LESSON 1.  Move to Slovenia. 

Ignore "Emigrating to Slovenia" website: don't bother trying to learn Slovenian, it says. 

LESSON 2.  Acclimatise yourself. 

Meet Slovenians who don't speak English, reminding you that you need to learn Slovenian, even though you are getting 95% of everything done anyway...in English. 

LESSON 3.  Learn to respond. 

Meet Slovenians who demand you don't speak Slovenian.  Speak English - we prefer it, they say. 

LESSON 4.  The basics. 

Tell numerous Slovenians with and without English how long you have been here.  This is the single most important fact.  Slovenians assume your language skills will grow like a toenail. 

LESSON 5.  Situation of the present-day language. 

Slovenians tell you Slovenian is a terrible language and should be abolished. 

LESSON 6.  Comprehension test. 

Slovenians demand a pretend conversation in English so they can check their English is OK.  Slovenians criticise your angry reaction to being forced to repeat the same conversation hundreds of times so that each person can have a go.  Slovenians pay you nothing. 

LESSON 7.  Plan your coursework. 

Slovenians demand you only learn Slovenian from qualified persons entitled to milk the rich foreigners they have heard about, and who can use their teaching experience to spin out the tuition endlessly.  You will be paying by the hour.  For ever.  For the convenience of the educator you will be regarded as a speaker of German, Hungarian, Italian or Serbo-Croat. 

LESSON 8.  Making up a story. 

Slovenians lie about some free Slovenian lessons to get you nearer to the resentful qualified persons who need your money more than you.  As they think you think like a Catholic drunk for some reason, they believe you won't care when it turns out you have to pay after all, or will be too awestruck or ashamed to protest.  Hahahahaha!!!!! 

LESSON 9.  Ask questions. 

Watch in uncomprehending exasperation as two to five Slovenians are unable to agree on what the Slovenian is for xyz and the discussion intensifies for some time before failing to reach a conclusion and they all shrug at you.  Repeat this exercise until someone asks you how the Slovenian is going and you think "Oh yes, that crap, yes, how is it going?" 

LESSON 10. About nouns and persons.

Seeing your frustrated mood and feeling full of love and generosity, Slovenians reveal the Slovenian words for beer, lighter and ashtray.  Did you know we have a dual case?  Again.  You are now in Year Five of your Slovenian course.  Having someone to talk to is not important to learning Slovene.  But from time to time someone will offer to exchange their Slovenian skills for your English ones.  Notice how you quickly end up conversing entirely in English.    

LESSON 11. The locative (mestnik) case. 

The rules of Slovenian society stipulate that the only appropriate location for foreigners learning Slovenian is a pub, while everybody gets drunk.   

LESSON 12. Grammar. 

Slovenians demand strict adherence to grammatical rules which they usually don't know, but which you can try to iron out, providing you don't mind shouting about it at the top of your voice over very loud music, while everyone gets drunk. 

LESSON 13. Usage and abusage. 

A professional teacher of Slovene will always demand that you learn Slovenian outdoors under a blazing sun so her chain smoking need not be interrupted, a triumphant revenge over her usual working conditions.  Alternatively you may learn indoors in a private home while having carcinogens blown at you by people from the environmental health past.  By now you realise you are just making excuses, and some are really good. 

LESSON 14. Dialects and accents. 

Sensing you might be making progress, Slovenians will unite to undermine your morale by reminding you that any Slovenian you learn will be pretty useless outside this area of Slovenia, and the same will be true here of any Slovenian from other areas. 

LESSON 15. False friends. 

It becomes clear the majority of Slovenians definitely prefer reminding you how difficult Slovenian is supposed to be, to actually teaching you anything. 

LESSON 16. Converse as often as possible. 

Although you ought to be defeated by now, you are finally ready to mutter a sentence in Slovenian.  Slovenian is a beautiful and sensitive language.  Slovenians respond by telling you you sound really fucking stupid and funny ha ha ha ha ha. 

LESSON 17. Try to think like a native. 

The more you hate niggers, the lower your income, and the worse you are in bed, the more you should feel like nagging foreigners to learn Slovenian - as it focusses upon their main weakness.  But remember not to know or care how they will actually do this.  It's not your job. 

LESSON 18. Syntax. 

Learning Slovenian is useful as it will help the locals to exploit you.  But don't learn too much or you will know what they are saying about you. 

LESSON 19. Revision. 

Don't learn Slovenian, some helpful person will advise.  Learn Croatian instead because it's easier.  At the same time remember to hate Croatians. 

LESSON 20. Time to get your results. 

We're not talking to you.  How dare you come here with your linguistic imperialism, expecting universal communication and shared understanding?


Next: The Slovene Language Learning Curve