Slovenian: Relation to Slovene

martinemussies

Senior Member
the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
Jana337 said:
It (Slavonic) has nothing to do with either Slovak (slovenština) or Slovenian (Slovinian).

Jana, you seem to be such an expert !! :D *thumbs up*
Could you also teach me when to use "Slovenian" and when "Slovene" ?
Bit stupid question... I've studied this language and don't even know
how to call it properly in English.... :eek:
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    martinemussies said:
    Jana, you seem to be such an expert !! :D *thumbs up*
    Could you also teach me when to use "Slovenian" and when "Slovene" ?
    Bit stupid question... I've studied this language and don't even know
    how to call it properly in English.... :eek:
    Martine, you, in turn, seem to be an expert at difficult questions - this one took me by surprise. ;) I had to consult Wikipedia.
    • The shorter form was carried over into English through French, once the language of diplomacy (and is prevalent in the UK),
    • while the longer form is the one naturally formed by native speakers of English (prevalent in the USA, Canada, Australia).
    Although somewhat confusing, both terms are widely recognized and acceptable.
    Thanks for keeping me on my toes - the more, the better!

    Jana
     

    Tobycek

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Slovenes usually use the form Slovene when they speak English, because that's what they learn at school, and that's what is written on the covers of dictionaries etc.
    But Slovenian is OK. I think it sounds better actually, and if you look up the English words "sloven" and "slovenly", you might see why I feel that way!
     

    martinemussies

    Senior Member
    the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
    Hi Tobycek!

    Someone suggested to me, that "Slovene" is used for the language
    and "Slovenian" for other purposes.... for example "a Slovenian writer
    writes in the Slovene language". How do you think about that?
    Best wishes, Martine.

    P.S.
    I understand your feelings towards "Slovene".... but hey, just look up
    "Dutch" and laugh !! ;)
     

    dejan123

    Member
    slovenia, slo
    martinemussies said:
    Hi Tobycek!

    Someone suggested to me, that "Slovene" is used for the language
    and "Slovenian" for other purposes.... for example "a Slovenian writer
    writes in the Slovene language". How do you think about that?
    Best wishes, Martine.

    P.S.
    I understand your feelings towards "Slovene".... but hey, just look up
    "Dutch" and laugh !! ;)

    I think its always slovenian, i would not use slovene.
     

    stargazer

    Senior Member
    Slovenia, Slovenian
    martinemussies said:
    Jana, you seem to be such an expert !! :D *thumbs up*
    Could you also teach me when to use "Slovenian" and when "Slovene" ?
    Bit stupid question... I've studied this language and don't even know
    how to call it properly in English.... :eek:

    Hello!
    Both forms can be used regardless of context. Some prefer the shorter version and some the longer. I like to use the longer, Slovenian, because it contains the name of our country - Slovenia-n - and we are less likely to be mixed up with Slovakia or Slavonia. :)
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    stargazer said:
    Hello!
    Both forms can be used regardless of context. Some prefer the shorter version and some the longer. I like to use the longer, Slovenian, because it contains the name of our country - Slovenia-n - and we are less likely to be mixed up with Slovakia or Slavonia.

    Tobycek said:
    Slovenes usually use the form Slovene when they speak English, because that's what they learn at school, and that's what is written on the covers of dictionaries etc.
    But Slovenian is OK. I think it sounds better actually, and if you look up the English words "sloven" and "slovenly", you might see why I feel that way!

    I know it's an old thread, but I just couldn't help adding my “opinion” here.

    Anyway, in my humble opinion, we cannot say that both forms (Slovenian and Slovene) can be used regardless of the context. I was taught at school that ...

    Slovene = a noun
    Slovenian = an adjective
    (my dictionary agrees with me)

    hence:

    Slovene = Slovenian language or Slovenian person

    but not: Slovene language or Slovene person

    So, you could say:

    I am Slovene.
    I speak Slovene.
    I am Slovenian citizen.
    I speak Slovenian language.
     

    skye

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    I don't think it's that strict any more (and I wonder if it ever was). I know there is/was some tendency to use Slovene as a noun and Slovenian as an adjective, but I don't think that anyone would consider it wrong if you didn't follow this rule. Just ask the native speakers how they feel about this. You'll see that most of them won't be aware of any such rule.
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    skye said:
    I don't think it's that strict any more (and I wonder if it ever was).
    Of course it's not strict. If it was, people would be using the two words in question accordingly. But instead, the majority isn't even aware of the difference, let alone pay any attention to it when using the words.

    skye said:
    I know there is/was some tendency to use Slovene as a noun and Slovenian as an adjective,
    I still think the two cannot be used indistinctly. While people are using Slovenian as both, noun and adjective, it still sounds strange (at least to my ears) to use Slovene as an adjective, e.g. 'This is my Slovene friend.'

