Hungarians are the largest cultural minority at 10.7 percent (nearly six hundred thousand) and are concentrated in the southern lowlands near the Hungarian border.
Many Slovaks and most non-Slovaks know a second language.
Besides Magyar (spoken by Hungarians) and Rusyn (spoken by Rusyns in eastern Slovakia), German, English, Russian, French, and Czech are used. Slovakia's national flag consists of three equal horizontal bands of color, from top to bottom white, blue, and red.
Superimposed over the bands on the left (hoist) side is a shield displaying the national emblem: a double apostolic cross in white sits atop the middle peak of three blue mountaintops, all on a red background.
The emblem predates the national flag by centuries (elements of the emblem were used in the Great Moravian Empire) and appears in many contexts both in Slovakia and abroad among people of Slovak descent.
It is said that the pronunciation of particular sounds in the western region is hard, while the dialect of central Slovakia is said to be softer sounding and was adopted historically as the norm.