Slovak is the main and national language of Slovakia and is spoken widely in and also universally understood in the Czech Republic. It is a Slavic language closely related to others like Polish and Czech. Slovak is so similar to Czech that many people, especially outsiders, consider that Czech and Slovak are dialects of each other.
Slovak is written as it sounds and is easier than it looks. It may help to remember that Slovak makes use of certain diacritical marks. The most common ones are ´, which lengthens a vowel (not stress, unlike Spanish and Portuguese), and ˇ, which notes that consonant is softened. Called palatalization, the latter is more common in Slovak than in Czech.
Like in Czech, stress in Slovak is usually on the first syllable, but the stress is much weaker than in English and German.
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