Speak Czech Instantly
Learning a new language can be the most wonderful thing you can do in your life. Some people devote their entire lives to learning a language. Some even learn a multitude of languages. They are called polyglotts. To be able to communicate with a Czeck in their own tongue is something you will never forget and this article will help you to achieve that goal.
Czech is a West Slavic language in the Indo-European family with 10 million speakers and is mutually intelligible with Slovak the language of Slovakia. It's the official language of the Czech Republic and a minority language of Slovakia. So are you ready to Speak Czech Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.
Exercise 1 : Hello
Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:
Try these English words : a boy.
Whenever "a" is used as a single letter in English it is always pronounced "a" as in "apple".
Czech Phrase : ahoj.
What it means : Hello.
English words : a boy.
Pronounced : a hoy.
Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?
At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.
kde je toaleta
Czech has some tricky words and is quite difficult to pronounce and find corresponding English words. Therefore we will have to be a little flexible, further emphasising why you need to listen to native speakers. The first tricky word comes in the form of "kde". It's similar to the Australian greeting G'day.
Try these English words : g'day eh toilet a.
Czech Phrase : kde je toaleta.
What it means : Where Are The Toilets?
English words : g'day eh toilet a.
Pronounced : kdeh eh toilet a.
Exercise 3 : Thank You
This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations
Another tricky word that needs to be heard to get the proper pronunciation. Again there isn't a corresponding English word to use. Basically the "e" in this Czech word for thank you is said "yeh" and the "kuji" spoken at speed sounds like the Quee of Queen.
Czech Phrase : děkuji.
What it means : Thank You.
English words : yeh tree.
Pronounced : dyeh kwee.
Exercise 4 : Excuse me
Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market.
At last, a word that sounds like it's written. Whenever I use "eh" it is pronounced like the "e" in "red"
Czech Phrase : promiňte.
What it means : Excuse me.
English words : from hint eh.
Pronounced : prom mint eh.
Exercise 5 : How Much is it?
This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering. It helps in shops or anywhere, where there is no price displayed.
kolik to stojí
When "o" is used alone in the English words section it is pronounced like "o" in "mop".
Czech Phrase : kolik to stojí.
What it means : How Much is it?
English words : jaw-beak o boy.
Pronounced : kaw-leak to stoy.
Exercise 6 : I Would Like
I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The phrase to use is:
Czech Phrase : chtěl bych.
What it means : I Would Like.
English words : yell fish.
Pronounced : shtyell bish.
Exercise 7 : Drinks
Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.
šálek kávy....šálek čaje
Czech Phrase : šálek kávy....šálek čaje.
What it means : A cup of coffee....A cup of tea.
English words : garlic Harvey....garlic ballet.
Pronounced : shah-lick carve-ay....shah-lick chah-yeh.
Czech Phrase : sklenice piva.....mléko.....víno....voda.
What it means : A glass of beer.....milk.....wine.....water.
English words : clay-neice-eh diva.....blake-oh.....bean-oh.....soda.
Pronounced : sklay-neice-eh piva.....mlake-oh.....vino.....voda.
Exercise 8 : Numbers
When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.
jedna ...dva ...tři ...čtyři ...pět
More tongue twisters. The "ř" is pronounced "sh" and we have dva which is pronounced as it's written
Czech Phrase : jedna dva tři čtyři pět.
What it means : one two three four five.
English words : edna ...spa...may...stay-bay...bet.
Pronounced : yednah...dvah...tshay...shtayshay...pyeht.
Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check
Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.
Czech Phrase : účet, prosím.
What it means : The Bill, please.
English words : two-met cross-team.
Pronounced : who-chett pross-eem.
Exercise 10 : Goodbye
We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye?
Czech Phrase : na shledanou.
What it means : Goodbye.
English words : bah bled man oh.
Pronounced : nah shled-a-know.
Unfortunately our time in the Czech Republic is at an end, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to practise your Czech language. There are many internet sites you can visit or even better you may get to know a Czech person. You may even decide to begin learning the language in it's entirety, which will bring you a lifetime of pleasure. Good luck and until next time...na shledanou.