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Slovak language



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Slovak
slovenčina, slovenský jazykLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.
Native toSlovakia; minority language in Czech Republic, Serbia, Hungary
Native speakersover 7 million  (2001 census)
Language family
Writing systemLatin (Slovak alphabet)
Slovak Braille
Official status
Official language in European Union
 Slovakia
 Czech Republic[1]
 Serbia (Vojvodina)

Recognised minority language in:
 Hungary

 Ukraine
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)

Slovak is the language spoken in Slovakia, a country in Central Europe. It is a language from Slavic language family. It is very similar to Czech, and Czechs and Slovaks understand each other quite well when they speak their own language. Polish and Sorbian are also quite similar. All of them belong to the western branch of Slavic languages. Slovak is spoken by more than 5 million people.

Pronunciation

Slovak is written using the Latin alphabet, but some letters have special signs (called diacritics).

The letters č, š, ž and dž are like the English sounds in chin, shin, vision and juice.

The letters ď, ľ, ň, and ť are called “soft consonants” and are pronounced with the blade of the tongue at the roof of the mouth.

The letters c, dz and j are also soft, like ts in bats, ds in rods, and y in yes.

Signs over a vowel show that the vowel is pronounced long: á, é, í, ó, ý ú. A long vowel is never followed in the next syllable by a short vowel.

The letter ô is like English woman, and ä is the same as the letter e.

The letter ch is like ch in Scottish loch. V is more like English w.

The letters b, d, ď, dz, dž, g, h, z, ž are voiceless when they are at the end of a word (for example, 'd' will sound like 't').

The accent is always on the first syllable of the word. That is different from Russian, for example, in which the stress can be anywhere.

Like other Slavic languages, Slovak is difficult for English-speakers to pronounce., especially because several consonants often come together. In the sentence: “Strč prst skrz krk!” there is not one single vowel (it means: “Stick a finger through your neck!”)!

Grammar

The grammar is similar to Russian, but there are some differences. Slovak, unlike Russian, has the words for “to have” and “to be”:

  • Ja som Angličan (I am English)
  • (Ja) mám kufor (I have a suitcase).

Unlike English, Slovak does not have articles (such as “the” and “a”).

There are three genders in Slovak, therefore it is important to know whether a noun is masculine, feminine or neuter. There is no article to make it obvious (unlike in German), but it changes the adjective's ending.

Like many other European languages, Slovak verbs agree with the person, and there are different forms for 'I', 'you', 'he', etc. Verbs have different aspects to show whether or not the action is complete. There are also different cases that show how a word is used in a sentence. Different prepositions use different cases. All of that makes grammar quite complicated for English-speakers.

Sample words and phrases

The numbers from 1 to 10 are jeden, dva, tri, štyri, päť, šesť, sedem, osem, deväť, desaťLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found..

Use the familiar form when talking to a child, and the polite form when talking to an adult.

  • AhojLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Hello
  • Dobré ránoLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Good morning
  • Dobrý deňLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Good day (Used during the day)
  • Dobrý večerLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Good evening
  • Dobrú nocLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Good night
  • Vitaj!Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Welcome! (familiar form)
  • Vitajte!Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Welcome! (polite form)
  • Volám sa JohnLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found. - My name is John (Literally: I call myself John)
  • Ako sa volášLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–What is your name? (Familiar form)
  • Ako sa voláte?Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–What is your name? (Polite form)
  • Ja som AmeričanLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–I am American (If speaker is male)
  • Ja som AmeričankaLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–I am American (If speaker is female)
  • Ako sa maš?Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–How are you? (familiar form)
  • Ako sa máte?Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–How are you (polite form)
  • Ďakujem, dobreLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Thank you, I am well
  • Ujde toLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Not too bad
  • Zle!Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Bad!
  • ProsímLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Please
  • ĎakujemLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.–Thank you
  • Nech sa páči/Nie je za čoLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.– You are welcome (this is a reply to “Ďakujem”)
  • Dobrú chuťLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found. - Enjoy your meal

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References

  1. E.g. law 500/2004, 337/1992. Source: http://portal.gov.cz