Mentality of Czech people

If you just moved to the country, you may have to deal with social behaviors that might seem quite different from those you’re used to. Language could constitute a great barrier too, that’s why we recommend starting learning Czech as soon as possible and attend one of our #MeetUps to familiarise with Czechs and expats with a longer experience of living in the context. Cutting to the chase, in now time to show you what we call Czech social awkwardness, and how Czechs really are!

Social awkwardness

  • Common way of socializing is to go to a local pub (hospoda) after a day at work to have one beer (na jedno). Needless to say it never ends with just one.
  • If you’re old or pregnant (or both) your chances of getting a seat in a public transport are incredibly high. It’s considered good manners to let old people or pregnant women sit down.
  • Czech people apologize all the time 🙂 At least it looks like “excuse me” or “pardon me” (s dovolením / pardon) are the most frequently used phrases. You’ll hear it the most in public transport, especially Prague metro. For example, when people try to get on/off the train or when you’re blocking the left side of the moving stairs.
  • Czechs are a little obsessed with doing sports. So in a random conversation you’ll definitely hear how someone went cycling (in summer) or skiing (in winter).
  • Ice hockey topic is always appreciated, not only during Ice Hockey Championship. You’d better know the names of the main players, or at least Jaromir Jagr. It also might come in handy to be aware, that two main football teams are Slavia and Sparta.

what are czech people like

How Czechs really are?

  • Czechs seem rather reserved when introduced to a new person. Usually, they do not trust people they do not know.
  • Their behavior may appear formal – the reason may be the use of the second-person in Czech language, the ‘polite’ form. It is used with people whom you do not know, in a formal social interaction, or when younger generation is addressing the older one. Another reason for the distrustful behavior comes from the communist era, when many people were forced to betray even their closest family members or friends.
  • Czech sense of humor or a general life attitude may be perceived as ironic or sarcastic. The same reason goes for maintaining their personal privacy and being intimate with people they know.
  • Czech people are naturally very polite and do not tend to be overly direct in communication.
  • They generally avoid confrontation – informal straightforwardness in dealing is common.
  • After getting to know Czechs better you become to love their cheerful and helpful character and you can experience what a warm and firm friendship is about.
  • They are very hospitable and enjoy to be a nation of realistic and very practical people.

Annie Fed

46 thoughts on “Mentality of Czech people

  1. Hello Anna , i will be visting the beautiful city of Prague for the 1st time in September, i have no fiends there and will love to make some acquaintances before i get there… Kindly assist in this regard .

    Thanks

  2. Thanks Anna for sharing such details…. I agreed with your points and I have seen this during my visit to Czech Republic in last 3-4 years.

    I feel Prague (or Czech Republic) as my second home after India…I feel safe, happy & ease during my whole travelling or stay…

    Czech people are very helpful and nice….

  3. I am a Vietnamese living in America and I LOVE the beautiful Czech people. I’ve been to your lovely land three times and will come again to preach the Holy Bible with a Czech brother in 2017. Your culture is so beautiful!!

  4. Hi people,
    Im greeting from czech republic. Like typical czech I will firstly apologize my bad english. Simply czech person 😀
    Honestly I was really surprised about this article I can say that its rly truth, u caught our nature well. Maybe better that czech people. But I must say that like in every country it always depend on locality. Despite a many faults which my country have, I love it here and mainly are language is beautiful. You all who want visit czech, are welcome and Im sure u back to home full of enjoyments

  5. You also have to mention that a big number of Czechs don’t really like or get along with Germans. This might be due to historical reasons but also the younger generation is acting differently towards them than to other nationalities.

    1. You are alright, but more than Germany, we really don’t like Russia. It’s because the history, they occuped us in 1968. It’s stronger, because there is still a big amount of people who remember it.

  6. Hello,
    I am from Czechia (Záchlumí, Pilsen region). When I read this article, I was very pleased. I am very happy, that you think this sabout us. We will welcome everybody, that want experience czech culture. If I can recommend some beautiful places (without famous), so Loket castel, Koněpruské jeskyně (caves), Mariánské a Františkovy lázně, Pilsen and maybe Ještěd (in winter). Thank you very much for beautiful article.

