Czech Conversation

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Ctyri koruny, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Česká konverzace..

    I apologies if there is a thread like this already.. The idea is, for us non-native speakers to practise our Czech with each other!

    It should be a good way to learn.

    The format:

    When you write in Czech, or you respond to someone (continuing the conversation), you use bold writing.
    If you are helping someone by correcting something they wrote, you do it at the end of your post, and in normal writing or italics.

    Some guidelines:

    It's a good idea to write what you can without any books or help first, and then correct yourself afterwards - Let's give ourselves a chance to recognize mistakes, because we won't have the chance to correct them with a book in real life!

    It is okay to pair off or focus talking to people who are on the same level as you. (I've only just started!) But let's keep it to the thread so we can all learn from each other!

    Act like you would in real life somewhat, if you want to say something, and you can't, try something! Then ask about it afterwards.

    I'll start...

    Jmenuji se Rebecca.
    Jsem Irka.
    Mluvim anglisky a trochu irštína a ňemičina.
    Učím se česky.

    Jak se jmenujete?
    Kde je doma?
    Co mluvite?


    Is it correct that names of languages do not get a capital letter in Czech?
    I want it to be clear that i speak English and just a bit of Irish and German, did I make it sound like I thought i had good German?
    Should it be Učím se čeština, and why or why not? When do you use the "ina" and when the "sky" ?
    In doing this I realized that I can ask someone what their hobbies are but not what their name is!!!
    I wanted to say where are you from.. I think I said "where is house... "I imagine that would be quite frightening for people. >_<
    At the end I wanted to say "What languages can you speak?" Did it work at all?
  2. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

  3. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Names of languages and adjectives don't start with capital letter, members of nations do - like Ir, Angličan, Němec, Polák

    čeština - Czech language
    česky - Czech (Jak mluvíš? - Česky.)

    Mluvím česky/německy/anglicky. I speak Czech/German/English.
    Znám češtinu/němčinu/angličtinu. I know Czech/German/English language

    Kde je doma? = Where is home? which is accidentally first rhyme of Czech antemn - Kde domov můj? :)

    Dům - house
    Domov/Doma - home

    Co mluvíte? - What do you speak?
    What languages can you speak? - Jakými jazyky mluvíte?
  4. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Mluvím anglicky a trochu irsky a neměcky.

    Kde je dům?, although "where are you from" is said, "Odkud jste/jsi?"


    No. It sounded like you speak German the same as Irish (just a little). You might have said, "Mluvím anglicky, trosku irsky, a dobře neměcky."

    "Učím se česky" is correct. "Česky" is strictly an adverb meaning loosely "in the Czech manner." Having said that however that doesn't necessarily help in knowing when to use which. Use "česky" also when you say, "Umím česky," "Mluvím česky," "Rozumím česky," etc. but "Čestina je těžká," "Studuju češtinu." A general rule is that if you have to refer specifically to the noun, like in the second to last above, "Czech is hard," use the word čeština.

    You said it just fine above: "Jak se jmenujete."

    Yep! See the correction above.

    Not really. "Jakými jazyky umíš/umíte?" is one way of saying this.

    As to corrections, we've found that using color to highlight mistakes is easier to read, specifically when one is pointing out a missing diacritical or a small error in a word that might be overlooked in the correction otherwise.
  5. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Cool, thanks everyone!

    Hopefully between the advice of the three of you I'll get a handle on this!
  6. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Wow! Three minutes, three replies! (and I guess I'm the slowest on the trigger) :cry: :lol:
  7. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    It strikes me that some people have too much time on their hands! (Yes, folks, I'm back. My lovely Czech friend, Lenka, corrected an email for me to send to Prague 8 Council and they have fixed their aerial or whatever it is that serves our square in Karlín and our internet connection is working again, for the time being at least.)

    I think I'm going to like Ctyri koruny. At last, someone whose Czech is less advanced than mine! That's not meant to be rude, CK, it's just that I've been living in Prague for 19 months and learning Czech for most of that time and sometimes, I think I'll never be able to speak to anyone!
  8. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Hee hee, I'm not insulted! sure I've only been learning a week or something!
    The learning is going to slow down a lot soon, I have nothing to do at the moment.

    The thing that's really getting me is the little but extremely important words... What... where... who etc. I constantly get them confused with each other...
    As usual I remember nouns almost immediately but if I can't put a picture with something I'm screwed.

    Does anyone know of a good method of remembering them for a "visual learner"?
    I'm going to stick a few sentences up on the walls around the house soon.

    Anyway the premise of this is Czech conversation! No one has yet responded to my starter or made one of their own.
    I know the mixed levels is od, but it's possible!
  9. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Far be it for me to speak for anyone else, but people do have varying degrees of time on their hands to be able sustain a conversation and anyway, Czech learners, apart from a few noteable exceptions (are you there, Scrimshaw?!) are a bit thin on the ground.

    What Scrimshaw does, albeit at an advanced level - have a look at some of his exchanges with Karel and Kibicz - and what I was going to try to do before my internet died, is to write a short piece in Czech, which one of the lovely native speakers will correct for us. I find this very helpful because there's not much point us learners 'speaking' to each other because it's just the blind leading the blind!

