Slovenian (slovenščina / slovenski jezik)

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 Croatian dialects.

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 understand.

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 alphabet primer 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)

Slovenian alphabet (slovenska abeceda)

Hear the Slovenian alphabet

Slovenian pronunciation

Slovenian pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Slovenian (Excel)


More details of Slovenian phonology (PDF, 128K) and pronunciation (PDF, 259K)

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.

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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)

Sample video in Slovenian

Information about Slovenian | Phrases | Tower of Babel | Books about Slovenian on: and [affilate links]


Information about Slovenian

Online Slovenian lessons

Slovenian phrases

Slovenian dictionaries

BBC World Service in Slovenian

Slavic languages

Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Goral, Kashubian, Knaanic, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, Silesian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Ukrainian, West Polesian

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 17.11.22


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