Slovak language


Slovak (/ˈslvæk, -vɑːk/ SLOH-va(h)k;[15][16] endonym: slovenčina [ˈslɔʋentʂina] or slovenský jazyk [ˈslɔʋenskiː ˈjazik]), or Slovakian, is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group, written in Latin script.[17] It is part of the Indo-European language family, and is one of the Slavic languages, which are part of the larger Balto-Slavic branch. Spoken by approximately 5 million people as a native language, primarily ethnic Slovaks, it serves as the official language of Slovakia and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union.

slovenčina, slovenský jazyk
Pronunciation[ˈslɔʋentʂina], [ˈslɔʋenskiː ˈjazik]
Native toSlovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Carpathian Ruthenia, Slavonia, and Vojvodina[1]
EthnicitySlovaks, Pannonian Rusyns
SpeakersNative: 5 million (2011–2021)[2]
L2: 2 million[2]
Latin (Slovak alphabet)
Slovak Braille
Cyrillic (Pannonian Rusyn alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
 European Union
 Vojvodina (Serbia)[4]
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byMinistry of Culture of the Slovak Republic
Language codes
ISO 639-1sk
ISO 639-2slo (B)
slk (T)
ISO 639-3slk
Linguasphere53-AAA-db < 53-AAA-b...–d
(varieties: 53-AAA-dba to 53-AAA-dbs)
The Slovak-speaking world:
  regions where Slovak is the language of the majority
  regions where Slovak is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Slovak is closely related to Czech, to the point of very high mutual intelligibility,[18] as well as Polish.[19] Like other Slavic languages, Slovak is a fusional language with a complex system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin[20] and German,[21] as well as other Slavic languages.



The Czech–Slovak group developed within West Slavic in the high medieval period, and the standardization of Czech and Slovak within the Czech–Slovak dialect continuum emerged in the early modern period. In the later mid-19th century, the modern Slovak alphabet and written standard became codified by Ľudovít Štúr and reformed by Martin Hattala. The Moravian dialects spoken in the western part of the country along the border with the Czech Republic are also sometimes classified as Slovak, although some of their western variants are closer to Czech; they nonetheless form the bridge dialects between the two languages.

Geographic distribution and status


Slovak language is primarily spoken in Slovakia. The country's constitution declared it the official language of the state (štátny jazyk):

(1) Na území Slovenskej republiky je štátnym jazykom slovenský jazyk. (2) Používanie iných jazykov než štátneho jazyka v úradnom styku ustanoví zákon.

(1) The Slovak language is the official language on the territory of the Slovak Republic. (2) The use of languages other than the official language in official communication shall be laid down by law.

Constitution of Slovakia, Article 6.[22]

Beside that, national minorities and ethnic groups also have explicit permission to use their distinct languages.[23][24][25] Slovakia is a country with established Language policy concerning its official language.[26][27]



Standard Slovak (spisovná slovenčina) is defined by an Act of Parliament on the State Language of the Slovak Republic (language law). According to this law, the Ministry of Culture approves and publishes the codified form of Slovak based on the judgment of specialised Slovak linguistic institutes and specialists in the area of the state language. This is traditionally the Ľudovit Štúr Institute of Linguistics, which is part of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. In practice, the Ministry of Culture publishes a document that specifies authoritative reference books for standard Slovak usage, which is called the codification handbook (kodifikačná príručka). The current regulations were published on 15 March 2021. There are four such publications:[28]

  • 'Pravidlá slovenského pravopisu', 2013; (orthographic rules)
  • 'Krátky slovník slovenského jazyka', 2020; (dictionary)
  • 'Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti', 2009; (pronunciation)
  • 'Morfológia slovenského jazyka', 1966; (morphology)

Slovak speakers are also found in the Slovak diaspora in the United States, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Serbia, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Canada, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Ukraine, Norway, and other countries to a lesser extent.

Slovak language is one of the official languages of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.[29]

Official usage of Slovak in Vojvodina, Serbia

Slovak language high schools abroad

  • Budapest, 'Szlovák Tanítási Nyelvű Óvoda, Általános Iskola, Gimnázium és Kollégium'[30]
  • Békéscsaba, 'Szlovák Gimnázium, Általános Iskola, Óvoda és Kollégium'[31]
  • Bački Petrovac, 'Gimnazija „Jan Kolar” sa domom učenika Bački Petrovac [sr]'[32]
  • Kovačica, 'Gimnazija Mihailo Pupin' [33]
  • Nădlac, 'Liceul Teoretic Jozef Gregor Tajovský'[34]


Slovak dialects

There are many Slovak dialects, which are divided into the following four basic groups:

The fourth group of dialects is often not considered a separate group, but a subgroup of Central and Western Slovak dialects (see e.g. Štolc, 1968), but it is currently undergoing changes due to contact with surrounding languages (Serbo-Croatian, Romanian, and Hungarian) and long-time geographical separation from Slovakia (see the studies in Zborník Spolku vojvodinských slovakistov, e.g. Dudok, 1993).

