Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Slovakia

EuropeSlovakiaLanguage & Phrasebook in Slovakia

Slovak is the official and most commonly spoken language. Slovaks are extremely proud of their language, therefore you won’t find many signs in English even downtown Bratislava (outside of the main tourist areas). Dialects are used in certain areas of the nation, particularly in the east, and may sound very different from the official language. Understanding the official language, on the other hand, should seldom be an issue, and efforts to speak Slovak would be much welcomed!

Slovak is written with the same Roman letters as English (with a few accents or diacritics added), thus Western visitors will have no difficulty understanding signage and maps. While certain words are difficult to say, knowing the alphabet, especially letters with diacritics, can help you a lot since Slovaks pronounce every letter of a word with the emphasis always on the first syllable (it may be on second syllable in some dialects in east).

Czech and Slovak are mutually incomprehensible yet different languages. At first glance, they seem to be dialects of each other; elderly individuals in both nations tend to comprehend the other language better than younger people born after Czechoslovakia’s dissolution.

Slovakia has a large Hungarian-speaking minority of 9.7 percent due to centuries of Hungarian influence on its region. The majority of Hungarians reside in the country’s southern areas, and some do not speak Slovak. Other Slovaks, on the other hand, do not speak or comprehend Hungarian.

While English and German are commonly spoken in Bratislava, they are not as frequently spoken in smaller towns and villages, however many younger people can speak English. Older inhabitants, as well as employees in tourist areas, may know some German and Russian. People born between 1935 and 1980 will have studied Russian in school, but few Slovaks will enjoy being talked to in Russian owing to the Communist era’s negative connotations, and English has mostly replaced Russian as the most frequently taught foreign language these days. Because of the considerable tourist development in Slovakia’s north and east, English is becoming more frequently spoken, and you may also try Polish. Other Slavic languages, particularly Russian, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovene, may also be appropriate. A Ukrainian dialect similar to Polish is spoken in the east of Rusyn. To some degree, it is also understandable in Russian.