Slovenian: The oldest Slavic language

Although the Slovenian language is spoken by only a little over 2.3 million people in the world, it is one of the most intriguing Slavic languages. It is the oldest written Slavic language. It is the 12th language in the world in which the entire Bible was translated.

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3 interesting facts about the Slovenian language


Slovenian, also known as Slovene, is one of the rare Indo-European languages that still uses a dual grammatical number to express duality in addition to singular and plural.


The use of Slovene was forbidden in schools during World War II because the region was occupied by Germans and other nations.


Slovenian is spoken as a minor language in the bordering countries of Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria.

Origin of the language

As a language, Slovenian or Slovene, dates back to the late 10th century. The oldest documents written in Slovenian are the Freising manuscripts, written between the late 10th and early 11th centuries. Like other Slavic languages, Slovene was derived from the Old Slavonic language. The first printed poem in Slovene is the stara pravda, dating from the early 16th century. Originally, the language was based on the Czech alphabet of that time and had 25 letters.

History of the language

The Slovenian language has a rich history. In the Middle Ages, it was the common language, along with German and Italian, of the people of the region that is present-day Slovenia. The Slovenian language has been a unifying force that held the nation together over the centuries and under various governing forces. It is now the official language of the Republic of Slovenia.

Learning the language

An English speaker may need at least 1100 hours to learn Slovene.

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

Learning the Slovenian language will take time and effort, but you can start by learning some popular words and phrases. Knowing how to say “Happy birthday,” “good morning,” and “thank you” in the Slovenian language will provide a useful and quick introduction.

Slovenian language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Slovenian:

Bye: Adijo

Good morning: Dobro jutro

Love: ljubezen

Family: družina

Good night: Lahko noč


Thank you: Hvala

Happy birthday: vse najboljše

Hello: Živijo

You’re welcome: Ni zakaj

lang orbit original

If somebody is strong and showing good performances and perfect in the thing you are doing, there are people who want to disturb you.

Tina Maze

Alpine ski racer

I'm an average guy, skinny, not so tall, I put my sunglasses on, and I blend in.

Goran Dragic

Professional basketball player

Miracles happen, right? ... That's why I want to thank the WTA trainers. I think they've done a miracle right here.


Professional Tennis Player

Fun facts about the Slovenian language

First written Slavic language

Slovenian has the distinction of being the first Slavic language and the first written Slavic language. Its history can only be traced back to the Old Church Slavonic.

No “x” or “y”

The Slovenian alphabet does not use the letters “x” or “y.”

Silly curse words

Slovenian curse words or expressions are far sillier than they are offensive. For example, the expression “tristo kosmatih medvedov” (three hundred hairy bears) does not even contain what are generally considered curse words.


Slovenian is similar to other Slavic languages. For example, it is closely related to its eastern neighbor, Serbo-Croatian, from which it was separated between the 7th and 9th centuries. The transition from eastern Slovene dialects to Kajkavian Croatian was gradual.

Slovenian is close to the Chakavian and, in particular, Kajkavian dialects of Serbo-Croatian. On the other hand, it differs greatly from the Shtokavian dialect, which is the basis for Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian.

Slovenian is not the easiest language for non-Slavic speakers to learn. Its grammar is complex, and it has a perplexing number of ‘cases’ (sklon). These cases make the language substantially harder to master. They require constant modification of the endings of words depending on the context of the sentence.

Slovenian is perhaps one of the hardest languages to master. Based on the language difficulty ranking of FSI, native English speakers will need at least 1,100 hours to learn how to properly write and speak this language.

The first Slavic language was Old Church Slavonic. Slovenian is the oldest written Slavic language that is still currently in use. It can be traced to the 10th century.

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