Slovak in Slovakia

The Slovak Language

A statue of Anton Bernolak

Slovak language belongs to the Slavic group, together with Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Macedonian, and Slovene. Of these, Czech is closest to Slovak, and Czechs and Slovaks can naturally understand each other. Slovak language has survived a long history of other nations’ attempts to dominate it, the legacy of which has been the adoption of many Hungarian, German, and Czech words. Slovak written language was codified for the first time in 1787 by Anton Bernolak.

Slovak vocabulary has greatly developed over the past two centuries and reflects many changes in social, political, and scientific life. Many French and English words have been adopted. With the development of urban culture, Slovak slang has evolved into a mixture of Slovak, Czech, English, French, and other words and can be quite difficult for a foreigner to understand, especially if combined with a “hard” Bratislava accent. The first video illustrates this particular slang, while the second video shows the same dialogue in standard Slovak.