Why Study Slovene?
Slovene is spoken by approximately two million people in the Republic of Slovenia and neighboring territories in Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Large Slovene-speaking communities can also be found in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the US.
Many tourists pass through the Republic of Slovenia quickly on their way to coast, missing the many natural beauties of the country: Alps, a compact coast, charming cities (Ljubljana is built under a medieval castle), rolling hills, and lush forests (Slovenia competes only with Finland for the most forested area per sq. km.). The population is well educated; industry and agriculture are well developed.
Slovene has a rich and well developed literature, including world class writers, e.g., France Prešeren, Ivan Cankar. Contemporary writers that have been translated into English include Drago Jančar, Tomaž Šalamun. The well-known philosopher Slavoj Žižek is Slovene. There are many other excellent writers who are not translated, however, and the only way to read their works is to learn the language in which they were written.
Why Study Slovene at KU?
KU is the only U.S. university to be able to offer a full course of study of Slovene language, from beginning to advanced, with a pedagogically trained native speaker. Moreover, linguists can pursue the study of historical linguistics and dialectology with a focus on Slovene and other Slavic languages at the graduate level up to the Ph.D. degree. The only international journal devoted to Slovene linguistics (Slovenski jezik / Slovene Linguistic Studies) was founded and published jointly from 1997-2011 by KU and the Slovenian Academy of Arts & Sciences.