Your reasons for learning Czech

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

  1. mike_jtw

    mike_jtw Well-Known Member

    Like most of you I have same reason for learning Czech, I'm learning Czech for one reason, my girlfriend. She speaks good english, but there is no reason why I shouldn't learn her language. I'm also finding out as much as I can about her culture.

    I also visit CR for athletics competitions, so it will be useful to chat with Officials etc.
  2. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    My first trip to the ČR last year was a lucky fluke. I was planning to go to New Orleans (for the fifth time in as many years) and the friend I was going to travel with suggested (because he had an abundance of free airline miles) that we try Europe instead. We discussed all the "traditional" destinations - Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, etc. Another friend of ours who had traveled extensively in Europe suggested that, if this were to be our first (and possibly only) trip to Europe that we should visit Prague first. Not wanting to be a typical "ugly American" tourist demanding that everything be available in English, I decided to learn some basic Czech. I speak read and write English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. I have a few phrases in French, German, a few other languages, and can read a good bit of Italian and French. I thought Czech would not be too hard - ha. Anyway, went to Prague and fell in love with the city. It felt like "home" even though I have no Czech roots. I am continuing to teach myself Czech and am returning this fall to Prague for 12 days. Can hardly wait.
  3. I went to Prague for the first time on a school trip 3 years ago and since then I've literally fallen in love with the city to a point I had never been before. Since I've come back there last year for the New Year's Eve and plan to do the same this year as well, I figured it would be nice to speak a little Czech as well. It must be said though that some motivation has also come from a bit of spirit of challenge, given by the fact that the first time I came I was quite amazed by the complexity of the language, with all those accents and sometimes unreadable words, which led me to say "Ok, I already speak 3 foreign languages, why not make it 4?". However, honestly my progress in Czech up to now has been waaay too slow :(
  4. rsalc1

    rsalc1 Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone,
    The reason I am learning Czech is that I love to learn languages and I love to travel. I have a solid knowledge of Spanish, I know French and German well, and I have learned other less "popular" languages because of my "wanderlust".

    I learned some Greek in preparation to going to Greece on vacation.
    I visited Bulgaria without knowing the language (a friend was my interpreter) but I felt totally helpless being in a country and not knowing the language. Upon returning home, I began to learn Bulgarian in earnest and a couple of years later I returned to that country and was able to use the language. So, as you can see, I have some knowledge of a Slavic language.

    A couple of years ago I visited Vienna, where I got to practice my German. One evening I saw a Czech program on TV and I instantly fell in love with the language. It sounds pleasant and I could recognize many words which resemble Bulgarian. As soon as I returned home I got 'Teach Yourself Czech' and Naughton's 'Colloquial Czech' and began to plan a trip to Prague.

    Last year I was able to visit Prague - a beautiful city, and I continue to learn Czech for the PURE FUN OF IT!!!

  5. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member

    Wow, what a wonderful thread! I'm sorry I didn't join it sooner.

    I do agree that Czech is a mix between Russian and French. I spoke French before I learned Czech, and every once in awhile fant Czech sounds a bit French to me. Also I've noticed I understand a lot more Russian than I did before.

    My reason for learning Czech? Well, love did help me make the final jump over here, but unfrotunately that love wasn't lasting :( But that is okay because I'm in love with the Czech Republic, and I know I will stay here for the rest of my life and hopefully before I die get this language down (I'm 23 so I figure I have some time :D )
  6. withoutaim

    withoutaim Active Member

    Why??? I wonder it very much :D (because I'm a Czech)
  7. mravenec

    mravenec Well-Known Member

    I've already considered swapping my passport for a Czech one (if it'd be possible), i can see no reason why i should not spend the rest of my life in the Czech republic. Nowhere else in the world is such a pragmatic attitude to life to be found!
  8. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member

    I too am looking forward to getting a Czech passport one day (If I end up marrying a Czech).

    Why do I love it here? Well, the food, lifestyle, life philosphies all fit me much more better than the ones of my homecountry, so here I am!
  9. Diego

    Diego New Member

    Hello everyone
    Well the most important reason why I want t learn Czech is because Im living here already.. and there are a lot of great people with who I cant talk that make me feel bad.. Czech leguage is really complicated, hard to me then Im taking it like a challenge.. By the way if some one of you want to exchange Spanish lessons x Czech I ll apreciatted to much---have a good time
    Diego. C
  10. SkatingJim

    SkatingJim New Member

    To answer the original question, I am learning Czech because fate dropped it into my lap and I'm too stuborn to give up! Well, really there's a little more to it. I love the Czech Republic, like many who have posted here, and I started out feeling like I wanted to show my respect by speaking the native language. Now my goal is to better understand what's going on when I'm there and to travel confidently beyond the turist centers. I think the true border to a country like the CR is the language. It has united the people and given them an identity in spite of the many regimes that have tried to rule them. I also like the mental challenge. Learning languages uses a part of the brain I don't use much otherwise.

    To Diego I would say that in the two years I studied Spanish I made way more progress than I have in three years studying Czech. I have to laugh when I read posts from people who are studying Czech for their upcoming visit to Prague. It's one thing to ask "Jak se mate?". It's quite another to understand the reply you get!

    BOT: If only 12 million people speak Czech, and most of them are busy trying to learn English :-(, why should an English speaker bother learning Czech?

