Slovak Matters: Dobrý deň and all it entails

Slovak Matters is a column dedicated to learning Slovak - here we start with greetings and everything you need to know to say "good day".

Tom NicholsonTom Nicholson (Source: Sme)

Foreigners wanting to learn Slovak can quickly become overwhelmed by extensive charts of grammar. Slovak children spend hours learning grammar in school - if Slovaks themselves have so much trouble with their own language, how is a foreigner supposed to learn it? With the column Slovak Matters we will embark on a journey of discovering the language of this country, hopefully bringing humour to what can seem like a grind.

SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement

Perhaps the best place to begin is with greetings, dobré ráno ('good morning') being the earliest common formal salutation, followed by dobrý deň ('good day'), dobré popoludnie ('good afternoon') and dobrý večer ('good evening'). In Slovak as in English, good night (dobrú noc) is said in departure, sometimes as one staggers hiccuping home.

SkryťTurn off ads

Of course, you're not always going to be greeted in such a formal way. Just as one may grunt mornin' to one's colleagues, so Slovaks may mutter dobrý to you and forget about the rest. Then too, if you're familiar with the greeter, you may be met with čau ('hi'), nazdar, servus, ahoj or čaves.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

Peter Pellegrini and Robert Fico shake hands in parliament.

Pellegrini loses steam as polls point to Fico comeback

It seems the much-feared return of Smer is under way.

1 h
Volkswagen will make all-electric versions of the Porsche Cayenne luxury SUV.

News Digest: Volkswagen Slovakia to produce all-electric luxury SUV

LGBT+ minority could face new difficulties, a suspect is charged in the Daniel Tupý murder case.

24. mar
Filip Toška holding chard in the hydroponic Hausnatura farm.

How a Mayan doomsday prophecy took a Slovak to hi-tech agriculture

Hydroponic farm run out of former telephone exchange.

9. mar
A wolf in nature.

Three-legged wolf survives cold winters thanks to his wolf family's support

Muránska Planina Park crossed by five wolf packs.

25. mar
SkryťClose ad