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200+ Czech Words for Beginners

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You know, people often underestimate the power of choosing the right words. 

In Czech, there’s a cute little word—slovíčkaření—which is the combination of slovíčka (“little words”) and -ření (indicating an action or activity). This word could be loosely translated as “unnecessary playing with words.”

However, playing with words is actually quite necessary, especially when learning a new language. Once you’ve engaged in such a rewarding and exciting process, you’ll want to make sure you’re as efficient as possible, right? Hence, you’ll want to learn the right Czech beginner words (a.k.a words that are actually helpful and can be used in real-life conversations).

Also, did you know that you only need to learn 1000 of a language’s most frequently used words to understand 75% of any conversation? (Unless, of course, you find yourself in the middle of a quantum physics seminar, and the only thing you know about physics is that in 5th grade, you got a C on a test, which made you cry in front of the whole class.) I highly recommend that you check out this awesome book if you’re interested in efficient study methods and fun stuff like that.

In this article, you’ll learn basic Czech words for beginners that will make a great base for your Czech vocab. Without further ado, let’s begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Czech Pronouns for Beginners
  2. Czech Numbers
  3. Czech Nouns
  4. Czech Verbs
  5. Czech Adjectives
  6. Czech Conjunctions
  7. What Else You Should Know
  8. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Czech Pronouns for Beginners

Czech doesn’t use personal pronouns nearly as much as English does, thanks to declension, verb conjugation, and grammatical gender. It kind of reminds me of a quote from a Czech movie about teenagers: “It might be the longer route, but…it’s also the more difficult one.”

Bottom line: Even though you won’t be using personal pronouns too often, you still need to know them.

A- Personal Pronouns 

    Personal pronouns are mostly used for emphasis or when further clarification is needed.

This means that if someone says…

Nemám to ráda. – “I don’t like it.”

…it’s not the same as:

to nemám ráda. – “I don’t like it.” (I don’t, but everyone else in my family loves it; thank you for your kind offer, but I shall graciously decline.)

1st Person

Nominative GenitiveDativeAccusativeVocativeLocativeInstrumental
Singularmne/měmně/mimne/měmněmnou
Pluralmynásnámnásnásnámi

2nd Person

NominativeGenitiveDativeAccusativeVocativeLocativeInstrumental
Singulartytebetobě/titebetobětebou
Pluralvyvásvámvásvásvámi

3rd Person Singular

Nominative GenitiveDativeAccusativeVocativeLocativeInstrumental
Feminineonaji
Masculineonněj/něhojemujeho/jej/něho/nějněmním
Neuterononěj/něhojemujeho/jej/něho/nějněmním

3rd Person Plural

NominativeGenitiveDativeAccusativeVocativeLocativeInstrumental
Feminineonyjich/nichjich/nichje/něnichjimi/nimi
Masculineonijich/nichjich/nichje/něnichjimi/nimi
Neuteronajich/nichjich/nichje/něnichjimi/nimi

B- Possessive Pronouns

1st Person

Gender s/p
Case
Feminine singularMasculinesingularNeutersingularFemininepluralMasculinepluralNeuterplural
Nominativemá/mojemljmé/mojemé/mojemí/mojimé/moje
Genitivemé/mojíméhoméhomýchmýchmých
Dativemé/mojímémumémumýmmýmmým
Accusativemé/mojímého/můjmé/mojemé/mojemé/mojemá/moje
Vocativemá/mojemůjmé/mojemé/mojemoji/mojemá/moje
Locativemé/mojímémmémmýchmýchmých
Instrumentalmou/mojímýmmýmmýmimýmimými

2nd Person

Gender s/p
Case
Feminine singularMasculinesingularNeutersingularFemininepluralMasculinepluralNeuterplural
Nominativetvá/tvojetvůjtvé/tvojetvé/tvojetví/tvoji/tvétvá/tvoje
Genitivetvé/tvojítvéhotvéhotvých/tvojíchtvýchtvých/tvojích
Dativetvé/tvojítvémutvémutvýmtvýmtvým
Accusativetvoutvémutvé/tvojetvé/tvojetvé/tvojetvá/tvoje
Vocativetvá/tvojetvůjtvé/tvojetvé/tvojetví/tvoji/tvojetvá/tvoje
Locativetvé/tvojítvémtvémtvýchtvýchtvých
Instrumentaltvou/tvojítvýmtvýmtvýmitvýmitvými

Okay, guys, I know it’s a lot. But once you memorize this, things will get easier.

Besides, the 3rd person possessive pronouns are easy-peasy!

3rd Person

Gender s/p
Case
Feminine singularMasculinesingularNeutersingularFemininepluralMasculinepluralNeuterplural
Nominativejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Genitivejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Dativejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Accusativejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Vocativejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Locativejehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich
Instrumentaljehojejíjehojejichjejichjejich

C- Demonstrative Pronouns

Feminine singularMasculine singularNeuter singular
“This”TatoTentoToto
“That” or “The”TaTenTo
Feminine pluralMasculine pluralNeuter plural
“These”TytoTitoTato
“Those” or “The”TyTi/TyTa

D- Interrogative Pronouns and Question Words

  • co – “what”
  • kdo – “who”
  • kdý – “when”
  • kolik – “how many” / “how much”
  • kde – “where”
  • který/jenž – “which”
  • čí – “whose”
  • jaký – “what kind”
  • jak – “how”
  • proč – “why”
  • kdy – “when”

I strongly recommend you check out this list of the most useful Czech pronouns and this lesson on how to use various pronouns.

2. Czech Numbers

Okay, now you know how to say “my” and “yours.” Now we can move on to another topic—numbers and counting. 

    You WILL have to apply gender and declension to SOME cardinal numbers (there’s a difference between “one chicken,” “one man,” and “one woman”) and ALL ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.). This only applies to cardinal 2 and ordinal 2nd.
    To make ordinals, add -tý (for M), -tá (for F), and -té (for N). The example below shows the masculine version.
    Cardinal numbers are identified by a period: 3rd = 3. / 5th = 5. / etc.
    Teens are made of a version of the cardinal number plus -náct (no exceptions).
    Tens are made of the cardinal number plus -cet (up until 40) and -sát (50 to 90).
    You must always apply declension. (Again, there’s a difference between “He’s coming on the 3rd of August” and “He’s her third son”).

CardinalOrdinal
1Jeden/Jedna/Jedno (M/F/N)První
2Dvě/Dva/DvěDruhý/Druhá/Druhé (M/F/N)
3TřiTřetí
4ČtyřiČtvrtý/Čtvrtá/Čtvrté
5PětPátý/Pátá/Páté
6ŠestŠestý/Šestá/Šesté
7SedmSedmý/Sedmá/Sedmé
8OsmOsmý/Osmá/Osmé
9DevětDevátý/Devátá/Deváté
10DesetDesátý/Desátá/Desáté
11JedenáctJedenáctý/Jedenáctá/Jedenácté
12DvanáctDvanáctý/-tá/-té
13TřináctDvanáctý/-tá/-té
14ČtrnáctČtrnáctý/-tá/-té
15PatnáctPatnáctý/-tá/-té
16ŠestnáctŠestnáctý/-tá/-té
17SedmnáctSedmnáctý/-tá/-té
18OsmnáctOsmnáctý/-tá/-té
19DevatenáctDevatenáctý/-tá/-té

Tens

    To make ordinals, add -átý/-átá/-áté for M/F/N singular. For plural, it’s -átí/-áté/-átá.

CardinalOrdinal
20DvacetDvacátý/-átá/-áté
30TřicetTřicátý/-átá/-áté
40ČtyřicetČtyřicátý/-átá/-áté
50PadesátPadesátý/-átá/-áté
60ŠedesátŠedesátý/-átá/-áté
70SedmdesátSedmdesátý/-átá/-áté
80OsmdesátOsmdesátý/-átá/-áté
90DevadesátDevadesátý/-átá/-áté

Here’s how you write higher numbers (yup, no periods or commas):

  • 100 – Sto
  • 1 000 – Tisíc
  • 1 000 000 – Milion
  • 1 000 000 000 – Miliarda

This list of Czech numbers includes pronunciation and will make your studying way faster. If you want to go into more detail, we’ve got you covered.

3. Czech Nouns

Nouns should make up a large chunk of your Czech beginner vocabulary. And do you know how most language textbooks start? There’s usually a drawing of people gathered around a table (or a Christmas tree) and the headline reads: My Family.

A- Family – Rodina

WomanŽena
ManMuž
BoyChlapec / Kluk
GirlDěvče / Dívka
ChildDítě
BabyMiminko
Mother / MomMatka / Máma
Father / DadOtec / Táta
BrotherBratr
SisterSestra
Sibling / SiblingsSourozenec / Sourozenci
GrandfatherDěda
GrandmotherBabička
AuntTeta
UncleStrýc
CousinBratranec (M) / Sestřenice (F)
Big family / Small familyVelká rodina / Malá rodina
RelativesPříbuzní
HomeDomov
HouseDům
ApartmentByt
PetMazlíček
DogPes
CatKočka
AnimalZvíře
LoveLáska

A Family in a Supermarket

Rodina v supermarketu. – “A family in a supermarket.”

