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Realistic for foreigners to speak Czech fluently?
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Anna683
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Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 82

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 13:27  Reply with quote

I'd be interested to know whether any of you here know of any foreigners who actually speak Czech fluently (i.e. idiomatically, grammatically correctly and at a reasonable speed, even if they have a slight foreign accent). I'm thinking in particular of foreigners who have not grown up in the Czech Republic or gone through the Czech school system. Do you think it's a realistic prospect for them to be able to converse fluently in Czech?
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jpkrohling
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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Brno

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 14:54  Reply with quote

It's not easy, but it's possible. There's a TV show with an Italian guy who speaks fluently Czech and you can notice his Italian accent Smile But I don't remember his name, nor his show's. If you are interested, I can try to find it.
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Alexx
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Joined: 12 May 2007
Posts: 1187
Location: Karviná & Praha, Czech Republic

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 19:56  Reply with quote

I believe it is called "S italem v kuchyni"
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hribecek
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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Location: Czech Republic

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 21:15  Reply with quote

The word fluent has different meanings for different people. You'll have to be more specific.
Going by the normal defintion of speaking flowingly without umms and uhhs then I know a few and I'm one of them. However the better you get, the more you realise that you just can't reach the level of those darn native speakers no matter how hard you try!
If fluent for you means as a native speaker with just a slight accent and no mistakes then I don't know any and think it's only possible for maybe other Slavic speakers who have studied Czech very hard.
I think you mean for those that start from the beginning maybe aged 20 at the earliest.
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scrimshaw
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 22:35  Reply with quote

I'm sure that is what Anna means. A foreigner who has not had the benefit of learning Czech in regular grammar school. Already having an established language and then trying to learn another.
There are crucial years when the child is exposed to a language and is able to 'absorb' it, for lack of a better term.
After that learning a language is almost impossible, I'm thinking of wild children, children raised in horrific circumstances and never exposed to language.
Probably the 'foreign' child introduced to the language for the first time in early primary school has a good chance of speaking like a native. At least I would think so. But only a native czech would be able to say.
But it is a good question.
If hribeček can speak without ah's and umm's, I would call that fluent.
S Italem v kuchyni. So did he teach how to cook Czech faire or Italian?
I'm curious Hribeček, if you speak so well, at what age were you introduced to the czech language for the first time?
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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wer
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Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 1700
Location: East Bohemia

PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 22:39  Reply with quote

jpkrohling wrote:
It's not easy, but it's possible. There's a TV show with an Italian guy who speaks fluently Czech and you can notice his Italian accent

He is very good, but not speaking like a native. He makes a lot of grammatical mistakes (rather problem with vocabulary than with grammar itself, he simply fails to identify the right model for some words).

Alexx wrote:
I believe it is called "S italem v kuchyni"

Yes, here.



There are many foreigners who speak relatively good Czech (time to time some grammatical mistake, problems with advanced vocabulary and foreign accent). It’s easily achievable for the native Slavic speakers, but even other foreigners can manage it.

Accentless foreigners are very rare breed, even the Slovaks. Right now, I can remember only one Slovak (Ladislav Chudík), one Sorbian, one my Slovenian coed, one German professor of Czech literature, one Georgian and one Chinese from my town.
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wer
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PostPosted: 17-Feb-10 22:43  Reply with quote

scrimshaw wrote:
S Italem v kuchyni. So did he teach how to cook Czech faire or Italian?

He teach us to use Italian ingredients, mainly extra virgin olive oil. Very Happy
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scrimshaw
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: 18-Feb-10 0:09  Reply with quote

Ha!!! 2:47 to 3:10 on the first episode. The background music is from my favorite movie off all time. A so called spaghetti western. Directed by Sergio Leone, starring Charles Bronson, Jason Robard, and Henry Fonda and the beautiful Claudia Cardinale. 'Once upon a time in the west.'

Zdá se mi, že ten italské kuchář mluví česky velmii dobře, ale co (o tom) vím já?

Nikdy nemůže vařit italské jidlo bez (a tohle je jen odhad) zvlaštně čistého olivového oleje.
Mohl ten chlap ale opravdu vařit jeleno s jablkem? Pochybuji to. Nebo vepřove s knedlíkem? Jen maminka to umí.

Moje maminka vařila něco, o co většina lidé jen můžou snít.
Večeře z smaragdového ostrovu. Uvařené hovězí konserva, želí a brambory.
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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hribecek
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 79
Location: Czech Republic

PostPosted: 18-Feb-10 15:52  Reply with quote

I was introduced to Czech at the age of 26! I studied intensively for 2 years whilst living here and speaking a lot and then moved away for 2 years and had just casual usage (watching films, writing emails and some convo mainly when on holiday here a few times) and then I moved back here in September and have studied hard again since then cuz I'd like to be as advanced as possible.
I do um and ah occasionally of course, even native speakers do and I make mistakes sometimes with cases and word order and sometimes make the wrong word choice. My pronunciation is my biggest problem.
Anyway, I'm nothing special, as I said, I know a few others like me and at least 2 (a Spanish language enthusiast who has lived here for about 5 years and an American who has lived here for about 15) who are better than me.
As Wer said, it's not so uncommon.
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scrimshaw
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 18-Feb-10 23:56  Reply with quote

Hribeček...at 26 you were well past those "formative" years. So you did really well to master a whole new language.

Byl jsi zřejmě velmi dobrým žakem.
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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