Beginner’s guide to the Czech Language
The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech. You don’t have to worry about coming to the country without prior knowledge of the language as you’ll have no problems communicating in English in most cities and many Czechs also speak German and Russian. Yet learning a few phrases before you go is never a waste. Get to know the basic vocabulary with our beginner’s guide.
The Czech language, formerly known as Bohemian, is a Slavic language. It is sometimes mistaken for Russian, Polish and Slovakian. There are many similarities between Czech and Slovakian language since the two countries used to be one country (Czechoslovakia) until their peaceful split in 1993. Otherwise, each language has its certain way of pronunciation and grammar.
The Czech alphabet has 32 vowels and consonants. The good news is that the consonants are pronounced the same way as in English. The bad news is that Czech uses a few unique letters:
- Vowels á, é, í, ó, ú, ů which are pronounced as long (e.g. a = aaa, e = eee)
- Consonants and vowels with a special accent placed on them which are pronounced differently š, č, ř, ž, ě (e.g. š = sh, č = tsh)
- The letter r is rolled
Here are a few simple phrases to learn if you plan to come to the Czech Republic:
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