Slavic languages

Throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Russia
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
ISO 639-2 / 5sla
Linguasphere53= (phylozone)
Political map of Europe with countries where a Slavic language is a national language marked in shades of green. Wood green represents East Slavic languages, pale green represents West Slavic languages, and sea green represents South Slavic languages.

The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) are the Indo-European languages spoken by the Slavic peoples. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic, spoken during the Early Middle Ages, which in turn is thought to have descended from the earlier Proto-Balto-Slavic language, linking the Slavic languages to the Baltic languages in a Balto-Slavic group within the Indo-European family.

The Slavic languages are divided intro three subgroups: East, West, and South, which together constitute more than 20 languages. Of these, 10 have at least one million speakers and official status as the national languages of the countries in which they are predominantly spoken: Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian (of the East group), Polish, Czech and Slovak (of the West group) and Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian and Bulgarian (of the South group).

The current geographic distribution of natively spoken Slavic languages covers Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Central Europe and all of the territory of Russia, which includes northern and north-central Asia. Furthermore, the diasporas of many Slavic peoples have established isolated minorities of speakers of their languages all over the world. The number of speakers of all Slavic languages together is estimated to be 315 million.[2][3][unreliable source?] Despite the large extent, the individual Slavic languages are considerably less differentiated than Germanic and Romance languages.


Slavic language tree.

Scholars traditionally divide Slavic languages on the basis of geographical and genealogical principle into three main branches, some of which feature subbranches:

East Slavic
West Slavic
South Slavic

Some linguists speculate that a North Slavic branch has existed as well. The Old Novgorod dialect may have reflected some idiosyncrasies of this group. Mutual intelligibility also plays a role in determining the West, East, and South branches. Speakers of languages within the same branch will in most cases be able to understand each other at least partially, but they are generally unable to across branches (which would be comparable to a native English speaker trying to understand any other Germanic language).

The most obvious differences between the East, West and South Slavic branches are in the orthography of the standard languages: West Slavic languages (and Western South Slavic languages - Croatian and Slovene) are written in the Latin script, and have had more Western European influence due to their proximity and speakers being historically Roman Catholic, whereas the East Slavic and Eastern South Slavic languages are written in Cyrillic and, with Eastern Orthodox or Uniate faith, have had more Greek influence. East Slavic languages such as Russian have, however, during and after Peter the Great's Europeanization campaign, absorbed many words of Latin, French, German, and Italian origin.

The tripartite division of the Slavic languages does not take into account the spoken dialects of each language. Of these, certain so-called transitional dialects and hybrid dialects often bridge the gaps between different languages, showing similarities that do not stand out when comparing Slavic literary (i.e. standard) languages. For example, Slovak (West Slavic) and Ukrainian (East Slavic) are bridged by the Rusyn language/dialect of Eastern Slovakia and Western Ukraine.[4] Similarly, the Croatian Kajkavian dialect is more similar to Slovene than to the standard Croatian language.

Although the Slavic languages diverged from a common proto-language later than any other group of the Indo-European language family, enough differences exist between the various Slavic dialects and languages to make communication between speakers of different Slavic languages difficult. Within the individual Slavic languages, dialects may vary to a lesser degree, as those of Russian, or to a much greater degree, as those of Slovene.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Slawiese tale
Alemannisch: Slawische Sprachen
العربية: لغات سلافية
aragonés: Luengas eslavas
azərbaycanca: Slavyan dilləri
Bân-lâm-gú: Slav giân-gú
башҡортса: Славян телдәр
беларуская: Славянскія мовы
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Славянскія мовы
български: Славянски езици
brezhoneg: Yezhoù slavek
dolnoserbski: Słowjańske rěcy
español: Lenguas eslavas
Esperanto: Slava lingvaro
føroyskt: Slavisk mál
français: Langues slaves
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Slav Ngî-chhu̍k
한국어: 슬라브어파
hornjoserbsce: Słowjanske rěče
Bahasa Indonesia: Rumpun bahasa Slavia
interlingua: Linguas slave
italiano: Lingue slave
kernowek: Yethow Slavek
Кыргызча: Славян тилдери
latviešu: Slāvu valodas
Lëtzebuergesch: Slawesch Sproochen
lietuvių: Slavų kalbos
Limburgs: Slavische taole
Lingua Franca Nova: Linguas slavica
lumbaart: Lengov slav
македонски: Словенски јазици
مازِرونی: اسلاوی زوونون
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Slavik
Nederlands: Slavische talen
日本語: スラヴ語派
Nordfriisk: Slaawisk spriaken
norsk nynorsk: Slaviske språk
Nouormand: Langue Slave
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Slavyan tillari
Piemontèis: Lenghe slave
português: Línguas eslavas
qırımtatarca: Slavân tilleri
română: Limbi slave
Runa Simi: Islaw rimaykuna
русиньскый: Славяньскы языкы
Simple English: Slavic languages
slovenčina: Slovanské jazyky
slovenščina: Slovanski jeziki
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Словѣньсци ѩꙁꙑци
српски / srpski: Словенски језици
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Slavenski jezici
Türkçe: Slav dilleri
українська: Слов'янські мови
vepsän kel’: Slavižed keled
Tiếng Việt: Ngữ tộc Slav
Volapük: Püks slavik
West-Vlams: Slaviesche toaln
žemaitėška: Slavu kalbas