B- Work and School – Práce a škola

OfficeKancelář
CollegeVysolá škola
High schoolStřední škola
CareerKariéra
CoworkerKolega
Computer / LaptopPočítač
PenPero
PencilTužka
MeetingSchůzka / Meeting
NotebookDiář
InterviewPohovor
ExamZkouška
SalaryPlat
SuperiorNadřízený
SubordinatePodřízený
ManagerManager
StudentStudent
BossŠéf
WorkPráce

A Woman Making a Phone Call while Working Late

Ta žena telefonuje. – “The woman is making a phone call.”

You might also want to see our lists titled 20 Common Czech Words for Occupations and Talking About the Workplace in Czech

C- Time – Čas

SecondVteřina
MinuteMinuta
HourHodina
DayDen
WeekTýden
MonthMěsíc
YearRok
A half hourPůlhodina
A quarter hourČtvrthodina

    Please remember: The date format used in the Czech Republic is DD.MM.YYYY. This could cause A LOT of confusion.

D- Body Parts – Části lidského těla

BodyTělo
MuscleSval
BoneKost
HeadHlava
NeckKrk
ShouldersRamena
HandsRuce
ArmsPaže
ChestHrudník
WaistPas
StomachBřicho
ThighsStehna
KneesKolena
CalvesLýtka
LegsNohy
FeetChodidla
Fingers / ToesPrsty
HairVlasy
FaceObličej
ForeheadČelo
NoseNos
ChinBrada
EyesOči
Mouth / LipsÚsta / Rty
EarsUši
Cheek bonesLícní kosti
CheeksTváře
EyelashesŘasy
EyebrowsObočí

Here’s a great list with examples for you.

E- Food and Drinks – Jídlo a pití

BreakfastSnídaně
LunchOběd
DinnerVečeře
SnackSvačina
DessertDezert
CakeDort
EntréeHlavní chod
EggVejce
MilkMléko
CoffeeKáva
WineVíno
MeatMaso
CheeseSýr
ChocolateČokoláda
FruitOvoce
VegetablesZelenina
FishRyba
ChickenKuře
BreadChleba
PastaTěstoviny
SoupPolévka
WaterVoda
SaladSalát
HungerHlad
ThirstŽízeň
FoodJídlo
GroceriesPotraviny
DrinkPití

A Couple Shopping Together at the Supermarket

Muž a žena nakupují potraviny. – “A man and a woman are shopping for groceries.”

F- Places Around Town – Místa ve městě

RestaurantRestaurace
Movie theaterKino
TheaterDivadlo
GalleryGalerie
MuseumMuzeum
CaféKavárna
SchoolŠkola
HospitalNemocnice
DowntownCentrum
ParkPark
StreetUlice
Train stationVlakové nádraží
StopZastávka
StoreObchod
SupermarketSupermarket

G- Weather Words

SunSlunce
WindVítr
RainDéšť
SnowSníh

4. Czech Verbs

Basic verbs are an essential set of Czech beginner words that you should learn early on, whether you want to describe your morning routine, make plans for the day, or engage in small talk about your hobbies. Feel free to look for your favorite activities on this list, as well.

A Woman Cooking in the Kitchen

Ta žena vaří. – “The woman is cooking.”

A- Daily Routine Verbs – Denní rituály

To doDělat
To beBýt
To goJít
To get upVstávat
To workPracovat
To studyStudovat
To cookVařit
To take a showerSprchovat se
To commuteDojíždět
To driveJet autem
To take a train / bus / tramJet vlakem / autobusem / tramvají
To readČíst
To studyUčit se
To go shoppingJít nakupovat
To make a phone call / To callTelefonovat / Zavolat
To type / To writePsát
To waitČekat
To schedule / To planNaplánovat
To cancelZrušit
To exerciseCvičit
To eatJíst
To drinkPít
To comePřijít
To arriveDorazit
To leaveOdejít
To go to bedJít spát
To sleepSpát
To feelCítit se
To askPtát se
To thankPoděkovat
To think / To think aboutMyslet / Přemýšlet o
To answerOdpovědět
To checkKontrolovat
CanMoci / Umět
To openOtevřít
To closeZavřít

B- Other Common Verbs – Další obvyklá slovesa

To drawKreslit
To paintMalovat
To runBěhat
To do yogaCvičit jógu
To go to the gymJít do posilovny
To swimPlavat
To go for a walkJít na procházku
To rest / To relaxOdpočívat / Relaxovat
To singZpívat
To learn a foreign languageUčit se cizí jazyk
To listen to a podcast / music / audio bookPoslouchat podcast / hudbu / audioknihu
To watch a movieDívat se na film
To watch a TV showSledovat seriál
To drive a carŘídit auto
To ride a bikeJet na kole
To bake dessertsPéct dezerty
To spend time with friendsTrávit čas s přáteli
To clean (e.g. your house)Uklízet
To explainVysvětlovat
To teachUčit
To get / To receiveDostat
To play an instrumentHrát na hudební nástroj
To danceTančit
To collectSbírat
To enjoyMít rád / Rád dělat / Užívat si

A Man Driving with a Woman in the Passenger Seat

Ten muž řídí. – “The man is driving.”

5. Czech Adjectives

A key set of words in Czech for beginners are adjectives. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to express yourself fully and your speech/writing would fall flat. 

Please note that the examples below are all in masculine singular form. For feminine, the ending would be ; for neuter, it would be .

A- Describing Objects

Small / LittleMalý
Big / LargeVelký
Strong / PowerfulSilný
WeakSlabý
InterestingZajímavý
BoringNudný
OrdinaryObyčejný
DifferentJiný
RegularObvyklý / Normální
Special / ExceptionalVýjimečný

B- Describing People

TallVysoký
ShortMalý
AttractivePohledný / Atraktivní
SweetMilý
SmartChytrý
FunnyVtipný
OldStarý
YoungMladý
Middle-agedVe středním věku
UglyOšklivý

C- Describing Emotions

HappyVeselý / Šťastný
SadSmutný
AngryVzteklý
AnnoyedOtrávený
Excited / EnthusiasticNadšený
TiredUnavený
EnergizedPlný energie
InquisitiveZvědavý
ApatheticApatický
IrritatedPodrážděný

D- Describing Weather

SunnySlunečno
RainyDeštivo 
WindyVětrno
Cold / ChillyChladno
HotHorko
Nice weatherPěkné počasí
Bad weatherŠpatné počasí

You can find more weather-related vocabulary and useful phrases here.

6. Czech Conjunctions

AndA / I
To / In order to / So thatAby
ButAle
ThatŽe
BecauseProtože
WhenKdyž
As late as / Not before
If / In caseJestli / Kdyby
OrNebo
Either, orBuď, nebo
AlthoughPřestože / I když
Who / Which / ThatKterý
Not only, but alsoNejen
ThanNež

7. What Else You Should Know

Finally, here’s a brief beginner Czech wordlist of other essential words you need to know. 

MaybeMožná
NeverNikdy
SometimesNěkdy
AlwaysVždycky
UsuallyObvykle
OccasionallyObčas
YesAno
YeahJo
NoNe
ThanksDěkuji
Please / You’re welcomeProsím

8. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new! In case this wasn’t enough for you, please check out our Basic Bootcamp—all the basic grammar and vocab you need in five compact lessons. 

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you might grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (which is way more convenient). Seriously, learning a new skill has never been easier. Just grab your phone and get to work!

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech the better way—with us, you’ll make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Were most of these words new to you? Let’s get in touch!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

Czech Filler Words: When “Ahem” isn’t Enough

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Filler words. The elusive umbrella term for all sorts of mysterious sounds, phrases, and individual words that no textbook in the world could prepare you for.

It feels like politicians all over the world love to indulge in this kind of endeavor, but regular mortals do so with equal vigor…and less class.

Nevertheless, you should get familiar with Czech filler words even if your personal goal doesn’t involve diving into the pool of Czech politics. Regular peeps love them as well, and you might sometimes feel that they’re a part of every single Czech sentence. Or that you’re in the famous show The Office (I’ve never heard so many “okays” in such a short span of time).

My personal motto is: Instead of using this verbal “cotton fluff,” just pause and smile for a second.

Ready? 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the most common Czech filler words and give you some advice to help you navigate through the confusing valley of Czech conversation fillers. So, basically… We can begin, like…now?

A Woman in a Yellow Long-sleeved Shirt Looking Unsure about Something

Ummm…

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. What are filler words and why do we use them?
  2. Czech Fluff That Will Buy You Some Time When You’re Speechless
  3. Pros and Cons of Using Filler Words: Look for the Silver Lining
  4. CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech Fast

1. What are filler words and why do we use them?

    A filler word can be described as a word without meaning that is used to slow down, pause, or hesitate.
    Fillers have very little lexical value.

You know, all those “um, uh, er, ah, like, okay, right, and you knows” that buy you some time when you’re clueless or weren’t really paying attention when Grandma was telling you about the latest (nerve-wrecking) twist in her favorite soap opera and shrieked, “What would you do if you were in Esmeralda’s shoes?” And now she’s looking at you expectantly, waiting for you to chime in.

With filler words, you can buy more time to think about what to say. Choose wisely. Sometimes, it’s better to pause for a second or to say that you don’t understand. (Not sure how to do it? We’ve got you covered: how to say “I don’t understand,” in Czech.)

