#LifeInCzechia Are you moving to Czechia soon and don’t know Czech language? English is mostly spoken only by younger Czechs, but if you know at least some words , it will definitely make your life easier. We have good news! When you first arrive in Czechia, you will be exposed to some Czech words naturally and you’ll never forget them! So let me tell you the words that I learned impulsively and let’s discover Czech basics together!
Czech is a Western Slavic language. It is closely related to Slovak and Polish. Its script is the Latin alphabet.
Czech has carons and accent marks above the letters such as “č,š,á,” which are very difficult to pronounce for foreigners. Also, Czech language has words without vowels such as “prst, krk, skrz, vtrhl”. Due to these challenging features, learning the language may seem impossible at first.
Don’t worry, though! We know that Czech is one of the most difficult languages in the world but let’s start with the basics!
The words you’ll see everywhere
Back when I was an exchange student and first arrived in Brno, I needed to use the tram all the time. I heard the words “příští zastávka” at every stop and quickly learned that they mean “next stop”. It is a nice way to start learning how to pronounce the carons!
After I settled in the dorm, it was time to explore the city. Brno, my Erasmus city, is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and it has a unique and beautiful city centre. I walked through the centre and often saw signs that said “Náměstí”. I learned that this means square. Brno centre is full of squares such as Náměstí Svobody, Moravské Náměstí, Jakubské Náměstí and many more, so you’ll see these words quite often.
“Město” means city in Czech. You can see small “Brno-město” signboards in almost every street in Brno, which will help you learn it faster.
Do you love drinking coffee? If you are in Brno, there are cute little coffee trucks in almost every square. So, while enjoying your coffee, you will for sure learn the word for “coffee” in Czech. This is “káva”. Also, the Czech word for café is “kavárna”.
If you arrive in Czechia in summer, then you can run into many little ice cream trucks. The word for ice cream is “zmrzlina” in Czech and I have to say that it is my favourite word to pronounce! Check out this article if you are a “zmrzlina” fan!
Czechs love beer and wine. The word for beer is “pivo” and the word for wine is “víno” in Czech. Czechia has many local beer brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Kozel and Starobrno. Wherever you go, you will see someone drinking beer at a pub or a restaurant.
OUR TIP: Would you like to try the local Czech “pivo”? Your destination can be Restaurace Mincovna at the heart of Old Town Square, Prague.
Daily Czech words
As an expat living in Brno, I have to say that I didn’t have any problems communicating in English with young Czechs. But sometimes you can meet people who don’t speak English – especially taxi drivers and deliverers. In those moments my best supporter is Google Translate!
It would be nice to create a warm reception by speaking some common Czech phrases.
Check these phrases below! Believe me, you will use them every day!
- Hello — Dobrý den
- Yes/No – Ano/Ne
- Goodbye — Nashledanou / Ahoj
- Thank you — Děkuji
- What’s your name?(formal) — Jak se jmenujete?
- My name is ….. — Já jsem …..
- Please — Prosím
- Excuse me — Promiňte
- You are welcome – Rádo se stalo / není zač
- How are you? — Jak se máš?
- Attention — Pozor
Article Source: Britannica
Photo source: Leman Oktay