38 / 2013
Metka Lokar

Green as Slovenia and Red as Love: The Slovene Language among Slovenes in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia


The territory of the former Yugoslavia, both first and second, is unique with respect to the other envi- ronments to which Slovenes have emigrated. In the past, this was just the broader homeland and the Slovene one of the “indigenous” languages that were spoken within it. Slovenes living in the Yugoslav area outside Slovenia in the common Yugoslav spirit didn’t pay attention to their national identity, and thus also didn’t create a special attitude towards their language. It therefore slowly disappeared from their everyday lives. They realized the importance of maintaining the Slovene language as one of the fundamental signs of Slovenian identity just after the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the declaration of independence of Slovenia in 1991. So they began to establish associations that nowadays play not just the role of facilitator, but also promoter of learning and using the Slovene language among members. This is becoming a challenge especially for young people, third and sometimes fourth generation emigrants, for whom it is mostly a foreign language, but they choose to learn it because it creates opportu- nities for them to study and work in Slovenia.

KEY WORDS: Slovenes in the territory of former Yugoslavia, first Yugoslavia, second Yugoslavia, Slove- nian identity, Slovenian emigrant associations, Slovene as a foreign language