Do you speak Czech?

28.04.2018

Our language, Czech , historically also known as Bohemian (lingua Bohemica in Latin) is one of the Slavic languages . To be more precise Czech is West Slavic language and it stands close to two other members of this language family - Slovak and Polish. Our language has developed in the medieval period. To the standardization of Czech orthography contributed siginificantly Czech reformer Jan Hus at the beginning of the 15.century. Much later , during so called National revival movement (starting at the end of 18.century) a new modern Czech was born.

Our orthographic system uses standart Latin letters. To some letters we add a caron (háček) for expressing sounds which are foreign to Latin language. The accute accent is used for long vowels. Czech alphabet consists of 42 letters. 

For Czech is typical to use several consonants together without any vowels in between. This makes the pronounciation extremely difficult. Here are some examples : zmrzlina (ice cream), Vltava (name of Prague river), brzy (soon).  

But it is not only Czech pronounciation which may be seen so perplexing to foreigners. It´s also our grammar. Czech has seven cases. And a noun changes its ending in each case. Imagine you learn a new Czech word, for example : kniha (book). But  kniha is is only a form of the first case. The other cases of this word are these: knihy, knize, s knihou etc. So when you seen these words in a sentence you may not understand that it is the word you already know.

But I have good news for you. You don´t need to learn Czech! Prague is one of the most visited holiday destinations in Europe. There are over eight million of foreigners coming every year to our City.Lot of locals are involved in travel industry. That´s why almost everybody speaks some English, shops have English speaking assistants and restaurants have menus in various languages. Of course, it is always appreciated by locals to hear visitors speaking some Czech. If you enter a shop you can greet them : Dobrý den (Good day) , if you want to thank to somebody you say: Diekuji (thank you). And among friends you can use more familiar greeting Ahoi written Ahoj in Czech (Hi as well as bye). 

Ahoj and see you in Prague ! (btw Prague is in Czech called Praha)