As I remarked in the last post, Trieste's second train station, the Campo San Marzio, has been closed for a long time so there is now no direct connection to nearby Ljubljana, save for a nightly train to Budapest that goes via Zagreb, quite a detour. I asked a the man at the enquiries desk at Centrale station if there were any other connections, and he said that in good English, that "it is difficult from here." He told me to take a train to Monfalcone but gave me the impression that there was only one per day, thereby necessitating another afternoon in Trieste.
I decided to get a second opinion at the ticket office, and while waiting for a French-speaking teller to come free, another teller, speaking nothing but Italian succeeded in getting me to buy a ticket for the Slovenian capital via Monfalcone the following morning, as I required. Sometimes not speaking a language at all is more useful than speaking half a language.