Your reasons for learning Czech

Discussion in 'General Language' started by uuspoiss, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Koliktrat jazyk znas, tolikrat cloveke jsi. I am trying to learn czech because I see it as a great challenge. Somewhat empowering to know that if I can tackle czech I have really proven myself, not only that I am smart enough to do this but also that I have the determinion and strength to endure such a challenge. We will see.
  2. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Scrimshaw, mnoho štěstí a vytrvalosti! Ale proč zrovna čeština?
    Lots of luck and persistence, but why Czech? Why not any other language to test your language learning abilities? I guess Icelandic would also be a nice challenge (assuming you're not an Icelander) ....
  3. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    That is a good question uu and understandable. I met a czech here in the states and at times I would here her speak czech to her daughter. It sounded different to my ears and so I thought I would learn a couple of words to say to them everyonce in awhile. She said it was hopeless to try to learn czech becuse it was a very hard language.
    So, the challenge was made. She was right that for me it is very hard, because of all the agreements of nouns,pronouns,adjectives and cases. A system totally alien to English speakers.
    Oh well-keeps the old gray matter working.
  4. czfr

    czfr New Member

    Ahaoj, salut

    I want to learn czech because I want to know more about it's culture and be able to discuss with the Czech people who can't communicate in english or french. I was listening to Umberto Eco yesterday evening on the french TV and I liked when he said that learning a language is a way to be free. Monolinguism is a prison and we miss so much when we can't communicate in an other language. Fortunately for me I can read and talk in English but I wish I would know some spanish, italian, russian and of course czech because I don't want to depend on the informations given by the french media to learn about the Czech Republic or other countries. Learning a language can also be an intellectual chalenge. I think it's always good to learn something each day and there is no age to start. I know I will never be able to be fluent but I would be pleased to know enough to join a conversation in a café or a pub when I visit Prague or Brno one day. To sum it up I would say that learning a language enables to meet different people and that's the main thing, isn't it ?
    Au revoir (bye bye in French...)
  5. nuwan

    nuwan Member

    cos Palacky Uni says i have to :D
  6. Tajemství

    Tajemství Guest

    Ahoj přátelé!

    As for me, i like slavic languages in general. Knowledge of one more slavic language(i know already one as you may heve guessed :wink: ) its a great chance to get acquainted with wonderful slavic culture, to become more open minded. i dont want to offend any of you, but its too much english, so i simply want to get something new. Also Čeština being a slavic language is the least comprehensible for russian speakers unlike other slavic languages, so i found it to be really foreign with almost the same grammar :)
  7. susie67

    susie67 Member

    Although I am the second generation in the United States, my paternal grandparents came from central Bohemia (Pribram). Culturally, I identify myself as half American, half Czech. I was raised in a family that has retained much of it's Czech culture, traditions, and ideas, but not the language. I would like to learn more Czech and eventually go to the Czech Republic and stay there for awhile.
  8. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with this. I know some Russian too and it seems that grammar is the biggest similarity between Czech and Russian. There is certainly a large amount of common vocabulary as well, but there are some hidden rocks in this (different ways off pronounciation etc) that may very well make prior knowledge of Russian partly a hindrance rather than an advantage.

    Tajemství, how long have you been learning Czech? Do you agree that the Southern Slavic languages (Croatian, Serbian etc) are much easier for a Russian speaker to understand than Czech, Slovak and Polish?
  9. Tajemství

    Tajemství Guest

    right you are, then as you may have noticed there are many false freinds, words which have the same or almost the same pronounciation but absolutely different meaning....this fact and others which you have mentioned make the language to be very tricky for russian speakers.... (and vice versa :wink: )
    unfortunately not so long as i would like, learning Czech is just my hobby, i learn it by myself 8) in my book i ve made only 6 lessons, i am the very beginner :) i think i can deal with grammar quite well, but my vocabulary is very poor...
    it depends on the language, for example Bulgarian is comprehensible for 90%, Serbo-Croatian language is a bit strange, sometimes i understand everything, sometimes not a single word, but generally i agree with your statement. what is strange - i understand Polish better then Ukrainian :shock: But of course Czech is the worst for comprehension, that's why i am here :)

    BTW as your native language is finno-ugric, i think there was no many problems in learning slavic languages, as you have more cases, is it easy for you to understand grammar?
  10. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Well... there are definitely more cases, but their nature is different. In Estonian you basically have a separate case for every possible meaning that you may want to convey, while in Czech and Russian you have to combine them with prepositions and sometimes one preposition can take different cases for different meanings etc. But at least it is easy for me to grasp the concept of declension as such.

    As for the rest of grammar, one thing that is a problem for me with both Russian and Czech is the future tense. As you know, there are several ways to form the future and sometimes there are subtle differences in meaning that are hard for me to understand. The fact that Estonian has no future tense whatsoever (this and not being able to distinguish between males and females are our two big jokes) doesn't make it any easier:)

    Would it be easy to find a Czech class in Moskva if you wanted to?
  11. Tajemství

    Tajemství Guest

    хехе забавно :lol: i heard about genders, but no future tense...that´s something, i think you have it, but you use another way for expressing it, it s like in Old english, they didnt have future also, and present could mean it depending on the context, is it the same with estonians? :wink:

    no, its almost impossible i think, russian people generally not keen on learning languages, and Czech is such rare and exotic language you know...i bought a selfstudiing book, and i think i m lucky...say, i ve never seen any materials for learning many people in Estonia speak russian and how many russians live there?
  12. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Tajemství, I'm going to reply to this in a personal message, otherwise we'll get very off-topic :)
  13. szarkafarka

    szarkafarka Well-Known Member

    There are no cases in our (Indo-European) sense in the Ugro-Finnic languages, at least in Hungarian. The Hungarian language has agglutinative suffixes, which are equivalent to our prepositions (e.g. in, from, to, on, at, about, etc.).

