how much time require to learn czhec?

Discussion in 'Language Exchange & Czech Classes' started by EHSAN, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. EHSAN

    EHSAN Member

    hi friends

    i m a foreigenr student who got admission in a university in liberic for masters in textile engineering. i have 2 options given by the university, either to learn that course in english for which i have to pay 4000 u.s dollars per year . course duration is of 2 years. 2nd option is to learn czhec language for one year for 2500 us dollars and after that i can continue my masters free of cost . wel my question is that if i accept the offer to learn czhec language first, then kindly tell me is it possible for me to learn so much czhec in a year so that i can understand it well and write my theises in it easily? consider that i m an average student.
    waiting for ur reponces
  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    It depends on how much time you put into learning the language. I think it can be learned in one year if you spend a lot of time studying - especially while living in the country. I truly believe I could have learned it in one year if I had put plenty of time into it - especially if I had lived there and forced to use it in everyday situations. I know that during the month my in-laws visit us, my knowledge of Czech increases tremendously because I'm forced to listen to and speak Czech everyday. Perhaps Polednikova will have more to add since she lives there and is taking lessons.
  3. EHSAN

    EHSAN Member

    thx for ur responce dzurisova. polendikova has sent me a message in pvt that it is almost impossible to learn this language in one year.she have also said that i even cant take my studies in english because my english is pretty poor. but i have assured her that madem plz allow me to take admission in one of the 2 languages(czhec or english) :lol:. i will try to do my level best . but some other one has sent me a message that it is possible to learn this language in 6 to 8 months by just spending 4 to 6 hrs daily in learning it. he shared his own experience with me in learning the language.
    anyway friends u have put me in trouble to decide about it because of diffrent opinions hahahaha.
    i m enjoying this forumn with u people.
  4. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    Frankly, I can't imagine that an average person would be able to master Czech in just one year. You know, being able to understand Czech and being able to attend courses aimed at Czechs or even write one's master's thesis in it are two completely different things.
    If we simplify things a bit (and omit issues like the ability to understand fluent spoken language, speaking without an accent, possible troubles with writing system etc.), we can say a language is made up of two basic components: vocabulary and grammar. In order to write decent thesis, I guess you would need a vocabulary of several thousands words - let's say 2,000 words divided by 365 days in a year (including weekends etc.): you would have to learn more than 5 words every single day. Well, that certainly sounds doable, doesn't it? The problem is the other part: Czech grammar is REALLY complicated and you need to get to the level at which you can write your thesis in it (and you still have to find someone who will fix grammar mistakes that will inevitably sneak into your text). It's good to keep on mind that Czech vocabulary and grammar are closely intertwined due to complex rules for declension/conjugation.

    But I'm a Czech myself, so maybe I'm just overestimating the difficulty of learning my language. On the other hand, I have some experience with other languages - Russian, Slovak, German, English and Japanese and I think grammar-wise Czech is really the most difficult one (with Slovak and Russian coming close) with English and Japanese being the easiest ones.
  5. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    As Dzurisova said, I have been having three hours of Czech lessons for a year now and my spoken Czech is still limited to asking for things in shops. That's how hard Czech is, even when you're living here. There's no way that I could attend lectures on a degree course and have the faintest idea what was going on. And I'm not sure more intensive lessons would help - there's a limit to how much you can remember.

    I met an Australian woman last week, married to a Czech who speaks no English, and I asked her how long it was before she was able to have a conversation and she said three years, which rather reinforces my, and Petr's, view that you could not expect to take a degree course after learning Czech for only a year. If I was Eshan, I would ask the course administrators to put me in touch with some students who have taken the Czech course and ask them how competent they felt at the end of it.

    I did pm Eshan to suggest that he might find taking his degree in English difficult as well, if his postings are an indication of his level of written English. In his reply to me, he said that when he took his first degree in English, grammatical mistakes were disregarded.
  6. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Excellent idea.
    I agree, there is a huge difference in understanding/speaking a language and mastering a language. I still completely believe that I would be able to hold complete conversations in Czech if I lived there one year and took lessons. I hold shallow conversations with my Czech friends now and that is taking 3 lessons a month for 1 1/2 years and living in the States while consistently failing to study. Instead I simply spend 1/2 hour to one hour the day of the lesson doing up the homework quickly. If one really studied, he/she could learn the language in a year including grammar.