The dialect groups differ mostly in phonology, vocabulary, and tonal inflection. Syntactic differences are minor. Central Slovak forms the basis of the present-day standard language. Not all dialects are fully mutually intelligible. It may be difficult for an inhabitant of the western Slovakia to understand a dialect from eastern Slovakia and the other way around.

The dialects are fragmented geographically, separated by numerous mountain ranges. The first three groups already existed in the 10th century. All of them are spoken by the Slovaks outside Slovakia, and central and western dialects form the basis of the lowland dialects (see above).

The western dialects contain features common with the Moravian dialects in the Czech Republic, the southern central dialects contain a few features common with South Slavic languages, and the eastern dialects a few features common with Polish and the East Slavonic languages (cf. Štolc, 1994). Lowland dialects share some words and areal features with the languages surrounding them (Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, and Romanian).



Slovak contains 15 vowel phonemes (11 monophthongs and four diphthongs) and 29 consonants.

Slovak vowel phonemes
Front Back
short long short long
Close i iː, u
Mid e ɔ (ɔː)
Open (æ) a
Diphthongs (ɪu)   ɪe   ɪɐ   ʊɔ

The phoneme /æ/ is marginal and often merges with /e/; the two are normally only distinguished in higher registers.[35]

Vowel length is phonemic in Slovak and both short and long vowels have the same quality.[36] In addition, Slovak, unlike Czech, employs a "rhythmic law" which forbids two long vowels from following one another within the same word. In such cases the second vowel is shortened. For example, adding the locative plural ending -ách to the root vín- creates vínach, not *vínách.[37] This law also applies to diphthongs; for example, the adjective meaning "white" is biely, not *bielý (compare Czech bílý).

Slovak consonant phonemes[38]
Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive voiceless p t c [39] k
voiced b d ɟ [39] ɡ
Affricate voiceless ts
voiced dz
Fricative voiceless f s ʂ x
voiced z ʐ ɦ
Approximant plain v j
lateral short l ʎ
Trill short r

Slovak has final devoicing; when a voiced consonant (b, d, ď, g, dz, dž, z, ž, h) is at the end of a word before a pause, it is devoiced to its voiceless counterpart (p, t, ť, k, c, č, s, š, ch, respectively). For example, pohyb is pronounced /pɔɦip/ and prípad is pronounced /priːpat/.

Consonant clusters containing both voiced and voiceless elements are entirely voiced if the last consonant is a voiced one, or voiceless if the last consonant is voiceless. For example, otázka is pronounced /ɔtaːska/ and vzchopiť sa is pronounced /fsxɔpitsːa/. This rule applies also over the word boundary. For example, prísť domov [priːzɟ dɔmɔw] (to come home) and viac jahôd [ʋɪɐdz jaɦʊɔt] (more strawberries). The voiced counterpart of "ch" /x/ is [ɣ], and the unvoiced counterpart of "h" /ɦ/ is /x/.



Slovak uses the Latin script with small modifications that include the four diacritics (ˇ, ´, ¨, ˆ) placed above certain letters (a-á,ä; c-č; d-ď; dz-dž; e-é; i-í; l-ľ,ĺ; n-ň; o-ó,ô; r-ŕ; s-š; t-ť; u-ú; y-ý; z-ž)

The primary principle of Slovak spelling is the phonemic principle. The secondary principle is the morphological principle: forms derived from the same stem are written in the same way even if they are pronounced differently. An example of this principle is the assimilation rule (see below). The tertiary principle is the etymological principle, which can be seen in the use of i after certain consonants and of y after other consonants, although both i and y are usually pronounced the same way.

Finally, the rarely applied grammatical principle is present when, for example, the basic singular form and plural form of masculine adjectives are written differently with no difference in pronunciation (e.g. pekný = nice – singular versus pekní = nice – plural). Such spellings are most often remnants of differences in pronunciation that were present in Proto-Slavic (in Polish, where the vowel merger did not occur, piękny and piękni and in Czech pěkný and pěkní are pronounced differently).

Most loanwords from foreign languages are respelt using Slovak principles either immediately or later. For example, "weekend" is spelled víkend, "software" – softvér, "gay" – gej (both not exclusively)[clarification needed], and "quality" is spelled kvalita. Personal and geographical names from other languages using Latin alphabets keep their original spelling unless a fully Slovak form of the name exists (e.g. Londýn for "London").

Slovak features some heterophonic homographs (words with identical spelling but different pronunciation and meaning), the most common examples being krásne /ˈkraːsnɛ/ (beautiful) versus krásne /ˈkraːsɲɛ/ (beautifully).

