Learn Slovene with Anna in Slovenia! (but first READ this INTERVIEW)
Anna came all the way from Montreal to live in a nice little village in Slovenia. Via her Anna in Slovenia blog, she writes about her everyday adventures and discoveries of Slovenia. She also shares her knowledge and understanding of Slovene, the official language, as a foreigner learner to another one.
Head photo: Anna in front of the Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Interview by Mari Podhrasky (@mari_podhrasky)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN SLOVENIA AND WHERE IN SLOVENIA DO YOU LIVE?
I’ve been in Slovenia since 2013 and I’m living in a small village near Tržič, in the Gorenjska region.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START WRITING YOUR BLOG?
My very first post dates from October 2014. At first, my blog’s purpose was to share my life in Slovenia with my family and friends in Canada. Then I also started to write about my understanding of Slovene, the official language of Slovenia – mainly for my personal study. That’s where the “Discover Slovenia and Learn Slovene” comes from.
Most of my readers are foreigners (like me) who are learning Slovene. I write about different aspects of Slovene: grammar, idioms or any random related topics that I find interesting. One thing I don’t cover is pronunciation.
ONE OF YOUR ‘SPECIALITIES’ ARE ALSO SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE VIDEOS YOU ARE MAKING AND POSTING ON YOUTUBE, AM I CORRECT?
I do have a YouTube channel Learn About Slovene, but I don’t specialize in YouTube.
As we know, there are different learning styles: learn by reading and writing, learn by seeing, learn by hearing and learn by doing. With my videos, I want to present Slovene in a playful visual way. I like to think of my videos as “extras” to my blog posts, although some of them are standalones.
ARE YOUR LANGUAGE LESSONS AND VIDEOS FREE, HOW DO PEOPLE FIND OUT ABOUT THEM, WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK YOU USUALLY GET?
My blog is a hobby, so everything is free.
I’m not sure how people find out about my blog, but beside my WordPress blog, I also have a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a Ko-fi page.
I usually get positive feedback. I think my readers are happy to find a blog, where a “non-native”, like them, shares her knowledge about Slovene. I believe that it gives a different perspective of the language.
WHEN IT COMES TO SPEAKING SLOVENIAN, ANY STRUGGLES STILL GOING ON FOR YOU PERSONALLY, WHAT DID YOU FIND THE HARDEST WHEN LEARNING SLOVENIAN?
My Slovene is far from perfect, but as long as it is functional, it doesn’t bother me. I still make a lot of mistakes, and probably will for a while. I often have to repeat myself with the “correct” version too. (smile) My personal motto is: “it is better to speak with mistakes, than to not speak at all“.
Slovene is not the easiest language to learn, but it is doable. Looking back, I think that the less difficult part of learning Slovene is actually at the beginning. Might seem odd, but because at that level, you shouldn’t question too much the “why“, but learn it as it is. Slovene actually gets more challenging when you already understand some concepts of the language, and start questioning “why is it like this, and not like that” (and here come all the exceptions…) then it can get quite confusing.
But it’s ok. It’s part of the learning process. I always encourage my readers to send me their questions about Slovene, so we can all improve together.
“Slovene is not the easiest language to learn, but it is doable” says blogger Anna who moved to Slovenia from Canada in 2013.
HAVE YOU ALREADY SEEN A LOT OF SLOVENIA? ANY FAVOURITE PLACES OR THINGS TO DO?
Of course, I’ve been around Slovenia, but there are still many beautiful places to visit. Two of my favourite spots since I’ve visited Slovenia are still Tolminska korita (Tolmin Gorges) and Lipica. They just left an everlasting imprint in my heart.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS ON SLOVENIA, YOUR BLOG OR SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE VIDEOS YOU ARE MAKING?
I’m not a language teacher, and Slovene is my 4/5th language. So I’m far from perfect – but, I’m willing to do my best to share my knowledge and understanding of Slovene with anyone who would like to learn!
I’m also very grateful for all the positive feedback from my readers. And thank you Marijana for reaching out!
Subscribe to Anna’s YouTube Channel for her Slovene language videos!