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Slovenia is not Slovakia!

A few new states were created in Europe at the beginning of the 90s. Two big countries, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, broke into several smaller states. Two of them have similar names: Slovakia and Slovenia. By their natives, they are called Slovensko and Slovenija.

The names can be similar, but these countries have different past – Slovakia rose from the Czechoslovakia, Slovenia from Yugoslavia. While Slovenia suffered of a war conflict, Slovakia separated from its Czech neighbour in a peaceful way.

These countries don’t share borders, they never did (see the map below – Slovakia in blue circle, Slovenia in red).

Map of Europe showing Slovakia and Slovenia

Both countries are members of the European Union and NATO. Since 1st of January 2007 (Slovenia) and 1st of January 2009 (Slovakia), both countries are members of the European Monetary Union – the so-called Euro Zone.

But Slovenia is surrounded by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy and it is a coastal country, on the border of the Balkans and Central Europe. Whereas Slovakia is situated directly in Central Europe with no access to the sea. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana and the capital of Slovakia is Bratislava. Slovenia has a population of about 2 mil., Slovakia 5.4 mil.

Quick Comparison Table

Country Details Slovakia Slovenia
Formal Country Name Slovak Republic Republic of Slovenia
Local Short Country Name Slovensko Slovenija
Formal Local Country Name Slovenská Republika Republika Slovenija
National Flag Flag of Slovakia Flag of Slovenia
Rose from… former-Czechoslovakia former-Yugoslavia
Capital City Bratislava Ljubljana
ISO Codes SK, SVK, 703 SI, SVN, 705
International Road Sign SK SLO
TLD (Top Level Domain) .sk .si
International Sport Symbol SVK SLO
International Phone Code +421 (or 00421) +386 (or 00386)
Area 49025 20256
Number of Inhabitants 5.4 million 2 million
Access to Sea no sea about 50 km coastline
Former Currency Koruna (100 halierov) Tolar (100 stotin)
EURO since… 2009 2007
Time Zone Central European (GMT+1)

Slovenia and Slovakia in Football

Both countries were there in South Africa on the football worldcup in 2010. Slovenia didn’t qualify to the best 16, but Slovakia did.

Slovakia lost against Netherlands (as it turned out the second best team at this worldcup, they lost only one match in the finals against Spain) in the match for quaterfinals 1:2. But before that, in the F group Slovakia has beaten Italy 3:2 (therefore Italy didn’t qualify to the best 16!), played a draw with New Zealand 1:1 (New Zealand kicked the drawing goal 20 seconds before the end of the match) and has lost against Paraguay 0:2.

Slovenia and Slovakia in Hockey

Slovakia has excelent ice hockey players – 6 times world champion as part of Czechoslovakia and 2002 champion as a separate country. Slovenia barely got to the A group of the Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship – only 6 times in the best 16 teams of the world.

Politicians Mixing Slovakia and Slovenia

  • George W. Bush: “The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas.” This is a quote from US president. He had actually met the leader from Slovenia, not Slovakia. :)
  • At a news conference in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, introduced Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop to the crowd of journalists. “I’m very happy to be here today with the Prime Minister of Slovakia.” :)
  • Staff of Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange wrongly-addressed mail! :)

8 Responses to Slovenia is not Slovakia!

  1. dorko May 5, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Who is responsible for this part? I found accidentaly this page in occasion to present my country to Mongolians, to Ghanians, to Urundians here in Chad in Afrika.
    And all af them laugh at. All of them (unfortunately for me) recognized the mistake with the flags. All foreiners from Africa and Asia saw the mistake. And all of them saw my red face.
    Thank very much you for such proud representation of Slovak Republic.
    Shame on you.
    I was blushing instead of you front of my colleagues.
    BTW Comunist won elections in February 25, 1948, not in 1946 as you wrote. Shame on you.

    [Reply] replies:

    dorko, thanks for pointing out the mistake, however you could use different words… Maybe you’ll perfect, but here in the real world, mistakes happen… It doesn’t mean we don’t do a good job in presenting Slovakia overall. Next time when someone laughes at you, maybe try to take few deep breaths and then comment.


  2. dorko May 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Sorry for wording. You are right.


  3. Loretta Ekoniak January 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I so enjoyed reading the page “Slovenia is not Slovakia! I am the president of the American Slovak Cultural Association of the Mahoning Valley which is based in Youngstown Ohio (sister city to Spišská Nová Ves). We encounter this confusion often1 Recently at an exhibit we were trying to find a gentleman§s ancestral village in Slovakia. No matter what resources we checked, we could not locate it. After about 20 minutes his wife joined him and asked what he was doing. He replied “looking for my grandfather’s village”. She looked at our sign, looked at him, and said…”You’re not Slovak, you’re Slovenian! I am glad to know that Americans are not the only ones with this problem!
    Ďakujem! Mám rada!

    [Reply] replies:

    Thank you Loretta for the kind words! :)


  4. Zaneta Bucsaiova May 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I am a citizen of Slovak Republic and I would like to note that Slovak Republic entered EU on May 1st 2004, not on 1st January 2009. On 1st January 2009 it started to use Euro.

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Zaneta, thanks for the heads up, but we didn’t say that Slovakia joined EU, but European Monetary Union = Eurozone (it started to use Euro). The information in the article is alright.


    A. replies:

    You guys are absolutely super!:-)


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