11 Slovenian Words with Hilarious Literal English Translations

After living in Slovenia for a few years and stumbling through the language horribly, I can now safely share this ridiculous list of words I have been saving in the notes folder on my phone. This list is for Slovenian words that have amusing or interesting literal English translations.

If you are learning Slovenian don’t forget to check out my Ultimate Guide of Resources for learning Slovene

If you think of more while reading the article, feel free to share them in the comments!

1. vlakec smrti

Vlakec smrti is rollercoaster in Slovenian, but the literal English translation is death train.

shows a rollercoaster and the text vlakec smrti and death train.

2. morski pes

Morski pes translates literally to sea dog but no, Slovenia does not have a rare sea creature. This is just what they call sharks!

image of a shark and the text morski pes and sea dog

3. Rimska cesta

Looking for Rimska cesta on a map will have you searching awhile. The literal translation is Roman road but this is the name of the Milky Way in Slovenian.

image of milky way and the text rimska cesta and roman road literal translations

4. posteljica

A personal favorite is posteljica. If you are just learning Slovenian and wondering why a tiny bed is listed here I am here to tell you that it is how Slovenians call a placenta.

image of placenta with the slovenian word posteljica and literal english translation of little bed

5. kačji pastir

The direct translation of kačij pastir is snake shepard but no worries, this is not a real profession in Slovenia. This is the name for dragonflies!

6. sesalnik/sesalec

I have always been amused by the word for vacuum which is sesalnik or sesalec. It translates literally as “sucking thing”. To make it even more amusing sesalec, which means sucker – as in suckling done when we are babies, is the Slovenian word for mammal.

image of a vacuum and the slovenian word sesalnik and english translation sucking thing

7. wc školjka

WC is commonly used for restrooms, and stands for wash closet which is another word for a flush toilet in British English. Školjka is the word for shell. Together that makes wc školjka translate literally into ‘toilet shell’ referring to the toilet bowl.

image of a toilet and the text wc skoljka and toilet shell

8. nogomet

Nogomet is how soccer is called in Slovene. The literal translation for it is ‘foot throw’ although I don’t think throwing your foot would help your team win.

picture of a soccer (or football) the word nogomet and foot throw for slovene to english translation

9. nosorog

Animals always have fun names in different languages. Nosorog is a cute one as it literally means ‘nose horn’ but it is the Slovenian word for rhinoceros.

image of rhino and the words nosorog and nose horn

10. povodni konj

Another animal with a cute name is povodni konj, translating to ‘water horse’. I guess Hippopotamus is a bit of a mouthful.

photo of a hippo and povodni konj (slovenian) and water horse (literal english translation)

11. vinska trta

This is my favorite one to share. Vinska trta translates literally to ‘wine vine’ or ‘wine plant’. If you haven’t figured it out yet, vinska trta is the Slovenian name for grapevine. It says a lot about the culture when a plant that grows grapes is referred to by its alcoholic beverage.

image of a grapevine and the text vinska trta and wine plant.

Want to read more about Slovenian culture? Check out these posts:

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