What would your answer be?

Ummm… Right?

    Czech filler words play a strategic syntactic role. Their function is (sometimes) to focus the listener’s attention on what’s to follow.
    They can also function as a pause vowel (“ummm”) or a holophrasis, which is a single-word phrase that expresses a complete thought (such as oukej – “okay”).

Beware: Pause vowels and some of the Czech conversation fillers are perceived as a sign of nervousness. You should be cautious and avoid them if you want to appear confident at a job interview, for example.

If you find yourself using filler words way too often, it might be a good idea to work on your vocabulary and practice Czech conversational phrases. (Check out this list.) If you struggle with real-life conversations, you’ll find some useful tips here.

2. Czech Fluff That Will Buy You Some Time When You’re Speechless

In the Czech language, fillers are often used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence. 

Let’s look at the most common ones.

1.Tak / Takže – “So”

This cute little word is pronounced like no English word and just like the Norwegian “takk” – “thank you.” It’s one of the most commonly used Czech fillers, having countless meanings and functions.

    While tak is used almost exclusively at the beginning of a sentence, takže usually goes last and indicates an open ending of a statement peppered with uncertainty.

Example:
Q: Kdy se budete brát? – “When will you get married?”
A1: Tak… říkali jsme si za 7 let nebo tak… – “So, we were thinking in 7 years or so…”
A2: Říkali jsme si za 7 let, takže… – “We were thinking in 7 years, so…”

A Woman Thinking in Front of a Chalkboard that Has Speech and Thought Bubbles Drawn on It

Not all filler words have a negative impact on the convo.

2. No – “Well”

This might be the uncrowned king of all Czech filler words. It’s pronounced almost like the English “no,” which tends to drive native English speakers crazy. Remember, no indicates hesitation; the Czech word for “no” (ne) sounds completely different.

Example:
Q: Neříkala náhodou, že už to neudělá? – “Didn’t she say she wouldn’t do that again?”
A: No, asi si to rozmyslela, takže… – “Well, I guess she changed her mind, so…”

3. Prostě – “Just” / “Simply”

The meaning of the Czech “just” actually leans toward that of the English filler “like,” and as such, it’s used in similar contexts/situations. It either opens or closes the statement.

Example:
Q: Proč jsi mi to neřekl? – “Why didn’t you tell me?”
A: Prostě… Nechtěl jsem, abys to věděla. – “I just…didn’t want you to know.”

4. Jako – “Like”

There’s nothing like a bowl of “like” during small talk, am I right? The Czech jako (“like”) is often used at the very beginning of the sentence as an (angry) opener.

Example:
Jako… Je mi to úplně jedno, víš? – “Like, whatever, you know?”
Jako, co jsi čekala? – “Like, what did you expect?”

5. Vlastně – “Actually”

This one is every politician’s/teacher’s/student’s favorite. It’s a little less casual and it’s often used in tandem with takže (“so”) as takže vlastně. This is an especially powerful combo when: “It’s on the tip of my tongue, just a sec, please, I really need to pass this exam.”

    When you’re at wit’s end and you’ve already said everything you know about the topic BUT you want to make it look like there’s so much more knowledge in you, give yourself a moment to channel it by saying takže vlastně.

Example:
Q: “If Albert Einstein drove his black BMW into town on Monday and then stayed for half a dozen blue moons, what flavor was the ice-cream he ate the night he got back?
“A: Vlastně… Musím si rozmyslet, jak to říct jednoduše. – “Actually, I need to think about how to put it simply.”

An Old Lady Whispering Something into Her Surprised Husband’s Ear

You know, I actually wanted to marry your brother.

6. Víš – “You know”

This is everyone’s and their mom’s favorite cross-cultural gem, widely loved by all drama queens and people who love attention and/or want to seem like they’re really trying hard to explain things to you in an assertive yet understanding manner.

Also, it’s a great buffer for not-so-pleasant news announcements. It’s way more elegant than “ummmm.”

Example:

Q: “Can I have the diamond earrings you borrowed a year ago back?”

A: Víš, prodala jsem je. Potřebovala jsem je na kabelku Chanel. – “You know, I sold them. I needed the money to buy a Chanel purse.”

7. Vole / Ty vole – “You bull”

Please, do not use this Czech filler in formal/professional or otherwise respectable settings.

  • This very common, temperamental word can be used in situations where a native English speaker would utter “oh my god,” “sh*t,” or worse, as well as the aforementioned angry jako (“like”) or in place of a joyous shriek. Also, it indicates surprise or shock in some situations.
  • It’s used as an interjection.

As you can see, it’s a pretty versatile champ.

A Little Boy Expressing Shock

Ty vole!

Example:

Ty vole, ty šaty stojí majlant! – “Oh my gosh, the dress costs a fortune!”

Ty vole, to se mi nepovedlo. – “Darn, I messed up.”

Ty vole, já jsem jí to říkala stokrát a ona mě neposlechla! – “Like, I told her like 100 times, and she wouldn’t listen!”

Q: Jaké bylo to rande? – “How was the date?”

A: Ty vole. Hrůza. – “Oh my god. Disastrous.”

8. Hele – “Look”

This is a very commonly used sentence opener that works just like its English counterpart. It’s kind of similar to the English “hey,” as well.

Example:

Q: Proč mi lžeš? – “Why are you lying to me?”

A: Hele, já jsem ti nikdy nic nesliboval, takže… – “Look, I never promised you anything, so…”

Hele, to bude v pohodě. – “Hey, it’s gonna be alright.”

9. V podstatě – “Basically”

This is another “smart” Czech filler word that might help you think about what you want to say without coming across as rude.

Example:

Q: Mohl bys mi to vysvětlit? – “Could you explain it to me?”

A: V podstatě o nic nejde. – “Basically, it’s not a big deal.”

10. Teda – “Then” / “Thus” / “Therefore”

Teda can be used as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence anytime you’d say something like “oh my gosh” in English. Many people use it as the English “like” and say it anywhere, anytime, first thing in the morning, last thing before bed.

Example:

Teda mami, ta večeře je vynikající! – “Oh my gosh, mom, the dinner is delicious!”

3. Pros and Cons of Using Filler Words: Look for the Silver Lining

You know, a healthy amount of fillers is like a tiny dab of perfume on your wrist. 

Like a pinch of cayenne in your signature soup recipe. 

Like the way you carry yourself around your town so confidently that all lost tourists know you’re a local and that you most definitely can help them find their way back to the hotel.

However, they can make you look ignorant, too anxious, or off-puttingly into yourself.

My advice: If you want to use the filler word solely to buy more time, don’t use it at all. Pause for a few seconds. Just stop and think silently without any “uuuhs” or “erms” that could deter your speech. That’s how professional speakers roll, too! If your filler word abuse stems from your lack of comprehension (you have no idea what the Czech person is saying), maybe you should boost your listening skills!

A Man Pushing the Pause Button with His Finger

Instead of drowning your thoughts in filler words, pause for a few seconds.

Now… The pros and cons of using Czech filler words. 

Pros:

  • They’re game changers. People don’t really notice them, but using fillers makes you sound authentic, like you’re really comfortable speaking the language and actually speak it all the time. You know what I mean?
  • Using fillers in a foreign language is almost like swearing or dreaming in a foreign language—it’s a sign that speaking (and more importantly, thinking) in that language is becoming second nature. 
  • They help the conversation flow smoothly without awkward silence.

Cons:

  • You might sound too hesitant.
  • Filler word overuse might make you seem self-conscious and less confident than you actually are.

4. CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech Fast

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you might grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient). Seriously, learning a new skill has never been easier. Just grab your phone and get to work!

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech the better way—with us, you’ll make progress faster than you could imagine. You’ll utilize your time and effort to their full potential, and enjoy the process.

What will you find here? 

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Oh, and which filler words are you most guilty of using in your native language?

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Czech Love Phrases: How to Say “I Love You,” in Czech

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Falling in love is always good news, whether it’s with a person, a language, a new activity, or a car.

I recently started learning a new language and I was very surprised when I finished a lesson called The Most Important Norwegian Phrases, yet still didn’t know how to say “Hey, handsome,” or “Your place or mine?” That’s one of the reasons I’m excited to be writing this article. Love is awesome in any language, plus you’ll likely meet interesting people while traveling or moving to another country. It’s a good idea to cover all the bases!

Things like flirting or saying “I love you,” in Czech might be tricky for you as a foreigner, but I’m here to help! Expressing love is just as delightful as feeling it, so I’ll be sure to clue you in on everything you need to make the most of your moment. 

Remember: In Czech, the verb “to love” isn’t as commonly used as it is in English, and people might be taken aback by your passionate love proclamation.

Generally speaking, Czechs aren’t the most lovey-dovey, cutesy nation in the world. Saying “I love you” is considered special, rare, and meant only for the right people and situations. The difference between “like” and “love” is as vast as the Grand Canyon.

So, how should you express your love in the Czech language or ask someone out? 

Let’s look at Czech love phrases.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. It All Starts with a Pick-up Line
  2. Serious Stuff: Taking Your Relationship to the Next Level
  3. Endearment Terms
  4. Czech Love Quotes
  5. How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. It All Starts with a Pick-up Line

I distinctly remember that fateful summer night in 1999. While camping with my class, we found out there was a group of German boys staying at the campsite. We were 14 or 15 and eager to get to know each other.