    Because it's fun!
  11. brcek

    brcek Member

    Well in my case i have czech passport so is important to speak it and teach my children the problem around me there are not any czech so at least internet is a good choice to practice.
  12. will2466

    will2466 Member

    well, I started wanting ot learn czech as a result of listening to Bohuslav Martinu's cantatas (Otvirani studanek, that cycle). It's a beautiful language, to put it simply. I guess I have an interest in studying overseas at some point in my graduate studies too, Prague conservatory sounds just as good as any other place :). I really want to explore the world before I settled down. The other place I'd really like to go to in Europe is Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, but that language looks terribly difficult to learn. Finnish, I have lots of music in finnish too.
  13. mdl

    mdl Member

    Ahoj Malnik and everyone else, ive been on this site before but some how missed the message boards so ive registered and this is my first post (i'm looking forward to reading through the site).

    I quoted you Malnik because i'm pretty much in the same boat. I met my wife 5 years ago and ive been attempting to learn Czech for a few years. I havent put a great deal of effort into it for various reasons, but mainly due to time. I know what you mean about being in a time warp, not because CR is behind the times just that you feel so isolated, but I like that and it means you pick things up whether you think so or not.

    A couple of months ago I decided to enroll on a course and try and get the basics under control. Now keep in mind I can appreciate how difficult Czech is and all I know are random words which you is pretty difficult to make a conversation from. Once I get past the hello, how are you etc i'm pretty much done. With the words I know and concentrating on conversations I can understand a fair amount most of the time but its very hard work.

    I thought the Czech course would put me on the right tracks to actually being able to use some of the Czech I know. ha ha, big mistake for me. I'm really, really strugaling with the course (2 x 1hour lessons a week) and now understand how bad my Czech is. Its so bad I can see how hard it has been for everyone who does speak Czech to understand me.

    Ive taken a pretty big hit in terms of confidence and to make it worse the rest of the people on my course are really getting to grips with Czech and i'm falling further behind. On a positive note I have re-set my goals and i'm happy to let what can, sink in, and take notes to study in my own time. I know I will never be any where near fluent, but some good/correct Czech will always be useful.

    I love the Czech Republic and really settle in when i'm there. I just wish I could show my respect and love for the country and my (wifes) Czech family by communicating in Czech.

    Even though nobody in her family speak English and she has to suffer all the translation duties, I dont have any problems getting along with everyone (especially her mum and dad) and look forward to spending time with them, even when my wife isnt around. I find it amazing how much you can communicate without a common language (beer usually helps :) ).

    One thing I have noticed from reading through the posts its that most people can speak at least one other language. I dont speak any other language (a little basic French & German that I remember from school) and genuinely find it difficult to try and learn czech. I know for sure that our children will know English & Czech and I hope will be proud of that.

    If I could learn a "good" level of Czech I would seriously consider moving there. We have discussed it many times but i'm too scared to make the move not knowing if I can find a job (without speaking Czech) that will pay enough to live comfortably.

    Sorry, kind of rambeled on there, but wanted to join in and say hello.
  14. HampshireLad

    HampshireLad Active Member

    I want to learn another European language anyway, but as a mobile software developer I need make sure that if an opportunity arises in an emerging new market I am at least in with a chance. This has been partially confirmed by the fact that my new Samsung mobile phone supports the Czech language as standard, so it kinda suggests the markets that Samsung are or will be targetting in the near future. Interestingly it also supports Slovak, Polish and Hungarian. Hmmm..
  15. michal7

    michal7 Active Member

    I first went to the Czech Republic during the Velvet Revolution for my school break and studied some Czech beforehand. I was amazed how warm the people were to me when I tried to converse with them in Czech. After all these years I finally began to use some Czech at my job. I appreciate how this Slavic language is phonetic and uses the Latin Alphabet. I lived in Russia for some time and it was a constant obsticle for me to learn how to pronounce some of the longer words because I could not spell them in my head. I hope some day to visit the Czech Republic again. It's long overdue.
  16. Parkwa

    Parkwa New Member

    My girlfriend is Czech. She speak perfect English but her family doesn't. So, I figured I'd learn her language so I can properly talk to her family. All going well, I'd also hope to propose to her in Czech one day. :D
  17. brook

    brook Well-Known Member

    What a great thread! Okay, my turn briefly... I got into czech language and culture through books - czech literature to be exact. Then I decided to move there (lived there for almost a year) and my life was never the same again. In a good way. For me learning czech is an intellectual challenge (what is that phrase - you are as many people as languages you know?), plus, I really love the way czech sounds and the way that czechs play with their words. That czech sense of humor clinched it for me I think.

    As much as I love czech, though, I don't think I could ever give up my citizenship. I was really surprised to read that in some of the previous posts! I was even asked that by a friend of mine while I was there - and said 'absolutely not!' before I could even form the thought. :p But that is just me... so please don't take offense. :)
  18. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Tolikrát jsi člověkem, kolik jazyků znáš/umíš. (I think.)
  19. kassia420

    kassia420 New Member

    I wanted to learn Czech because I'm a huge fan of the television series Stargate SG-1, and its spin-off, Atlantis. On Atlantis, there's a character named Radek Zelenka, and every episode he's in, he says a line in Czech, so obviously I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to understand what he says without having to use the internet as assitance!
  20. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Cool :D. It's very interesting. I haven't seen SG: Atlantis yet, however I've asked my friends about this and they told you're true :). My friends told me this about that Dr. Zelenka:
    So, they told, that actor is David Nykl. He was born in Prague, but when he was 2 years, they emigrated in Canada. Then he became an actor. He told in Czech only with his mother in the kitchen :). And they also told, he's very popular among Czech fans of SG :).

    They told me also about a Dr. Zelenka fan page :): (there's Czech and English version). There you can find also subtitles and if you want to transate some his sentence, write it in the forum :D.

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