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Image of Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia during sunset.

Image of Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia during sunset.

Slovak Language Statistics/Facts:

Slovak, an Indo-European language, is the official language of Slovakia. It is spoken by over 5 million people in Slovakia, and over 7 million people worldwide. Slovak speakers constitute more than 84% of the total Slovakian population, with other languages in Slovakia including Hungarian, Roman and Ukrainian.

The Slovak language is closely related to Czech, and generally the languages are considered to be mutually intelligible. (Read on for more information on the intricate and expansive history of the Czech and Slovak languages!)

Slovak Dialects:

Dialect Region
Northern Slovak Northern Slovakia
Central Slovak Central Slovakia
Western Slovak Western Slovakia
Lowland Slovak Outside of Slovakia; Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia

 

Country where Slovak is spoken:

Predominantly Slovakia Republic

Slovak Speaking Country Data:

Country: Slovakia
Capital: Bratislava
Population: 5,400,000
Constitutional Parliamentary Republic: President Ivan Gasparovic
Currency: Euro (EUR)
GDP (ppp): $132.4billion
Unemployment: 12.8%
Government Type: Parliamentary Republic
Industries: Food and beverage, heavy and light machinery, metal products, electrical apparatus, rubber products, vehicles, and ceramics.

 

Slovak History

The Slovak language arose from the language of the Slovene people, the Slavic dwellers of present-day Hungary, Slovenia, and Slavonia, then referred to as Great Moravia. The language first arose in the early 10th century, after Great Moravia was destroyed in c. 907. During this time, the language existed as several Slovak dialects.

By the 10th century, the Slovak dialects had already been grouped into the three modern-day groups (Western, Central, and Eastern Slovak). The very beginnings of the Slovak language can be traced back to the 6th and 7th century, but in general, Slavic linguists agree that it was in the 10th century that the Slavic languages, including Slovak, had become distinct enough to be referred to as totally separate languages.

With the installation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, Slovak finally became an officially recognized language for the first time in history, along with the Czech language. Later, in 1920, the Czechoslovak language (in which Czech and Slovak were seen as two official dialects of one language) was established as an official language. During this time, Slovak became strongly influenced by the Czech language.

Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993, and with this split, the Slovak language became the official language of Slovakia.

 

Interesting Slovak Facts:

  • Slovakia has the most castles and chateaux per capita in the world
  • Slovakia has the only capital in the world that borders two countries. The capital, Bravislava, borders both Austria and Hungary.
  • Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Czech and Slovak languages have remained close, culturally. Whether the Slovak language will continue to develop, separating itself from the Czech language even further as time goes on, linguists are divided. Continued observation of the languages will be the only way to know, providing us a rare glimpse into a rising language’s evolution.