Slovak Language Lessons for Beginners - Lesson 6

Lesson 6
You can download the entire Slovak course as a book in PDF format [here]. I am thankful to Alan Morelli of Bergamo, Italy for putting the book together.


Milujem ťa. = I love you.
Mám ťa rád.  = I like you. (if the speaker is male)
Mám ťa rada. = I like you. 
(if the speaker is female) 


koľko = how much, how many
Koľko to stojí? = How much is it? How much does it cost?
Koľko stojí _____? = How much is _____? How much does _____ cost?
Prosím vás, koľko stojí tento modrý sveter? = Excuse me, how much does this blue sweater cost?
_____ stojí ... = _____ costs ...
 ... jedno euro = one euro
 ... dve/tri/štyri eurá = two/three/four euros
 ... päť/šesť/sedem eúr = five/six/seven euros (used for numbers higher than, or equal to, 5)
 ... jeden dolár = one dollar
 ... dva/tri/štyri doláre = two/three/four dollars
 ... päť/šesť/sedem dolárov = five/six/seven dollars (number highers than, or equal to, 5)
 ... pätnásť deväťdesiat = 15,90 (say, 15 euros/dollars, 90 cents)
Tento zelený uterák stojí tridsaťosem eúr, ale tamten hnedý stojí dvadsaťdeväť tridsať. = This green towel costs 38 euros, but that brown one over there costs 29,30.
drahý = expensive
lacný = cheap
cena = price 
vysoká cena = high price
nízka cena = low price
zľava = discount 
Káva je lacná, ale kvalitná káva je veľmi drahá. = Coffee is cheap, but quality coffee is very expensive.
Prepáčte, ale toto nové auto je naozaj príliš drahé. = I'm sorry, but this new car is really too expensive.


rok = year
mesiac = month
týždeň = week
hodina = hour
minúta = minute
sekunda = second


Koľko je hodín? = What time is it? (literally, something like: 'How many hours are there?')
Je jedna hodina... = It is one o'clock
 ...ráno = in the morning
 ...doobeda = a.m. (literally: before lunch)
 ...dopoludnia = a.m. (literally: before noon)
 ...poobede = p.m. (literally: after lunch)
 ...popoludní = p.m. (literally: after noon)
 ...večer = in the evening
 ...v noci = at night
Sú dve/tri/štyri hodiny... = It is 2/3/4 o'clock...
Je päť/šesť/sedem hodín... = It is 5/6/7 o'clock... (for numbers higher than, or equal to, 5)
Je dvanásť päťdesiatosem. = It is 12:58.
To say it is 'quarter past' or 'quarter to', you need to think about how much 'progress' has been made towards the next hour. For English speakers, this can be quite confusing. See these examples:
Je štvrť na päť. = It is 4:15. (literally: 'It is quarter on five.')
Sú tri štvrte na sedem. =  It is 6:45. (literally: 'It is three quarters on seven.')
To say it is 'half past', you need to use ordinal numerals (which we'll cover in the next lesson):
Je pol ôsmej. = It is half past seven. (literally: 'It is half of the eighth (hour).')

DNI V TÝŽDNI = days of the weeks

pondelok = Monday
utorok = Tuesday
streda = Wednesday
štvrtok = Thursday
piatok = Friday
sobota = Saturday
nedeľa = Sunday
v pondelok = on Monday
v utorok = on Tuesday
v stredu = on Wednesday
vo štvrtok = on Thursday
v piatok = on Friday
v sobotu = on Saturday
v nedeľu = on Sunday
víkend = weekend
cez víkend = during the weekend 

dnes = today
zajtra = tomorrow
pozajtra = the day after tomorrow
včera = yesterday
predvčerom = the day before yesterday

MESIACE = months

január = January
február = February
marec = March
apríl = April
máj = May
jún = June
júl = July
august = August
september = September
október = October
november = November
december = December
v januári = in January
vo februári = in February
v marci = in March
v apríli = in April
v máji = in May
v júni = in June
v júli = in July
v auguste = in August
v septembri = in September
v októbri = in October
v novembri = in November
v decembri = in December

ROČNÉ OBDOBIA = seasons of the year

jar = spring
leto = summer
jeseň = fall, autumn
zima = winter
na jar = in the spring
v lete (or cez leto) = in the summer
na jeseň = in the fall, in the autumn
v zime (or cez zimu) = in the winter


To wish someone a happy birthday, you can say "Všetko najlepšie k narodeninám!" (literally: 'All the best for [your] birthday!"), or simply "Všetko najlepšie!" ('All the best!').