    skye said:
    but I don't think that anyone would consider it wrong if you didn't follow this rule.
    I think people dealing professionally with English might complain. Specially if the 'reverse' usage appeared 'publicly' – that is in different publications, posters, signs etc. I have once come across a sign on the door of one of the classrooms of the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana that said: “SUMMER COURSES OF SLOVENIAN”. The sign received rather merciless criticism among future translator (i.e. students of translation). Of course, they corrected it using a thick red marker and added (a rather emotional) comment – I don't remember exactly the words, but it was something like: 'Why are there studies of translation if everyone thinks (s)he can do it (better).'

    skye said:
    Just ask the native speakers how they feel about this. You'll see that most of them won't be aware of any such rule.
    I don't think native speakers merit special attention here. A whole lot (if not even most) of them wouldn't even know where Slovenia is. And as in 99% of the cases the geographical adjective and the name of the language coincide (with such exceptions as Switzerland, Austria, etc.) who would suspect that this (incredibly) small Slovenia is the exception (that proves the rule). :) And as long as we're inviting foreign students to “Courses of Slovenian” there's not much chance of them even noticing the other word, not to mention start thinking about its usage. It's like asking a Slovene how the inhabitant of Guatemala or Puerto Rico is called in his mother tongue ... Sometimes even a native speaker has to check a dictionary. ;)
     

    skye

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    I don't think native speakers merit special attention here. A whole lot (if not even most) of them wouldn't even know where Slovenia is. And as in 99% of the cases the geographical adjective and the name of the language coincide (with such exceptions as Switzerland, Austria, etc.) who would suspect that this (incredibly) small Slovenia is the exception (that proves the rule). :) And as long as we're inviting foreign students to “Courses of Slovenian” there's not much chance of them even noticing the other word, not to mention start thinking about its usage. It's like asking a Slovene how the inhabitant of Guatemala or Puerto Rico is called in his mother tongue ... Sometimes even a native speaker has to check a dictionary. ;)

    For me this is an argument against this strict division of Slovene and Slovenian. If speakers of English don't bother to make this distinction than why should we? These are two English words after all, not two Slovenian words. That's why one should consider the usage in English and not rely only on what the teachers and profs tell him.

    I agree that a native speaker has to check a dictionary occasionally, but dictionaries also have to be updated from time to time and they should follow the natural developments in language as well. If that wasn't the case then children at elementary school could still learn how to read from Trubar's Katekismus, or Prešeren's Poezije (the original edition) and your friend could use a free on-line version of a dictionary from the 19th century to translate her schoolwork. I bet she'd prefer something more recent.

    If the majority of English speakers are starting to neglect this division I really don't see why we should insist on it so much. As Wikipedia says:
    "both terms are widely recognized and acceptable."
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    skye said:
    For me this is an argument against this strict division of Slovene and Slovenian. If speakers of English don't bother to make this distinction than why should we?
    A lot of (native) speakers of English don't make distinction between Slovenia and Slovakia. Still, I think we should insist on it. :)

    skye said:
    These are two English words after all, not two Slovenian words. That's why one should consider the usage in English and not rely only on what the teachers and profs tell him.
    Official English (monolingual) dictionary (published in United Kingdom) says:

    Slovene = noun
    Slovenian = adjective

    Probably teachers and profs didn't make it up either.

    I agree that people say a lot of things. Also things that are not according to the norm. Maybe it even isn't appropriate to say that is wrong. We could say people speak like that and that is accepted in spoken, colloquial language. But it still isn't grammatically correct. If that continues the “mistake” will become the norm and the language will take another step in the process of its development.
    An example from Slovene would be the phrase of the type: “Imam dve sestre.” (the noun can be replaced by any of the 1st feminine declination nouns) which is used by a vast majority of the speakers of Slovene on a daily basis, although, I'm sure, most of them (probably not all) are aware that it is erroneous and would never use it in a more formal (that is less colloquial) situation. Maybe with years (decades?) the mistake will be so widely used that the linguist will accept it and include in the norm. But till then it is only accepted as a colloquial variant.

    skye said:
    I agree that a native speaker has to check a dictionary occasionally, but dictionaries also have to be updated from time to time and they should follow the natural developments in language as well.
    I absolutely agree. And they do. In some languages the changes are incorporated faster in others more slowly though. I think English linguistic resources (grammars, dictionaries etc.) are being updated quite regularly.

    skye said:
    If the majority of English speakers are starting to neglect this division I really don't see why we should insist on it so much.
    Sure, and if native speakers continue to do so, the phenomena will certainly be noticed by the “English linguistic authorities” and one of those words will be eliminated (having two words with exactly the same usage and meaning has never been a tendency in any language) or one of them will pass into a different register of usage etc. And considering the fact that English grammar is rather descriptive (unlike a normative Slovenian one) one of those things will probably happen sooner or later.
     
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