    1. Hi, Bara, I’ll do my best to answer your question ”Why are Czech people ashamed of being Czech”. As a Czech person, who has been living abroad for the last four years (U.K) I went through this ”not-good-enough-because-from-Czech times” myself. First of all, NO ONE in the Western Europe sees us a bad as we do see ourselves through our own eyes. None. Over the last years, when I had the chance to meet thousands of people from all over the World (no exaggeration here) – nearly all of them reacted extremely positive when I shared my origin. P O S I T I V E – so positive that I was always shocked by their enthusiasm. ”Yes, I am Czech, no big deal so calm down hun” always went through my mind. However, once some time passed, I started realising that some qualities that we as a nation possess (and take for granted) are ENTIRELY ABSENT in other places & cultures. First one worth mentioning is *high intellect & common sense* – it takes awhile to comprehend why others don’t see what’s pretty much obvious to you – they simply don’t have the capacity, or they never had to challenge their brains enough to observe the situation from different angles. *simple life*. Secondly, an enormous practicality – which is given us through our living conditions (lower wages/similar expenses). – So to be able to live within the means, in Czech you have to be able to use your resources precautiously – things like a meal deal for £2-3 (minimum salary £7.50/hour) don’t exist. Therefore there is no time for laziness in Czech, you need to be practical as hell to handle your finances, expenses and bills – and this requires some skills and pragmatism – which is not so common over here. Any Czechs who think about themselves this way needs some exposure to the World beyond the Czech borders so that they can find out, that the low-esteem has nothing to do with the actual skills, intelligence, looks or education. It’s just a habitual way of thinking passed on by the older generations. No, the western grass isn’t any greener than the Czech one. Period. Hope that you find this useful, Bara, there is no reason to feel like less if you know what the ”little” outside the borders is like. Have a nice day, dear. 🙂

      1. *high intellect & common sense*… ROTFL. Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden, and certainly not in a Czech one. As for high intellect, it can only be the result of the exceptionally good system of education in the Czech Republic. I really would like to see things from your point of view but I can’t seem to get my head that far up my ass. ROTFL.

      2. In my country (Cyprus) we have a saying for bad customer service: Czech service. I have never been to Czechia so I do not know if this is valid.

        1. Ναι Γιώργο. 🙂 I’m living in CZ and indeed a Czech will rarely go the extra mile in customer service. However, I am glad that basic politeness and gentle manners still prevail in public services, in which, by the way, you are usually assisted efficiently. I myself come from GR where… well, you know already about us. 😀 But yes, it’s common here in pubs and restaurants for the service to be fast but a bit “choppy” and abrupt, not the Southern friendliness and cheerfulness we got used to. (I don’t care though, food and beer taste sooo good that I’d enjoy even if the waitress placed it on the floor for me, haha!) Oh, and last good thing is that, unlike the heavily tourism- and services-dependent Greece, we don’t have the “client’s tyranny” here. If a pub or a bar closes at 23:30, it means that last order is to be taken by 23:15 and no new clients are welcome; already seated clients can stay, but they usually won’t stay for long. This is good news for the waiters – it means they can go home by 00:30 the latest instead of keeping the venue open until all clients sitting have no new orders and leave.

          1. Thabk you Demetri. I ought to commend on your excellent use of the english language!

    2. My Dad’s parents were from Czechoslovakia. I would LOVE to go there to visit. My first cousin just got back from her first visit there. I have always been very proud to be Czechoslovakian!

  7. Social skills below zero.Friendliness ,humor below zero.Formality,typicality 9/10.
    Aka Very Boring

    1. Perhaps it’s the language barrier. After I learned even basic Czech, I could finally laugh with the Czechs. I am still disappointed with the dating market though. I have the impression that both men and women send a bit mixed signals and don’t actually date you (which means flirting, asking things about you). From an experience that an Italian close friend of mine had: guy went on date with a her (he asked her out first), suggested that they pay separately (each of them got just two drinks, nothing extraordinary) then they kissed outside, slept together two or three times and when the girl finally asked him whether they can be seeing each other more frequently than just two times a week, he played it surprised and said that he preferred to stay friends “as they were.” My friend freaked out, I mean, first he asked her out, then didn’t treat her on their first date (usually signifies the guy’s disinterested), then shows her affection, but hey, turns out all this time they were… just friends? Similar story happened to a male British friend of mine with a Czech girl who’d say she “is not into relationship right now, prefers being friends” but came to his home, slept with him, still “friends,” but when the guy stopped seeing her and started dating exclusively someone else, she got mad about it and started sending him messages like “I was so in love with you but you never got it.” Don’t get it nor do my expat fellows. Many say it feels like “they’re doing you a favor to screw you but at the same time want to keep things casual with you.”

