Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Slovakia
The majority of people living in Slovakia are ethnic Slovaks,
although near the Hungarian border there is a significant
Hungarian minority. Slovaks are related to the western Slavic people, a group that
also includes the Poles and Czechs.
The Hungarians have no close ethnic relatives as they are distantly related to Turkic
and Uralic people from Central Asia, as well as to many nearby European ethnic groups.
Most ethnic Slovaks speak Slovak, which is a western Slavic language similar to
both Czech and Polish. Like
those languages, Slovak is written in the Latin script.
Hungarian is also commonly spoken among ethnic Hungarians.
Czech, Russian, and English are common second languages as
Slovakia was united with the Czech Republic for years (Czechoslovakia)
and under communism Russian was taught. Today, the fluency of Czech and Russian
are slowly being replaced with fluency in English, which is now the most commonly
studied second language. Despite this, most people who grew up in Czechoslovakia
still speak or understand some Czech or Russian, while they rarely speak English.