique and rich linguistic treasure with deep roots in the Slavic family of languages. Its evolution is closely tied to the Slovenian people’s historical, cultural, and political developments. While its influence on global languages like English is limited, its significance in Europe’s cultural and linguistic landscape is undeniable.

Like all Slavic languages, Some linguists believe Slovenian to be the most diverse Slavic language, as it has a wide range of different dialects. In more formal situations, the standard Slovenian language is used. The amount that each dialect can be understood by those who speak another dialect of Slovenian varies. However, most Slovenian speakers will be able to understand those who speak another dialect of their language easily.

Due to every language’s cultural nuances and complexities, Brightlines only uses Slovenian translation specialists who have used Slovenian since birth.

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Our translation services - FAQ

Do you use native translators?

Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.

How long will the translations take?

The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.

What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?

All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.

Which languages can you translate into?

We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.

I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?

Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.

Does the translation need to be proofread?

Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.

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If you need Slovenian translations, get in touch with our team, or get a quick quote.