Slovene language

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Slovene or Slovenian (slovenski jezik or slovenščina, not to be confused with slovenčina, the native name of Slovak) is a South Slavic language spoken by approximately 2.4 million speakers worldwide, the majority of whom live in Slovenia. Slovene is one of the 23 official and working languages of the European Union.


Standard Slovene

Standard Slovene is the national standard language that evolved on the basis of Central Slovene dialects in the 18th century and consolidated itself through the 19th and 20th centuries. While distinct regional varieties descended from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized. Some dialects differ considerably from the standard language in phonology, vocabulary and grammar. Though not facing imminent extinction, such dialects have been in decline during the past century, despite the fact that they are well researched and their use is not discouraged by the authorities. Although most dialects, especially in rural and mountainous regions, have retained their specific phonetic features, their vocabulary, syntax and grammar have been strongly influenced by standard Slovene. Some dialects have been more successful in resisting the penetration of the standard language: most notably the Prekmurje dialect, which is one of the few dialects in Slovenia still widely used by all strata of the population, and some Slovene dialects in the Austrian state of Carinthia and in Italy. The Resian and Torre (Ter) dialects in the Italian Province of Udine are the only Slovene dialects that have remained untouched by the influences of standard Slovene, to the extent that they are unintelligible to most Slovene speakers.

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