Slovene or Slovenian ( slovenski jezik or slovenščina) is a South Slavic language spoken by the Slovenes. It is spoken by about 2.5 million speakers worldwide, the majority of whom live in Slovenia, where it is the sole official language. As Slovenia is part of the European Union, Slovene is also one of its 24 official and working languages.
Standard Slovene is the national standard language that was formed in the 18th and 19th century, mostly based on Upper and Lower Carniolan dialect groups. The latter was the dialect used by Primož Trubar and his followers in the 16th century, while the former was preferred by most authors of the language revival of the 18th century, and was also the language spoken by France Prešeren. Unstandardized dialects are more preserved in regions of the Slovene Lands where compulsory schooling was in languages other than Standard Slovene, as was the case with the Carinthian Slovenes in Austria, and the Slovene minority in Italy.
The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter’s dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though communist, distanced itself from Moscow’s rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia’s transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the Eurozone in 2007.
since the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Croatia and Slovenia have each claimed sovereignty over Pirin Bay and four villages, and Slovenia has objected to Croatia’s claim of an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea; in 2009, however Croatia and Slovenia signed a binding international arbitration agreement to define their disputed land and maritime borders, which led to Slovenia lifting its objections to Croatia joining the EU; Slovenia continues to impose a hard border Schengen regime with Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013 but has not yet fulfilled Schengen requirements; as a member state that forms part of the EU’s external border, Slovenia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through southeastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia.
Illicit drugs: minor transit point for cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe, and for precursor chemicals.
(End of excerpt from the CIA World FactBook text.)
During WWII Slovenia was occupied by Germans, Italians, Hungarians, and Croatians. With the occupation came the ban on using the Slovenian language in schools. Some occupiers also forbade the use of Slovene in all public places. If caught speaking their native language in school, students were beaten with a wooden stick, ruler, or were forced to kneel on a pile of corn. Thousands of Slovenian books were also destroyed at the time causing irreparable damage to Slovenian heritage.
Only declaring its independence in 1991, Slovenia is a relatively young country. However, the dream of a sovereign country among Slovenes is as old as the nation itself. Different countries and kingdoms throughout history occupied the territory of what is now known as the Republic of Slovenia. Many of those occupations wished to destroy the Slovenian language and eliminate the Slovenian nation. Still, it was actually the Slovenian language that kept the nation together throughout the centuries. It was after hundreds of years of resistance and unwillingness to submit that the nation’s dream came true and Slovenia finally became an independent country.
Slovenian Language Learning Pack (Updated).
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