  8. I came across this blog trying to find out about Czech characteristics. My mother was always referred to as German/Czech. She was born illegitimately and her surname was Turner (umlaut ‘u’), her mother’s name. I understood that as a German name so where was the Czech element? She was born in Brno, so that must be it! Her father’s name was Matthias Bunzl, which I assumed was German. All my life I have held the belief I am half German but I now believe that is incorrect. My 50% German has been reduced to 12 1/2%, I think.
    Firstly I discovered that my great’german’grandmother was Czech, and secondly that Matthias Bunzl was probably Czech also (though, I would like to confirm this). So that now makes me 37 1/2% Czech, hence my interest in Czech characteristics. If anyone has any advice on how I might find out more about my grandfather (apart from the little my mother told me), I would be very grateful as, so far, I can find nothing.

    1. Get a DNA test done through Ancestry.com. It tells you what Nationalities that you inherited, and will hook you up with relatives of yours that have taken the test. Your relatives might be able to shed some light also.

    2. Many Czechs are mixed with Germans, that isn’t viewed as not being Czech at all. However the fact that you’re obviously American probably would be, Americans are Americans for most Europeans if you don’t speak Czech, your ancestry irrelevant.

  9. Sorry cech people are so weird, I was once there and when I politely ask some person for an adress info they didn t even look me, I ve visited a lot of country but this behavior wan t nowhere just in Czech, they are so rude and weird

    1. They probably didn’t understand you. I don’t agree with you.
      We can find rude people all around the world so don’t judge all Czech pople on one bad experience.

  10. Love Czech culture and people, was blessed to be there for studies. Very easy to make close friendships quickly but have heard from some older expats who’ve lived in CZ long time that the friendships while deep & warm strong connections at the time tend to be more superficial not lasting long-term, disappearing during adversity and hard times. Hope this isn’t true as I love my Czech friends but it hasn’t been long enough for me to know. Would be interested to know if anyone else can comment on that aspect.

  11. Hi! Im from Czech Republic and I rly like your text.
    I would just like to comment about taking the seat to someone- we offer seat always to someone who truly needs it ( in because of their state of health also😊) – for many people (especially for olders) its sign of good manners.
    Using polite version of addressing (vykaanii) there is still in the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when the Czech had an Emperor. if you saw the films of the Emperor’s Baker and the Baker’s Emperor (the legendary Czech funny fairy tale, inspired by Empire times), you have seen the Emperor say something like ‘WE are the Empire, WE are the monarchy’. That was the time when vykání get label of respectfull and polite version of adresing. Until then there was no difference in it.😊

  12. Wow. ‘Naturally very polite’ and ‘avoid confrontation’. Clearly, you haven’t lived here very long. Otherwise yes, good description.

  13. Why do Czech people stare at women who have their legs out?? It’s so creepy and everyone does it?

    1. And how do you know they were Czech people? Do we have a sign on our head? If I look on a girl or a boy it is because I like their clothes or tattoo mainly. I am thinking where they bought it or admiring the tattoo etc. You might have met wrong people. I do not know. But you don’t need to generalize. We are not all the same. It is very rude.

  14. Additionally, I came to Prague with my friends who are mainly girls and since I’ve been here, I’ve seen men and worm glare at my friends up and down like they’re pieces of meat and that they’ve never seen a pair or legs before. It makes me feel sick seeing this from every person and even more that these people are with children (which sets a great example for them to look at tourist) and other people. Apart from that the buildings and country is beautiful just avoid the locals.

  15. I met my Czech husband in 1987 and we married in 1990 and we live in Texas. I finally had enough of his mother and one of his two sisters around year 23 (the first wife left after 13 years) and refuse to be around them. They are toxic poisonous snakes and our marriage would have been so much better if they had not been around. They have sucked the life out of that sister’s husband (who is not Czech). The rest of the family won’t tell them off, but I have started doing it. I cannot put into words how much I cannot stand them. If all the people those two talked ugly about knew about it, nobody would have anything to do with them and they would be banned from the family reunion. The queen mother is a huge liar and should not be allowed near a phone because she is so annoying and the daughter is the most negative human being who ever walked the planet. I hope they see this. I don’t have any complaints about other Czech people.

