Slovak phrasebook

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Ypsilon from Finland
Slovak (slovenčina) is the main and national language of Slovakia and is spoken widely in and also universally understood in the Czech Republic. It is a Slavic language closely related to Russian, Polish, Czech, etc. Slovak is very similar to Czech in many ways; in fact, many travelers unfamiliar with the language often assume incorrectly that Czech and Slovak are dialects of each other.


Slovak is written as it sounds and is easier as difficult as it looks. It may help to remember that Slovak makes use of certain diacritical marks. The most common are ´, which lengthens a vowel (it does not imply stress in Slovak), and ˇ, which softens a consonant. Palatisation is occasionally used in Czech but is more widely used in Slovak.


Like Czech, stress in Slovak usually falls on the first syllable , but try not to exaggerate it as it would be in English or in German.

Short Vowels

; a : like 'a' in "amigo"
; ä : like 'a' in "fat" at times it gives out a 'e' sound in "egg"
; e : like 'e' in "bet"
; i : like 'i' in "it"
; o : like 'o' in "sport"
; u : like 'oo' in "book"
; y : like 'i' in "wick" a short 'i' sound

Long Vowels

; á : like 'a' in "far" ( long a sound )
; é : like 'é' in "bled" ( long e sound )
; í : like 'ee' in "see" ( long i sound )
; ó : like 'oo' in "door" ( long o sound )
; ú : like 'u' in "flute" ( long u sound )
; ý : like 'ee' in "weep" ( long y sound )


; b : like 'b' in "baby"
; c : like 'ts' in "bets"
; č : like 'ch' in "church"
; d : like 'd' in "day"
; ď : like 'dge' in "edge"
; DZ: like 'ds' in "roads"
; DŽ: like 'j' in "juice"
; f : like 'f' in "fine"
; g : like 'g' in "game" ( hard g sound )
; h : like 'h' in "hot", regardless of its position in the word
; CH: hard aspirated sound like the 'ch' in "loch"
; j : like 'y' in "yes"
; k : like 'k' in "kick"
; l : like 'l' in "luck"
; ĺ : ( hold this l a little longer ); seldom used
; ľ : like the 'ly' in "halyard"
; m : like 'm' in "moon"
; n : like 'n' in "nine"
; ň : like 'ny' in "canyon"
; ô : like 'wa' in "want"
; p : like 'p' in "paper"
; q : like 'q' in "quest"
; r : like spanish 'r' in "rico" ( slightly trilled )
; ŕ : like spanish 'rr' in "carro" ( longer trilled )
; s : like 's' in "son"
; š : like 'sh' in "fish"
; t : like 't' in "hot"
; ť : like 'tu' in "tune"
; v : like 'v' in "van"
; w : like 'v' in "vest"
; x : like 'ks' in "bricks"
; z : like 'z' in "zero"
; ž : like 'su' in "pleasure"

Common diphthongs

; au : like the 'ow' in "cow"
; ia : like 'ia' in "piano"
; ie : like 'ea' in "fear"
; iu : like 'ew' in "new"
; ô : like 'wo' in "woke"

Phrase list