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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Gabriella:
Welcome back to CzechClass101.com. This is All About, Lesson 5 - Top 5 Must-Know Phrases for Learning Czech. I’m Gabriella.
Martin:
Hi everyone, I’m Martin. In this lesson, we'll introduce you to five phrases that will help you every day!

Lesson focus

Gabriella:
Yes, these are phrases that you will be really glad you learned. We'll teach you not only the phrases, but when and where to use them. In this lesson, we are going to give you the phrase, pause for you to repeat it, explain it, and give you some examples if necessary, and then jump to the next phrase. Martin, what’s the first one?
Martin:
"Ahoj" (Pause). The most practical phrase in Czech is "Ahoj"
Gabriella:
Yes. It means “Hello,” or “hi”. You can use it in informal situations only, particularly with people you have already become friends with.
Martin:
In daily conversation, Czech people often use čau meaning “hi!” between friends. It’s a very casual greeting, and cannot be used with anybody other than friends.
Gabriella:
When someone greets you with this word, you simply respond with…"
Martin:
Ahoj!" In formal conversation, “Dobrý den” meaning “Good day” is used as a first greeting.
Gabriella:
This is when speaking to somebody for the first time, or somebody you don’t know, or an elderly person.
Martin:
That’s right. It would be very rude to use “ahoj” to somebody you have just only met. Dobrý den is also used at the time of entering a shop, office, or enquiring over the phone and so on. Depending on the time of day, phrases such as “Dobré ráno” meaning “Good morning”, and “Dobrý večer” meaning “Good evening” are also used just like in English.
Gabriella:
Ok, now the next phrase...
Martin:
"Děkuju" (Pause)
Gabriella:
It means “thank you”. A well-placed and sincere "thank you" will always be appreciated when someone gives you a plate of food, a drink, or even a compliment.
Martin:
"Thank you" in Czech is “děkuji” or “děkuju” with the final letter changing into ‘’u’’ in daily conversation. Děkuji is mostly a written form, while děkuju is spoken. When using děkuji in spoken Czech, the feeling is more polite and more formal.
Gabriella:
Our next phrase is “please”
Martin:
"Prosím" (pause)
Gabriella:
Again, it means “please”, and it is a useful phrase for when you want to ask somebody for help.
Martin:
Yes, but Czech people don’t use “prosím” alone. You should use “Vás” with the phrase “prosím”, which altogether means “please, you Mr. or Mrs”. So altogether, you can say “prosím Vás” and then what you need at the end. The word ‘’Vás’’ is an honorific expression you use to address other adults who are not your friends or in formal situations. “Prosím Vás” is never used with children! It is only a polite form for adults.
Gabriella:
Now, let’s say “Please show me the direction”.
Martin:
“Prosim Vás, ukažte mi cestu”. So to mean “Please show me the direction”, first you say “prosim Vás” meaning “Mr./Mrs please”, then the phrase “ukažte mi” which means “show me.”, then finally say “cestu”, meaning “the way/direction”. Gabriella, did you know that the word “prosim” actually has more than one meaning?
Gabriella:
Yes, it’s quite multifunctional. It is also used to offer something to somebody, just like the English ‘’here you are’’, or as an answer to somebody’s words of thanks like the English ‘’you're welcome’’. Martin can you give us some examples of this?
Martin:
One example is if I offer you a taste of something, I will say “prosim, ochutnejte” meaning “here you are, taste this”. To this you just answer “děkuji” or “děkuju”, meaning “thank you”.
Another example is when I thank you for something you have done for me and I say “děkuju”, you reply “prosim” which has the same meaning as “you’re welcome” in this case.
Gabriella:
The next phrase is “Excuse me”.
Martin:
There are two ways to draw somebody’s attention in Czech. One is the honorific version “promiňte prosim Vás meaning “excuse me please”, which you use in formal situations, or when you’re addressing other adults and the elderly. The other is “promiň prosim tě” which means “excuse me”, and is more casually used with friends, or with very young people and children.
Gabriella:
How would you say “Excuse me, what time is it?”
Martin:
Promiňte prosím, kolik je hodin? This is formal.
Or:
Promiň prosím tě, kolik je hodin? This is informal.
Gabriella:
And in other situations, for example, to request something, to order food or drink, to squeeze by someone, and so on...
Martin:
You use “promiňte”.
Gabriella:
How would you say “Excuse me, can I borrow a pen?”
Martin:
Promiňte, můžu si půjčit pero?
Martin:
But “promiňte” also means “sorry”.
Gabriella:
And that’s the last phrase we’re going to learn in this lesson. This is the phrase that can be used when you really want to apologize.
Martin:
In that case, say “promiňte!” meaning “sorry!” or “prosim Vás promiňte!” meaning “Excuse me, I’m really sorry!”. The latter is more formal, and sounds more sincere. Again, for children or youngsters just “promiň” is used. You may often hear the word “pardon” from other people too.
Gabriella:
This is an apology usually for stepping on somebody’s foot, or bumping someone’s shoulder on a crammed tram. It is also used when you need to squeeze past people, to let them know you are going to pass through. Ok, so now we’ve covered the 5 most practical phrases in Czech. Knowing these phrases will take you a long way, so try remembering them when you go to the Czech Republic!
Martin:
You'll probably use each of them every day!

Outro

Gabriella:
Thank you for listening everyone. See you next time!
Martin:
Ahoj!

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