    However, I'm not saying one could master the language and I was assuming the program was not aimed at Czechs but continued for those same students who just learned the language. Therefore, I assumed the school makes acceptions/adjustments for these students.

    But there I go again assuming. And you know what happens when you assume. :wink:
  7. EHSAN

    EHSAN Member

    firstly thx for ur responces. may b u people r right that it is almost impossible to learn czhec language in one year . but let me show u the copies of the mails sent by a guy who is from czhec and studying in lyberic in university of economics. we r in contact through mails since last 3 days .
    let me show u what he says.

    The length depends on how many hours you will learn czech?
    So you will have to learn czech 3 hours a day for couple monts and you should learn it easily.

    then he sent me another mail

    And I forgot, czech has one advantage - there is not so important order of words. That means that you can say one sentence in many ways.


    Peter has a car.
    Petr ma auto.

    Does Peter have a car?
    Petr ma auto?

    If you want question just add "?". (in most cases.)

    Czechs made revolution
    cesi udelali revoluci
    revoluci udelali cesi
    revoluci cesi udelali
    = that means still the same think.

    and we have only three times :)

    I went home
    Sel jsem domu
    I was going home
    Sel jsem domu

    I learn czech.
    Ucim se cestinu.
    I am lerning czech.
    Ucim se cestinu ted. (ted = now)

    I will learn czech
    Budu se ucit cestinu.
    I willl be learning czech.
    Budu se ucit cestinu.

    another advantage of learning czhec is if u learn it slovaks will understand u.

    he has also sent me some links which can b helpful in learning the language.
    polendikova u have given a very nice suggession that me should ask the course administrators to put me in touch with some students who have taken the Czech course and ask them how competent they felt at the end of it.
    thx for ur suggessions and co-operation.
    its really a co-oprative forum where people understands ur problem and show u the right path.
  8. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    It sounds like shopkeeper who only accent advantages of car but forget to tell you about it's high consumption of fuel, poor quality of interier and bad results of crash tests.

    Yes, "Does Peter have a car?"
    in czech:

    Petr má auto?
    Má Petr auto?
    Auto má Petr?
    Má auto Petr?

    Is all correct, but each of those sentences has slightly different meaning.

    Petr má auto? - I am surprised that Peter has A car.
    Má Petr auto? - I did not know if Peter has A car or not, but I want to know.
    Auto má Petr? - I am surprised it is Peter, who has THE car?
    Má auto Petr? - Does Peter (or someone else) have THE car?

    But you cannot say "Auto Petr má" or "Petr Auto má".

    So it really is not as easy as he claims, ask scrimshaw :) here in this phorum.
  9. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, it isn't entirely true. In few cases really order of words isn't important. But mostly order of words little changes meaning of sentence and there are many combinations, which aren't permited.

    Let's see:
    BTW - in this case there are better translations then "udělali", but it's possible too.

    Right, but they differ according to gender.

    I went home
    Šel jsem domů (man)
    Šla jsem domů (woman)
    Šlo jsem domů (for example chicken :)

    Moreover - inanimate (and even some animate) objects haven't neuter gender automatically - they could be masculine, feminine or neuter and there are no rules, you have to memorize it

    štika (pike) - feminine
    kapr (carp) - masculine

    pero (pen) - neuter
    papír (paper) - masculine
    tužka (pencil) - feminine

    loď (ship) - feminine
    parník (steamship) - masculine

    We have 7 noun cases - every noun has different ending in every case. This is often confusing concept for some foreigners (but not if they are Finnish :)
  10. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    The length depends on how many hours you will learn czech?
    So you will have to learn czech 3 hours a day for couple monts and you should learn it easily.

