Slovak language

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Slovak language
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{{Distinguish|Slovene language}}{{multiple issues|{{Refimprove|date=January 2008}}{{cleanup lang|date=May 2019}}}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2011}}

million|date = 2011–2012|ref = e18Latin script>Latin (Slovak alphabet)Slovak Braille|familycolor = Indo-EuropeanBalto-Slavic languages>Balto-SlavicSlavic languages>SlavicWest Slavic languages>West SlavicCzech–Slovak languages>Czech–Slovak{{EU}}{{flag>Vojvodina}}HTTP://WWW.VOJVODINA.GOV.RS/EN/AUTONOMOUS-PROVINCE-VOJVODINA>TITLE=AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE OF VOJVODINADATE=2013, 25 May 2017, date=August 2016}}{{HUN}}{{citation needed|date=April 2016}}|agency = Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic|iso1 = sk|iso2b = slo|iso2t = slk|iso3 = slk|glotto=slov1269|glottorefname=SlovakWest Slavic languages>53-AAA-b...–d(varieties: 53-AAA-dba to 53-AAA-dbs)|notice = IPA|map = Map of Slovak language.svg|mapcaption = The Slovak-speaking world:{{Legend|#0080ff|regions where Slovak is the language of the majority}} {{Legend|#88c4ff|regions where Slovak is the language of a significant minority}}}}Slovak ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Slovak.ogg|ˈ|s|l|oʊ|v|æ|k|,_|-|v|ɑː|k}}{{citation|last=Wells|first=John C.|year=2008|title=Longman Pronunciation Dictionary|edition=3rd|publisher=Longman|isbn=9781405881180}}{{citation|last=Roach|first=Peter|year=2011|title=Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary|edition=18th|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=9780521152532}}) or less frequently Slovakian,WEB, Slovakian - Dictionary Definition,,weblink 2019-02-09, WEB, Slovakian definition and meaning, Collins English Dictionary,weblink 2019-02-09, is a West Slavic language (together with Czech, Polish, and Sorbian). It is called ' ({{IPA-sk|ˈslɔʋɛnskiː ˈjazik|pron|Slovensky_jazyk.ogg}}) or ' ({{IPA-sk|ˈslɔʋɛntʃina|}}) in the language itself.Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by approximately 5.51 million people (2014). Slovak speakers are also found 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 many other countries worldwide.Slovak should not be confused with Slovene/Slovenian (' or '), the main language of Slovenia.


{{Summarize|from|Slovak phonology|date=April 2015}}


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).In addition, the following rules are present:
  1. When a voiced consonant (b, d, ď, dz, dž, g, h, z, ž) is at the end of a word before a pause, it is devoiced to its voiceless counterpart (p, t, ť, c, č, k, ch, s, š, respectively). For example, pohyb is pronounced {{IPA|/pɔɦip/}} and prípad is pronounced {{IPA|/pɾiːpat/}}.
  2. The assimilation rule: 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 {{IPA|/ɔtaːska/}} and vzchopiť sa is pronounced {{IPA|/fsxɔpitsːa/}}. This rule applies also over the word boundary. For example, prísť domov {{IPA|[pɾiːzɟ dɔmɔʊ̯]}} (to come home) and viac jahôd {{IPA|[ʋɪ̯adz jaɦʊ̯ɔt]}} (more strawberries). The voiced counterpart of "ch" {{IPA|/x/}} is {{IPA|[ɣ]}}, and the unvoiced counterpart of "h" {{IPA|/ɦ/}} is {{IPA|/x/}}.
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), 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 {{IPA|/ˈkɾaːsnɛ/}} (beautiful) versus krásne {{IPA|/ˈkɾaːsɲɛ/}} (beautifully).{hide}columns-list|colwidth=16em|
  • a [a]
  • á [aː]
  • ä [æ~É›]
  • b [b]
  • c [ts]
  • č [tʃ]
  • d [d]
  • ď [ÉŸ]
  • dz [dz]
  • dž [dÊ’]
  • e [É›]
  • é [ɛː]
  • f [f]
  • g [g]
  • h [ɦ]
  • ch [x]
  • i [i]; after d, l, n and t: [ji]
  • í [iː]; after d, l, n and t: [jiː]
  • j [j]
  • k [k]
  • l [l]
  • ľ [ÊŽ]
  • ĺ [lː]
  • m [m]
  • n [n]
  • ň [ɲ]
  • o [É”]
  • ó [ɔː]
  • ô [ʊ̯ɔ]
  • p [p]
  • q [kÊ‹]
  • r [ɾ]
  • Å• [rÌ©]
  • s [s]
  • Å¡ [ʃ]
  • t [t]
  • Å¥ [c]
  • u [u]
  • ú [uː]
  • v [Ê‹] (before consonant [v])
  • w [Ê‹] (before consonant [v]), only in foreign words
  • x [ks]
  • y [i]
  • ý [iː]
  • z [z]
  • ž [Ê’]


