Slovene is an Indo-European language and a member of the South Slavonic branch, spoken by c. 3 million people, mainly in the Republic of Slovenia, where it is the official language, as well as in nearby parts of Austria and Italy. It is also an important immigrant language in the USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. The closest linguistic affiliation is with Serbo-Croat.
The earliest written traces date form the 11th century, but the literary standard was codified in the 19th century, especially through the work of the poet France Prešern (1800-49). Today Slovene is spoken in a variety of dialects, which differ considerably from one another. The modern standard language is based on the dialect of the Dolenjska region.
CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European family, SCRIPT = Roman