How much Czech will I need to know?

Discussion in 'General Language' started by aerbare, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. aerbare

    aerbare Member

    This is my first visit to this site & I have a comment & a question.
    First, I love learning new languages as well and it helps me a lot to learn as I go along w/daily conversation.....easy stuff at first...and also using a book of grammar w/tapes of some sort. Currently, I have the Czeck alphabet & pronunciation key on my refridgerator & practice that stuff daily (who know's how well i'm actually doing? =) Otherwise, putting the words both written in Czeck & phoenetically on things around the house helps me as, doors, the bathroom...just saying what the items are. You're in a great position with having a friend who can be sort of a coach for you! Good luck and I hope that helped..a little ;)
    Second, my question, I am taking a trip to Prague in March and am wondering how much Czeck I will need to know? Will English get me along at all? I plan to study till I've got about 6 months..and I'll bring my little Czeck/English dictionary. So far, I can introduce myself & my husband and I've got -thank you, hello, what time is it, where is....., good morning, and counting to 10. It's been two days so I'm pretty proud of myself =) Any help or suggestions would be really appreciated!!!
  2. Rebekah

    Rebekah Member

    hey I don't live in the Czech Republic or speak Czech but I can tell you that it is better to speak a little Czech just to get by. I just came back from Brno .. we were only in Prague for one day ... and if i wasn't with my mother who is Czech and speaks fluent Czech I would have had a horrible time. People in the stores and restaraunts would start talking to me in Czech and not many spoke English .. althought I did encounter a few who knew English. So good luck on your trip and definitly learn Czech before you go. I'm learning Czech now so I will survive when i go back to live in Brno bymyself! If you have anymore questions just ask and I'll try to answer them for you .. ok?!

    Good luck with your Czech!

  3. Molson25

    Molson25 Member


    There are many useful phrases to learn... I suggest you pick up a phrase book to learn some simply how much, how are you, where is, type questions. Depending on how long you plan to stay and where you can get away with english and some german if you know german. Some know Russian however they do not like to use it... If you stay in Prague you can easily get away with English anywhere in the city. As you distance yourself from Prague the less and less english they know... I have been here for 5 months + It is a wonderful country... Please be aware however it is spelt Czech not "Check" ;)

  4. zaner

    zaner Active Member

    Ahoj Aerbare,
    I'd just like to say that I think your idea of labeling things with their corresponding Czech word is brilliant. I carry my dictionary around with me so I can look up the word for things on the spot, but having the words there all of the time is a great idea.
    About Prague, I was there by myself for a week in May. I speak virtually no Czech. I know a few words, but at the time I'd only been studying Czech a couple of months. In the parts of Prague I was in I really didn't need Czech. To my surprise, nearly everyone I encountered knew at least some English. In the hotel everyone spoke English. In places where tourists are common usually at least one or two employees speak English. Obviously, learn as much as you can, but the Czechs make it really easy for visitors.
    I have to tell you, I had the best week of my life there. I hope you get to stay more than a week :lol: I'm planning to go back this summer for two weeks. Good luck with it!
  5. ježek

    ježek Member

    Hey, I would say that if you are planning to go to Prague, you should probably be fine with what you've got, I've been there more than 5 times and the only place where I've needed to use Czech is in a hair salon. :D
    So I wouldn't worry if I were you, but you might want to learn bigger numbers, for monetary purposes, and "how much does it cost?" (kolik to stoji?) and that should be about it....if you are in Prague, you will run into lots of people who speak English, but there will be a lot of happy people if you speak to them in Czech. (Although some people just don't care).
    I would say, however, that the smaller of a town that you go to, the more Czech you should learn. Smaller towns tend to not have as many English speakers. Hope that helps!
    Mej se hezky, ježek
  6. igotbase

    igotbase Member

    this is interesting. so how does Prague & the Czech Rep. as a whole compare to other Eastern European countries, and also to Western European countries like France for example? w.r.t to english language. i.e. do Czechs have a higher proficiency in English than the French? etc.

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