Slovene alphabet

The Slovene alphabet (Slovene: slovenska abeceda, pronounced [slɔˈʋèːnska abɛˈtséːda] or slovenska gajica [- ˈɡáːjitsa]) is an extension of the Latin script and is used in the Slovene language. The standard language uses a Latin alphabet which is a slight modification of the Croatian Gaj's Latin alphabet, consisting of 25 lower- and upper-case letters:

Letter Name IPA English approx.
A, a a /a/ arm
B, b be /b/ bat
C, c ce /ts/ cats
Č, č če /tʃ/ charge
D, d de /d/ day
E, e e /ɛ/, /e/, /ə/ bed, sleigh, attack
F, f ef /f/ fat
G, g ge /ɡ/ gone
H, h ha /x/ (Scottish English) loch
I, i i /i/ me
J, j je /j/ yes
K, k ka /k/ cat
L, l el /l/, /w/ lid, wine
M, m em /m/ month
N, n en /n/ nose
O, o o /ɔ/, /o/ void, so
P, p pe /p/ poke
R, r er /r/ (trilled) risk
S, s es /s/ sat
Š, š /ʃ/ shin
T, t te /t/ took
U, u u /u/ sooth
V, v, ve /v/, /w/ vex, west
Z, z ze /z/ zoo
Ž, ž že /ʒ/ vision

Source: Omniglot

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


The writing in its usual form uses additional accentual marks, which are used to disambiguate similar words with different meanings. 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)),
  • je (he/she is) | jé (he/she eats).

Foreign words

There are 5 letters for vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and 20 for consonants. The letters q, w, x, y are excluded from the standard spelling, as are some South Slavic graphemes ( ć, đ), however they are collated as independent letters in some encyclopedias and dictionary listings; foreign proper nouns or toponyms are often not adapted to Slovene orthography 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 (usually representing loanwords from German, Hungarian or Turkish) – for example, dödöli (Prekmurje potato dumplings) and Danilo Türk (a politician).

Encyclopedic listings (such as in the 2001 Slovenski pravopis and the 2006 Leksikon SOVA) use this 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 and New York remain the same and are not transliterated to Njuton or Njujork; transliterated forms would seem very odd to a Slovene. However, the unit of force is written as njuton as well as newton. Some place names are transliterated (e.g. Philadelphia – 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, Djakarta and Jabar are written as Kadžibumi, Džakarta and Džabar, where j is replaced with . Except for ć and đ, graphemes with 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.


The modern alphabet (abeceda) was standardised in the mid-1840s from an arrangement of the Croatian national reviver and leader Ljudevit Gaj which would become the Croatian alphabet, and was in turn patterned on the Czech alphabet. Before the current alphabet became standard, š was, for example, written as ʃ, ʃʃ or ſ; č as tʃch, cz, tʃcz or tcz; i sometimes as y as a relic of the letter now rendered as Ы (yery) in modern Russian; j as y; l as ll; v as w; ž as ʃ, ʃʃ or ʃz.

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, and c, s and z would be spelt as z, ſ and s respectively. To remedy this, so that there was a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters, Jernej Kopitar urged the development of a new alphabet.

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) (18301833), which was won by France Prešeren and Matija Čop. Another alphabet, dajnčica, was developed by Peter Dajnko in 1824, but did not catch on as widely as metelčica; it was banned in 1838 because it mixed Latin and Cyrillic characters, which was seen as a poor way to handle missing characters.

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

Computer encoding

The preferred character encodings (writing codes) for Slovene texts are UTF-8 (Unicode), UTF-16, and ISO/IEC 8859-2 (Latin-2), which generally supports Central and Eastern European languages that are written in the Latin script.

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 ISO/IEC 8859-1 (Latin-1) typical workarounds for missing characters Č (č), Š (š), and Ž (ž) can be C~ (c~), S~ (s~), Z~ (z~) or similar as for ASCII encoding.

For usage under DOS and Microsoft Windows also code pages 852 and Windows-1250 respectively fully supported Slovene alphabet.

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


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.