Meet the People: Anika & Petra, Vloggers Speaking Slovene

By , 11 Nov 2017, 17:20 PM Meet the People
Anika and Petra Anika and Petra YouTube

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The women behind the YouTube Channel. 

If you’ve searched for Slovene learning materials on YouTube or Facebook then you’ve probably come across the videos produced by Anika and Petra under the name Foreigners Speak Slovene. We got in touch with Anika and Petra to find out more about their lives here.

Anika in Kranj

Anika, why did you move here?
I’m from Poland. Before I moved to Ljubljana I lived in Krakow. After finishing studies, I decided to move abroad for one year. I wanted to test myself in a new environment, far away from my family and friends and completely on my own. I was looking for European Voluntary Service placements. Five years ago I found one in Ljubljana, then I fell in love with a Slovenian and decided to stay a bit longer. A few years after that we got married and it looks like I’m stuck here for good.

What were some challenges you faced in being here?
For me being here is one – never-ending challenge. I have struggled with starting my own company, looking for clients, learning Slovene, finding friends and feeling like I am a part of this place. I deal with it by working hard, pushing stronger and once in a while meeting Petra to complain a bit.

I’ve only lived in Poland, and I don’t like to compare. I wouldn’t say that either country is better or worse, because all places have their pluses and minuses – as boring as it sounds, it’s actually true. Watch our video about Pluses and Minuses of living in Slovenia.

We were both fascinated by the YouTube community, and we wished we could connect with other expats in Slovenia. On top of that I’m interested in filmmaking and Petra is interested in languages, so we connected our powers and Foreigners Speak Slovene was born. The idea was that we’d be practicing Slovene through making videos about Slovenia, but it developed differently. I’ve learned that creating YouTube videos is not as easy as it seems. Growing an audience is a long process, and the motivation to keep delivering engaging content is not always there.

What do you miss from home?
I miss sipping honey beer on Kazimierz with my friends, eating my mom’s pierogi, and the ability to express my thoughts fluently.

Anything you recommend here?
For the best places in Kranj I invite you to watch my video, Kranj – the cutest city. And if you’d like to learn more about Slovenia go and check our channel: Foreigners Speak Slovene.

Petra bakes

Petra, where are you from?
I’m from Slovakia, a country which Slovenia often mistaken for. I come from a town called Nitra, but I lived in the capital city Bratislava before I moved here about two years ago. I came here for love, my partner is Slovenian. We were in an international relationship and had to decide where to live. Because of certain reasons he couldn’t move, so I came to Slovenia.

What were some challenges you faced in being here?
There were and still are a lot of them. First it was things like finding a job, learning the language – things you need to survive. The challenge I’m facing now is to understand the Slovene culture and the people better, to know why they think and act the way they do and so on. To fit in and feel like I belong here. I lived in Scotland, England and Germany, it was a few months in each of these countries. It was a while ago so it’s hard to compare, but life in all three of them is easier in terms of opportunities, and people are more open towards foreigners. On the other hand, life there is also faster, which can be stressful and overwhelming in long-run.

I’ve always been interested in blogging and vlogging, but I hasn’t tried until I moved to Slovenia. First, I started a written blog about my life here and then I met Anika, who was good at video editing, and we started our YouTube channel. Since my previous experience with making videos was quite limited, I learned a lot of about talking to camera, shooting and a bit of editing. It’s fun.

What foods and other things do you miss from home?
I miss rožky and parížsky šalát. Rožky are bread buns typical for Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and parížsky šalát is something similar to Slovene potato salad. Also, I miss speaking my mother tongue a lot.

Would you encourage any friends to move here?
Well, I wouldn’t, to be honest. And that’s just because don’t want to feel responsible if it doesn’t turn out well. Slovenia is one of the toughest countries in Europe for finding a job (not only for foreigners but in general) and also getting settled. It’s not impossible but it is very difficult and the foreigners who eventually decided to stay here are types who are super-determined, with great amount of willpower. Slovenia is a beautiful place, but fresh air and nice views don’t pay the bills.

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