Mind you, I went to a “good” school, and we had all been learning German and English since we were eight. Most of us were able to talk about our summer plans, introduce ourselves and our family, and apologize for not doing our homework in these languages. Yet, that night, something mind-blowing happened.

During an encounter with the boys, who looked so much more manly and interesting than our classmates (six insecure boys overwhelmed by a group of 25 young women with ambition), we realized our knowledge of German and English was horrifyingly insufficient.

The best I could do that night might well be one of the most interesting things I’ve ever said: “Your hand is like a baby’s…popo.” Popo means “butt.” I was trying to tell him that his hands were very smooth. Young love conquers even the toughest of language barriers though, and he kissed me anyway. Had my German been better, he might have actually talked to me and we could be married today. Who knows.

TLDR: Learn Czech pick-up lines, and don’t risk missing out on getting to know someone special!

Now, let’s get to business!

A- How to Start a Conversation in a Non-creepy Way

A Man Whispering Something Suggestive in a Woman’s Ear

Ke mně, nebo k tobě? (“Your place or mine?”)

Let’s say you’re sitting in a café, plowing through work emails or reading a book…and the most beautiful creature enters the room. It doesn’t really matter where you are, the point is—you’re intrigued. What do you do?

Introducing yourself (preferably in Czech) seems like the most logical first step, right? In this article, you’ll find the necessary vocab and phrases for doing so. If you’re still struggling or short on time, memorize these lines.

After that, you’re ready to bond:

Czech (M/F)English
Chodíš sem často?“Do you come here often?”
Dáš si drink?“Would you like a drink?”
Zatancujeme si?“Would you like to dance?”
Líbí se ti tady?“Do you like it here?”
Bavíš se?“Are you having fun?”
Jsi tu sám/sama?“Are you alone here?” / “Did you come alone?”
Nenudíš se trochu?“Aren’t you a bit bored?”
Můžu se k tobě přidat?“Can I join you?”
Nemůžu z tebe spustit oči.“I can’t take my eyes off of you.”

One of these should work in any setting or situation, except for business meetings, doctors’ offices, and funeral homes. 

Hodně štěstí! (“Good luck!”)

Note for men: Remember that Czech women aren’t as assertive/aggressive as you might expect, and it’s very likely that you’ll have to approach her, not the other way around.

B- Compliments

Alright. Everyone loves them, most of us don’t know how to accept them properly, and they work like a charm. Just don’t overdo it. 

Czech (M/F)English
Jsi moc hezký/hezká.“You’re very pretty.”
Jsi krásný/krásná.“You’re beautiful.”
Moc se mi líbíš.“I like you a lot.”
Jsi moc zajímavý/zajímavá.“You’re very interesting.”

And so on. Get creative and spontaneous. If you need inspiration, check out our list of compliments here and make sure you read our article on compliments as well. You might also find this list of 15 love phrases helpful.

C- When You Really Like Them and Want to See Them Again

Okay. You now know their name, you really like them, and a bunch of hyperactive butterflies are fluttering in your stomach. You might even suspect that never seeing this person again would make you think, “Man, what could have happened had I asked them out?” for the rest of your life. Remember Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal, and his story about a girl on a train? Don’t be like Robert. Ask them out.

Here’s what to say if you’d like to slide into their DM and/or explore the depths of their soul:

Czech (M/F)English
Můžu tě pozvat na večeři?“Can I invite you to dinner?”
Nezajdeme někdy na drink?“How about grabbing a drink someday?”
Dáš mi na sebe číslo?“Can I have your phone number?”
Můžu ti zavolat?“Can I call you?”
Zavolej mi. / Napiš mi.“Call me.” / “Text me.”
Jsi single?“Are you single?”
Jsi ženatý/vdaná?“Are you married?”
Chodíš s někým?“Are you dating anyone?”
Mám přítele/přítelkyni.“I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.”
Šel/šla bys se mnou na rande?“Would you go out with me?”
Moc rád/ráda bych tě znovu viděl/viděla.“I’d like to see you again.”
Můžeme se někdy sejít?“Can we meet up someday?”
Nemůžu se dočkat, až tě znovu uvidím.“I can’t wait to see you again.”

By the way, are you ready for a date in a restaurant? You might want to check out this list of lessons and learn how to order, ask for the bill, and impress your date with your slick language skills.

If you’re going to the movies, then study this list of movie-related Czech vocab beforehand. Also, make sure you know the necessary Czech vocab for making plans.

D- When You Want to Get Straight to the Point

Sometimes, you just know what you want when you see it, and there’s no point in sugarcoating it.

Czech (M/F)English
Čau krasavče/krásko.“Hey handsome/beautiful.”
Nechceš jít na vzduch?“Do you want to get some fresh air?”
Chci s tebou být sám/sama.“I want to be alone with you.”
Můžu tě doprovodit domů?“Can I take you home?”
Doprovodíš mě domů?“Would you walk me/take me home?”
Chci tě.“I want you.”
Můžu tě políbit?“Can I kiss you?”
Přitahuješ mě.“I am attracted to you.”
Jdeme ke mně, nebo k tobě?“Your place or mine?”

When You’re Not Feeling It (And Just Want to Get Out)

Okay, what if everything goes smoothly, but the date is underwhelming and you know you don’t want to take it any further?

Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and sometimes it doesn’t work out so badly that you need to leave immediately.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

A Woman Rejecting a Man Using a Hand Gesture

Vypadni. (“Get out.”)

When it’s time to face the music:

CzechEnglish
Nefungovalo by to.“It wouldn’t work.”
Hledám něco jiného.“I am looking for something else.”
Nejsi můj typ.“You’re not my type.”
Nemám zájem.“I’m not interested.”
Nehodíme se k sobě.“We’re not a good match.”

2. Serious Stuff: Taking Your Relationship to the Next Level

Alright. Let’s say you’ve gotten to know each other better, you’ve grown close, and your affection is much deeper than the initial (and mind-blowingly blissful) sexual fascination. You’re in love.

It’s time to say those elusive, magical words.

Do You Like Them or Love Them?

In Czech, we don’t use the word “love” very often, and we certainly don’t shout “luv ya” over the shoulder when leaving for work or at the end of every single phone call. And it’s totally normal (yes, this is the norm) to never hear it from your parents, grandparents, or kids.

And this doesn’t apply only to relationships.

In Czech, you don’t say: Miluju tvoje šaty. (“I love your dress.”) You say: Líbí se mi tvoje šaty. (“I like your dress.”)

When expressing affection, we commonly use these words instead of milovat (“to love”).

  1. Líbit se (“to like”)
  2. Mít rád (“to be fond of”)
  • The Czech phrase Miluju tě (“I love you”) is only used in romantic relationships and it’s not something you throw around like confetti. 

Now, let’s look at some Czech love phrases:

Czech (F/M)English
Miluju tě.“I love you.”
Mám tě rád/ráda.“I am fond of you.”
Zbožňuju tě.“I adore you.”
Nemůžu bez tebe žít.“I can’t live without you.”
Chci si tě vzít.“I want to marry you.”
Vezmeš si mě?“Will you marry me?”
Chci s tebou strávit zbytek života.“I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Jsi láska mého života.“You’re the love of my life.”
Jsem do tebe blázen.“I’m crazy about you.”

Newlyweds Running Down the Aisle Together at Their Outdoor Wedding

Novomanželé. (“Newlyweds”.)

3. Endearment Terms

Czech is a fun and very flexible language that allows for the creation of cute words.

We use zdrobněliny (diminutive forms of a person’s formal name) and various pet names that might sound surprisingly obscene to the untrained ear.

  • The most common ones are zlato, miláčku, and lásko.

We also love cukrbliky (“batting one’s eyelashes in a cute, flirty way”). Cukr means “sugar” and bliky means “blinks.”

I’ve included a list of Czech endearment terms in the 5th case—declined and ready to use.

Czech English
Prdelko“Little butt”
Lásko“Love”
Kočičko“Kitty”
Zlato“Baby”
Broučku“Little bug”
Zlatíčko“Sweetheart”
Miláčku“Darling”
Drahoušku“Darling”

A Man and Woman Hugging Upon the Woman Having Received a Bouquet of Flowers from Him

Jsi moje prdelka. (“You’re my little butt.”)

4. Czech Love Quotes

Alright friends, it’s time for a healthy amount of pathos! Here are two of the most common Czech love quotes/proverbs that capture the Czech nature perfectly.

Láska prochází žaludkem.“Love goes through your stomach.”
This is similar to the English phrase, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Snesl bych ti modré z nebe.“I would bring you the blue from the sky.”
This is like saying, “I would do anything for you.”

We’re tough cookies who like food and are capable of big things when we’re in love. See for yourself!

Also, if you’re feeling super-romantic, you’re going to fall in love with this list of Czech quotes about love.

5. How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you could grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient). Seriously, learning a new skill has never been easier. Just grab your phone and get to work!

CzechClass101.com makes learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech the better way—with us, you’ll make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments which of these love phrases in Czech was your favorite!

