Slovene: enak / isti

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Both enak and isti are translated as "(the) same" by the dictionary. Which (if either) would be appropriate in the translation of the following sentences?

    Look at that jacket! Isn't it the same one you lost last year?

    We're both wearing the same jacket today.

  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Isn't a specialized dictionary, such as SSKJ, a better source for research?

    Anyway, at least judging by BCS cognates, enak means 'equal' (and enako 'equally'), while isti is 'same'. In both of your examples, isti would be presumably used.
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I use that dictionary sometimes, but it can be difficult to use if you're not already fluent in Slovenian or a closely related language.
  4. GrayRogue Member


    enak refers to two or more items that look alike, whereas isti refers to only one item. So, in the first sentence, isti would be used, since it is referring to one jacket, I presume. In the second sentence, enak would be used because the two people are wearing two different jackets that only look alike. Hope this helps. :)
  5. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Yes, enak is equal.
    But people do tend to mix those two words, so you have to be careful when interpreting sometimes.
  6. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Well, at least in BCS, isti can be used (loosely/colloquially) for 'equal': Isti smo po plati/godinama/statusu. Also, it can mean 'identical':

    Nosimo istu jaknu 'We're wearing the same [one] jacket'
    Nosimo iste jakne 'We're wearing identical jackets'
    Nosimo ?jednake jakne is iffy, just like We're wearing ?equal jackets (equal in what?)

    But the other way round (jednak instead of isti) is, I think, fairly impossible. Are the connotations the same in Slovene?
  7. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    It does, thanks. Does it sound normal to say, for example

    Te stvari so enake ampak niso ista

  8. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Te stvari so enake, ampak niso iste.
    Or even more natural:
    Te stvari so enake, niso pa iste (,kot si jih videl prejšnji teden).

    And yes, one would use "isti" instead of "enak" colloquially, not the other way.

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