Learning Czech

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Silatsiaq, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Silatsiaq

    Silatsiaq Member

    Hi everybody!

    First of all I want to express my admiration for all people who have enough will to learn Czech, with all its complexity...

    I was curious about how English, French, Spanish, etc.-speaking people approach the cases and declinations present in Czech language...

    Do you learn them by heart, memorizing most of the model-words or just plug the one that seems you the most logical? Or by training and listening, you develop a kind of instinct for it?

    I was learning German a few years ago so I realized how difficult it was to deal with the cases and the whole stuff in a new language... and as Czech presents more cases and possibilities to declinate the words than German...

    Thank you for your answers
  2. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Learning them by heart is definitely one option (but you should then take care to learn the possessives and adjectives as well, as they change with the nouns). I have never focused on learning the case endings, I just look them up in a table if I need to, but after a few months of writing and listening I seem to have developed a sense of what's right for different constructions. I'm still sometimes wrong of course, but the progress is noticeable:)

    For me the hardest thing about cases is knowing which case to use with which constructions, as some of them make little sense. For example, if you help someone, you use the dative case. So I help my brother would be pomáhám bratrovi or literally I help to my brother. Then again sometimes it's the illogical things that help you remember:)

    Don't worry, declination is fairly straightforward in Czech, there are other things which will turn out to be much worse as you go along:) Good luck!
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I approached this as a mix of both repetive practice and memorization/study. Whenever I heard a new phrase, I would repeat it in my head to internalize it. Then later, when I had time, I would go back and ask myself why the particular declensions were used. Memorization alone may help you with comprehension, but there's nothing better than practice imitating native speakers to build fluency.

    P.S. When Czechs complimented me on my language skills, I'd just smile and tell them, "Thanks, but I'm just a good parrot!" :wink:

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