    Eshan, your correspondent from Liberec is either having a laugh at your expense or he has never spoken to anyone who has had to learn Czech. I think I can confidently say, without fear of contradiction, that no-one has ever learned Czech in a couple of months, even if they studied for 24 hours a day!

    As Eso has suggested, word order is the least of your worries...
  11. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    That's why I assume the foreign students will attend courses together with Czech students, after finishing their 1-year course of Czech (#3 -> #1). It would seem weird to have 3 different types of courses: Czech, English and "Czech" for foreigners.

    On the other hand, if Technical University Liberec offers such courses, they probably have some experience and it might be doable. EHSAN should contact the university and ask for more information and also ask if they can get him into contact with other students who were in a position similar to his and who are now studying there in Czech.

    For some reason, the example of different word order using "Češi, udělali, revoluci" is also on wikipedia page about Czech language
    Never underestimate the power of a true talent, there are gifted people out there who can easily do things most of us mere mortals can't even dream of. :wink:
    Besides, generally speaking I guess it's easier to learn Czech when you have a background in some other Slavic language, not necessarily only Slovak, but also Polish, Sorbian, Russian etc.
  12. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    As iI remember from my student time years ago, there were many students from different parts of the world (Brasilia, Uganda, African and Arab states etc.). They all studied for one year Czech language (intensive full time courses) and all were very well able to study at the university with us (with no support in other language). They started to study in the first year of the university (not at the postgradual level) and usually finished in the normal time (about 5 years that time).
    The best Czech had those who had found a Czech partner ;-) for out of school activities.
  13. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    We know a woman in Chicago who started dating a Czech friend of ours and she learned his language in only a couple months. However, her first language was not English but I don't remember what it was. I know it wasn't Slovak or Russian though.
  14. EHSAN

    EHSAN Member

    hi friends
    thx for u people who responded to my poblem and told me about their experiences and i think karel lerak has solved my problem by telling his personal experience with the student from diffrent part of the world who learnt czhec language for one year and then they became capable of studying their courses in the czhec language.
    i would like to say again that this forum and people of this forum r really very much co-operative.
    praying for the happy life of u all people

  15. Troll

    Troll Well-Known Member

    Before 1989 the foreign students in our universities were
    - either from the socialist (marxist) countries (Cuba, Vietnam, Libya, etc.)
    - or they were sons of various dictators, kings, their relatives or supporters.

    In most cases it was a political decision. The students from the Third World were predestined to graduate. Regardless of their knowledge of the Czech language after one-year Czech course.

    BTW, the best known former foreign student is the Cambodian king, Norodom Sihamoni, the only monarch in the world who speaks fluently Czech. But his story is somewhat exceptional, he came in Prague when he was nine years old and stayed here for long 13 years.
    The Czechlands is the official shortened name of the Czech Republic.
  16. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    Is this your personal experience :?
    You may be true in some cases but not in most of them.
  17. Troll

    Troll Well-Known Member

    Yes, I remember several students from Vietnam. They spent one year in the Institute of Language in Poděbrady (a spa town near Prague), but their Czech after the intensive one-year course was rather poor. They could hardly continue without vast toleration from the professors and assistants. In fact, they were learning Czech during all 5-6 years.

    BTW, the Poděbrady Study Center of the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University is a specialized institution dedicated to preparing international students for studies at Czech universities. ... /kurzy.htm

    The full cost of one-year course of language and professional training for future study at universities: 4360 €

    The full cost of one-year Czech language intensive course: 3480 €
  18. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    By the way, is there something like the Czech equivalent of TOEFL, or we don't have a country-wide standard and each university has its own test (if any)?
  19. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    Yes. Does anyone remember uuspoiss? He did very well in a very short time.
  20. sleepybee

    sleepybee Member

    I am from Czech republik, living In USA for 20 years now. It took me about 3 years to be fluent and comfy in english language without taking any classes. Unless you are gifted, I think you will have trouble. Czech language is very hard. I don't speak it anymore. I can write and spell but talking? Forget it. Personally,(even if it was me now in the scholl) I would pay extra for english.

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