Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Advertisements from a 1977 Slovenian almanac

I found this book in a Salvation Army thrift store in Kane, Pennsylvania, in May 2010, while my wife and I were celebrating our fifth anniversary.1

The small volume -- it measures 4 inches wide by 5½ inches tall -- is a 1977 almanac published in what was then the Socialist Republic of Slovenia.2

"Pratika" is the Slovenian word for almanac.3 The book contains horoscopes, lunar tables, cartoons, puzzles and other features you would commonly find in almanacs.4 As further confirmation of its country of origin, some of the Slovenian cities that it references include Ljubljana, Žalec, Rogaška Slatina, and Portorož.

The fact that I discovered this almanac in northwestern Pennsylvania shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Western Pennsylvania traditionally has some of the highest populations of Slovenian Americans.

Ohio and Pennsylvania were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total population of Americans of Slovene descent in the 2000 Census.

I thought it would be fun to show some of the 35-year-old Slovenian advertisements from the almanac and, using Google's handy-dandy Slovenian-to-English translator, take a stab at figuring out what the text states.

Above: The names for the colors on the paint cans are NOT matched to the colors shown, which I think is part of the joke. In reality, these are the Slovenian words for various colors:
  • rdeča = red
  • modra = blue
  • bela = white
  • rumena = yellow
The rest of the advertising text translates loosely to: "What it says on these self-adhesive labels is not true. However, Aero paint labels are true! By the way, while we're talking colors, have you purchased your Aero school crayons?"

Above: This advertisement for Kors ready-made garments in Rogaška Slatina states: "We manufacture quality ladies, men and children's clothing in the latest fashion." Apparently, the latest fashion in 1977 was to dress like a member of the KGB.

Above: Regarding this lady with an electric mixer, this Iskra advertisement states, roughly: "Even in the kitchen you can be in a good mood, because home appliances are better and faster. Electric mixers can help in preparing food and drinks." (By the way, "jedi" is apparently the Slovenian word for dishes.)

Above: I believe the bicyclist is reaching toward the two children enjoying the cold beverage, because he's saying something like, "Hot! To me!" The small text in the Fla-Vor-Aid5 advertisement states: "Rapidly prepared refreshments. Flavors: orange, lemon, strawberry, raspberry and cherry."

Above: First off, šamponi is the Slovenian word for shampoo. And the product name "Dan na dan" means "Day to day." The text translates roughly to, "Shampoo so mild and harmless to your hair. ... Day to day shampoo with the scent of apple, citrus, peaches and strawberries - a gift of nature to your hair."

1. That morning, we also visited the nearby village of Burning Well. Nothing seemed to be on fire. (By the way, doesn't everyone go to Kane, Pa., and Burning Well, Pa., for their anniversary?)
2. It became the independent Republic of Slovenia in 1991.
3. And apparently it's not strange for a Slovenian almanac cover to feature a man playing an accordion while riding in an airplane.
4. There are also a surprising number of drawings of naked women, which is decidedly not something you'll find in your Old Farmer's Almanac.
5. I wonder if Fla-Vor-Aid is the same as Flavor Aid, a Kool-Aid competitor produced by Jel Sert. In the 1978 Jonestown massacre -- which led to the phrase to "drink the kool-aid" -- the fatal beverage was actually Flavor Aid.

1 comment:

  1. This is an AMAZING find! I LOVE THIS. My first husby was half-Slovenian; you don't usually find a lot of Slovenian ephemera! :D