sound of czech l.

Discussion in 'General Language' started by jarda9, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. jarda9

    jarda9 Member

    if any foreigner is listening to czech language, how does he or she like it? in other words, what is that language like in your ears? many people say it sound most like french or russian speech.
    i would like to hear Czech speaking without understand him:)
  2. Ruzete

    Ruzete Well-Known Member

    When i listen to Czech, i think it sounds alot like Russian, but not really french, I speak a lil' french though so maybe thats why i don't think it sounds like it!
  3. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    I also used to think it was somewhere between Russian and French, I don't know why. But now as I've learned some Czech, I don't really think so any more. I think it would sound more like Russian if it didn't have so many long vowels - because of them, I would now say that Czech is somewhere between Russian and Estonian :)

    I think there are three phases in which people can perceive the sound of a language in a different manner. The first is when you don't know the language at all. Then you just hear the sound and it usually associates to nothing particular, besides possibly comparing it to other languages.

    The second phase is when you've already learned some or when you've just had a lot of contact with the language. You're then able to distinguish words in the flow of speech, but don't understand most of them (I'm in that phase now!:)). You don't really pay attention to the sound any more, but are instead trying to pick up familiar words and guess the meaning of others.

    Well and the third phase would be when you're able to understand most or all of what's being said. Then you cannot say what the language sounds like any more. Knowing the meaning of words kills their sound :)

    This is just a stupid theory based on my own experience, but it would be good to know what others think.
  4. fabik317

    fabik317 Well-Known Member

    I've heard from many people (mostly experienced travellers) that czech is (sound-wise) most similar to lithuanian although it's a totally different kind of language. I don't know if it's true, it's just what I hear now and then...
  5. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    If you think it sounds like Russian, travel over to Slovakia, near the Ukrainian border (Hummene). My God, I could understand a damn thing! Now that langauge, in that region definetly sounds like Russian!
  6. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    I can't compare what Czech sounds like to anything other than English. It is hard to determine whether the Czech speaker is angry or not, becaus the emphasis is at the end of the word- so it sounds sharp to my ears- wheras English the emphasis is more on the beginning of the word. When my husband gets off the phone with other Czechs, I've asked him before whether everything is ok- because he sounds agiated to me.
  7. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Isn't word stress at the first vowel of the word as a general rule? Many words end in long vowels though, which is probably what you meant.
  8. ursula

    ursula Well-Known Member

    so true a language sounds different if you dont understand it. once you comprehend 1 or 2 words it sounds different again.
    i love russian maybe because im agerman speaker and both languages are considered guttural.
  9. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    To me Czech sounds neither like French nor Russian. It has a melody of its own. What struck me is that stress and syllable length are separate phenomena. I love to listen to the names of the stops when I am riding a tram.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    At first Czech didn't sound to me like any other language I had heard/studied, although having studied Russian I could recognize some basic words/constructs.

    KJP, don't feel bad about not understanding the Hummene "hutorenie." Most western Slovaks told me they can't understand a thing either.

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