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Slovak


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Contents:

1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set

Section One - Grammar and Spelling

1. Gender: Slovak has three genders - masculine, feminine and neuter.

2. Case: There are 7 different cases in Slovak which are represented by suffixes added to nouns, pronouns and adjectives.

3. Plurals: There is no easy way of recognising the plural in Slovak as there are so many different endings. The plural form and the different cases can be determined by using so-called "template nouns", of which there are 4 for each gender.

4. One-letter words: There are several one-letter words, which might look like typographical mistakes to a non-speaker. Some examples of these are the prepositions 'v' (in, at), 'o' (about), 'z' (from), 'k' (to), 's' (with), 'u' (near to) and conjunctions like 'a' or 'i' (both meaning 'and').

5. Capitalisation: Capitalisation is used in the following instances: at the beginning of a sentence, for proper names, for polite forms of address - 'Ty' (informal) and 'Vy' (polite). Only the first letter of the first word in titles and headings is capitalised. Languages, days of the week and months are not capitalised.

Section Two - Punctuation

1. Speech marks: These are the main difference in punctuation between English and Slovak, as „ ... ” are used instead of " ... "

2. Full stops: Full stops are not used in titles and headings.

3. Bullet points: If bullet points are complete sentences, then each point must end in a full stop, otherwise a comma or a semi-colon is inserted at the end of each point and the last one must be followed by a full stop.

Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurements: Only metric measurements are used.

The time is written as follows: 10:00 or 10.00, 15:00 or 15.00 (sometimes hod. is added afterwards for "o'clock").

Dates are written as follows: 25.8.99 or 25/8/99.

Decimal commas are used e.g. 3,7 %.

A space is always left between the figure and the measurement.

Figures above 9999 are separated either by a space or a dot: 16 000, 16.000.

Currency: 3,50 libier or 3,50 GBP (Pound Sterling) and 3,50 Sk (Slovak Koruna).

2. Abbreviations:
MB = Megabytes
kB = kilobytes
Thousands are abbreviated as tis., i.e. "5 tis." = 5 000
Millions are abbreviated as mil., billions as mld.
N/a = either - or Nepoužíva sa
No. = Č. or Čís.
e.g. = Napr./napr.
Q&A = [no abbreviation]
WxLxHxD = ŠxDxVxH
Year = r. (i.e., r. 1999)
o'clock = hod.
AD = n.l. (i.e., 1250 n.l.)
BC = pr.n.l. (i.e., 536 pr.n.l.)
Mr = p. (i.e., p. Novák)
etc. = atď.

Section Four – Hyphenation

Hyphenation is very common as there are many long words in Slovak. It is often used to combine two languages (slovensko-ruský for Slovak-Russian) and at the end of lines. Monosyllabic words are never hyphenated. Hyphenation is also rare before or after a single letter, but it often occurs between two consonants.

Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities

There are no tone marks in Slovak.

Surnames usually follow the first name, but sometimes a different order may be used.

Section Six – Geographic Distribution

Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, spoken by about 90 percent of the country's 5.5 million inhabitants. It is so similar to Czech that is considered by some as merely a dialect, but the existence of slightly different alphabets, as well as distinct literatures, makes it more convenient to look upon them as separate languages. The Slovak alphabet is similar to that of Czech, although it lacks three Czech letters (ě, ř and ů) and contains three of its own.

Slovak is also known as Slovakian and is spoken/used in the following countries: Slovakia, Canada, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, USA, Yugoslavia.

The second most frequently used language in the territory of Slovakia is Hungarian and it is mainly spoken in the South. Although it is not an official language, Hungarian is spoken by almost 10 % of the population and towns and villages inhabited by Hungarian minorities use a bilingual denomination.

Language Family
Family: Indo-European
Subgroup: Slavic
Branch: West, Czech-Slovak

Sources:

Katzner K, The Languages of the World. Routledge. Available from http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Slovak (accessed 25 March
2004).

Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International. Available from:
http://www.ethnologue.com/web.asp (accessed 25 March 2004).

The World Factbook: Field Listing – Language. Central Intelligence Agency.
Available from: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/fields/2098.html (accessed 25 March 2004).

Section Seven – Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes

LOWER CASE
UPPER CASE
a á [0225] A Á [0193]
b B
c C
d D
e é [0233] E É [0201]
f F
g G
h H
i í [161] I Í [0205]
j J
k K
l L
m M
n ñ [0241] N Ñ [0209]
o ó [0243] O Ó [0211]
p P
q Q
r R
s S
t T
u ú [163] ü [0252] U Ú [0218] Ü [0220]
v V
w W
x X
y Y
z Z
¿ [168] ¡ [0161]

 









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