  • A a [a]
  • Á á [aː]
  • Ä ä [ɛɐ̯~ɛ]
  • B b [b]
  • C c [ts]
  • Č č [tʂ]
  • D d [d]
  • Ď ď [ɟ]
  • Dz dz [dz]
  • Dž dž [dʐ]
  • E e [ɛ]
  • É é [ɛː]
  • F f [f]
  • G g [ɡ]
  • H h [ɦ]
  • Ch ch [x]
  • I i [i]
  • Í í [iː]
  • J j [j]
  • K k [k]
  • L l [l]
  • Ľ ľ [ʎ]
  • Ĺ ĺ [lː]
  • M m [m]
  • N n [n]
  • Ň ň [ɲ]
  • O o [ɔ]
  • Ó ó [ɔː]
  • Ô ô [ʊɔ̯]
  • P p [p]
  • Q q [kʋ]
  • R r [r]
  • Ŕ ŕ [r̩ː]
  • S s [s]
  • Š š [ʂ]
  • T t [t]
  • Ť ť [c]
  • U u [u]
  • Ú ú [uː]
  • V v [v~ʋ]
  • W w [v~ʋ]
  • X x [ks]
  • Y y [i]
  • Ý ý [iː]
  • Z z [z]
  • Ž ž [ʐ]

Italic Letters are used in Loanwords & foreign names.





The main features of Slovak syntax are as follows:

Some examples include the following:

Speváčka spieva. (The+singer+feminine suffix čka is+singing.)
(Speváčk-a spieva-∅, where -∅ is (the empty) third-person-singular ending)
Speváčky spievajú. (Singer+feminine suffix čka+plural suffix y are+singing.)
(Speváčk-y spieva-j-ú; is a third-person-plural ending, and /j/ is a hiatus sound)
My speváčky spievame. (We the+singer+feminine suffix čka+plural suffix y are+singing.)
(My speváčk-y spieva-me, where -me is the first-person-plural ending)
and so forth.
  • Adjectives, pronouns and numerals agree in person, gender and case with the noun to which they refer.
  • Adjectives precede their noun. Botanic or zoological terms are exceptions (e.g. mačka divá, literally "cat wild", Felis silvestris) as is the naming of Holy Spirit (Duch Svätý) in a majority of churches.

Word order in Slovak is relatively free, since strong inflection enables the identification of grammatical roles (subject, object, predicate, etc.) regardless of word placement. This relatively free word order allows the use of word order to convey topic and emphasis.

Some examples are as follows:

Ten veľký muž tam dnes otvára obchod. = That big man opens a store there today. (ten = that; veľký = big; muž = man; tam = there; dnes = today; otvára = opens; obchod = store) – The word order does not emphasize any specific detail, just general information.
Ten veľký muž dnes otvára obchod tam. = That big man is today opening a store there. – This word order emphasizes the place (tam = there).
Dnes tam otvára obchod ten veľký muž. = Today over there a store is being opened by that big man. – This word order focuses on the person who is opening the store (ten = that; veľký = big; muž = man).
Obchod tam dnes otvára ten veľký muž. = The store over there is today being opened by that big man. – Depending on the intonation the focus can be either on the store itself or on the person.

The unmarked order is subject–verb–object. Variation in word order is generally possible, but word order is not completely free. In the above example, the noun phrase ten veľký muž cannot be split up, so that the following combinations are not possible:

Ten otvára veľký muž tam dnes obchod.
Obchod muž tam ten veľký dnes otvára. ...

And the following sentence is stylistically infelicitous:

Obchod ten veľký muž dnes tam otvára. (Only possible in a poem or other forms of artistic style.)

The regular variants are as follows:

Ten veľký muž tam dnes otvára obchod.
Ten veľký muž tam otvára dnes obchod.
Obchod tam dnes otvára ten veľký muž.
Obchod tam otvára dnes ten veľký muž.
Dnes tam obchod otvára ten veľký muž.
Dnes tam ten veľký muž otvára obchod.





Slovak, like every major Slavic language other than Bulgarian and Macedonian, does not have articles. The demonstrative pronoun in masculine form ten (that one) or in feminine and to in neuter respectively, may be used in front of the noun in situations where definiteness must be made explicit.

Nouns, adjectives, pronouns


Slovak nouns are inflected for case and number. There are six cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, and instrumental. The vocative is purely optional and most of the time unmarked. It is used mainly in spoken language and in some fixed expressions: mama mum (nominative) vs. mami mum! (vocative), tato, oco dad (N) vs. tati, oci dad! (V), pán Mr., sir vs. pane sir (when addressing someone e.g. in the street). There are two numbers: singular and plural. Nouns have inherent gender. There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Adjectives and pronouns must agree with nouns in case, number, and gender.



