About Learning Slovak with Berlitz
Slovak is the language of Slovakia, the eastern third of what was formerly Czechoslovakia. It is spoken by about 4½ million people or 90 percent of the country’s population.
Slovak is very similar to Czech, the two estimated to be about 90 percent mutually intelligible. A great number of words are identical in both languages – e.g., okno (window), srdce (heart), jazyk (language), and zmrzlina (ice cream), while others, such as sneh (snow – Czech, sníh) and vták (bird – Czech, pták) differ by only a letter or two.
The Slovak alphabet is also similar to that of Czech, though it lacks three Czech letters (ĕ, ř, and ů) and contains a number of its own. Two are vowels, the ä, as in mäso (meat), and the ô, as in nôž= (knife), while an apostrophe after the consonants d, l, and t indicates a soft sound (e.g., učitel' – teacher). The Slovak word for Slovak is slovenskyý, not to be confused with the word for Slovenian, slovinský.