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Czech Negation: How to Say NO in the Czech Language

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Saying NO is important in many situations:

No, I don’t eat mussels.
No, I can’t help you.
No, I won’t marry you.

It’s equally important in Czech, of course. Czech grammar is quite simple and straightforward, and negatives are no exception.

If Czech negation were a guy/girl, you’d get slightly bored of them in the middle of your first date, and later you would describe them to your friend as simple, predictable, linear, and straightforward.

It will take you 15 seconds to master this topic, so go ahead and make plans for tonight. I’m not going to keep you for long.

Let’s learn about negation in the Czech language!

A Woman Holding Her Hands Out in Front of Her to Say No or Stop

Just…no.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. How to Make a Statement Negative in Czech
  2. Giving a Negative Answer
  3. Czech Negation Words and Phrases
  4. Double and Triple Negatives in Czech
  5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. How to Make a Statement Negative in Czech

I’ve already hinted at what Czech negation is like, and I promise it’s definitely one of the easiest bits of Czech grammar.

So how do you make a negative statement in Czech?

    Add the prefix NE- to a verb

Let’s look at some examples so that you know I’m not making this up:

StatementNegative Statement
Zítra jdu do školy. – “I’m going to school tomorrow.”Zítra nejdu do školy. – “I’m not going to school tomorrow.”
Máš ráda ovoce. – “I like fruit.”Nemáš ráda ovoce. – “I do not like fruit.”
Jsem nemocná. “I am sick.”Nejsem nemocná. – “I am not sick.”
Chce si číst. “He/She wants to read.”Nehce si číst. “He/She doesn’t want to read.”
Oni se učí česky. – “They are learning Czech.”Oni se neučí česky. – “They are not learning Czech.”

If you want to master Czech negation, you need to learn how to spell and conjugate Czech verbs properly. This list of the 50 most commonly used Czech verbs is a great start. If you’re short on time, pave your way to Czech basics with this list of 25 Czech verbs.

The Verb být (“to be”) in Negative Form

Být (“to be”) is the only exception in Czech negation, but 

  • only in the third person singular.

Let’s look at the conjugation:

PersonSingularNegative Singular
1stjsem – “am”nejsem – “am not”
2ndjsi – “are”nejsi – “are not”
3rdje – “is”není – “is not”

PersonPluralNegative Plural
1stjsme – “are”nejsme – “are not”
2ndjste – “are”nejste – “are not”
3rdjsou – “are”nejsou – “are not”

Apart from this little thing, it’s easy-peasy!

A Guy Leaning Back in His Chair with His Arms Stretched behind His Head

That was easy!

2. Giving a Negative Answer

As you can tell, negation in Czech is just as simple and straightforward as it gets—kind of like ordering your favorite meal at the restaurant where you’ve been a regular since 5th grade.

  1. Create a negative form of the respective verb.
  2. Put together a sentence according to the Czech word order rules.

And since one table is worth a million words…

QuestionNegative Answer
Mluvíš česky? – “Do you speak Czech?”Nemluvíš česky? – “Do you not speak Czech?”Ne, nemluvím Česky. – “No, I don’t speak Czech.”
Žije tvoje přítelkyně v Praze? – “Does your girlfriend live in Prague?”
Nežije tvoje přítelkyně v Praze? – “Doesn’t your girlfriend live in Prague?”
Ne, moje přítelkyně nežije v Praze. – “No, my girlfriend doesn’t live in Prague.”
Chcete si už objednat? – “Would you like to order?”
Nechcete si už objednat? – “Would you not like to order?”
Ne, nechceme si objednat. – “No, we are not ready to order.”
Máme dost vody? – “Do we have enough water?”
Nemáme dost vody? – “Do we not have enough water?”
Ne, nemáme dost vody. – “No, we don’t have enough water.”
Je tu wi-fi zdarma? – “Is the wifi free here?”
Není tu wi-fi zdarma? – “Isn’t the wifi free here?”
Ne, wi-fi tu není zdarma. – “No, the wifi isn’t free.”

There’s a slight difference between the negative and regular questions, though.

    When asking a negative question (very common in spoken Czech), you might be implying, assuming, making sure, or already know the answer.

For example: 

Nežije tvoje přítelkyně v Praze? – “Doesn’t your girlfriend live in Prague?”

This question could be followed by something like: “I thought I was seeing her in the park every weekend. I guess it’s not her.”

But if you genuinely have no idea where his girl lives, you would ask: 

Žije tvoje přítelkyně v Praze? – “Does your girlfriend live in Prague?” 

P.S.: If you’re lost, just shake your head.

A Guy Giving a Thumbs-down Sign

Czech negation is very simple.

When you need to be polite…

Saying no is quite simple. However, in most situations (such as at work, while talking to a friend, etc.), you might want to choose your words carefully so that you don’t come across as a heartless and crude monster with no manners.

Also, these are the phrases you should use when you feel like you have to/should say yes, but you want to set boundaries or suggest a different solution.

Let’s say someone you barely know asks you to do their work:

  • Je mi líto, ale nejde to. – “I am sorry, but it’s not possible/can’t be done.”
  • Omlouvám se, ale ne. – “I am sorry, but no.” (This one sounds quite funny in English, but it’s actually one of the most common negative answers in Czech. I mean, besides: Už ti nenaliju, jsi na plech. – I won’t get you another drink, you’re hammered.”)

Maybe you would love to help, but you’re late on your projects:

  • Promiň, mám moc práce, ale vím, kdo by ti mohl pomoct. – “I am sorry, I am busy, but I know who could help you.”

When someone invites you someplace, but you want to stay home with your cat and drink tea…

  • Nezlob se, mám jiný program. – “I am sorry, I have other plans.”

When you don’t want to break their heart:

  • Dneska nemůžu, můžeme jít jindy? – “I can’t today, can we go another time?”

When the person is really cute or the plans sound awesome and you genuinely want to do it:

  • To bych moc rád(a), ale dneska se mi to nehodí. Mám čas příští týden. – “I would love to, but I can’t today. I am free next week.”

When you just don’t know…

  • Já nevím, promiň. – “Sorry, I don’t know.”

When you want to be direct:

  • Nemůžu. – “I can’t.”
  • Nechci. – “I don’t want to.”
  • Ne, díky. – “No, thanks.”
  • Ani ne, díky. – “Not really, thanks.”

More on this topic here. Have fun!

A Snobby Woman Rejecting Someone

Nechci! – I don’t want to.

3. Czech Negation Words and Phrases

Here are a few more words and phrases you can use to make a sentence negative in Czech. 

  • ne – “no”
  • nikdy – “never” 
    • Nikdy sem nechodí. – “He never comes here.”
  • nikdo – “nobody” / “anyone” 
    • Nikdo je nemá rád. – “Nobody likes them.”
  • nikde – “nowhere” / “anywhere” 
    • Nikde jinde to nenajdeme. – “We won’t find it anywhere else.”
  • zádný/žádná/žádné (m/f/n) – “none” / “no” / “any” / “neither” 
    • Na stole nebyla žádná knížka. – “There wasn’t any book on the table.”
  • ani jeden – “not even a one” or “none of these” / “neither” 
    • Ani jeden z jejích bratrů nemá černé vlasy. – “None of her brothers has black hair.”
  • ani – “nor” / “not” 
    • Nikdo si nepamatuje moje narozeniny, dokonce ani moje máma. – “Nobody remembers my birthday, not even my mom.”
  • skoro vůbec – “barely” / “hardly” 
    • Konečně jsme spolu a ty skoro vůbec nemluvíš! – “We’re finally together and you’re barely speaking!”
  • už ne – “no longer” / “not anymore” 
    • Už nemá dost energie. – “He no longer has enough energy.” 
    • Q: Ty ji nechceš? A: Už ne. – Q: “Don’t you want her?” A: “Not anymore.”
  • vůbec – “at all” / “whatsoever” 
    • Nemám vůbec hlad. – “I’m not hungry at all.”

In case you’re in the mood for more negativity, check out our list of the top 21 words for negative emotions.

4. Double and Triple Negatives in Czech

You’ve probably noticed that the Czech language is pretty playful in nature, which means there’s always an extra spark even in the simplest of matters.

In the context of Czech negation, it’s double (and even triple) negatives.

Here’s the most important info about the difference between negation in English and Czech:

    It’s almost a rule to have a double or triple negative in Czech, although sentences with only one negative are not uncommon.

If you remember elementary school math, and you’re tempted to apply the “negative + negative = positive” rule here, just don’t.

Let’s look at examples of two or more Czech negatives resulting in a negative:

CzechEnglish
Už nikdy tam nepůjdeš!“You will never not go there again.” / “You won’t ever go there again.” 
Nemám vůbec nic.“I don’t have nothing at all.” / “I don’t have anything at all.”
Už nemá hlad.“She isn’t hungry anymore.”
Dneska jsme nikam nešli.“We didn’t go nowhere today.” / “We didn’t go anywhere today.”
Vůbec nic o tom neví.“He doesn’t know nothing at all about it.” / “He doesn’t know anything about it.”
Ani jeden žák tu knihu nečetl.“Not even one student didn’t read the book.” / “Not one student read the book.”
Nikdo tu není.“There isn’t nobody in here.” / “There is nobody in here.”
Nemám rád cestování, nikdy jsem nikde nebyl.“I don’t like traveling, I have never been nowhere.” / “I don’t like traveling, I have never been anywhere.”
V práci skoro vůbec nic nedělá.“He doesn’t do barely anything at work.” / “He does barely anything at work.”
Nic nechci.“I don’t want nothing.” / “I don’t want anything.”

