Each letter in Slovak alphabet has a distinct sound. Slovak has five short vowels ( a, e, i, o ,u ) and five long corresponding to these  (á, é, í, ó, ú ). Letters y, ý are only orthographic variants of i, í as well as ä, which is in modern Slovak sounds as e. I tis very important to distinguish between short and lomg vowels distincly, because they may present different phonemes. E. g  ( a small flag ) zástavka, zastávka ( a stop), zlé (bad), zle (badly). The long ó is found only in adopted or foreign  words.

Letter              Approximate Pronunciation in English          Slovak examples

A                     a as in but                                                                 na, ak sa, ma

Á                     a as in father                                                         mám, dám, vám

E                     e as a set                                                                    zase, veda, dve

É                     e as in bed, but longer                                             samé, malé, aké

I                      y as in body                                                              iba, iná, milá

Í                      ee as in street                                                            musí, samí, patrí

O                      o as in odd                                                               dom, tamto, toto

Ó                      o as in saw                                                               filológ, móda

U                     u as in put                                                                 ruka, urob, spolu

Ú                     oo as in choose                                                         lúka, úloha, ústa

Y                     y as in body                                                              vysoko, kvety, akoby

Ý                     ee as in street                                                            zlý, býva, vysoký

Ä                     e as in leg                                                                  najmä,  mäso, päta


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