Slovak is the language used in the Slovak Republic (Slovakia), which became an independent state on January 1, 1993.
Slovak is a Slavic language, and as such it belongs to the Indo-European language family and the West Slavic group of languages.
The rise of the Slovak language, similar to that of other Slavic languages, can be traced back to the sixth and seventh century.
In 863, the Byzantine Emperor Michael III, on the request of Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia, sent two missionary brothers from Thessaloniki to preach Christianity: Saint Constantine (who later adopted the name Cyril) and Saint Methodius. They were very successful in spreading the “Old Church” Slavonic language in this region through translating and promoting the Bible. The language itself consisted of the Glagolitic alphabet, which was based on the small letters of the Greek alphabet. Between the tenth and fourteenth centuries, Latin was used as the liturgical, literary, administrative and judicial language. Meanwhile, the Czech language was used for legal and administrative purposes by the Slovaks, who could not speak German or Latin. Historical development strengthened the use of the Czech language even further.
Naturally, three dialects of the Slovak language (Western, Central and Eastern) have been passed orally from one generation to the next, and later served as the basis of a codified language. Anton Bernolák (1762–1813), a Catholic priest, was the first to codify the Slovak language (the latter called bernolákovčina) based on the phonemic principle, “write as you hear.” However, this version did not become accepted on a nation-wide level. The Slovak literary language based on the Central Slovak dialect was codified in 1843 by Ľudovit Štúr (1815–1856).