Twin Brothers in Suits

Double and triple negatives result in a negative in the Czech language.

5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new. You should now be ready to knock Czech negation out of the park!

I’m glad you chose Czech, and I hope you know that, in this wonderful era of advanced technology, learning languages is easy, effective, and can be done anywhere (= way less boring).

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Let’s get in touch!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

Why learn Czech? Here are 13 compelling reasons.

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Let me ask you a question: When and why did you first think about learning Czech? 

Are you planning to move here, do you want to get a job in Czechia, did you fall in love with a Czech (fun fact: I bet you know at least one Czech beauty—Czech women are considered very pretty, and Czech guys…well, they’re nice!), or are you trying to decide which Slavic language would be the most fun to learn?

Even if none of the above is your case, we’re going to discuss why you should learn Czech (at least the basics) if you want to spend more than a day here. Not everyone in Czechia speaks English, and locals highly appreciate friendly foreigners with cute accents. Besides, it would be nice to be able to order a beer after a long day of exploring the wonders of Prague, Brno, Český Krumlov, and other cool places, right?

Learning Czech is easier than you would think. Once you master the basics, the rest is a breeze.

In this article, I’m going to list the biggest reasons why you should learn Czech…starting now!

P.S.: I really wish the title could be 13 Reasons Why, but we’ve already covered Netflix/HBO & Chill in another article (also written by moi).

Learn the Mother Tongue of 12 Million Natives!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Czechia is a Tiny but Shiny Central-European Gem
  2. It will make learning other European and Slavic languages much easier.
  3. It will help you get a job or start a business.
  4. Not a lot of people in the Czech Republic speak English… Sorry.
  5. Czechia is a cool place to visit.
  6. Timetables and announcements…
  7. Czech people will appreciate it.
  8. …you will make friends easily.
  9. Your future in-laws will love you for it…
  10. It’s a cool and “interesting” language to learn.
  11. Understanding Czenglish will be easier for you…
  12. Once you’re past the tough beginning, your progress will be fast.
  13. Czech is pretty easy to learn.
  14. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Czechia is a Tiny but Shiny Central-European Gem

A- About Us

    Czech is the official language of Czechia, spoken by almost 96% of the population. It’s the mother tongue of about 12 million people, most of whom live in Czechia with approximately one million native Czech speakers living abroad. 
    Czech belongs to the West Slavic group of languages. It’s very similar to the Slovak language; these two languages are mutually intelligible and you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Most Czechs and Slovaks understand both languages in their written and spoken form. 
    The similarities are comparable to those of British English vs. American English (yes, I am aware it’s still English, but you know what I mean). Czech and Slovak do have different (although very similar) grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. In other words: The words might sound pretty much the same, but the spelling is completely different.
    ➢ It’s no surprise that Czech is also similar to other Slavic languages, such as: Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, and Russian. If you already speak/study one of these, learning Czech will be a piece of cake.

B- The Basics

    The modern Czech language uses the Latin alphabet with diacritics (a.k.a. special characters) that alter their pronunciation. It’s a phonetic language, meaning that everything is pronounced exactly the way it’s written (i.e. UNLIKE English or French, JUST LIKE Spanish, Italian, Latin, et cetera/a tak dále).
    Czech consists of 26 Latin letters (the same as English), plus letters with special diacritic accents. There are three types of those accents: the acute accent čárka (length mark) for indicating the length of vowels, háček (hook) for changing the sound, and lastly kroužek (circle) indicating long pronunciation of the letter (u – ů). Altogether, the alphabet includes 42 characters
    Once you learn the pronunciation of the whole alphabet, you’ll be able to read and pronounce any Czech word. There will be no surprises. (“Kansas-Arkansas, see-sea, to-too-two,” I’m looking at you!)

2. It will make learning other European and Slavic languages much easier.

    ➢ With advanced knowledge of Czech, you’ll be able to understand some spoken and written Slovak and Polish, as well as spoken Russian.
    ➢ You’ll be able to pronounce Italian/Spanish/Latin (big and smart) words correctly.

3. It will help you get a job or start a business.

Speaking the Czech language might bring you new business opportunities in Central Europe as well as new opportunities in other countries. 

Oh, I’m happy where I am, I don’t need more opportunities…said no one, ever. 

    The Czech industrial base is well-developed and there are tons of possibilities in the automotive industry, industrial machinery industry, mining, electronics, glass manufacturing, and beer production.
    Recently, high-tech industries have been on the rise and business opportunities are arising, particularly in the areas of aerospace, nanotechnology, and life science. If you’re an engineer, you might want to grab a Czech textbook or sign up for an online Czech class ASAP. According to some, Czechia is the ideal place for launching a new industrial revolution.

4. Not a lot of people in the Czech Republic speak English… Sorry, Karen.

In summer 2018, I spent a week with my American boyfriend’s family in a lovely little town in Tuscany. It was an incredibly picturesque place with a couple of restaurants, one little café, an incredibly blue sky…and a few thousand very Italian Italians who spoke only Italian. We were the only tourists there.

Yet, one of the family members was perplexed by this simple and natural occurrence, and stated: “They should speak at least SOME English.” 

No, they shouldn’t.

Not cool. 

Don’t be like them. 

Please, never expect that everyone speaks or should speak your language, especially if you’re visiting their home country.

Learn some basic Czech phrases and vocab, and look into the pronunciation. Trust me, you’re going to need it.

A Little Girl Dressed Like a Tourist and Holding a Camera

You’ll fall in love with Prague even if traveling isn’t really your jam.

5. Czechia is a cool place to visit.

    ➢ Medieval architecture
    ➢ Modern architecture
    ➢ Great beer
    ➢ Cheap 5* hotels
    Prague is one of the most beautiful and magical places you’ll ever see
    Brno is cool

Need I say more?

Actually…

6. Timetables and announcements…

 …of changes or delays are usually in Czech only. Unless you have a trusted native by your side, do your homework.

7. Czech people will appreciate it.

Trust me. You want them to like you. You want them to be on your side, because these hard-shelled people with hearts of gold will love you for your effort and for showing respect.

Which also means more doors will be open for you. Which leads to more-helpful officers, kinder staff in hotels, and so on. And also…

A Guy Wearing a Shirt with the Czech Flag Design on It

I wouldn’t call us patriots, but most Czechs will definitely appreciate your effort.

8. …you will make friends easily.

Or, you know, in case you’re dating a Czech, you’ll be able to tell if they’re whispering sweet nothings or deathly spells into your ear.

We all know how hard it is to truly connect if there’s a language barrier, and meeting a Czech who speaks English freely and fluently would be a small miracle.

Why not meet them halfway?

Learn how to introduce yourself in Czech, and here’s another article that breaks down the basic Czech grammar rules. You could also learn a few adjectives to describe your personality and words for talking about what you do.

Take it slow and enjoy the process—it will pay off!

9. Your future in-laws will love you for it…

…or hate you a little less. (I can’t even remember how many times I’ve heard: “Oh please, can’t you just find someone from around here?” I can’t, grandma, sorry not sorry.)

This is important. 

If you want to impress your girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s relatives (especially grandparents) and avoid unnecessary tension, learn at least a few basic phrases. 

10. It’s a cool and “interesting” language to learn.

Still scratching your head about why to learn Czech, especially when there are other (more popular) languages out there? 

In a world full of “I’m learning French/Spanish/German,” be an “I’m learning Czech.”

I’m not saying you should ditch other languages, I’m simply suggesting you take a break from the classics and explore new possibilities.

A Red Star Amidst Several Gray Stars

Czech is a unique language, and doing a unique thing is always a good idea.

11. Understanding Czenglish will be easier for you…

…which will lead to smoother communication.

    ➢ Czenglish =  English spoken by Czechs that is heavily influenced by Czech vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or syntax.

Basic knowledge of Czech word order and pronunciation will make it easier for you to figure out what your partner is trying to say.

12. Once you’re past the tough beginning, your progress will be fast.

    Czech grammar is very straightforward and gets easier as you work your way up to a higher level. Once you remember the patterns of word endings and cases, you’re fine. No surprises!

13. Czech is pretty easy to learn. 

It takes around 12 weeks to reach the beginner level, which means you’ll be able to introduce yourself, know the basic grammar (tenses, basic vocabulary), and just get by. If you’re aiming higher, prepare to do about twice the work to reach the intermediate level (24 weeks).

  1. The vocabulary is simpler than that of English. It is, in fact, a subset of word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Most of them are linked in easy-to-remember or logical ways.
  2. The feared declension (a.k.a. cases) isn’t as scary as it seems. You just need to memorize the endings of every noun/adjective and mind the gender. The stem remains unchanged (mostly).
  3. There are NO articles.
  4. There are only three tenses: past, present, future. Done.

Learning a new language is always a good idea, and not just for the practical reasons. It will also create a new routine and bring a new sense of accomplishment into your daily life. You’ll improve your memory, feed your brain and soul, boost your confidence, and gain perspective. You’ll feel great about yourself! And that’s the only thing that really matters.

