STA, 24 February 2019 - Slovenia has a great variety of dialects and accents, and these have made their way into the social media through creation of profiles popularising local vernaculars. One of the most popular is Štajerski Argo (Štajerska Argot), a profile documenting the quirky language of Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city.
Štajerska Argot's Facebook profile (see here) has 12,500 followers and its Instagram account as many as 17,000. "Within a few months since inception Argot has attracted quite a few people from Štajerska and elsewhere who enjoy their daily dose of dialect," the contributor told the STA on condition of anonymity.
She came up with the idea for such a portal "just for a laugh". "A Maribor girl, born and bred, I obviously talk in a strong Štajeska accent at home. Talking with my sister we always have lots of fun. This is why once, out of sheer boredom, I started writing down words and phrases the way we speak them."
In July last year she started an Instagram profile called Štajerski Argo, following it up with a Facebook profile a few months later. Every day she posts a new word or a phrase, always using the same graphic images.
"I was absolutely amazed by the response. I still am, every day. Ever since the beginning our argot family has been growing fast and keeps growing ... I believe I've succeeded in bringing the Štajerska dialect closer to non-Štajersko people as well, help them understand, it but the main purpose of the site is to make Slovenians at home and abroad laugh."
She also wants her posts to evaluate the Štajerska dialect. "Broaden the horizons, spicing something as obvious and everyday with some fun, and, most of all, tell people that we can be proud of our super funny dialect, that we can say 'zdravo' wherever we come."
Impressed with the idea, the Maribor Library has put on a show dedicated to the Štajerska Argot profile, to celebrate International Year of Indigenous Languages. Some of the phrases have been printed on bookmarks, which are very popular among the library's visitors.
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