Monday, February 9, 2009
Photo "Ljubljana: Sunset at Dragon Bridge" - courtesy of Lucio José Martínez González
A question awaiting for me this morning in the comment section of this blog made me realize that there must be a lot of people out there, wondering how to pronounce "Ljubljana."
Especially for a native English speaker, the name of the capital of Slovenia must represent quite a challenge. Some theories about the origin of the name are explained at How Ljubljana got its name.
However, the most popular belief among Slovenians seems to be that
"Ljubljana" originates from Slovenian word
"Ljubljena" which means "beloved."
Let me let you in on a little secret. "Ljubljana" is even hard word to say correctly for Slovenians, so in everyday conversations it mostly comes out as "lublana" (with Js dismissed).
Spanish and Italians shortened "Ljubljana" into "Lubiana" and in the past, Germanic speaking people called "Ljubljana" - "Laibach". The settlement in the area of today's Slovenian capital, built by Romans was called "Emona" and burnt down by Huns in the 5th century A.D.
Photo "Ljubljanica river, Ljubljana" courtesy of majamarko
Oh, and I still owe you the final explanation about how to pronounce "Ljubljana":
Does it still seem hard?
Then choose the way of pronunciation that you find easier from examples above. You'll probably make the locals smile - but they will not resent you for mispronouncing the name of their beloved... :)