A Woman Smiling While Holding a Book Over Her Head

Czech is way easier to learn than most people (who know such a language exists) think.

14. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you could grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient). Seriously, learning a new skill has never been easier. Just grab your phone and get to work!

Wondering how to learn Czech online like a pro? 

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech the better way—with us, you’ll make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you, and if you feel inspired to start (or continue) learning Czech now!

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Czech Tenses: The Easiest Part of Czech Grammar

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Everybody gets a little tense when it comes to tenses. However, I have GREAT news for you. If you’re a native English speaker (or a native speaker of any Germanic language), you’ll find Czech tenses super-easy to learn and understand.

The (otherwise complicated) Czech language uses only three tenses: past, present, and future. That’s it.

You still have to be aware of grammatical gender, declension, and conjugation of course, but applying the tenses correctly is actually a breeze.

This is going to be short and sweet. Let’s learn about Czech verb tenses!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. The Present Tense in Czech
  2. The Past Tense in Czech
  3. The Future Tense in Czech
  4. Verb Conjugation and Auxiliary Verbs
  5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. The Present Tense in Czech

The rules for using the present tense in Czech are very simple.

Is it happening right now? Does it happen regularly? Then use the present tense.

    Přítomný čas (“present tense”) is used to describe ongoing actions.
    ➢ Grammatical gender, declension, and conjugation rules apply when using all tenses.
    ➢ The ending of the verb changes for every gender, person, and case.
    Minulý čas (“past tense”) is used to denote past actions without a time reference—actions that happened in the past and might happen in the future.

Before you decide whether it’s correct to use the present tense, you’ll need to figure out which conjugation type the verb falls under. 

You can simply memorize all the possible endings. I promise that, eventually, you’ll not only remember but also be able to “feel” what’s correct (I suggest you read a lot in Czech). In case your vocabulary needs a boost, check out our list of the 50 most commonly used verbs.

Verb endings:

PersonSingularPlural
1st (já / my) – “I” / “we”-u / -i / -m-eme / -íme / -áme
2nd (ty / vy) – “you” / “you”-eš / -íš / -áš-ete / -íte / -áte
3rd (on, ona, ono/oni) – “he, she, it/they”-e / -í / -á-ejí / -ějí / -í / -ou / -ají

Let’s look at some examples:

English TenseEnglishCzech
Present Simple“I brush my teeth twice a day.”
“Do you sew your own clothes?”
“I don’t sew my own clothes.”
“He doesn’t know about it.”
Čistím si zuby dvakrát denně.
Šij si svoje vlastní šaty?
Nešiju si svoje vlastní šaty.
Neví o tom.
Present Perfect“We have been to Italy several times.”
“I have seen it before.” (feminine)
Několikrát jsme byli v Itálii.Už jsem to viděla.
  • Exception: We need to use the past tense here, as explained above.
Present Continuous“You are sitting in my chair.”
“We aren’t doing anything right now.”
“We are reading an article.”
Sedíš na mojí židli.
My právě teď nic neděláme.
Čteme je článek.
Present Perfect Continuous“They have been living here since last year.”
“I have been reading the book for months now.”
“We have always been doing it this way.”
Bydlí tu od loňského roku.

Já tu knihu čtu už celé měsíce.

Vždycky to takhle děláme.

When to use přítomný čas in Czech (summary)

You use the přítomný čas when describing:

  1. Habitual or routine actions
  2. General (timeless) facts
  3. Actions that are happening right now
  4. Actions that started in the past and continue into the present (and may continue into the future)
A Couple of Girls Laughing

Holky se smějí. – “The girls are laughing.”

2. The Past Tense in Czech

    ➢ The past tense in Czech is formed with the past participle in the proper gender form combined with an auxiliary verb, which indicates the person and number of the verb’s subject with a past form of the main verb.
    ➢ It replaces every past tense in English.
    ➢ The most common ending is -l + -a/-o/-i/-y (feminine, neuter, and plural).
    ➢ There is no tense shifting in reported speech.

Examples:

English TenseEnglishCzech
Past Simple“He cooked dinner last night.”
“We arrived two days ago.”
“It didn’t happen like that!”
Včera večer uvařil večeři.
Přijeli jsme před dvěma dny.
Takhle se to nestalo!
Past Continuous“We were watching TV when it happened.”
“She was driving when he called her.”
“Her animals looked healthy and happy.”
Dívali jsme se na televizi, když se to stalo.
Řídila, když jí zavolal.
Její zvířata vypadala šťastně a zdravě.
Past Perfect“I didn’t watch the movie; I had seen it last week.” (feminine)
“The girls were hungry because they hadn’t eaten all day.”
Nedívala jsem se na film, viděla jsem ho minulý týden.
Holky měly hlad, protože celý den nic nejedly.
Reported Speech“He said he loved her.”
“She texted me that the report was ready.”
Řekl, že ji miluje.
Napsala mi, že je ta zpráva hotová.
  • Past simple + present simple

When to use minulý čas in Czech (summary)

You use minulý čas when describing:

  1. Actions that are finished
  2. Actions and situations finished in the past
  3. Finished actions that started in the past

This tense is also used in combination with the present simple in reported speech (řekl, že to udělá).

A Cake with a Slice Missing

Někdo snědl kus dortu! – “Someone ate a piece of cake!”

3. The Future Tense in Czech

The future tense in Czech is probably the trickiest one, but if you’re able to navigate through the maze of the 12 tenses in English (let’s not even mention French and its 17 tenses), this will be a piece of cake for you.

There are a few possible ways to form this Czech-language tense: 

  1. You can change the verb by modifying the stem and adding a prefix.
  2. For some verbs of motion, the future tense can be formed by adding po-/pů- to the present form of the verb.
  3. For imperfective verbs, we use být (“to be”) in the future tense, correct gender and person + the infinitive.

    ➢ It is possible to use the present simple or continuous when referring to scheduled actions and plans.

Examples:

English TenseEnglishCzech
Present Simple“It’s my birthday tomorrow.”
“We have a class on Thursday.”
Zítra mám narozeniny.
Ve čtvrtek máme hodinu.
Present Continuous“I’m swimming tomorrow morning.”
“They’re throwing a party next month.”
Zítra ráno jdu plavat.
Příští měsíc pořádají večírek.
Will“He will pick you up at six.”
“I will show you how to do it.”
“I will carry you, you can’t walk.”
Vyzvedne tě v šest.
Ukážu ti, jak se to dělá.
Ponesu tě, nemůžeš chodit.
Going to“It’s going to rain, the clouds are really dark.”
“I’m going to go, it’s late.”
Bude pršet, mraky jsou opravdu tmavé.
jdu, je pozdě.

When to use budoucí čas in Czech (summary)

  1. When expressing beliefs about the future
  2. When we want or are willing to do something
  3. Offers and promises
  4. When we’re dead-set on doing something—we’re going to do it
  5. Predictions based on evidence

A Man Proposing to a Woman

Budou se brát. – “They will be getting married.”

4. Verb Conjugation and Auxiliary Verbs 

The past and future tenses in Czech are formed using verbs that provide additional conjugations for other verbs, which is their only role in the sentence. They’re called pomocná slovesa, or “helping verbs.”

    In Czech, only the verb být (“to be”) is used as an auxiliary verb to form the past and future tenses.

Být – To Be – To Exist

This short and simple word, embellished by a special character called čárka, plays a very important role in the Czech language.

Let’s look at the many uses of být:

1.To beOna je krásná.“She is beautiful.”
2.To existV tom pokoji byla dvě okna.“There were two windows in that room.”
3.Auxiliary used to form the past tense with verbs in the past participle formŠla jsem domů.“I went home.”
4.Auxiliary used to form the future tense with verbs in the infinitiveBudu ti číst.“I will read to you.”
5.Auxiliary used to form the conditional mood with verbs in the past participle formNekupoval bych to.“I wouldn’t buy it.”
6.Auxiliary used to form the passive voice with verbs in the past participleByla překvapená.“She was surprised.”
7.Auxiliary used to form the conditional forms of verbs with past and passive participlesKdybych věděla, že jsi tu, počkala bych v autě.“Had I known you were here, I would have waited in the car.”

It’s important that you learn all of the forms for this word (a.k.a. conjugation). You pretty much wouldn’t be able to form any tense in Czech without it. I hope I didn’t scare you.

Present Conjugation

PersonSingular/Plural – CzechSingular/Plural – English
1st (já / my) – “I” / “we”jsem/jsmeam/are
2nd (ty / vy) – “you” / “you”jsi/jsteare/are
3rd (on, ona, ono/oni) – “he, she, it/they”je/jsouis/are

Past Participle

    When referring to a singular subject, you need to know the grammatical gender of the subject.

Masculine AnimateMasculine InanimateFeminineNeuter
Singularbylbylbylabylo
Pluralbylibylybylybyla

Future Tense

    In the future tense, být works like the English future auxiliary verb “will.”

Masculine AnimateMasculine InanimateFeminineNeuter
Singularbudebudebudebude
Pluralbudoubudoubudoubudou

1st Person2nd Person3rd person
Singularbudubudešbude
Pluralbudemebudetebudou

Conditional

    When forming the conditional, you’ll use the verb být the same way as “would” is used in English.