The numerals 0–10 have unique forms, with numerals 1–4 requiring specific gendered representations. Numerals 11–19 are formed by adding násť to the end of each numeral. The suffix dsať is used to create numerals 20, 30 and 40; for numerals 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90, desiat is used. Compound numerals (21, 1054) are combinations of these words formed in the same order as their mathematical symbol is written (e.g. 21 = dvadsaťjeden, literally "twenty-one").

The numerals are as follows:

1–10 11–20 10–100
1 jeden (number, masculine), jedno (neuter), jedna (feminine) 11 jedenásť 10 desať
2 dva (number, masculine inanimate), dve (neuter, feminine), dvaja (masculine animate) 12 dvanásť 20 dvadsať
3 tri (number, neuter, masculine inanimate, feminine), traja (masculine animate) 13 trinásť 30 tridsať
4 štyri (number, neuter, masculine inanimate, feminine), štyria (masculine animate) 14 štrnásť 40 štyridsať
5 päť 15 pätnásť 50 päťdesiat
6 šesť 16 šestnásť 60 šesťdesiat
7 sedem 17 sedemnásť 70 sedemdesiat
8 osem 18 osemnásť 80 osemdesiat
9 deväť 19 devätnásť 90 deväťdesiat
10 desať 20 dvadsať 100 sto

Some higher numbers: (200) dvesto, (300) tristo, (900) deväťsto, (1,000) tisíc, (1,100) tisícsto, (2,000) dvetisíc, (100,000) stotisíc, (200,000) dvestotisíc, (1,000,000) milión, (1,000,000,000) miliarda.

Counted nouns have two forms. The most common form is the plural genitive (e.g. päť domov = five houses or stodva žien = one hundred two women), while the plural form of the noun when counting the amounts of 2–4, etc., is usually the nominative form without counting (e.g. dva domy = two houses or dve ženy = two women) but gender rules do apply in many cases.



Verbs have three major conjugations. Three persons and two numbers (singular and plural) are distinguished. Subject personal pronouns are omitted unless they are emphatic.

  • Some imperfective verbs are created from the stems of perfective verbs to denote repeated or habitual actions. These are considered separate lexemes. One example is as follows: to hide (perfective) = skryť, to hide (habitual) = skrývať.
  • Historically, two past tense forms were utilized. Both are formed analytically. The second of these, equivalent to the pluperfect, is not used in the modern language, being considered archaic and/or grammatically incorrect. Examples for two related verbs are as follows:
skryť: skryl som (I hid / I have hidden); bol som skryl (I had hidden)
skrývať: skrýval som; bol som skrýval.
  • One future tense exists. For imperfective verbs, it is formed analytically; for perfective verbs, it is identical to the present tense. Some examples are as follows:
skryť: skryjem
skrývať: budem skrývať
  • Two conditional forms exist. Both are formed analytically from the past tense:
skryť: skryl by som (I would hide), bol by som skryl (I would have hidden)
skrývať: skrýval by som; bol by som skrýval
  • The passive voice is formed either as in English (copula + passive participle) or using the reflexive pronoun 'sa':
skryť: je skrytý; sa skryje
skrývať: je skrývaný; sa skrýva
  • The passive participle (= ~ed (one), the "third form") is formed using the suffixes - / - / -ený:
skryť: skrytý
skrývať: skrývaný
  • The active present participle (= ~ing (one)) is formed using the suffixes -úci / -iaci / -aci
skryť: skryjúci
skrývať: skrývajúci
  • The transgressive (=(while/by) is formed using the suffixes -úc / -uc / -iac/-ac.[clarification needed]
skryť: skryjúc (by hiding (perfective))
skrývať: skrývajúc ((while/during) hiding)
  • The active past participle (= ~ing (in the past)) was formerly formed using the suffix -vší, but is no longer used.
  • The gerund (= the (process of) is formed using the suffix -ie:
skryť: skrytie
skrývať: skrývanie



Several conjugation paradigms exist as follows:[40]