  16. I want to learn as much about Czech people as possible. My last name is most definitely Czech. My father’s family is Czech. I am also part Slovenian. Both are small groups of people. I feel proud to belong to such special people. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities of the world. My ancestors come from there. So happy.

    1. I agree with your comment. Very racist. Half of them are like my cleaners back home in London and they show the arrogance in their country. Fy&£Ing idiots

  17. I’m in Prague at the moment and it is beautiful!
    I just had to google “chech people”, because everyday so far I’ve encountered so many rude people! In shops, restaurants, museums and any kind of service. Mostly female. I am generally very social and interested in new cultures and people. But I don’t understand this rudeness. It really affects the general feeling of being here in Prague :/

    1. Just returned from a 4 day stay in Prague with my wife and daughter.
      Beautiful city as anyone would agree. But comparing to Iceland, Oslo, Helsinki, Dubai and (Western) Turkey we’ve been visiting for the past 2 years I must say that in Prague especially the females working in the tourist sector are just plain rude and condescending.
      They just don’t seem to care about anything but them selves.
      Big exception were the waitresses at Hard Rock Cafe.
      Of course there are rude and polite people all around the world. But Prague struck me/us with their inhabitants and their “uncommon” behavior in this regard.

  18. Most Cypriots who have visited the Czech Republic speak very highly of the country but not of the people. I have never heard so many negative comments about any other nationality. I want to visit the country to form my own opinion but after all that I heard I am reluctant to do so.

    1. No, do visit it. It’s just that many people here struggle with their English, especially the fluent speakers (and you Cypriots speak English native-level, really). And, of course, the typical big problem with the city center that has turned into a theme park overflown with tourists (see also Barcelona and other famous destinations) of which the consequences and the pressure is most felt among the locals. Don’t even get me started on many souvenir shops in the Old Twon owed by Bulgarians and Croatians, further exacerbating the locals’ sense of unwilling alienation from their own place. I was surprised, however, when I’d learn some survival phrases and try speaking to Czechs, how much they liked it and a sincere smile on their face would appear. Kindness goes both ways. Give this destination a chance.

    2. I think it’s really a nice place to visit. Yes there are high chances of getting scammed or ripped off if one is not careful. Don’t let the stupid bunch deter you from visiting this place. Come, if encounter any idiot Fu&k them and enjoy he place

  19. Prague is full of scam and those Czech in tourist area are just there to rip your money. It spoil my reputation towards Czech and some are really annoying…
    My first time to Prague and my last too.. Will never return.
    Switzerland and Southern France are so much better !!

  20. Hello, I am at Prague airport right now, waiting for my flight back to London. I have a mixed feeling about Czech people. I did find quite a few good and polite Czech people however I did find some non friendly Czech people too. My observation and experience from last one week says that some of them ( I think the decent lot) are quite helpful, there are plenty of Czechs with little tolerance and lack of politeness too. A simple example would be whilst shopping at one of the branded outlet, the girl at counter was too less tolerant of me being unable to understand her, due to her poor English not mine. That was ridiculous. For a moment, I thought to give her the lesson of the day by escalating her attitude to the manager but then decided to let it go. This was not one off but had faced couple of other instances like this. I also noticed that any shop you enter they look as if people are going to steal the stuff away, they should get the theft prevention system at doors rather than looking at shoppers with suspicious eye.

  21. In Czech i found most of the local people quite harsh and rude to foreigners. I myself is foreigners. This country is not at all diverse like other cosmopolitan cities but still i dont understand why it is so overrated. Its too much of history and it is so boring. Everything closes at 5 or 6 in evening, even the public toilets. In my life i had been to so many countries even to the 3rd world countries but still the cities don”t close the public toilets which is a basic necessity for anyone (foreigner or local). Brno is more worst than Prague in this case. People rudeness in Czech Republic is very popular. They dont have manners to speak to foreigners. There are million times better countries and people than Czech Republic.

  22. My husband is a native Praguer, and what you describe seems to be on the mark in describing him and his family. My husband, however, is not much of a sports fan, but his father was and I know most Czechs are. My husband and his family and friends in Prague are very much into the arts of all sorts. I’m not sure if most Czechs are, but Prague is very rich in this respect.

    My husband is a very sweet man, but he definitely can be somewhat formal around some people; new people as you said. However, with Czech friends he’s very close. He was, however, pretty friendly with me the first time we met.

  23. Come to live and creating roots here and after 25 years, I would like to read your comments.

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