Slovene alphabet

Slovene alphabet

The Slovene alphabet is an extension of the Latin alphabet and is used in the Slovene. The standard language uses a modified Latin alphabet, consisting of 25 lower- and uppercase letters:

[ Source: Omniglot]

The following Latin letters are also found in names of non-Slovene origin: Ć (mehki č), Đ (mehki dž), Q (ku), W (dvojni ve), X (iks), and Y (ipsilon), Ä, Ë, Ö, Ū.


The writing itself in its pure form does not use any other signs, except, for instance, additional accentual marks, when it is necessary to distinguish between similar words with a different meaning. For example:

* gòl ("naked") | gól ("goal"),
* jêsen ("ash (tree)") | jesén ("autumn"),
* kót ("angle", "corner") | kot ("as", "like"),
* kózjak ("goat's dung") | kozják ("goat-shed"),
* med ("between") | méd ("brass") | méd ("honey"),
* pól ("pole") | pól ("half (of)") | pôl ("expresses a half an hour before the given hour"),
* prècej ("at once") | precéj ("a great deal (of)")),
* remí ("draw") | rémi ("rummy (- a card game)").

Foreign words

There are 5 letters for vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and 20 for consonants. The Western Q, W, X, Y are excluded from the standard language, as are some South Slavic graphemes, Ć, Đ, however they are used as independent letters in encyclopedias and dictionary listings (not always all of them), for foreign Western proper nouns or toponyms are often not transcribed as they are in some other Slavic languages, such as partly in Russian or entirely in Serbian. In addition, the graphemes Ö and Ü are used in certain non-standard dialect spellings - for example, "dödöli" (Prekmurje potato dumplings) and "Danilo Türk" (Slovenia's current president). Encyclopedic listings (such as in the 2001 "Slovenski pravopis" and the 2006 "Leksikon SOVA") make use of this modified Latin alphabet:: a, b, c, č, ć, d, đ, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, š, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, ž.Therefore, "Newton" or "New York" remain the same and are not transliterated to "Njuton" or "Njujork", which seem very odd to a Slovene. However, the unit of force is written as "njuton" as well as "newton". Some geographic names are transliterated (e.g. Philadephia - Filadelfija; Hawaii - Havaji). Other names from non-Latin languages are transliterated in a fashion similar to that used by other European languages, albeit with some adaptations. Japanese, Indian and Arabic names such as "Kajibumi", "Djacarta" ("Djakarta") and "Jabar" are transcribed as "Kadžibumi", "Džakarta" and "Džabar", where j is replaced with . Except for Ć and Đ, diacritical marks from other foreign alphabets (e.g., Ä, Å, Æ, Ç, Ë, Ï, Ń, Ö, ß, Ş, Ü) are not used as independent letters.


This modern alphabet ("abeceda") was standardised in mid-1840s from an arrangement of the Croatian national reviver and leader Ljudevit Gaj that would become the Croatian alphabet, and was in turn patterned on the Czech alphabet. Before that Š was, for example, written as , ∫∫ or ſ, Č as T∫CH, CZ, T∫CZ or TCZ, I sometimes as Y as a relict from now modern Russian 'yery' Ы, J as Y, L as LL, V as W, Ž as , ∫∫ or ∫z.

In the old alphabet used by most distinguished writers, "bohoričica", developed by Adam Bohorič, the characters č, š and ž would be spelt as zh, ſh and sh respectively, whereas c, s and z would be spelt as z, ſ and s. To remedy this, so that each vocal sound would have a written equivalent, Jernej Kopitar urged development of new alphabets.

In 1825, Franc Serafin Metelko proposed his version of the alphabet called "metelčica". However, it was banned in 1833 in favour of the bohoričica after the so-called "Suit of the Letters" ("Črkarska pravda") (1830–1833), which was won by France Prešeren and Matija Čop. Another alphabet, "dajnčica", was developed by Peter Dajnko in 1824, which did not catch on as much as metelčica; it was banned in 1838. The reason for their being banned is because they mixed Latin and Cyrillic characters, which was seen as a bad way to handle missing characters.

The "gajica" (see Gaj's Latin alphabet) was adopted afterwards, however it still fails to feature all phonemes of the Slovene language.

Computer encoding

The preferred character encodings (writing codes) for Slovene texts are UTF-8 (Unicode) and ISO 8859-2 (Latin-2).

In the original ASCII frame of 1 to 126 characters one can find these examples of writing text in Slovene:

: a, b, c, *c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, *s, t, u, v, z, *z: a, b, c, "c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, "s, t, u, v, z, "z: a, b, c, c(, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, s(, t, u, v, z, z(: a, b, c, c^, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, s^, t, u, v, z, z^: a, b, c, cx, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, sx, t, u, v, z, zx

In TeX notation, č, š and ž become v c, v s, v z, v{c}, v{s}, v{z} or in their macro versions, "c, "s and "z, or in other representations as ~, {, ' for lowercase and ^, [, @ for uppercase.

See also

* Alphabet

External links

* [ Slovene alphabet]
* [ Information on Central European typography and typesetting]

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