The main features of Slovak syntax are as follows: Some examples include the following:
Speváčka spieva. (The+woman+singer is+singing.) (Speváčk-a spieva-∅, where -∅ is (the empty) third-person-singular ending)
Speváčky spievajú. (Woman+singers are+singing.) (Speváčk-y spieva-j-ú; -ú is a third-person-plural ending, and /j/ is a hiatus sound)
My speváčky spievame. (We the+woman+singers 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 infelicitious:
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 Otvára tam dnes ten veľký muž obchod?



Slovak does not have articles. The demonstrative pronoun ten (fem: tá, neuter: to) 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 no longer morphologically marked. 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:{| class="wikitable"! 1-10 !! !! 11-20 !! !! 10-100 !! | desať| dvadsať| tridsať| štyridsať| päťdesiat| šesťdesiat| sedemdesiat| osemdesiat| deväťdesiat| stoSome 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. Several conjugation paradigms exist as follows:
  • á-type verbs{|class="wikitable"
!volať, to call!Singular!Plural!Past participle (masculine – feminine – neuter)|1st person|volám|voláme|volal – volala – volalo|2nd person|voláš|voláte|3rd person|volá|volajú !bývať, to live!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|bývam|bývame|býval – bývala – bývalo|2nd person|bývaš|bývate|3rd person|býva|bývajú
  • á-type verbs (soft stem){|class="wikitable"
!vracať, to return or (mostly in slang) to vomit!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|vraciam|vraciame|vracal – vracala – vracalo|2nd person|vraciaš|vraciate|3rd person|vracia|vracajú
  • í-type verbs{|class="wikitable"
!robiť, to do, work!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|robím|robíme|robil – robila – robilo|2nd person|robíš|robíte|3rd person|robí|robia !vrátiť, to return!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|vrátim|vrátime|vrátil – vrátila – vrátilo|2nd person|vrátiš|vrátite|3rd person|vráti|vrátia
  • {{Not a typo|ie}}-type verbs{|class="wikitable"
!vidieť, to see!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|vidím|vidíme|videl – videla – videlo|2nd person|vidíš|vidíte|3rd person|vidí|vidia
  • e-type verbs (ovaÅ¥){|class="wikitable"
!kupovať, to buy!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|kupujem|kupujeme|kupoval – kupovala – kupovalo|2nd person|kupuješ|kupujete|3rd person|kupuje|kupujú
  • e-type verbs (typically -cnuÅ¥){|class="wikitable"
!zabudnúť, to forget!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|zabudnem|zabudneme|zabudol – zabudla – zabudlo|2nd person|zabudneš|zabudnete|3rd person|zabudne|zabudnú
  • {{Not a typo|ie}}-type verbs (typically -vnuÅ¥){|class="wikitable"
!minúť, to spend, miss!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|miniem|minieme|minul – minula – minulo|2nd person|minieš|miniete|3rd person|minie|minú
  • {{Not a typo|ie}}-type verbs (-cÅ¥, -sÅ¥, -zÅ¥){|class="wikitable"
!niesť, to carry!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|nesiem|nesieme|niesol – niesla – nieslo|2nd person|nesieš|nesiete|3rd person|nesie|nesú
  • {{Not a typo|ie}}-type verbs (-nieÅ¥){|class="wikitable"
!stučnieť, to carry (be fat)!Singular!Plural!Past participle|1st person|stučniem|stučnieme|stučnel – stučnela – stučnelo|2nd person|stučnieš|stučniete|3rd person|stučnie|stučnejú
  • Irregular verbs{|class="wikitable"
!!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|sú|jedia|vedia|Past participle|bol, bola, bolo|jedol, jedla, jedlo|vedel, vedela, vedelo
  • 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) = skryÅ¥, to hide (habitual) = skrývaÅ¥.
  • 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 with 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 (to be + past participle) or using the reflexive pronoun 'sa':

