Slovene as a native language in which countries?

Slovene as a native language in which countries?

Are you curious about the countries where Slovene is spoken as a native language? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the countries where Slovene, a South Slavic language, is spoken by the majority of the population. Discover the cultural diversity and linguistic heritage of these countries as we delve into the fascinating world of Slovene as a native language.

Countries where Slovene is spoken as a native language


Slovenia is the primary and most significant country where Slovene is spoken as a native language. Located in Central Europe, Slovenia is the birthplace of the Slovene language and has the largest population of Slovene speakers. The language is widely used in various aspects of daily life, including education, government, media, and cultural affairs. Slovene holds the status of an official language in Slovenia, ensuring its preservation and promotion.


In addition to Slovenia, Slovene is also spoken as a native language in certain regions of Italy. These areas, known as the Slovene ethnic territory, are located in northeastern Italy, primarily in the provinces of Trieste, Gorizia, and Udine. Due to historical reasons and the presence of a Slovene minority, the language has been recognized and protected in these areas. Slovene-speaking communities in Italy contribute to the cultural diversity and linguistic heritage of the country.


Slovene is spoken as a native language by a minority population in Austria. The regions of Carinthia and Styria, located in the southern part of Austria, are home to Slovene-speaking communities. These areas have a long history of Slovene influence and have maintained the language as part of their cultural identity. Slovene in Austria is recognized and supported through various institutions, schools, and cultural organizations, enabling its continued use and development.


Hungary is another country where Slovene is spoken as a native language, albeit by a smaller population. The Slovene-speaking community in Hungary is concentrated in the Prekmurje region, located in the northeastern part of the country. Despite being a minority language, Slovene has official recognition in this region, allowing for its use in education, media, and public administration. The Slovene-speaking population in Hungary adds to the linguistic diversity and cultural richness of the country.


In certain regions of Croatia, particularly in the Istria County and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Slovene is spoken as a native language. These regions are in close proximity to Slovenia and have historical ties with Slovene-speaking communities. The language holds a recognized status in these areas, allowing for its use in official capacities and educational institutions. Slovene in Croatia contributes to the multicultural fabric of the country and strengthens the bonds between neighboring nations.

By recognizing the countries where Slovene is spoken as a native language, we can appreciate the linguistic diversity and cultural significance of this unique Slavic language.

Slovene dialects and variations

Dialects in Slovenia

Slovene, as a native language, exhibits several dialects within its own country. These dialects are primarily regional variations that have developed over time due to geographic and historical factors. Slovene dialects can be broadly categorized into seven main groups: Prekmurje, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Littoral, Rovte, and Lower Carniola. Each of these dialect groups has its own distinct characteristics, including variations in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Despite these differences, the dialects are mutually intelligible, allowing Slovene speakers from different regions to understand each other.

Resian dialect in Italy

While Slovene is primarily spoken in Slovenia, there is a unique case of the Resian dialect being spoken in a small region of Italy. Resian is a minority dialect spoken by the Resian ethnic group in the Resia Valley, located in the northeastern part of Italy, near the border with Slovenia. This dialect has managed to survive due to the isolation of the valley and the strong cultural identity of the local community. The Resian dialect is considered one of the most archaic Slovene dialects, preserving many features that have been lost in other Slovene dialects over time. Efforts are being made to preserve and revitalize this endangered dialect.

Slovene in Austria and Hungary

Apart from Slovenia and Italy, Slovene is also spoken in certain regions of Austria and Hungary. In Austria, Slovene is recognized as an official minority language in the state of Carinthia, where it is spoken by the Carinthian Slovenes. The Carinthian Slovenes have a rich cultural heritage and maintain their Slovene language and traditions. Similarly, in Hungary, Slovene is spoken by the Hungarian Slovenes, who reside primarily in the western part of the country, near the Slovenian border. The Slovene-speaking communities in Austria and Hungary have faced challenges in preserving their language and culture, but efforts are being made to support their linguistic rights and ensure the continuation of Slovene in these regions.

In conclusion, while Slovene is predominantly spoken in Slovenia, it also has dialectal variations within the country itself, as well as minority communities in Italy, Austria, and Hungary where the language is spoken. These dialects and variations contribute to the linguistic diversity and cultural richness of Slovene as a native language.

Influence of neighboring languages on Slovene

Influence of German

German has had a significant influence on the Slovene language due to its close proximity to Slovenia and historical interactions between the two regions. The influence of German can be observed in various aspects of Slovene, including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

One area where German has influenced Slovene is the vocabulary. Over the years, many German words have been incorporated into the Slovene language, particularly in fields such as technology, science, and industry. Additionally, certain expressions and idioms have found their way into everyday Slovene speech through German influence.

Grammar is another aspect of Slovene that has been influenced by German. The two languages share certain grammatical structures and features, which have influenced the way Slovene is structured and used. For example, the use of cases in Slovene can be traced back to German influence.

Furthermore, the pronunciation of Slovene has been influenced by German. Certain sounds and phonetic patterns found in German have made their way into spoken Slovene, shaping the way words are pronounced and accentuated.

Influence of Italian

Due to its geographical proximity and historical connections, Italian has also had a notable influence on the Slovene language. The influence of Italian can be seen in various linguistic aspects of Slovene, ranging from vocabulary to cultural expressions.

Italian has contributed numerous loanwords to the Slovene vocabulary, particularly in areas such as cuisine, art, music, and fashion. Many terms related to these domains have been borrowed and integrated into Slovene, enriching the language and reflecting the cultural exchange between the two regions.

Additionally, Italian influence can be observed in certain dialects of Slovene, especially those spoken in regions bordering Italy. These dialects may exhibit phonetic and grammatical features influenced by Italian, further highlighting the linguistic impact of Italian on Slovene.

Cultural expressions and customs have also been influenced by Italian in Slovene-speaking regions. Traditions, celebrations, and even architectural styles have been shaped by the proximity and historical connections with Italy, contributing to the cultural diversity and identity of Slovene-speaking communities.

Influence of Croatian and Hungarian

The neighboring countries of Croatia and Hungary have also had an impact on the Slovene language, albeit to a lesser extent compared to German and Italian. The historical interactions and geographical proximity have led to certain linguistic influences between these languages.

Croatian influence on Slovene can be observed primarily in the dialects spoken in border regions. These dialects may exhibit shared vocabulary, phonetic characteristics, and grammatical structures, reflecting the historical and cultural connections between the two languages.

Hungarian influence on Slovene is less pronounced but still noteworthy, particularly in regions bordering Hungary. Similar to Croatian influence, Hungarian influence can be seen in certain dialects spoken in these border regions, where shared vocabulary and grammatical elements are evident.

However, it is important to note that despite these influences, Slovene remains a distinct and independent language with its own unique features and characteristics. The influences from neighboring languages have enriched Slovene and contributed to its linguistic diversity, reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

In conclusion, Slovene is primarily spoken as a native language in Slovenia, where it holds the status of the official language. However, due to historical migrations and diaspora communities, Slovene is also spoken by smaller populations in neighboring countries such as Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Additionally, Slovene communities can be found in countries further afield, including the United States, Canada, and Australia, mainly among descendants of Slovene immigrants. Despite its relatively small geographical reach, Slovene continues to be a significant cultural and linguistic asset, fostering a sense of identity and belonging among its speakers both within and outside of Slovenia.

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