LEARNING SLOVENE IN 20
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
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.
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
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