Slovak is the official language and belongs to the West Slavic subgroup of the Indo‑European language family, and uses the Roman script. It does not differ significantly from Czech, and comprehension in both languages is rather common. The majority of the population of the Slovak Republic (86 %) speaks Slovak as their mother tongue. The second most widely spoken mother tongue is Hungarian.
The most widely spoken foreign languages in Slovakia are English, German, Russian, Hungarian and French. The young urban population is generally considered to be the most linguistically proficient. Foreign languages are sometimes taught at kindergarten, usually at primary school in lower grades and always in the upper ones (5th till 9th) and at secondary schools. There are some primary and secondary schools that conduct classes in foreign languages such as Hungarian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Private language schools offer many possibilities for children, young people and adults to learn foreign languages.
Slovak language courses
To familiarize yourself with the Slovak language, you can use a free on-line portal www.slovake.eu, which offers Slovak language courses at different levels (A1 and A2), grammar, exercises or games. Another on-line Slovak language lessons for beginners can be found here >>.
To foreign students, scholarship holders, host students and others, who are interested, courses of Slovak as a foreign language are offered by Studia Academica Slovaca (SAS) – The Centre for Slovak as a Foreign Language in Bratislava. In 2006, the SAS Centre acquired accreditation of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic for providing education activities “Slovak as a Foreign Language – Language Course in Contact and Distance Form” for all levels of language development, i.e. beginners (A1, A2), intermediate and upper‑intermediate (B1, B2) and advanced (C1, C2).
Bilateral agreements often offer scholarships for participation in summer courses of the Slovak language and culture organised by the SAS. This intensive programme is especially offered to university professors, experienced teachers, postgraduates of Slovak and Slavonic studies, writers, translators and all others interested in Slovak language and culture. A summer course lasts 3 weeks and takes place in August.
More information: www.fphil.uniba.sk/sas
Some universities and research institutions organise Slovak language courses for their international students/researchers, e.g. the Institute for Language and Academic Preparation for Foreign Students of the Comenius University in Bratislava (www.cdvuk.sk), the Slovak Academy of Sciences (www.sav.sk), and the Methodical Centre of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (www.umb.sk). For more information contact the International Relations Office of the respective higher education institution. At Slovak Academy of Sciences, the contact information are firstname.lastname@example.org, 02/54 78 88 61.
In Banská Bystrica, you are welcome to contact directly Mrs. Urbancova, teacher of the Slovak language courses for foreigners; find the contact and more information at this link >>.
Third-country nationals can attend a free of charge Open Course of Slovak Language organized in Bratislava and Košice by IOM Migration Information Centre. More information: http://mic.iom.sk/index.php/en/en-bubles/322-courses-and-education.
Foreigners can attend Slovak language courses at several private language schools that provide courses at all levels of language proficiency: beginner, intermediate, advanced. They offer group instruction or individual courses tailored to the clients’ individual needs. The courses are aimed at mastering all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The courses are usually held twice a week, 2 standard lessons (90 min. in total) per day.
Private language schools offering courses of Slovak are, for example, Academy of Education (www.aveducation.sk, in Slovak only), Eurolingua (www.eurolingua.sk), Berlitz (www.berlitz.sk) or other smaller private language schools.
Information about slovak language courses for foreigners is also available at the web site of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic HERE >>.
Last modified: 2015-06-24