á-type verbs (Class I)
volať, to call Singular Plural Past tense (masculine – feminine – neuter)
1st person volám voláme volalvolalavolalo
2nd person voláš voláte
3rd person volá volajú
á-type verbs (Class I) + rhythmical rule
bývať, to live, dwell, but not exist Singular Plural Past tense
1st person bývam bývame bývalbývalabývalo
2nd person bývaš bývate
3rd person býva bývajú
á-type verbs (Class I) (soft stem)
vracať, to return or (mostly in slang) to vomit Singular Plural Past tense
1st person vraciam vraciame vracalvracalavracalo
2nd person vraciaš vraciate
3rd person vracia vracajú
í-type verbs (Class V)
robiť, to do, work Singular Plural Past tense
1st person robím robíme robilrobilarobilo
2nd person robíš robíte
3rd person robí robia
í-type verbs (Class V) + rhythmical rule
vrátiť, to return Singular Plural Past tense
1st person vrátim vrátime vrátilvrátilavrátilo
2nd person vrátiš vrátite
3rd person vráti vrátia
e-type verbs (Class IV) (-ovať)
kupovať, to buy Singular Plural Past tense
1st person kupujem kupujeme kupovalkupovalakupovalo
2nd person kupuješ kupujete
3rd person kupuje kupujú
e-type verbs (Class IV) (-nuť, typically preceded by a consonant)
zabudnúť, to forget Singular Plural Past tense
1st person zabudnem zabudneme zabudolzabudlazabudlo
2nd person zabudneš zabudnete
3rd person zabudne zabudnú
ie-type verbs (Class V)
vidieť, to see Singular Plural Past tense
1st person vidím vidíme videlvidelavidelo
2nd person vidíš vidíte
3rd person vidí vidia
ie-type verbs (Class III) (-nuť, typically preceded by a vowel)
minúť, to spend, miss Singular Plural Past tense
1st person miniem minieme minulminulaminulo
2nd person minieš miniete
3rd person minie minú
ie-type verbs (Class III) (-, -, -)
niesť, to carry Singular Plural Past tense
1st person nesiem nesieme niesolnieslanieslo
2nd person nesieš nesiete
3rd person nesie nesú
ie-type verbs (Class II) (-nieť)
stučnieť, to carry (be fat) Singular Plural Past tense
1st person stučniem stučnieme stučnelstučnelastučnelo
2nd person stučnieš stučniete
3rd person stučnie stučnejú
Irregular verbs
byť, to be jesť, to eat vedieť, to know
1st singular som jem viem
2nd singular si ješ vieš
3rd singular je je vie
1st plural sme jeme vieme
2nd plural ste jete viete
3rd plural jedia vedia
Past tense bol, bola, bolo jedol, jedla, jedlo vedel, vedela, vedelo



Adverbs are formed by replacing the adjectival ending with the ending -o or -e / -y. Sometimes both -o and -e are possible. Examples include the following:

vysoký (high) – vysoko (highly)
pekný (nice) – pekne (nicely)
priateľský (friendly) – priateľsky (in a friendly manner)
rýchly (fast) – rýchlo (quickly)

The comparative of adverbs is formed by replacing the adjectival ending with a comparative/superlative ending -(ej)ší or -(ej)šie, whence the superlative is formed with the prefix naj-. Examples include the following:

rýchly (fast) – rýchlejší (faster) – najrýchlejší (fastest): rýchlo (quickly) – rýchlejšie (more quickly) – najrýchlejšie (most quickly)



Each preposition is associated with one or more grammatical cases. The noun governed by a preposition must agree with the preposition in the given context. The preposition od always calls for the genitive case, but some prepositions such as po can call for different cases depending on the intended sense of the preposition.

from friends = od priateľov (genitive case of priatelia)
around the square = po námestí (locative case of námestie)
up to the square = po námestie (accusative case of námestie)



Slovak is a descendant of Proto-Slavic, itself a descendant of Proto-Indo-European. It is closely related to the other West Slavic languages, primarily to Czech and Polish. Czech also influenced the language in its later development. The highest number of borrowings in the old Slovak vocabulary come from Latin, German, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Greek (in that order).[41] Recently, it is also influenced by English.



Although most dialects of Czech and Slovak are mutually intelligible (see Comparison of Slovak and Czech), eastern Slovak dialects are less intelligible to speakers of Czech and closer to Polish and East Slavic, and contact between speakers of Czech and speakers of the eastern dialects is limited.

Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia it has been permitted to use Czech in TV broadcasting and during court proceedings (Administration Procedure Act 99/1963 Zb.). From 1999 to August 2009, the Minority Language Act 184/1999 Z.z., in its section (§) 6, contained the variously interpreted unclear provision saying that "When applying this act, it holds that the use of the Czech language fulfills the requirement of fundamental intelligibility with the state language"; the state language is Slovak and the Minority Language Act basically refers to municipalities with more than 20% ethnic minority population (no such Czech municipalities are found in Slovakia). Since 1 September 2009 (due to an amendment to the State Language Act 270/1995 Z.z.) a language "fundamentally intelligible with the state language" (i.e. the Czech language) may be used in contact with state offices and bodies by its native speakers, and documents written in it and issued by bodies in the Czech Republic are officially accepted. Regardless of its official status, Czech is used commonly both in Slovak mass media and in daily communication by Czech natives as an equal language.

Czech and Slovak have a long history of interaction and mutual influence well before the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, a state which existed until 1993. Literary Slovak shares significant orthographic features with Czech, as well as technical and professional terminology dating from the Czechoslovak period, but phonetic, grammatical, and vocabulary differences do exist.

Other Slavic languages


Slavic language varieties are relatively closely related, and have had a large degree of mutual influence, due to the complicated ethnopolitical history of their historic ranges. This is reflected in the many features Slovak shares with neighboring language varieties. Standard Slovak shares high degrees of mutual intelligibility with many Slavic varieties. Despite this closeness to other Slavic varieties, significant variation exists among Slovak dialects. In particular, eastern varieties differ significantly from the standard language, which is based on central and western varieties.

