Beginner’s guide to the Czech Language

31. 8. 2019 | Discover Czechia

Czech languageThe 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:

 

ENGLISH

 

CZECH


PRONOUNCIATION

 

Hello

Dobrý den

Doh-bree dehn

Hi

Ahoj

A-hoy

How are you?

Jak se máš?

Yak se maash?

Good, thank you

Dobře, děkuji

Dob-je, dye-koo-yih

Goodbye

Na shledanou

Nah-skhleh-dah-noh

Thank you

Děkuji

Dye-koo-yih

Please

Prosím

Proseem

Yes

Ano

Ah-noh

No

Ne

Neh

Excuse me

Promiňte

Proh-minh-nyteh

I’m sorry

Omlouvám se

Om-loh-vaam seh

I don’t understand

Nerozumím

Ne-roh-zoo-mim

Do you speak English?

Mluvíte anglicky?

Mloo-vee-teh ang-glits-kee?

Where is…?

Kde je…?

Geh-the-yeh…?

Beer

Pivo

Peh-voh

Wine

Víno

We-noh

Water

Voda

Vo-dah

Help!

Pomoc!

Poh-mots!

 

See more articles on the topic

A Brief History of the Czech Republic

A Brief History of the Czech Republic

The present-day Czech Republic was first populated by Celts in the 4th century B.C. The Celtic Boii tribe gave the country its Latin name = Boiohaemum (Bohemia). The Celtics were later replaced with the Germanic tribe (around 100 A.D.) and the Slavic peoples (6th century). In 863, the Byzantine Christian missionaries Constantin and Methodius came …

číst více
20 Interesting Facts About the Czech Republic

20 Interesting Facts About the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic attracts tourists and professionals from all over the world who come to visit, live, work or study to this beautiful country. If you are one of them, you probably already know some of the basic information, but have you known that beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic? Here are …

číst více
STUDENT CITY: Zlín

STUDENT CITY: Zlín

Zlín is located in the southeastern Moravia. The city is most famous for the Bata Shoes company which started off as a family business in 1894 and now has over 5,300 shops in more than 70 countries. The city is home to the Tomas Bata University in Zlín, named after the Bata Shoes founder. The …

číst více