According to Wikipedia,

Slovio (from the Slavic word "slovo") is a constructed language begun in 1999 by Mark Hučko. Hučko claims that the language should be relatively easy for non-Slavs to learn as well, as an alternative to languages such as Esperanto which are based more on Latin...
Slovio has a relatively simple grammar based on a mix of Esperanto grammar with Slavic elements. Just like in natural Slavic languages, new words can be formed with a variety of suffixes and prefixes.

I'm not familiar with Slovio or Esperanto at all. How much is Slovio based on Esperanto? Does Slovio just borrow some parts of Esperanto's grammar, or does it go to a further extent than that?

3 Answers 3


In terms of the vocabulary, not much is based on Esperanto.

From the Slovio website:

Esperanto? While Esperanto is a simple language its main problem is the fact that it is made up of too many unrelated languages and thus, if you speak Esperanto, no-one will understand you only other Esperantists. On the other hand Slovio, since it is made up of only closely related Slavic languages, can be put to an immediate use. Using Slovio, you will be understood by some 400 million people, most of whom have never ever heard of Slovio, but who will understand you.

So, it looks like the only inspiration Slovio has taken from Esperanto is the grammar.

  • 2
    IMHO, this answer contains even less information than the the question.
    – beroal
    Feb 8, 2018 at 7:25
  • The vocab isn't really 'slavic', its just Russian. The guy even used words that are unique to Russian rather than using a root that would be more recognizable to the whole family.
    – user348
    Mar 9, 2018 at 0:02
  • @lXBlackWolfXl - I didn't look into verifying that part of the claim :)
    – ChrisF
    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:37

Slovio isn't intended to be an IAL right? The fact that Esperanto is derived from many languages, is why it is suitable as an IAL. Otherwise It's just another Interslavic. That's what Esperanto was originally intended to be, but Zamenhof realized that it could be beneficial to the rest of the world, so he reworked to it into a suitable IAL.

  • I doubt that Zamenhof considered the use of multiple vocab-sources a virtue in itself; he might have used only one stock if the Procrustean word-structure did not create homonyms. Apr 21, 2021 at 3:45
  • See Joop Eggen's comment below. Esperanto was intended to be as easy to learn as possible for the majority of people, so yes he intentionally derived words from multiple languages. That was the whole point. The grammar is easier, so you can get that out of the way & start learning the vocabulary sooner, which will likely already be somewhat familiar to you. Since you can start learning vocab sooner, you'll have more time to learn what isn't familiar to you.
    – jastako
    Sep 6, 2021 at 15:03
  • Esperanto uses loanwords like "hospital", but you also have "native" words like "malsanulejo" meaning "unhealthy people place" (mal-san-ul-ejo). That same kind of logic can be used to create a large amount of words. To form the word for the offspring of an animal, you simply add -ido to the root word. Bovo is cow, so bovido is calf. For the meat of an animal you add 'aĵo' , so bovidaĵo is beef. In this case it's better than English. English uses the word chicken & turkey for the animal & the meat. The Esperanto equivalent for chicken is 'koko' vs 'kokaĵo'. Turkey is meleagro vs meleagraĵo.
    – jastako
    Sep 6, 2021 at 15:33
  • The greatest advantages of Esperanto are the regularity and parsimony of its grammar and the productivity of its affixes, not the sources of its roots. I know Romance vocabulary quite well and know a bit about the other source languages, but have no idea where –eco, –ego, –ema, –iĝi come from, and a learner has no reason to care. (And recognizing the origin of mal– is likely a disadvantage to the learner.) What is it to a Hungarian student that Esperanto drew on multiple languages unrelated to Hungarian? Did Zamenhof ever mention trying to keep a balance among sources? Sep 7, 2021 at 1:33
  • Esperanto took its vocabulary from different European language families, especially Romance and Germanic languages. Beside that it ensured the word choice did not lead to ambiguities like homonyms and plural meanings. (Slovio will not need this.)

    Also there is a strong word creation mechanism in Esperanto. You will need to know a fraction of the word stems in comparison to other languages, and be able to actively create new words, that you know are correct. A child, a mentally handicapped, an aged person will all be able to be fluent in the language.

  • Slovio unites the Slavic languages, with appropriate simplifications. It has the advantage to be "immediately" readable by users of the Slavic family. One may compare this language with Interlingua for Romance languages. But Slavic languages seem to be even more similar.

Concrete Esperanto I consider a more powerful language, but with its claim on more heterogeneous language origins, it has coincidental choices (Tuesday = mardo, month = monato), and a hard phonetical spelling (peace = paco [pátsoh]). Also Esperanto has its own accented letters for phoneticism: ĉĝĥĵŝŭ (she = ŝi).

And Slovio is a more acceptable, familiar language, though non-Slavic loan words risk getting purged. Though not to the degree as in Interlingua.

Myself I am Esperanto user, and merely have read a bit on Slovio. It seems there are some small reforms (?) on Slovio, say on verbs. But that is less important (than with Esperanto). As Slavic languages can have their difficult parts, which in Slovio are simplified, I would be interested how Slovio would compare to Basic English, an English without unneeded, superfluous terms, and inflections.

The Question

Slovio is based on the ideas of Esperanto. The alphabet for instance, including the x-system. Suffixes, prefixes. It is also simplified.

Remains the "ideology:"

There is the (contestable) fact that when one first learns Esperanto and then French, one learns French faster, than immediately learning French.

I see this also for Slovio: it might make learning faster and more pleasurable, so when after that learning a more complicated Slavic language, one progresses better. Not sure whether faster.

A Serbian and a Bulgarian will be able to communicate, even without Slovio. Slovio as common lingua franca? Who knows. With respect to Russian it might have a harder political stand. It might be a more homely language.

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