skryť: je skrytý; sa skryje skrývať: je skrývaný; sa skrýva
  • 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.{{clarify|date=December 2012}}

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 passive participle (= ~ed (one), the "third form") is formed using the suffixes -ný / -tý / -ený:

skryť: skrytý skrývať: skrývaný
  • The gerund (= the (process of) is formed using the suffix -{{Not a typo|ie}}:

skryť: skrytie skrývať: skrývanie


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/superlative of adverbs is formed by replacing the adjectival ending with a comparative/superlative ending -(ej)ší or -(ej)šie. 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 appear in the case required by the preposition in the given context (e.g. from friends = od priateľov). Priateľov is the genitive case of priatelia. It must appear in this case because the preposition od (= from) always calls for its objects to be in the genitive.
around the square = po námestí (locative case) past the square = po námestie (accusative case)
Po has a different meaning depending on the case of its governed noun.


Relationships to other languages

The Slovak language 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).BOOK, Martina, Kopecká, Tatiana, Laliková, Renáta, Ondrejková, Jana, Skladaná, Iveta, Valentová, Staršia slovenská lexika v medzijazykových vzťahoch ), 10–46, Jazykovedný ústav Ľudovíta Štúra SAV, Bratislava, 2011, 978-80-224-1217-9,weblink 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, Ruthenian and Ukrainian 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.{|class="wikitable"!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)|Dobro došli|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)|HvalaHow 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?)


{{Expand section|date=December 2009}}
  • bakuľa: baculum (stick)
  • dom: domus (house)
  • kláštor: claustrum (monastery)
  • kostol: castellum (church)
  • koÅ¡eľa: casula (shirt)
  • machuľa: macula (blot, stain)
  • Å¡kola: scola (school)
  • skriňa: skrinium (cupboard)
  • titul: titulus (title)


  • Å¡portovaÅ¥: to do sports
  • Å¡port: sport
  • futbal: Football (Association football; it can also mean American football, especially when specified as americký futbal)
  • offsajd: offside
  • aut: out (football)
  • hokej: hockey
  • bodyček: body check (hockey)
  • hemendex: ham & eggs
  • pizza: pizza{{Fix|text=Italian}}
  • kečup: ketchup
  • džínsy: jeans
  • legíny: leggings
  • sveter: sweater
  • tenisky: tennis shoes
  • fajn: fine
  • super: super


{{Expand section|date=December 2009}}Nouns:
  • brak: Brack (rubbish)
  • cech: Zeche (guild)
  • cieľ: Ziel (goal/target)
  • cín: Zinn (tin)
  • deka: Decke (blanket)
  • drôt: Draht (wire)
  • faloÅ¡: Falschheit (falsity)
  • farba: Farbe (color)
  • faÅ¡iangy: Fasching (carnival)
  • fialka: Veilchen (viola)
  • fľaÅ¡a: 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)
  • Å¡achta: Schacht (mine shaft)
  • Å¡indeľ: Schindel (roof shingle)
  • Å¡núra: Schnur (cord)
  • taÅ¡ka: Tasche (purse)
  • téma: Thema (topic)
  • vaňa: Badewanne (bathtub)
  • Vianoce: Weihnachten (Christmas)
  • vločka: Flocke (flake)
  • žumpa: Sumpf (cesspit)
  • Å¡tudovaÅ¥: studieren (to study (as in, to major in))
  • vinÅ¡ovaÅ¥: wünschen (to wish)
    • Note: colloquially, the standard term in Slovak is želaÅ¥weblink
Greetings: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 a 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 Å¡arkan (rather rare, drak is far more common in this meaning; Å¡arkan often means only "kite", esp. 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) – Hungarian sárkány.WEB,weblink Magyar NyelvÅ‘r – Pacsai Imre: Magyar–szlovák kulturális és nyelvi kapcsolat jegyei..., Pacsai, Imre,,
  • "rumour": Slovak chýr, Hungarian hír;
  • "camel": Slovak Å¥ava, Hungarian teve;
  • "ditch": Slovak jarok, Hungarian árok;
  • "glass": Slovak pohár, Hungarian pohár;


