Slovenian or Slovene is a South Slavic language spoken
by about 2.5 million people mainly in Slovenia, and also
in Italy, particularly in Friuli Venezia Giulia; in Austria
especially in Carinthia and Styria; in Vas in Hungary, and
and also in Croatia.
Slovenian is closely related to Croatian and Serbian,
particularly to the Kajkavian and Čakavian dialects,
and is in fact more or less mutually intelligible with Kajkavian
There is a standardised variety Slovenian used in speech
and writing which developed from central dialects from the
18th century, and there are also distinct regional varieties
some of which differ from the standard language considerably
in phonology, vocabulary and grammar. In recent years use of
the regional varieties has declined and while they retain their
distinct pronunciation, other aspects have become increasingly
like the standard language. Slovenian dialects spoken in the
Italian province of Udine have not been influenced by standard
Slovenian and can be difficult for other Slovenian speakers to
The earliest known examples of a distinct, written form of
Slovenian appear in the Freising Manuscripts, (Brižinski
spomeniki in Slovenian), which date from around 1,000 AD.
The first publised works in Slovenian, a catechism and an ABC
appeared in 1551 and the first Slovenian translation of the bible
was published in 1584. In 1811 Slovenian was adopted as the language
of education, administration and the media and later became the
official language of Slovenia.
Slovenian alphabet (slovenska abeceda)
ö /ø/ and ü /y/ are used in some eastern
dialects of Slovenian. Elsewhere there are usually pronounced
/e/ and /i/respectively.
l is pronounced /w/ in past participles and sometimes in other words.
Notes on Slovenian pronunciation provided by Ivan Valencic
with corrections and additions by Jan Zajec.
Sample text in Slovenian
Vsi ljudje se rodijo svobodni in imajo enako dostojanstvo in enake pravice.
Obdarjeni so z razumom in vestjo in bi morali ravnati drug z drugim kakor bratje.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)