Slovenian language belongs to the group of South Slavic languages. It is spoken by approximately 2.5 million speakers worldwide, the majority of whom live in Slovenia. It is the first language of about 2.1 million Slovenian people and is one of the 24 official and working languages of the European Union.
Standard Slovene is the national standard language that was formed in the 18th century, mostly based on Upper and Lower Carniolan dialect groups, the latter being a dialect spoken by Primož Trubar. Unstandardized dialects are more preserved in regions of the Slovene Lands where compulsory schooling was in languages other than Standard Slovene, as was the case with the Carinthian Slovenes in Austria, and the Slovene minority in Italy. For example, the Resian and Torre (Ter) dialects in the Italian Province of Udine differ most from other Slovene dialects.
The distinctive characteristics of Slovene are dual grammatical number, two accentual norms (one characterized by pitch accent), and abundant inflection (a trait shared with many Slavic languages). Although Slovene is basically an SVO language, word order is very flexible, often adjusted for emphasis or stylistic reasons. Slovene has a T-V distinction: second-person plural forms are used for individuals as a sign of respect. Also, Slovene and Slovak are the two modern Slavic languages whose names for themselves literally mean “Slavic” (slověnьskъ in old Slavonic).