(File:Vojvodina slovak map.png|thumb|upright=1.15|Official usage of the Slovak language in Vojvodina, Serbia)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).For an external map of the three groups in Slovakia see here.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 (USA, Canada, Croatian Slavonia, and elsewhere), 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).


Standard Slovak () is defined by an Act of Parliament on the State Language of the Slovak Republic (language law). According to this law, Ministry of Culture approves and publishes the codified form of the Slovak language based on the judgment of specialised slovakistic linguistic institutes and specialists in the area of the state language. This is traditionally Ľudovit Štúr Institute of Linguistics, which is part of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. In practice, Ministry of Culture publishes a document that specifies authoritative reference books for standard Slovak usage. There are four such publications:
  • 'Pravidlá slovenského pravopisu' 2013
  • 'Krátky slovník slovenského jazyka', 2003
  • 'Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti', 2009
  • 'Morfológia slovenského jazyka', 1966

See also




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NábÄ›lková, 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.) ÄŒesko-slovenské vztahy v slovanských a stÅ™edoevropských souvislostech (meziliterárnost a areál). Brno: ÚS FF MU, pp. 89–122.
  • NábÄ›lková, M. (2006) V čom bližšie, v čom ďalej... Spisovná slovenčina vo vzÅ¥ahu k spisovnej čeÅ¡tine a k obecnej čeÅ¡tine [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.
  • NábÄ›lková, M. (2007) Closely related languages in contact: Czech, Slovak, "Czechoslovak". International Journal of the Sociology of Language 183, pp. 53–73.
  • NábÄ›lková, M. (2008) Slovenčina a čeÅ¡tina 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}}
  • Sloboda, M. (2004) Slovensko-česká (semi)komunikace a vzájemná (ne)srozumitelnost [Slovak-Czech (semi)communication and the mutual (un)intelligibility]. ÄŒeÅ¡tina doma a ve svÄ›tÄ› XII, No. 3–4, pp. 208–220.
  • Sokolová, M. (1995) ÄŒeské kontaktové javy v slovenčine [Czech contact phenomena in Slovak]. In Ondrejovič, S. and Å imková, M. (eds.) Sociolingvistické aspekty výskumu súčasnej slovenčiny (Sociolinguistica Slovaca 1). Bratislava: Veda, pp. 188–206.
  • Å tolc, 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.
  • Å tolc, Jozef (1994) Slovenská dialektológia [Slovak dialectology]. Ed. I. Ripka. Bratislava: Veda.

Further reading

  • {{citation|last1=Hanulíková|first1=Adriana|last2=Hamann|first2=Silke|year=2010|title=Slovak|journal=Journal of the International Phonetic Association|volume=40|issue=3|pages=373–378|doi=10.1017/S0025100310000162|url=
  • {hide}citation|last=Kráľ|first=Ábel|title=Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti|year=1988|publisher=Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo|location=Bratislava
  • {hide}citation|last=Mistrík|first=Jozef|year=1988|orig-year=First published 1982|title=A Grammar of Contemporary Slovak|edition=2nd|publisher=Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo|location=Bratislava
  • {hide}citation|last1=Pauliny|first1=Eugen|last2=Ru̇žička|first2=Jozef|last3=Å tolc|first3=Jozef|title=Slovenská gramatika|year=1968|publisher=Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
  • {{citation|last=Short|first=David|chapter=Slovak|title=The Slavonic Languages|editor1-last=Comrie|editor1-first=Bernard|editor2-last=Corbett|editor2-first=Greville G.|year=2002|pages=533–592|location=London and New York|publisher=Routledge|isbn=9780415280785

External links

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