Slovenian is spoken by more than two million people worldwide, the vast majority of whom live in Slovenia, where it is the official language. A significant number of Slovenian speakers can also be found in Italy and Austria.
Slovenian is a close relative of Serbo-Croatian. The two languages began to take on their current unique forms when they split around the 7th Century. Slovenian has great dialectal variation considering its small number of speakers relative to other world languages. Linguists have identified up to 46 different Slovenian dialects.