Slovenia: The Country and Its Languages - Part 1
The South Central European country known as Slovenia is renowned for its mountains, ski resorts and outdoor recreation.
The South Central European country known as Slovenia is renowned for its mountains, ski resorts, and outdoor recreation. Slovenia borders Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Croatia – it stretches between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea and is set on a glacial lake fed by thermal springs. Slovenia is the only European country that combines the Mediterranean, the Alps, the Panamanian Plain and the Karst. Slovenia is renowned for its constantly changing landscape – from the sea to the high mountains to the forests and the green plains below, from upland meadows to river gorges.
In fact, a hallmark of this country is the proximity of contrasts and opposites. Even today, you can still wander through the virgin forest in Slovenia or watch grapes ripen on the world’s oldest vines: you can enjoy the fruits of the forest that you’ve foraged for yourself and hear tales of bears. In Slovenia, you’re free to become part of nature and uncover the deepest secrets of the land. There are great opportunities for tourists in Slovenia, with high-quality accommodation, excellent food and fabulous wines on offer.
The Capital of Slovenia
The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana, with a population of 272,000. Ljubljana is also the political center of the Republic of Slovenia and is home to its Ceremonial Head of State. Maribor is another popular city in Slovenia with a population of 95,000 people.
A Little about Slovenia
In 1918 the Slovenes formed a new nation together with the Croats and Serbs, known as the ‘Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes’. In 1929 this was renamed to Yugoslavia. Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia after World War II, and in 1991 the Slovenes finally succeeded in establishing their own independence. Since that time, Slovenia (National name: Republika Slovenija) has become a full member of the European Union and successfully integrated itself into the international community. As at the year 2013, Slovenia had a population of 2.06 million people.
Key Dates in Slovenia’s History
Originally, Slovenia was settled by Celtic and Illyrian peoples and in the first century BC, it became part of the Roman Empire.
1918: Slovenia joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This Kingdom later became Yugoslavia.
1941: During the Second World War Slovenia was occupied by Italy and Nazi Germany.
1945: Slovenia became a Constituent Republic of Socialist Yugoslavia at the end of the war.
1991: Slovenia declared its independence. Slovene forces defend the country when the Yugoslav federal army intervenes. Approximately 100 people were killed. The Yugoslav army withdraws when the EU brokers a ceasefire.
2004: Slovenia becomes part of the EU.
2013: Slovenia’s credit rating was cut by ratings agency Moody to junk status. The economy of Slovenia has recovered over subsequent years.
Religions, Ethnicity, and Languages
Religions (2002 Census):
- 57.8% Catholic
- 2.4% Muslim
- 2.3% Orthodox
- with the remainder being other Christian, unaffiliated or unspecified.
Ethnicity/Race (2002 Census):
- 83.1% Slovene
- 2% Serb
- 1.8% Croat
- 1.1% Bosniak
- 12% other or unspecified
The Languages of Slovenia (2002 Census):
- 91.1% Slovenian
- 4.5% Serbo-Croatian
- 4.4% other or unspecified
More than 90% of Slovenia’s population speak Slovene, which, since independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, has become Slovenia’s official language. In other areas of Slovenia where Hungarian or Italian ethnic communities live, the official languages are also Hungarian or Italian. In addition, other widely spoken minority languages include German, Croatian, and Serbian.
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