Slovak: The language with 46 letters

The Slovak language is one of the most interesting Slavic languages. Slovak in its written form is recognizable by the large number of accents it uses. It has the most extensive alphabet among European languages with 46 letters. The Slovak language is the official language of the Slovak Republic. It is spoken by about 5 million native speakers and is a second language for no less than 2 million people.

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3 Facts about the Slovak language


Because Slovak is relatively comprehensible for speakers of other Slavic languages, it has been dubbed the Slavic “Esperanto.".


Czech and Slovak are unique among Slavic languages because both languages generally stress the first syllables of words.


In addition to Czech, several other languages have influenced the development of the Slovak language, notably Polish, Hungarian, Latin, and German.

Origin of the language

The Slovak language is relatively young. Slovak is one of the many descendants of the Proto-Slavic language group. It belongs to the West Slavic languages, but it was first codified in the late 18th century. The codified version was developed by Anton Bernolák, a Roman Catholic priest, who had been working to create a Slovak literary language. Slovak.

History of the language

The history of Slovak is directly linked to a different tongue. The Czech and Slovak languages share many similarities. The history of the Slovak language is therefore directly linked to the history of the Czech language. It was developed as a dialect during the Late Medieval period. The Slovak language alphabet was codified during the mid-19th century.

Learning the language

It takes about 2000 hours to learn Slovak for English speakers.

How to say 10 popular words and phrases in the Slovak language

A quick introduction to Slovak can be acquired by learning some popular words and phrases. It could be quite useful to learn to say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy birthday,” and “thank you” in the Slovak language.

Slovak language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Slovak:

Merry Christmas: veselé Vianoce

Thank you: Ďakujem

Happy birthday: šťastné narodeniny

Work: práca

Name: názov

House: dom

Light: svetlo

Goodbye: Zbohom

Animal: zviera

Why: Prečo

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I am convinced that the vast majority of citizens desire our republic to be the best possible Slovakia.

Zuzana Čaputová

Politician, Lawyer, Activist

I always knew I wanted to work hard at something.

David Dobrik


There will always be someone to criticize me for what I do, but I don’t care what they think.

Peter Sagan

Professional Road Bicycle Racer

Fun facts about the Slovak language

Borrowing from other languages

In recent years, Slovak has borrowed several words from other languages, including English and Italian. However, these words are often rewritten to reflect Slovak orthography and pronunciation.

Difficulty for English speakers

Because several consonants are often placed together, Slovak can be relatively difficult for English speakers to pronounce

Voiceless letters

Slovak has several letters that are voiceless if placed at the end of a word (b, d, ď, dz, dž, g, h, z, and ž). For instance, “d” sounds like “t.”


Slovak is closely related to Czech. The similarities between the two languages are so plentiful that they are nearly mutually intelligible. Almost the same is true for Polish. Like other Slavic languages, Slovak is a fusional language. It exhibits a complex system of morphology, and the word order can be flexible.

Although they are very similar, Czech and Slovak are two different languages. Czechs speak two forms of the Czech language—literary and colloquial. The spoken Slovak language closely resembles the literary version of the Czech language. The vocabulary of each language differs. Slovak grammar is somewhat simpler than Czech grammar.

Slovak evolved as an independent language in the 10th century. There is strong evidence that disputes theories of an earlier or later formation through the influence of other languages. The language was first standardized during the 19th century.

Slovak intellectuals had been making a case for the codification and recognition of the Slovak language since the 16th century. In the 18th century, Anton Bernolák, a Roman Catholic priest, developed a standard based on the Western Slovak dialect. He succeeded in codifying this version in 1787; it was known as Bernolák’s standard. A phonetic spelling was also determined.

Slovak is not an easy language. It uses inflection with nouns, adjectives, verbs, pronouns, and numerals. However, Slovak is slightly easier to learn than Czech and Polish. It is classified as a Category IV language. English speakers would need around 1,100 hours to learn Slovak.

Slovak uses four grammatical genders: animate masculine, inanimate masculine, feminine, and neuter. The first two genders are often referred to under the masculine gender.

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