• Slovak language course for beginners
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  • 1 Slovak alphabet and letters
  • 2 Slovak pronunciation [0/2]
  • 3 Slovak keyboard and how to type Slovak letters [0/3]
  • 4 Greetings and how to say Hello in Slovak [0/3]
  • 5 Introduce yourself in Slovak [0/2]
  • 6 Colours in Slovak [0/3]
  • 7 Numbers and counting in Slovak [0/4]
  • 8 Telling the time in Slovak [0/3]
  • 9 Talk about the weather in Slovak [0/3]
  • 10 Days of the week, months and seasons in Slovak [0/3]
  • 11 Body parts and head parts in Slovak [0/3]
  • 12 Food and drinks in Slovak [0/3]
  • 13 Order food in Slovak [0/3]
  • 14 Express opinions in Slovak [0/3]
  • 15 Feelings and emotions in Slovak [0/2]
  • 16 I love you in Slovak [0/3]
  • 17 Party and how to say Happy Birthday in Slovak [0/2]
  • 18 Asking directions in Slovak [0/2]
  • 19 Travel and transportation related words in Slovak [0/4]
  • 20 At the doctors vocabulary in Slovak [0/4]
  • 21 At the post office in Slovak [0/3]
  • 22 Describe the family in Slovak [0/3]
  • 23 Talking about hobbies in Slovak [0/3]
  • 24 Clothes in Slovak [0/4]
  • 25 House, room, furniture vocabulary in Slovak [0/3]
  • 26 Nature and animals names in Slovak [0/3]
  • 27 School and Classroom vocabulary in Slovak [0/3]
  • 28 Work related vocabulary in Slovak [0/3]
  • 29 Slovak names for countries and languages [0/2]
  • Luckily, once you learn how to pronounce all of the letters, it is very easy to read in Slovak! We usually pronounce the words how they are written. There are only a few rules to follow about pronunciation, so let's have a look at it!

    Slovak de, te, ne, le, di, ti, ni, li

    Even though you read those groups of letters as you see them, many times they are pronounced "softly", which means for example that you read de,te,ne,le as ďe,ťe,ňe,ľe.

    Note that you never write "mäkčeň" ( ˇ )together with d, t, n, l if there is "e" or "i" after them. For example: dedič (not ďeďič), nič (not ňič), deti (not ďeťi), etc.

    • de = can be pronounced as de or ďe
    • te = could be read as te or ťe
    How it's written How it´s pronounced
      hard soft
    de de ďe
    te te ťe
    ne ne ňe
    le le ľe
    di di ďi
    ti ti ťi
    ni ni ňi
    li li ľi


    For example:

    • defekt = [defekt]
    • dedina = [ďeďina]
    • ticho = [ťicho]
    • Tibor = [tibor]

    Elision 

    Because the pronunciation is continuous, some of the letters are elided. Therefore, consonants are divided into 3 groups:

    1. znelé párové = b d ď dz dž g h z ž v
    2. neznelé párové = p t ť c č k ch s š f
    3. znelé nepárové = m n ň l ľ r j

    "párové" means= they have pairs and only letters from the first two groups are elided to each other. Elision can happen at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the word. It depends on where in the word is the consonant placed.

    Elision of "znelé párové" (so they sound as neznelé párové) happens in these cases:

    •  when the word ends with "znelá párová" and the next word begins with "neznelá párová" consonant: loď pláva [loť pláva], dub stojí [dup stojí], tvaroh sa pečie [tvaroch sa pečie]
    •  when the word ends with "znelá párová" and there is no other word after, or there is a pause: loď [loť], plod [plot], povedz [povec]
    • when in the middle of the word there is "neznelá párová" right after "znelá párová": bodka [botka], babka [bapka], roztrhať [rostrhať]

    Here are examples how it changes: 

    znelá becomes neznelá how it is written how it sounds
    b => p dub [dup]
    d => t

    bod

    [bot]
    ď => ť hoďte [hoťťe]
    dz => c povedz [povec]
    dž => č hádžte [háčte]
    g => k mozog [mozok]
    h => ch tvaroh [tvaroch]
    z => s roztrhať [rostrhať]
    ž => š bež [beš]
    v => f vták [fták]


    and vice versa, elision of "neznelé párové" happens as well, when:

    • the word ends with "neznelá párová" and the next words begins with "znelá párová" or "znelá nepárová": päť rohov [peď rohou], vlak mešká [vlag mešká], stop násiliu [stob násiliu]
    • in the middle of the word there is "znelá párová" or "znelá nepárová" after "neznelá párová": prosme [prozme], vášmu [vážmu], kresba [krezba]

    Some more examples: 

    neznelá becomes znelá how it is written how it sounds
    p => b mop visí [mob visí]
    t => d hrmot dažďa [hrmod dažďa]
    ť => ď šesť rád [šesď rád]
    c => dz stĺpec domu [stĺpedz domu]
    č => dž tlčhuba [tldžhuba]
    k => g leták veje [letág veje]
    ch => h hroch bojuje [hroh bojuje]
    s => z pes vrčí [pez vrčí]
    š => ž verš je [verž je]
    f => v - -

     

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    Pronunciation of the consonant v

    You can pronounce consonant v in 3 different ways:

    1. v as v = at the beginning of the words, after which is placed vowel or "znelá" consonant: voda, vlasy, vňať
    2. v as f = at the beginning of the words, after which is placed "neznelá" consonant: včela [fčela], vták [fták], všetko [fšetko]
    3. v as u = at the end of the words: krv [kru], mrav [mrau], stav [stau] AND in the middle of the word after which is placed "neznelá" consonant: dievča [dieuča], stávka [stáuka], lávka [láuka]

    Pronunciation of prepositions

    Certain prepositions are pronounced differently. Those are: k, ku, s, so. The general rule applies: they are not elided if they are used with personal pronouns. Personal pronouns are: mne, mnou, vami, vám, etc.

    how the pronunciation changes how it is written how it sounds
    k => k (no change) k vám [k vám]
    k => g k vode [g vode]
    ku => ku (no change) ku mne [ku mne]
    ku => gu ku kostolu [gu kostolu]
    s => s (no change) s nami [s nami]
    s => z s námorníkmi [z námorníkmi]
    so => so (no change) so mnou [so mnou]
    so => zo so susedou [zo susedou]


    You can try our exercises prepared for you to train your skills! Good luck!