    Now that my connection's back, at least for the time being, and my other half is back at school next week (as a teacher, I hasten to add) and I won't have to spend all my time cooking and washing up, I hope I'll be able to start up again. What I like doing are 'aktuality' ie writing up a news story in my own words, partly because I don't have any imagination and can't make up stories like Scrimshaw does.
  10. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Aw no! That is not true! It is an opportunity to speak unselfconsciously! You wouldn't believe how many mistakes students make that come down to nothing but nerves! If other learners are a available resource you should always use them!

    But if there are none here I guess that's it.

    Also why do you think all the self help books are focused around conversations these days? It's real life use of the language, your brain learns things faster if you can make them essential to it.

    That sounds good, I will try that, but what i'd like is an exercise that builds my ability to speak in Czech, I don't see myself explaining current events to people or telling them a story very often :(
    Discussing current events though, that's different!
  11. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    But by posting here, you're not speaking. It's not conversation. Although I'm getting better at written Czech, I can't think fast enough to actually say it in real time. That's why these exercises we do here, although very useful, are no substitute to talking to people face-to-face.

    What I'm trying to do is to work with two 'tandem partners'. Two Czech girls who want to improve their English and in return, help me with my Czech. The trouble is I don't work or have children whereas Lenka and Darina have one or both and consequently, they often have to cancel our sessions.

    When you get here, try to get yourself a similar arrangement and if you're a quick learner, you'll improve far faster than just with written exercises.
  12. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I won't be able to have any partners like that I think, as it would probably count as "moonlighting" , I'll be getting free Czech lessons though! I look forward to that.

    I would argue that it is still the same function as a conversation, that you're still using the same set of words and phrases and encountering problems you won't realize you have until you try and produce the language. These problems are to do with functional language... Like realizing you don't know how to sympathize with someone properly, over realizing you don't know the words for "economically disadvantaged communities" or something like that.

    I will be trying be trying that "putting things in your own words" exercise when I have enough Czech! :)
  13. Tagarela

    Tagarela Well-Known Member


    Jmenuji se Jonathan, jsem Brazilec, bydlím v Rio de Janeiře*. Studuju medícinu na univerzitě.
    Mluvím portugalsky, anglicsky a rozumím špaňelsky.
    Rád se učím česky, to je velmi zajímavý jazyk.

    Na shledanou.:

    *declensions of foreigner names may be weird, I hope I did it right.
  14. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Hi Polednikova, welcome back?
    What are you saying there? That I tend to campout here on this forum? :lol:
    Head full of make believe stories.

    Ok Čtyři continnue your dialog...
    Jmenuji se Rebecca.
    Jsem Irka.
    Mluvim anglicky a trochu irsky a německy
    Učím se česky.

    Jak se jmenujete?
    Kde je doma?
    Co mluvite?

    Ahoj Rebecco. Jmeuju se David. Já, Já bydlím v Spojených Státech, ale rodina, na Matčinu stranu, odešla dávno z Irky. Tak, já, také jsem Irko.
    Mluvím anglicky, trochu španělštiny a nyní se učím česky.

    Hi, Rebecca. My name is David. I live in the United States, but family, on the mother's side, left Ireland a long time ago. So I'm Irish too.
    I speak english, a little spanish and presently I'm learning Czech.
  15. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

  16. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Ahoj Rebecco, Ja jsem Katka. Jsem Američanka z Michiganu. Učim se Český pro mozna 1 1/2 nebo 2 roce (years). Ale ted' jsem moc busy tak neučím česky anymore. Ale potřebuju končit znovu protože chci rozumím všechni česky kamarady u party (parties).

    Ok, I was sure to put mistakes in there so you native speakers would have something to do. :wink: :)
  17. cestina

    cestina Active Member

    I too got muddled with the little important words and I sorted where, when and who by relating them to the English (and cheating a bit with when)

    Kde = where
    Kdo = who
    Kdy = whyn aka when

    For some reason co = what was never a problem but I can still be heard muttering the others occasionally when very tired
  18. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Ahoj Jonathan, Katka, David.

    Vítám vás v "Česká konverzace." :)

    Mluvite dobrý Anglicky!
    Ucíte dlouho? *

    Ano, česky je hezky!
    Proč ucíte česky? **

    *(Have you been learning a long time? I don't know if I'm saying it right at all.
    **The answer requires future tense! I haven't gone past the present tense yet! anyone else can feel free to join in the conversation.


    Kde je za Spojených Státech bydlíte?
    Kde je za Irsko tvoje babička ale tvůj dědeček? *
    Co děláte?
    Učim ve škole angličtinu.

    *I want to say: Where in Ireland is your grandmother or grandfather from?
    Also how would I say "great grand parents"?
    I know it might be more proper to say "was" but I sticking to the tense I kinda know at all costs!


    Máte ráda sníh? *
    Chci česky kamarady!
    Mnoho Čech a Češka za Michiganu? **

    *I had to look snow up in an online dictionary, so I'm not sure I used the right form of it at all!
    **(Are there) Many Czech (men and women) people in Michigan?

    Sorry there's not more detail, it took longer than it looks!
  19. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    That's so clever, thank you!
    this is a good quick way to remember it!

    Co and To... and ze and tak and a tak and i and asi and si and je and oh I could go on forever!
    I think I'm just going to write a list of them on a piece of paper and fold it over so I can't see the English definitions and test myself on them all the time.. maybe it's best to learn them in short sentences.

    I just realized if any of my students have trouble with "where" "who" and "when" I can show them this the other way around! Although it may mean a couple of "whyns" ;)
  20. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member


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