Eastern Slovak dialects have the greatest degree of mutual intelligibility with Polish of all the Slovak dialects, followed by Rusyn, but both Eastern Slovak and Rusyn lack familiar technical terminology and upper register expressions. Polish and Sorbian also differ quite considerably from Czech and Slovak in upper registers, but non-technical and lower register speech is readily intelligible. Some mutual intelligibility occurs with spoken Rusyn, Ukrainian, and even Russian (in this order), although their orthographies are based on the Cyrillic script.

English Slovak Czech Polish Rusyn Ukrainian Belarusian Serbo-Croatian Bulgarian Slovenian
to buy kupovať kupovat kupować куповати (kupovaty) купувати (kupuvaty) купляць (kuplać) kupovati купува (kupuva) kupovati
Welcome Vitajte Vítejte Witajcie Вітайте (vitajte) Вітаю (vitaju) Вітаю (vitaju) Dobrodošli добре дошли (dobre došli) Dobrodošli
morning ráno ráno/jitro rano/ranek рано (rano) рано/ранок (rano/ranok) рана/ранак (rana/ranak) jutro утро (utro) jutro
Thank you Ďakujem Děkuji Dziękuję Дякую (diakuju) Дякую (diakuju) Дзякуй (dziakuj) Hvala благодаря (blagodarja) Hvala
How are you? Ako sa máš? Jak se máš? Jak się masz?
(colloquially "jak leci?")
Як ся маєш/маш?
(jak sia maješ/maš?)
Як справи? (jak spravy?) Як справы? (jak spravy?) Kako si? Как си? (Kak si?) Kako se imaš?/Kako si?
Як ся маєш?
(jak sia maješ?)
Як маесься?
(jak majeśsia?)


  • bakuľa: baculum (stick)
  • kláštor: claustrum (monastery)
  • kostol: castellum (church)
  • košeľa: casula (shirt)
  • machuľa: macula (blot, stain)
  • škola: scola (school)
  • skriňa: skrinium (cupboard)
  • titul: titulus (title)




  • športovať: to do sports
  • šport: sport
  • futbal: football (Association football; it can also mean American football, especially when specified as americký futbal)
  • ofsajd: offside
  • aut: out (football)
  • hokej: hockey
  • bodyček: body check (hockey)


  • hemendex: ham & eggs
  • kečup: ketchup


  • džínsy: jeans
  • legíny: leggings
  • sveter: sweater
  • tenisky: tennis shoes


  • fajn: fine
  • super: super
  • okej: OK




  • brak: Brack (rubbish)
  • cech: Zeche (guild)
  • cieľ: Ziel (goal/target)
  • cín: Zinn (tin)
  • deka: Decke (blanket)
  • drôt: Draht (wire)
  • erb: erben (coat-of-arms, from "to inherit")
  • faloš: Falschheit (falsity)
  • farba: Farbe (color)
  • fašiangy: Fasching (carnival)
  • fialka: Veilchen (viola)
  • fľaša: Flasche (bottle)
  • fúra: Fuhre (load)
  • gróf: Graf (count)
  • hák: Haken (hook)
  • helma: Helm (helmet)
  • hoblík: Hobel (hand plane)
  • jarmok: Jahrmarkt (funfair)
  • knedľa: Knödel (dumpling)
  • minca: Münze (coin)
  • ortieľ: Urteil (verdict)
  • pančucha: Bundschuh (stocking)
  • plech: Blech (sheet metal)
  • regál: Regal (shelf)
  • ruksak: Rucksack (backpack)
  • rúra: Rohr (pipe)
  • rytier: Ritter (knight)
  • šachta: Schacht (mine shaft)
  • šindeľ: Schindel (roof shingle)
  • šnúra: Schnur (cord)
  • taška: Tasche (purse)
  • téma: Thema (topic)
  • vaňa: Badewanne (bathtub)
  • Vianoce: Weihnachten (Christmas)
  • vločka: Flocke (flake)
  • žumpa: Sumpf (cesspit)


  • študovať: studieren (to study (as in, to major in))
  • vinšovať: wünschen (to wish)
    • Note: colloquially, the standard term in Slovak is želať[42]


Servus is commonly used as a greeting or upon parting in Slovak-speaking regions and some German-speaking regions, particularly Austria. Papa is also commonly used upon parting in these regions. Both servus and papa are used in colloquial, informal conversation.



