What's the next step?

Discussion in 'General Language' started by jidlomonster, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. jidlomonster

    jidlomonster Member

    Hi everyone,

    I don't know if this is a common problem, or if anyone has some useful advice. I have been learning Czech for 9 years or so, and feel I have a good grasp of the language and speak it OK. My problem is getting a fluent understanding of what people say to me.

    I've tried to remedy this by listening to audio cassettes and recording news broadcasts from the internet. The trouble is, these are too difficult for me, and with no Czech teacher nearby it is really hard work to pick my way through them.

    Does anyone know of a good source of audio material that would present me with a more manageable challenge? My guess is that material aimed at Czech children would be a good start - but I've no idea what to buy.

    I'm going to Prague in August for a language course - so if you have any recommendations for things I could buy when I'm there, I'd be really grateful.

    Many thanks

  2. hockeygirl_leafs07

    hockeygirl_leafs07 Active Member

    Honestly, the best way I think is to live in the Czech Republic for at least a year, even after a few months if you are immersed you'll improve your understanding a whole lot. I really think that immersion is the best way to improve or be fluent in another language. You can study a language for 20 years and never be fluent unless you spend some time there totally immersed--speak, write, think, listen, etc in czech 24/7. In fact, you'll probably start dreaming in czech after awhile, if you aren't already now. I've been studying french for almost 12 years, I can converse no problem and I even dream in french but I wouldn't consider myself fluent yet so I plan on spending a year in France or Switzerland next year as part of an exchange program.
    You can watch a lot of czech movies, listen to czech music, that will help a lot but the very best way is to live there and be immersed..even if you can only spend 2 or 3 months there, that's a lot better than nothing and you'll actually improve a lot in that short time.
    I don't think it's enough to just "study" a language--one will be able to write and read well but often people don't understand or speak so well. People also will plan what they want to say before they say it.
    Good luck,
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I agree with Hockeygirl. There's no substitute for conversation and lots of it, and the only way to get that is to be surrounded by Czechs. Audio cassettes and news broadcasts just don't cut it, as there is no interaction, that is to say the conversation is only one-way. Studying may make one familiar with the language, but practice is what makes perfect.
  4. jidlomonster

    jidlomonster Member

    Thanks for the advice. I'd love to spend a long period of time in the Czech Republic, but it is just not feasible to do something like that. I'd still welcome some suggestions on study aids if anybody has them.
  5. nikia7

    nikia7 New Member

    I lived with my Babi in Prague and attended Karlova Univerista...which has great intensive check courses. LIke hockey girl said, the best way to learn the language is to be there! But, if that's not possible, I'm trying to pick up some Spanish currently, and find the Pimsleur audio cds to be awesome! You can try the first 4 discs for about $30 from Barnes and Noble. It is totally situational, for instance, you are in a bar and a girl says this (line in czech)...what do you say (respond in czech)? I highly recommend this program. If you have studied Czech for so long already, i wouldn't recommend starting with the first audio cds, it's quite elementary and would be insulting to you. SO look for something towards the end with in depth conversations! Good luck!
  6. jidlomonster

    jidlomonster Member

    Many thanks, Nikia for your advice. I agree with everyone that time abroad would be best, but while that is not possible, your suggestion seems like a very good alternative. I'm going to Prague in a few days, so I will look for these courses there - if not, I guess Amazon might be a good place to look.
  7. picagallo2001

    picagallo2001 Member

    :lol: Hello, Just wanted to know if spanish is spoken there in the Czech republic, especially in the Prague area which I plan to visit in the very near future. Thanks...Jesse

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