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These non-Slavic influences are reflected in the Slovene language, which is written in the Latin alphabet, while most Slavic languages use the Cyrillic alphabet.
Almost half of all Slovenes live in urban areas, mostly in Ljubljana and Maribor, the two largest cities, with the rest of the population distributed throughout rural areas. The official language of the republic, Slovene, is a Slavic language.
During the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, Slovenia's language, which had been considered a peasant language compared to the more prestigious German, was used by political and religious factions as an instrument of propaganda.
Although initially a political tool, Slovene eventually gained a new level of prestige and provided a linguistic identity that helped shape Slovenia's national identity. Two important national symbols are the linden tree and the chamois, a European antelope, both of which are abundant throughout the country.
The plateaus to the east, where Ljubljana is located, have a mild, more moderate climate with warm to hot summers and cold winters. In 2000, Slovenia had an overall population of about 1,970,056 with an overall population density of 252 people per square mile (97 per square kilometer).
The majority of the population was ethnically Slovene, a Slavic group.