If you're in a group, you can also sing the following song to the tune of the English 'Happy Birthday to you!':

Veľa šťastia, zdravia!
Veľa šťastia, zdravia!
Veľa šťastia, milý (or milá) [name]!
Veľa šťastia, zdravia!

which means:

A lot of happiness, [and] health!
A lot of happiness, [and] health!
A lot of happiness, dear [name]!
A lot of happiness, [and] health!

In older generations, another song is common:
"Živió, živió, živió, mnoga leta, mnoga leta, mnoga leta!" (roughly translated: 'May you live long, may you live long, may you live long, many years, many years, many years!')
Please note that this song is not in Slovak (or, at least, not in modern Slovak) - I have no idea what other Slavic language it is in.

In addition to celebrating their birthdays (narodeniny), some people also celebrate name days (meniny): each day in the calendar is associated with one of more first names. Originally, the name days were associated with Roman Catholic saints, but have since been extended to include most common names. To wish someone a happy name day, you can say "Všetko najlepšie k meninám!" For a list of Slovak name days, see [here].


The name that celebrates its name day on December 31st is Silvester, and Slovaks therefore refer to New Year's Eve as Silvester. Slovaks typically spend Silvester watching TV - most channels show long Silvester-specific shows (that involve a lot of singing, dancing and some attempts at humor) - and try to stay up until midnight. After the countdown to midnight, many people will throw pyrotechnics or launch fireworks from their balconies, making it quite dangerous to be in the streets during the first minutes of a new year. 

No one really cleans up, so Slovaks tend to wake up to a very messy Nový rok (New Year's Day). To wish someone a Happy New Year, you can say "Šťastný nový rok!" Some people make resolutions (predsavzatia) to, say, quit smoking or lose weight, on New Year's Eve.

On New Year's postcards, you will often see the letters PF, followed by the year - e.g. PF 2011, or PF 1998. This comes from the French pour féliciter (loosely translated as 'to wish you happiness'). 


On Easter (Veľká noc, literally: 'the great night'), Slovaks sometimes blow and paints eggs. Two important tradition are the šibačka (the symbolic 'whipping' of women) and the oblievačka (the pouring of water over women): Men will often plaid willow canes, and symbolically 'whip' the women, while saying "Šibi, ribi, mastné ryby" (loosely: 'whippy-whippy, greasy fish'). They will also pour buckets of water over (fully clothed) women, or put them in the shower. These traditions date back to pre-Christian times, and are meant to ensure that women are healthy and fertile. In return for the šibačka and oblievačka, women are supposed to give money or candy to the men who found them.


For Christmas (Vianoce), Slovaks decorate Christmas trees (vianočný stromček). 

On Christmas Eve (Štedrý večer, literally 'the generous evening' - December 24th), the family meets for a Christmas dinner. This often involves round Chris wafers (oblátky, or oplátky), served with honey. Many families also make the traditional Christmas sauerkraut soup (kapustnica). Some families will buy a Christmas carp (vianočný kapor) a few days before Christmas and let the fish swim in the bathtub. On Christmas Eve, the father will kill the carp, and the fish will be served for dinner. Each family, however, has its own twist on the Christmas dinner: In my own family, for instance, we always had chicken noodle soup, and never made kapustnica.

After dinner, the children find their Christmas presents under the Christmas tree. The person bringing the Christmas presents is, according to Slovak tradition, 'little Jesus' (Ježiško).

Slovaks generally consider December 24th to be the most important day of Christmas. Although December 25th is also a holiday, it does not have the same significance as Christmas Eve.


December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day (usually referred to simply as Mikuláš). The night before Mikuláš, children leave their boots by the window, and find them filled with fruits, peanuts and other gifts in the morning. If a child has behaved poorly, he or she may find coal (uhlie) instead.

We imagine Saint Nicholas (Svätý Mikuláš, or simply Mikuláš) as an old, white-haired and bearded man dressed in red - similar to how Americans imagine Santa Claus. Occasionally, cultural centers or schools organize Mikuláš-themed shows for children - in these, Mikuláš is often accompanied by a čert, a disheveled, unshaven man, whose clothes are usually dirty and covered in coal traces, and who symbolically represents the devil.

On Saint Nicholas Day, furthermore, schoolchildren would also often write "Na Svätého Mikuláša, neučí sa, neskúša sa!" ('On St. Nicholas Day, one does not learn/teach, one does not examine!') on the blackboard in a (usually futile) attempt to stop their teachers from asking them questions that day.

You can download the entire lesson in MP3 format [here]. Just right click, and choose "Save as..."