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Learning the Czech Language

Has anyone found a good tool for learning Czech?

Posted by
11193 posts

I like the Pimsleur series. See what your library has, so you can try different programs before you buy one. I found lots of English in central Prague and in Cesky Krumlov (like on menus, as well as spoken). In Olomouc, there was notably less (at least in 2007, only a few restaurants had English menus).

Posted by
2482 posts

the only way to really learn the language is to be totally immersed in it. I have been visiting the Czech Republic for well over 20 years now and have quite a few Czech friends or folk that have made the CR their home. I have picked up a little of the language over the years but not more than your average 2 year old but I can order beer and food in a basic sentence, that's taken me 20 years. I still can't pronounce Cytri the word for 4.
there are a few online tools you could try, if you can master a few words like please , thank you. a few numbers , small, large (good for ordering beers) and learn the various types of meats offered in restaurants then you will be doing well.
http://www.locallingo.com/czech/pronunciation/index.html
you will find English spoken very widely and English menus available if you ask in most places. I was in Podrebrad a couple of weeks ago a small spa town that does not get a lot of non Czech visitors and there were English menus available in the restaurant.I have also been in places were the server spoke little English and after listening to my pathetic version of the Czech language they have gone and got another member of staff that spoke more English.
so in summing up, try a few words but don't try and go overboard .

Posted by
12 posts

Unclegus,

Thanks, I don't think there is any chance that I will go overboard. I have tried several tools. Pimsleur has been the one that I have gotten the most out of to this point. I looked into LocalLingo awhile back but have been too busy to try it out.

It is nice to know that I am not the only one that can't seem to get the hang of this language.

Thanks for your reply.

Posted by
12 posts

Harold,

Yes, I agree. I have been using Pimsleur. It helps me with basic conversational and pronunciation skills.

I have used Rosetta Stone for other languages and liked it, but RS does not have an offering for Czech. I like it because I can gain vocabulary quickly, which helps me to be able to read the language even I can't speak it very well.

Posted by
2482 posts

The reason it is a difficult language to learn is that it is not language a lot of people speak and so there are not a great deal of folk that have it as a second language .Talking to friends that are either native speakers or have learned it due to total immersion there really is no give on the way words are pronounced ,it is either right or it is wrong . In other languages like English ,German ,French, Spanish etc. where many folk speak it as a first or second language native speakers will give quite a bit of leeway over how words are pronounced and in the way they are used , in Czech this really does not happen. Also Czech is a phonetic language where every letter is pronounced but as many of the letters have hard and soft versions usually marked with little marks above the word it starts to get a bit difficult.
Like I said I have difficulty with the word for 4 čtyři to me it sounds like Shitree but with a bit of a glottal stop in there as well.
hope you have a bit of fun learning but as long as you can say "jedna pivo prosim" and "Dekuji" you will pass the most important test of the language.

Posted by
771 posts

Hi,
Learn to say, Dobre Den. It is like do' bray den'. Means good day. A sing-song approach is normal. With the bre a higher tone.
and Prosime. Proe seem'...it is their polite word. Means thank you, excuse me...

As for learning the language...forget it. No Czech word resembles anything in English. Then again, if you speak Polish...no problem.
Just kidding. Slavic languages are tuff. SO many Z's.

wayne iNWI