Hungarians and Slovaks have had language interaction ever since the settlement of Hungarians in the Carpathian area. Hungarians also adopted many words from various Slavic languages related to agriculture and administration, and a number of Hungarian loanwords are found in Slovak. Some examples are as follows:

  • "wicker whip": Slovak korbáč (the standard name for "whip" is bič and korbáč, itself originating from Turkish kırbaç, usually means only one particular type of it—the "wicker whip") – Hungarian korbács;
  • "dragon/kite": Slovak šarkan (rather rare, drak is far more common in this meaning; šarkan often means only "kite", especially a small one that is flown for fun and this term is far more common than drak in this meaning; for the "dragon kite", the term drak is still used almost exclusively)[clarification needed] – Hungarian sárkány.[43]
  • "rumour": Slovak chýr, Hungarian hír;
  • "camel": Slovak ťava, Hungarian teve;
  • "ditch": Slovak jarok, Hungarian árok;
  • "glass": Slovak pohár, Hungarian pohár;

Sample text


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Slovak:

Všetci ľudia sa rodia slobodní a rovní v dôstojnosti aj právach. Sú obdarení rozumom a svedomím a majú sa k sebe správať v duchu bratstva.[44]

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.[45]

See also



  1. ^ "Autonomous Province of Vojvodina | Покрајинска влада". Archived from the original on 20 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Slovak at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022)  
  3. ^ Habijanec, Siniša (2020). "Pannonian Rusyn". In Greenberg, Marc; Grenoble, Lenore (eds.). Brill Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics. Brill Publishers. doi:10.1163/2589-6229_ESLO_COM_031961. ISSN 2589-6229. Retrieved 1 April 2024. The third theory defines Pannonian Rusyn as a West Slavic language originating in the East Slovak Zemplín and Šariš dialects and being a mixture of the two. It fits the linguistic data in the most consistent manner and has been accepted by an overwhelming majority of scholars in the field (Bidwell 1966; Švagrovský 1984; Witkowski 1984; Lunt 1998; Čarskij 2011) and verified by several comprehensive analyses of Pannonian Rusyn language data (Bidwell 1966; Lunt 1998; Čarskij 2011).
  4. ^ "Autonomous Province of Vojvodina". Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Národnostní menšiny | Vláda ČR".
  6. ^ Pisarek, Walery (2009). The relationship between official and minority languages in Poland (PDF). 7th Annual Conference: The Relationship between Official Languages and Regional and Minority Languages in Europe. Dublin, Ireland: European Federation of National Institutions for Language. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Hungary needs to strengthen use of and access to minority languages". Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2020. The following languages have been given special protection under the European Charter [in Hungary]: Armenian, Beas, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Ruthenian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian and Ukrainian.
  8. ^ "Odluka o donošenju kurikuluma za nastavni predmet Slovački jezik i kultura u osnovnim i srednjim školama u Republici Hrvatskoj (Model C)".
  9. ^ "Slovaci".
  10. ^ "Pukanec".
  11. ^ "Slováci v Rumunsku".
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Rumunsko".
  14. ^ "75 de ani de invatamant in limba slovaca". 16 September 2011.
  15. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
  16. ^ Roach, Peter (2011), Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521152532
  17. ^ "Czech language". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  18. ^ Golubović, Jelena; Gooskens, Charlotte (2015). "Mutual intelligibility between West and South Slavic languages". Russian Linguistics. 39 (3): 351–373. doi:10.1007/s11185-015-9150-9.
  19. ^ Swan, Oscar E. (2002). A grammar of contemporary Polish. Bloomington, Ind.: Slavica. p. 5. ISBN 0893572969. OCLC 50064627.
  20. ^ Naughton, James (2002). "Czech Literature, 1774 to 1918". Babel - University of Oxford Modern Languages. Archived from the original on 14 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Czech Republic". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  22. ^ /
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Overview".
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Overview".
  27. ^
  28. ^ "MK-3620/2021-110/6659" (PDF). Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (in Slovak). 15 March 2021. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  29. ^ "The Statute Of The Autonomous Province Of Vojvodina, Article 24: In addition to Serbian language and Cyrillic script, Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian, Romanian and Ruthenian languages and their scripts shall be in official use in authorities of the AP Vojvodina, in conformity with the law."
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Gymnázium Jána Kollára so žiackym domovom v Báčskom Petrovci". 26 January 2024.
  33. ^ "O Gimnaziji – Gimnazija "Mihajlo Pupin" Kovačica".
  34. ^
  35. ^ Kráľ (1988), p. 55.
  36. ^ Pavlík (2004), pp. 93–95.
  37. ^ Bethin, Christina Y. (1998). Slavic Prosody: Language Change and Phonological Theory. Cambridge University Press. p. 149. ISBN 0521591481.
  38. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 374.
  39. ^ a b Pavlík (2004), pp. 99, 106.
  40. ^ Jozef Ružička and co.: Morfológia slovenského jazyka, 1966
  41. ^ Kopecká, Martina; Laliková, Tatiana; Ondrejková, Renáta; Skladaná, Jana; Valentová, Iveta (2011). Staršia slovenská lexika v medzijazykových vzťahoch ) (PDF). Bratislava: Jazykovedný ústav Ľudovíta Štúra SAV. pp. 10–46. ISBN 978-80-224-1217-9.
  42. ^ Jesenská, Petra (2007). "Jazyková situácia na Slovensku v kontexte EÚ, s ohľadom na anglicizmy v slovenskej dennej tlači" (in Slovak). Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  43. ^ Imre, Pacsai. "Magyar Nyelvőr – Pacsai Imre: Magyar–szlovák kulturális és nyelvi kapcsolat jegyei..."
  44. ^ /
  45. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights".


