Introduction to Slovene

Slovene is also called Slovenian.

According to Wikipedia, it belongs to the south Slavic group which could further trace back to the Indo-European family.


Geographical Distribution

The Map of Slavic Language


In the map, the light pink color represents people can speak Slovene as their national language in that area. So we can easily find that Slovenian is the fist language of Slovenia parts of Italian, Austrian and Hungarian. What’s more, there are emigrant people in United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Germany and France speaking Slovene. In total, about 2.5 million people can speak Slovene.


Features of Slovene

Belonging to the same South Slavic group, Slovene is closely related to Croatian and Serbian. However, Slovene is more diverse than Croatian and Serbian. As Cerferin, the founder of Slovenian’ Teachers Association of Victoria, “Slovene is characterized by a great heterogeneity of dialects”. According to Wikipedia, it has seven groups of dialects as bases and they are subdivided into 50 sub-dialects. Therefore, Slovene is refereed as the most diverse Slavic language owing to its dialects. From the website, Omniglot, different dialects are distinct from standard Slovene in terms of phonology, grammar and vocabulary. Taking Resian Dialect for example, it has maintained a lot of archaisms which have disappeared in the standard Slovene and other dialects. In addition, Slovene has kept archaic proto-Slavic features such as dual number which also distinguish it from Croatian and Serbian. Nouns, adjectives and pronouns have three numbers: singular, plural and a special dual form that suggests exactly two objects.


Writing System

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 10.03.09 AM
Standard Slovene Alphabet


As for the writing system, the standard Slovene orthography adopted letters from Latin alphabet plus Č č, Š š, and Ž ž.

What interests me most is that Resian dialect also has its own written form. It was written in a different script from standard Slovene because it contains the letter ⟨w⟩, which is used in a few other Slavic languages.



According to Wikipedia, Freising manuscript could be regarded as the earliest record of the written Slovene dialect. The year of its origin is unknown but is some year between 972 and 1093.

During the long time of Middle Age, the Slovene was the vernacular language among peasants. Although it was still spoken in the most Slovene territory, Germany emerged as the the spoken language in the nobility and Slovene also had influence in the spoken language of Austrian nobility.

The standard Slovene appeared in the 16TH century attributed to the works of Slovene Lutheran author who actively taking part in Protestant Reformation.

Later, because of Germanization, German had furthur influence in Slovene. In the contemporary colloquial Slovene, we still can notice many Germanisms.

Slovene is a language containing great values and historical meanings.


Today, Slovenian language have evolved into a complex and complete modern language. It is one of 24 official and working languages of the European Union. Although Slovenian language is not endangered, some steps are still needed to protect the heritage.


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