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Slovak (/ - /, SLOH-va(h)k; endonym: slovenčina [ˈslɔʋentʂina] or slovenský jazyk [ˈslɔʋenskiː ˈjazik]) is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group, written in Latin script. It is part of the Indo-European language family, and is one of the Slavic languages, which are part of the larger Balto-Slavic branch. Spoken by approximately 5 million people as a native language, primarily ethnic Slovaks, it serves as the official language of Slovakia and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union.
|slovenčina, slovenský jazyk|
|Pronunciation||[ˈslɔʋentʂina], [ˈslɔʋenskiː ˈjazik]|
|Native to||Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Carpathian Ruthenia and Vojvodina|
|Speakers||Native: 5 million (2011–2021)|
L2: 2 million
|Latin (Slovak alphabet)|
Official language in
Serbia (in Vojvodina)
|Regulated by||Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic|
The Slovak-speaking world:
regions where Slovak is the language of the majority
regions where Slovak is the language of a significant minority
|This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.|
Slovak is closely related to Czech, to the point of very high mutual intelligibility, as well as Polish. Like other Slavic languages, Slovak is a fusional language with a complex system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German, as well as other Slavic languages.
The Czech–Slovak group developed within West Slavic in the high medieval period, and the standardization of Czech and Slovak within the Czech–Slovak dialect continuum emerged in the early modern period. In the later mid-19th century, the modern Slovak alphabet and written standard became codified by Ľudovít Štúr and reformed by Martin Hattala. The Moravian dialects spoken in the western part of the country along the border with the Czech Republic are also sometimes classified as Slovak, although some of their western variants are closer to Czech; they nonetheless form the bridge dialects between the two languages.
Slovak speakers are also found in the Slovak diaspora 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 other countries to a lesser extent.
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