    Some examples:

    a kert the garden
    a kertet the garden (accusative)
    a kertnek to the garden (dative)
    a kertben in the garden

    a kertek the gardens
    a kerteket the gardens (accusative)
    a kerteknek to the gardens (dative)
    a kertekben in the gardens

    a kertem, a kerted, ... my garden, thy garden
    a kertemet, a kertedet, ... my garden, thy garden (accusative)
    a kertemnek, a kertednek, ... to my garden, to thy garden (dative)
    a kertemben, a kertedben, ... in my garden, in thy garden

    This conception is simple and direct. You can learn cca 50 Hungarian "cases" easily and quickly, while only 5 - 7 "true" cases in many declensions make Latin, Old Greek, Czech, Russian, etc. intricate and difficult to learn.
  14. runeadm

    runeadm New Member

    Hello everyone. My first post.

    I just started to "learn" czech. That meaning, Russian is the language I did study the most, also through living in Russia. Then I did a language course in Bulgarian in order to get a feeling of another slavonic language. That was great fun, by the pool ordering my beer in Bulgarian... No, I wanted to find out about some differences between Bulgarian and Russian. So now I study at a university in Germany (Greifswald) where they offer Czech. So I thought why not? I'm not good at it, but I'm hoping to be able to participate in a language course in Brno, Olomouc or Praha in August. Then I hope I'll be able to order my beer in Czech.

    Prosim jedno pivo... (?)
  15. usakdude

    usakdude New Member

    I have not started to learn Czech yet but I'm looking into it. Mostly interested because thats where my grandmothers family is from, and I never got to meet her, so I guess this is my way of finding out more about her.
  16. Coccinella

    Coccinella Guest

    Hello there!
    I am always delighted when I have got the chance to peek through your posts! I'm afraid to say I don't agree with Tajemstvi! :wink:
    If I've managed to attain a decent level of Czech in just six months to be assigned to the most advanced class of Czech at Charles University, it was just because I had a sound knowledge of Russian! I have always been puzzled when I heard Russians say Czech is hard...Of course there are differences and stuff, but one has to focus on the common aspects between the two languages...declensions are similar, verb structure is as well...As a native Italian speaker, it was pretty hard for me to learn Russian and I think I would never have learned it if I hadn't had the chance to get to know a lot of great people who invited me over to Siberia, Black See, to some places in remote countryside areas...and that's the best way to learn a language, really! When you get to immerse yourself in a totally different background, and nobody speaks your language or English. As for Czech, I wish I could go to Cesko for some time and mix with the locals..I wouldn't go to Prague, though! I'd rather choose a small village picked out at random on the map...
  17. English_Mike

    English_Mike New Member

    Hello everyone. Very interesting thread. In common it seems with many people I have started to learn Czech as a result of meeting a lovely Czech girl. While the long term prospects for the relationship are frankly questionable, I'll keep on learning the language for as long as I can. It is a fantastic intellectual challenge which is also incredibly rewarding. I've studied Latin and Greek at school and French and Spanish to degree level and there is no doubt at all that Czech is far more difficult to master than any of them. The pronunciation of 'The famous 'R' consonant' discussed elsewhere, is just the first hurdle we have to overcome in learning the language.However it's fantastic now I can just about converse with Monika (for it is she) in Czech, and last time I was in Prague I managed to recall some really obscure vocabulary to my delight and her surprise. Made all the hours on the train reciting the declensions seem worthwhile!

    One question while I am here. Monika adopts a fairly inconsistent approach to the language, including some obvious colloquialisms. Obviously we correspond mainly be sms and e-mail but her attitude, in particular, to the use of cases, seems flexible. I'm not sure whether she is communicating in 'Pidgin' Czech for my benefit, or whether the 'rules' of grammar are observed in a flexible manner by native speakers. Any thoughts please?

  18. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    I think that's what most people do in most languages. E-mails and SMS messages are not the place to go looking for proper usage of grammar. You might want to ask her, for your own learning benefit, to try and write correctly. I'm sure she's perfectly capable of doing that :)
  19. English_Mike

    English_Mike New Member

    Thanks uuspoiss. I thought that would be the answer and yes I guess sheis fully capable of writing correctly in her native language! I guess I was just hoping to get away with being a bit lazy Ach well, back to the grammar then.... :?
  20. meda

    meda Well-Known Member

    I love this thread! I want to know more and more reasons of studying Czech. I study Czech because I love a great football player from Czech. So it is my one way love. :oops: Now I do love Czech football and everything Czech too.

    meda (correctly = měd'a) is a nickname of the player.

    Czech language is not easy for me and I thought I am going to give up many times to study it. But I enjoy some now.

    Last June, fortunately I could meet the player in my country, but I could not speak Czech .... I called his nickname and when I gave my present to him, I said "to je pro vas ....". That is all.
    I disappointed me ... :cry:

    I am still just a starter but ... I could have known some Czech people because of the player and Czech football. I will try to keep up!

    I really thank you this great boad and anybody's help!

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