Accents and Dialects...

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Harry, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    OK, this is a question about accents, not the diacritical marks but accents as in dialect. I'm English and I guess you would describe the way I speak as RP (received pronunciation) or classic BBC. I have some friends in Brno and was talking to them about the way they talk and whether their accent would be recognised as particularly from Brno and what did that imply. I didn't get very far with this line of questioning, just quizzical stares! Anyone from the UK will recognize that we have a wealth of accents / dialects and that they each have a particular nature - for example why do so many call centres choose to locate in Scotland? What they say (below the line marketing) is that the accent carries with it a sincerity, integrity and honesty which adds value. Apparently not evident with the Liverpuddlians or Brummies - no offence.
    My question is what is your perception of the Brno accent or dialect? And are there any other particular dialects in the Czech Republic which have distinct characteristics or percieved qualities?

    The phrase cat amongst the pigeons springs to mind... enjoy!

  2. Pacza

    Pacza New Member

    Well I don't have much time now to go into detail, but there are certainly regional dialects and accents. I myself learned Czech in southern Bohemia, and when I later lived in Prague, I was often picked out as having a "southern" accent.

    Some examples that spring to mind are the peculiarly Plzen use of the tag "-pa", as in "co-pa?" and "kde-pa?", which is commonly identified with this city, and which I haven't heard elsewhere.

    Linguistically, I'd say Moravian in general should be classified as a dialect. There are some differences in cadence and specific usages that come from Slovakian. Ex: where a bohemian czech says "Chci", a Moravian says "Chcu".

    I can't really think of any qualitative attachments to the dialects, except that in Prague, like in any big city, they tend to consider other accents as rather country, and give that all the normal characteristics.
  3. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    Brno has its own specific dialect called "hantec". It is now used quite rarely, but it can still be heard (mainly in the old parts of the town) and there are some words from it that made it to the Brno-common-Czech, such as "šmirgl" (tram), "prigl" (the Brno dam), gómat (to understand)...

    If you understand some Czech, you can learn about hantec at

    There is also a Moravian - Czech dictionary, which can be found at
  4. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    To me, hantec is like another language. There is a Czech TV commercial (for a beer I think) that's all in hantec and Czech subtitles run along the bottom so that the rest of the nation understands what's being said.

    Another dialect that's hard for others to understand is Silesian that is spoken near the Polish border in Northern Moravia.

    My grandmother speaks the Hana dialect (Olomouc - Prostějov region), which is very recognizable and can be a target of harmless jokes sometimes, being classified as a real "country dialect". You can read about it at

    My grandfather was from Eastern Bohemia (Ústí nad Orlicí) and also spoke the local dialect, again quite noticeable, but understandable.

    I myself have a Moravian accent (not dialect) and people in Prague recognize me as a Moravian pretty much as soon as I open my mouth. We Moravians can pinpoint Pražáky the same way thanks to their Prague accent.

    So yes, there definitely are a number of dialects and accents that make Czech infinitely interesting. :)
  5. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Actually, a Slovak says "Chcem" for "I want." "Chcú" is the third person plural. The point, however, is perhaps still valid, just a bad example.
  6. thin_king

    thin_king New Member

    Both of you are right. "Chcu" is "I want" in Moravian dialect. Also the word "chcou" ("they want") - which is actually "chtějí" in formal Czech - seems to be Moravian expression but I have heard it from many "non-Moravians" :)
  7. Jirka

    Jirka Well-Known Member


    I'm from Liberec, the north-west of the Czech Republic. Anythings spoken differently from Czech I'm used to sounds funny to me, so you may want to call me prejudiced.

    I recognize three dialects spoken in Moravia: Brno (and south of Brno), Olomouc, and Ostrava.

    To me the Brno dialect is like the Moravian mainstream language. Somehow my impression of people who speak it is that they have slow lifestyles. It's probably their overall way of putting forward ideas in conversions.

    I don't have any distinctive feelings about the Olomouc dialect except that it places the speaker.

    I associate the Ostrava dialect with the rough lifestyle and poor education of coal miners and ironworkers.

    I have relatives in Pilsen and the entire area does have a distinctive dialect that, needless to say again, just sounds funny to me.

    I spent most of my two-year compulsary presentation service in the army near Klatovy in the south. I found the local dialect fairly close to Pilsen speak. My mom was born and spent part of her childhood in Pelhrimov and she still uses some funny words which I had to take some effort to get rid of. I think that the Chodov area (Chodsko) has a special dialect, but I'm not sure if I can tell it from the general southern accent.

    To me even in Prague some people speak a funny dialect. They're probably native Prague citizens whose parents also lived in Prague since childhood. Some provincial and country folks feel quite strongly, usually in the negative way, about people from Prague, but of course you have all kinds of personalities everywhere...


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