How to pronounce Ljubljana?


Now that you’ve mastered how to pronounce Slovenia, it’s only fair its capital city also rolls off your tongue as smoothly as butter on hot morning toast.

How to properly pronounce Ljubljana?

Depending what your language background is, the lovely Ljubljana might be a nightmare for you to pronounce, or a piece of cake. Most agree that  English phonetics of it all results in this :


Similar to the beloved craft brewery Loo-blah-nah, though taking out the “y” from Lyoo- and the -blyah- makes it intro the slang version, spelt “Lublana”. 

How not to pronounce and write Ljubljana?

Regardless of its widespread efficiency, don’t rely too much on Google Translate, as it will give you a pronunciation that only a misspelled “Lubiana” can be linked to. This way of saying it is also far from correct, but it does have its own charm.

Most commonly misspelt and mispronounced ways:

  • lubliana – ignoring the js will make you sound lazy. If you’re going for that go all the way and read bellow for the slang way to say it, “lublana”!
  • ljubljiana – just way too much going on here​​​​​​
  • lublijana – you’ve blended 1. and 2. ​​​​​​​
  • ljublijana – no, just no. ​​​​​​​
  • ljubliana – not even close
  • llubjana – double ls don’t work here
  • llubljana – they also don’t work here
  • ljublana – almost 
  • ljubjana – you almost had it, and back to this again​​​​​​​
  • ljubana – you’ll make the locals laugh with this one for sure 
  • ljubijana –  this one, too!
  • lubjiana – this should be someone’s name, it’s too good to pass out on ​​​​​​​
  • ljub – don’t you have to finish something here?
  • ljubjlana – still not quite there, but love the effort 
  • lubjana – yeah, not really 

What’s the origin of the word Ljubljana?

Now that you’ve learnt how to pronounce it properly, you might be wondering what is means and where it comes from. The Romans formed a city here and called it Iulia Emona, meaning a flooding river. From the 12th century onwards, the German version for it, Laibach, was often mentioned, as well as the Slavic-Roman word Luwigiana. Romantic souls that most people are, it was just a matter of time before the story behind the capital city’s name took a more popular twist: that Ljubljana actually comes from the word “Ljubljena”, which means “beloved”. 

To find out more about Ljubljana and listen to our traveller Will who knows how to speak Slovene really well, check out this video about Ljubljana

Read the full article here.

Learn how to pronounce Slovenia here.