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Most of the people in Slovakia speak the Slovak language. Slovak is a member of the West Slavic sub-group of the Slavic languages of the Indo-European language family. Slovak is related to Czech, Polish and Russian. The Czech and Slovak languages are very much alike. These two languages are the most similar of all slavic languages.
Except for modern records of the 1900s, records in Slovakia were written mostly in Latin and Hungarian. Many records were also written in German. Other languages sometimes used in Slovak records include Ukrainian (Ruthene dialect), Czech, Slovak, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
Slovak was the official language in the Slovak lands in the former Czechoslovakia. In addition, the Slovak language may be found in the records of Slovak communities in the United States and Canada or other areas settled by Slovaks.
Word Lists - Language Aids
Before 1918 the Slovak lands were part of the Kingdom of Hungary which, together with Austria, constituted the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Records written before 1918 may be in Hungarian, Latin, German, or Slovak. Slovak records often contain Hungarian, Latin, or German words.
To help you read genealogical records see the following:
- Czech Genealogical Word List
- German Genealogical Word List
- Hungarian Genealogical Word List
- Latin Genealogical Word List
- Polish Genealogical Word List
- Slovak Genealogical Word List
Slovenská abeceda/The Slovak Alphabet
A, a, Á, á, Ä, ä B, b C, c, Č, č D, d, Ď, ď Dz, dz, Dž, dž E, e, É, é F, f G, g H, h Ch, ch I, i, Í, í J, j K, k L, l, Ĺ, ĺ, Ľ, ľ M, m N, n, Ň, ň O, o, Ó, ó, Ô, ô P, p Q, q R, r, Ŕ, ŕ S, s, Š, š T, t, Ť, ť U, u, Ú, ú V, v W, w X, x Y, y, Ý, ý Z, z, Ž, ž
The Slovak alphabet uses several letters in addition to the 26 letters used in the English alphabet. These are á, ä, č, ď, é, í, ĺ, ľ, ň, ó, ô, ŕ, š, ť, ú, ý, ž. The letter combinations dz, dž, and ch are also considered as single letters, dz and dž is alphabetized after d and ch is alphabetized after h. Letters q, w, and x are used only in words of foreign origin.
Slovak dictionaries and indexes use the following alphabetical order:
a,á,ä b c č d,ď dz,dž e,é f g h ch i,í j k l,ĺ,ľ m n,ň o,ó,ô p (q) r,ŕ s š t,ť u,ú v (w) ( x) y,ý z ž
Lemko language is described as a dialect of the Ukrainian language, a dialect of the Rusyn language and more recently sometimes described as a distinct dialect of the Slovak. In any case, the Lemko tongue and the Ukrainian language are akin but not always mutually intelligible. Rusyn (also referred to as the Ruthenian language) is similar to the Slovak language and Ukrainian language; Ukrainian scholars consider Rusyn a dialect of Ukrainian.