Monday, February 9, 2009

Pronounce Ljubljana

Ljubljana: Sunset at Dragon Bridge

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":

Pronunciation 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... :)



  1. What a gorgeous place regardless of how you say the name! And no, once you "spelled it out for me" it seems very logical (but thanks for telling us how LOL!).

  2. Loo Blah Blah :P That works for me hehehehe.

  3. What a beautiful place and as far as pronouncing it? Well, It looks easy but L-town will be ok for me.

  4. I would not have guessed the pronunciation correctly for sure...but it looks inviting

  5. i definitely wouldn't have picked that as the proununciation. it looks so pretty there!

  6. Such a beautiful place. I'd love to go there. My grandfather was from Odessa, in the Ukraine. He came here with his family in 1908, when he was 8 years old, and never went back.

  7. It is always courteous to try to pronounce things correctly. I have a difficult time with names. I find it best just to ask instead of butcher it.i

  8. Yeah.. it is a bit hard to pronounce.. lol

    Anyway, the pictures are so nice.. A great place to visit..

  9. Hey, I got it right! And it's just such a beautiful place.

  10. Well, I sure didn't have it - I was trying to get the 'j's' in the pronounciation. It's a beautiful city though and I'd love to visit!

  11. It's always so fun to learn how to pronounce foreign words! I love it! :)

  12. I never would have gotten it because of the "j" in the name. I love to learn new words and the way of pronouncing things in different languages.


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