  • Dudok, D. (1993) Vznik a charakter slovenských nárečí v juhoslovanskej Vojvodine [The emergence and character of the Slovak dialects in Yugoslav Vojvodina]. Zborník spolku vojvodinských slovakistov 15. Nový Sad: Spolok vojvodinských slovakistov, pp. 19–29.
  • Hanulíková, Adriana; Hamann, Silke (2010), "Slovak" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (3): 373–378, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000162
  • Kráľ, Ábel (1988), Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
  • Musilová, K. and Sokolová, M. (2004) Funkčnost česko-slovenských kontaktových jevů v současnosti [The functionality of Czech-Slovak contact phenomena in the present-time]. In Fiala, J. and Machala, L. (eds.) Studia Moravica I (AUPO, Facultas Philosophica Moravica 1). Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, pp. 133–146.
  • Nábělková, M. (2003) Súčasné kontexty slovensko-českej a česko-slovenskej medzijazykovosti [Contemporary contexts of the Slovak-Czech and Czech-Slovak interlinguality]. In Pospíšil, I. – Zelenka, M. (eds.) Česko-slovenské vztahy v slovanských a středoevropských souvislostech (meziliterárnost a areál). Brno: ÚS FF MU, pp. 89–122.
  • Nábělková, M. (2006) V čom bližšie, v čom ďalej... Spisovná slovenčina vo vzťahu k spisovnej češtine a k obecnej češtine [In what closer, in what further... Standard Slovak in relation to Standard Czech and Common Czech]. In Gladkova, H. and Cvrček, V. (eds.) Sociální aspekty spisovných jazyků slovanských. Praha: Euroslavica, pp. 93–106.
  • Nábělková, M. (2007) Closely related languages in contact: Czech, Slovak, "Czechoslovak". International Journal of the Sociology of Language 183, pp. 53–73.
  • Nábělková, M. (2008) Slovenčina a čeština v kontakte: Pokračovanie príbehu. [Slovak and Czech in Contact: Continuation of the Story]. Bratislava/Praha: Veda/Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy. 364 pp., ISBN 978-80-224-1060-1
  • Pavlík, Radoslav (2004), Bosák, Ján; Petrufová, Magdaléna (eds.), "Slovenské hlásky a medzinárodná fonetická abeceda" [Slovak Speech Sounds and the International Phonetic Alphabet] (PDF), Jazykovedný časopis [The Linguistic Journal] (in Slovak) (55/2), Bratislava: Slovak Academic Press, spol. s r. o.: 87–109, ISSN 0021-5597
  • Sloboda, M. (2004) Slovensko-česká (semi)komunikace a vzájemná (ne)srozumitelnost [Slovak-Czech (semi)communication and the mutual (un)intelligibility]. Čeština doma a ve světě XII, No. 3–4, pp. 208–220.
  • Sokolová, M. (1995) České kontaktové javy v slovenčine [Czech contact phenomena in Slovak]. In Ondrejovič, S. and Šimková, M. (eds.) Sociolingvistické aspekty výskumu súčasnej slovenčiny (Sociolinguistica Slovaca 1). Bratislava: Veda, pp. 188–206.
  • Štolc, Jozef (1968) Reč Slovákov v Juhoslávii I.: Zvuková a gramatická stavba [The speech of the Slovaks in Yugoslavia: phonological and grammatical structure]. Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied.
  • Štolc, Jozef (1994) Slovenská dialektológia [Slovak dialectology]. Ed. I. Ripka. Bratislava: Veda.

Further reading

  • Mistrík, Jozef (1988) [First published 1982], A Grammar of Contemporary Slovak (2nd ed.), Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
  • Pauliny, Eugen; Ru̇žička, Jozef; Štolc, Jozef (1968), Slovenská gramatika, Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
  • Short, David (2002), "Slovak", in Comrie, Bernard; Corbett, Greville G. (eds.), The Slavonic Languages, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 533–592, ISBN 9780415280785
  • Ľ. Štúr Institute of Linguistics – Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • Slovak National Corpus
  • Slovak Monolingual Dictionaries
  • – Online Language Course
  • Online Translation Dictionaries
  • E-Slovak – Online Language Course
  • Slovak Language Lessons for Beginners