Slovak Republic

Language and Literacy

Kristína Čevorová
National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements

The official state language of the Slovak Republic is Slovak, one of the Slavonic languages from the Indo‑European family. For centuries, Slovak was the language of the common people, while Latin, Hungarian, and Czech were used for official or liturgical purposes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, several attempts to standardize the official form of the language occurred while the Slovak Republic was still part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Slovak language, however, was not officially recognized or allowed in schools until an independent Czechoslovakia was established in 1918.

Currently, most students receive their education and training in Slovak. In certain regions, schools instruct only in the minority language of the area, only in Slovak, or a combination of the two. These minority languages include Hungarian (the most common), Ukrainian, Ruthenian, and German.1 Slovak language is a compulsory subject in schools with a minority language of instruction.