Slovak, the official language of Slovakia, 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, while foreign language learning, usually English, is compulsory in primary schools (from 3rd till 9th grade) and in 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 familiarise yourself with the Slovak language, you can use a free on-line portal 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.
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 and the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. For more information, contact the International Relations Office of the respective higher education institution.
Nationals of countries outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland can attend a free of charge 'Open Course of Slovak Language' organised by the IOM Migration Information Centre
Foreigners can also attend courses of the Slovak language at several private language schools that provide education at all levels of language proficiency: beginner, intermediate, advanced. They offer group tuition 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 session. Private language schools offering courses of Slovak are, for example, Academy of Education, Eurolingua, Berlitz or other smaller private language schools.
Summer School of Slovak Language and Culture - Studia Academica Slovaca (SAS)
The summer school SAS is aimed at all those studying Slovak language and culture and towards all Slavists in general. The intensive programme is suitable especially for university or college professors, experienced teachers, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates of Slovak and Slavonic studies, to writers, translators and all others interested in Slovak language and culture. The summer course lasts 3 weeks and takes place in August.
Bilateral intergovernmental agreements often offer scholarships for participation in this oldest Summer School of Slovak Language and Culture in Slovakia, organised by Studia Academica Slovaca (SAS) – The Centre for Slovak as a Foreign Language.