Czechs and their knowledge of foreign languages

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous (Czech-Related)' started by Petr_B, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    I spotted the following chart in an article about language schools on (internet branch of Hospodarske noviny) and I think it's interesting:


    Language names:
    angličtina = English
    francouzština = French
    němčina = German
    ruština = Russian
    španělština = Spanish

    Level (not really that specific, but still better than nothing):
    neznám = no knowledge
    částečně znám = partial knowledge
    dobře znám = good knowledge
    výborně = perfect
    neuvedeno = n/a

    Unfortunately there isn't any information available about the sample used for this poll, but at least it should be recent.

    Conclusions: According to this chart, only 13% of Czechs are capable of meaningful communication in English (11% good + 2% perfect)?! We might argue that I should include "partial knowledge", but I think this more often than not along the lines "I was taught <language> at school many years ago but I haven't used it since I graduated" (as we can see for Russian) = it's below intermediate. Also people tend to overrate themselves and maybe not only during job interviews but in polls too.
  2. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    The "partial knowledge" percentage is very important to tourists like me - sometimes just a little bit of a language can go a long way. Knowing more than one language other language is important, too. I remember talking at great length with a young Czech man who had virtually no knowledge of English but who had lived in Germany for several years. Between my limited Czech, my "Hogan's Heroes" German, and his little bit of English, we understood each other quite well.

    It depends on your surroundings, too. I had dinner at a Cuban restaurant in Prague and spent most of the time speaking only Spanish - the waiter spoke some Czech and some English but both of us were more comfortable speaking Spanish (his first and my second language).
  3. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    True, but sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous :lol: There's a girl in my Czech class who is fond of the rock-band Lucie. The first line of their song Panic is, appropriately enough, 'jsem skoro panic.' The poor girl in my class took this to mean 'I'm nearly in a panic'. One day, when she was feeling somewhat stressed, she decided to impress our teacher with how well her Czech was coming along. She exclaimed 'jsem skoro panic' and the teacher spent the next 50 minutes laughing :twisted:
  4. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    very funny....

    sort of like being "a little bit pregnant" - you is o' you ain't :wink:
  5. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe she went part of the way. Kinda like to 3rd base as we call it here. :wink:

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