These basic words and phrases in Slovak should give you a decent start into this exciting language and help you on your trip to Slovakia. This beautiful country has a lot to offer to travelers, but unfortunately, they may see the Slovak language as very hard to learn. But no worries! In this blog post, I will do my best to teach you a collection of useful phrases in Slovak.
Why Should You Learn The Slovak Language?
Most young people in Slovakia now learn English in schools which is a great thing. However, many older Slovaks speak only their native language and know essential words in German or Russian.
Tourists do not yet overrun Slovakia, so people are usually very motivated to offer help to visitors, even if their foreign language skills are modest or non-existent, for that matter. Like in many other countries globally, if you learn even a few basic words of Slovak locals will appreciate it very much and be great hosts.
Bars and restaurants in tourist areas offer menus in English or German, but menus are only available in Slovak in many smaller towns.
What Are The Basic Words And Phrases In Slovak?
Hello (General greeting) – Dobrý deň Ahoj (sg/inf)/Ahojte (pl/inf)
Good morning – Dobré ráno (used until 8am)/Dobrý deň (used from 8am until dark)
Good afternoon – Dobré popoludnie (rarely used)
Goodbye (Parting phrases)
- Dovidenia (frm)
- Zbohom (frm)
- Čau (inf)
- Ahoj (inf)
- Ahojček (inf)
- Ahojko (inf)
- Čauko (inf)
- Dovi (inf)
- Pá (inf)
- Pápá (inf)
- Servus (inf)
Good evening – Dobry vecer
Goodnight – Dobru noc
- Vitaj (sg/inf)
- Vitajte (pl/frm)
How are you?
- Ako sa máte? (frm)
- Ako sa máš? (inf)
- Ako sa máte? (pl)
Reply to ‘How are you?’
- Ďakujem, dobre. A Vy? (frm)
- Ďakujem, dobre. A ty? (inf)
- Ďakujem, dobre. A vy? (pl)
Sorry – Prepacte
Please/You are welcome – Prosim
Not at all – Niet za co
What is your name?
- Ako sa voláš? (inf)
- Ako sa voláte? (frm)
My name is… – Volám sa…
Where are you from?
- Odkiaľ si? (inf)
- Odkiaľ ste? (frm)
I’m from… – Som z…
Pleased to meet you – Teší ma
Have a nice day!
- Pekný deň!
- Pekný deň prajem!
- Ďakujem vám
Thank you very much
- Ďakujem pekne
- Ďakujem velʼmi pekne
You’re welcome – Nie je začo
Yes – Ano
No – Nie
Maybe – Možno
I don’t know – Možno
I need help! – Potrebujem pomoc!
Good luck! – Veľa šťastia!
Cheers! Good Health! (Toasts used when drinking) – Na zdravie!
Bon appetit/Have a nice meal – Dobrú chuť!
Bon voyage/Have a good journey – Šťastnú cestu!
Do you understand?
- Rozumieš? (sg)
- Rozumiete? (pl)
I understand – Rozumiem
I don’t understand – Nerozumiem
Please speak more slowly – Hovorte prosím pomalšie
Please say that again
- Môžeš to zopakovať? (inf)
- Môžete to zopakovať? (frm)
- Ako prosím? (in hurry)
Please write it down – Napíšte mi to prosím
Do you speak English?
- Vieš po anglicky? (inf)
- Hovoríš po anglicky? (inf)
- Hovoríte po anglicky? (frm)
- Viete po anglicky? (frm)
Do you speak Slovak?
- Hovoríte po slovensky? (frm)
- Viete po slovensky? (frm)
- Hovoríš po slovensky? (inf)
- Vieš po slovensky? (inf)
Yes, a little (reply to ‘Do you speak …?’) – Áno, trochu
Do you speak a language other than Slovak?
- Hovoríte aj iným jazykom okrem svojho materinského jazyka?
- Hovoríte aj iným jazykom okrem slovensky?
- Hovoríš aj iným jazykom okrem slovensky?
How do you say…in Slovak? – Ako sa po slovensky povie…?
Excuse me – Prepáčte!
How much is this? – Koľko to stojí?
Where’s the toilet/bathroom? – Kde je záchod/WC?
Would you like to dance with me?
- Smiem prosiť?
- Zatancovali by ste si so mnou?
- Zatancujete si?
Do you come here often?
- Chodievaš sem často? (inf)
- Chodievate sem často? (frm)
Is there a phone booth nearby? – Je tu niekde telefonna budka?
What is the time? – Kolko je hodin?
About The Slovak Language
The Slovak language belongs to the group of Western Slavic languages. However, it contains some elements of the Southern Slavic languages. As a codified language, Slovak did not exist until the end of the 18th century, when Anton Bernolák, a Roman Catholic priest, set about to create a Slovak literary language. He based his creation on the Western Slovakian dialect and produced a phonetic spelling (written as it is pronounced).
Slovak uses the Latin alphabet plus the four diacritics: the softener: the length mark: ´, the two dots ¨ and the circumflex ^. This beautiful language is sometimes called “Slavic Esperanto” because it is regarded as the most comprehensible language for the speakers of other Slavic languages.
Like Czech, the Slovak language is distinct from many other Slavic languages in the fact that the accent, or stress, is usually placed on the first syllable of a word.
In addition to Czech, several other languages have exerted influence on the development of the Slovak language, notably Polish, Hungarian, Latin, and German. For example, the German word for coins, “münzen,” became the basis for the Slovak word for coins, “mince.” In more recent years, Slovak has also borrowed many loan words from other languages such as English and Italian. In most cases, these words are immediately adapted to a Slovak spelling conducive to the Slovak language pronunciation. For example, the English word “weekend” became “víkend”, while the Latin word for quality, “qualita”, became “kvalita.”
Now that you have learned the basic words and phrases in Slovak to survive in case of traveling to the country or meeting native speakers, you can continue with increasing your vocabulary even more.
Slovak is such an interesting language to learn. So, if you are planning to visit Slovakia, you can use the Ling App and master it in an easy, fast, and fun way. Just keep in mind, if you master the pronunciation, it might fool the person you are talking to, and you will get the response in Slovak, and you will be in trouble :).
Very helpful. Thank you! Ďakujem pekne 🙂