1st Person2nd Person3rd person
Singularbychbysby
Pluralbychombysteby

A Road with Arrows Pointing Straight Ahead

Start now!

5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article on Czech verb tenses and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you could grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient).

CzechClass101.com makes learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you, and share your favorite learning tips. Let’s get in touch!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Czech?

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Learning a new language is kind of like losing or gaining weight: we want to see results ASAP. Even better—we want to see results now. Yesterday was too late.

That, my dear friend, won’t happen. Not even if you pull three all-nighters in a row in an attempt to learn 1000 new words in three days. Not even if you refuse to speak other languages and expose yourself to an ungodly amount of Czech TV and YouTube videos.

So how long does it take to learn Czech?

Let me put it this way: It depends on what your goal is.

Duh, obvi, right?

Do you want to be able to order the right food on the menu or ask about specific ingredients? (Very important if you have food allergies or an intolerance…or if you really, REALLY can’t stand mushrooms, and spotting them on your plate would ruin your whole trip to Prague.)

Do you just need to get by and understand some basic, everyday phrases? Is your biggest fear using the wrong tense or saying “Goodnight” at ten in the morning?

Are you actually taking this VERY seriously and want to become fluent? Sky’s the limit!

Finally, are there any tips and tricks on how to learn Czech faster?

That (and more) is the topic of this article!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Beginner Level
  2. Intermediate Level
  3. Advanced Level
  4. Do You Want to Learn Czech Fast? Start Here.
  5. Learn Czech Faster: Practical Tips and Tricks
  6. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

Beginner Level

I know I’m going to sound super-annoying, but…there’s no straight answer to this (very frequently) asked question.

Think about it this way: How long did it take you to learn your mother tongue? You probably weren’t flaunting it within a couple of weeks, right? I’ve got great news for you, though: It’s not going to take years to learn Czech. And you can make the process fun by using the right methods and resources.

Read on.

A Woman Sitting at a Desk Thinking and Studying

The right learning method will speed up your progress.

Beginner Level: What Exactly Does That Mean?

  • You can ask a few basic questions, such as what time it is or where the restroom is located. 
  • You know how to greet people appropriately.
  • You can introduce yourself (your name, age, job, etc.).
  • You know how to use tenses. (Past, present, and future—see? This is MUCH easier than in English.)
  • Your vocabulary is limited, but you’re able to participate in conversations.
  • You typically make quite a lot of mistakes (and that’s okay, take them as an opportunity to learn and grow).
  • By international standards, this level is called A1 or A2.

How Many Hours Does it Take to Achieve a Beginner Level in Czech?

Generally speaking, you’re going to spend around 480 hours playing with flashcards, studying grammar, and memorizing vocabulary.

If you have the time and can treat yourself to full-time study, you will learn Czech in about 12 weeks.

A Woman with Mint-colored Headphones on Watching Something on Her Tablet

Use different learning techniques and don’t underestimate the power of Netflix and YouTube!

Intermediate Level

You should reach the intermediate level in about 720 hours or 24 weeks. However, if you’re not a complete beginner, you’ll probably make progress much faster. It all depends on your dedication. 

As a B1-B2 Czech speaker:

  • You understand the main topics of a conversation, given the vocabulary and grammar aren’t overly complicated or specific (and that you’re familiar with the topic).
  • Daily interactions in Czech are a breeze. You order food and engage in conversations about the weather, your family, hobbies, or work with ease.
  • You’re aware that it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to start writing your first novel in Czech, but you can compose an email just fine, even if it’s a work thing that has to sound professional.

Advanced Level 

This level will take around 44 weeks or 1100 hours to achieve. Whoa! This is C1-C2, guys!

At this level:

  • You’re pretty much fluent. You’re confident and use the language freely, without major errors.
  • Your vocabulary and grammar skills are strong.
  • You have complete control over the language.
A Man Holding Up an Aced Essay

Diligence is the mother of success!

Do You Want to Learn Czech Fast? Start Here.

How long it takes to learn Czech depends on a number of factors, such as your learning methods and your dedication. 

First of all, you should consider how much time you can allocate to studying Czech. Don’t push yourself too hard, and set realistic goals. Huge expectations might lead to disappointment. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race, and sometimes it’s better to relax instead of pushing harder.

Someone Checking Their Calendar and Schedule

Studying at the same time every day will help you make it a habit.

    Set realistic expectations. One hour a day is plenty.

What’s your motivation? Are you learning the language just for fun or do you have an actual goal that you want to reach? You know, motivation actually dries out, no matter how strong it is at first. Habits last forever.

    Make studying Czech a habit.

Set a reminder on your phone if needed. Train your language learning muscles. It’s all about your commitment, not your motivation.

English and Czech have literally nothing in common. Czech is a phonetic language—it’s pronounced the way it’s written. English is not. Also, Czech rules for word order are very loose and rely on context, voice, and declension. That brings us to…

    Do not compare English and Czech.

I’ve witnessed this many times, and I guess it’s pretty understandable, but also useless. When you’re learning Czech grammar or trying to pronounce a new word, forget that English even exists. Learn like little kids do—without bias or expectations.

    What’s your preferred way of learning?

Are you highly competitive or do you just enjoy company? Do you prefer to study early in the morning or at night? Your learning method will play an important role in your progress. Choose your favorite one, stick to it, and mix it up from time to time.

It would be a good idea to attend a class at least once a week (Zoom classes work too!), and use a free online resource daily—this could be an app or an online class. And no, you don’t have to travel all the way to the Czech Republic to learn the language. You can learn Czech online effectively and fast.

A Woman Lying in the Grass with a Book and Laptop, Studying

Are you a visual, auditory, or linguistic learner? The right learning method will help you make progress faster.

Learn Czech Faster: Practical Tips and Tricks

Tips for visual learners:

  • You’re a visual learner if you doodle while studying, you recall pictures and diagrams easily, and you often close your eyes and “visualize” information rather than trying to remember it.
  • Definitely use vocabulary flashcards and put pictures on them. I swear this works like magic. Trust me, you don’t have to be a graphic designer with a degree in Fine Arts to put together a decent-looking flashcard using an online tool. Use colors, fonts, and pics that work for you, spike your imagination, and are pleasing to look at (for you).
  • Pairing words with moving images or gestures works great, too. I highly recommend watching educational shows for kids – you’ll benefit from the colorful schemes and lots of pictures, as well as the simple vocabulary.

Tips for auditory learners:

  • If you like to repeat what you’ve just read or pick up new words from songs or podcasts without even trying, there’s a good chance you’re an auditory learner.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to native speakers and participate in conversations as much as you can.

Tips for linguistic learners:

  • If you like to read, easily remember information you’ve seen on paper/screen, often take detailed notes, and perhaps like to write essays and other assignments, you might be a linguistic learner.
  • Read comic books in Czech. The vocabulary will be pretty easy and you’ll get your word fix as well.
  • Switch on the subtitles while watching Netflix or YouTube videos in Czech. Trust me, this makes a world of a difference.

Tips for everyone:

  • Google Play and Apple Store will shower you with a variety of apps. Don’t underestimate their power. Even the laziest learners might get bored on the train or while waiting in a deserted café for it to stop raining. Plus, they’re fun, and some of them will work on your phone AND Kindle!
  • Take online Czech classes. They’re great for busy people! You can study in your bed and they never dry up. You can learn Czech fast and free with CzechClass101. It’s a gorgeous playground full of extensive vocabulary lists, lists of Czech phrases, audio and video lessons with transcripts, and flashcardswe even have a YouTube channel. If you want to study offline, no problem. You can download our lessons and use them on a plane or in the middle of the woods. Look at this online lesson for beginners; it has all you need to start learning Czech—audio, transcript, and vocabulary—and the tenses and grammar are explained in detail!
  • Watch Czech TV shows or YouTube channels, preferably with subtitles on, so that you can work on your spelling.
  • Get yourself a nice Czech girlfriend or boyfriend. Okay, “just” a friend (or a pen pal). This could help you improve your written Czech and writing skills in general.

How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you might grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient).

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you, and share your favorite learning tips. Let’s get in touch!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

The Best Czech Proverbs

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Ahhh, proverbs…those charming pieces of wisdom that add a nice ring (or a pitch of pathos) to any speech or article, and make you ultimately irritated in certain situations. Like right after you failed your adventurous challenge. 

However, they’re also comforting. Knowing that people in the past have gone through the same stuff we’re dealing with now is encouraging. And that’s exactly how we should see proverbs: as little “hellos” from our ancestors, who created them as reflections of who we are and how we see the world, life, love, success…you name it.

This article about Czech proverbs and sayings will give you insight into not only the Czech language, but also the culture and mindset behind it. You might be surprised at how much proverbs vary from one country or culture to another. 

Have you ever read or heard a Czech proverb? No? That’s okay…žádný učený z nebe nespadl (“no expert has ever fallen from the skies”). I hope that you’re a little confused and very curious now (and no, I did not get a stroke just now). I’m just giving you a little example. 

In this article, I’ll explain the most common Czech proverbs in English. Let’s dive right into it!

A Person Standing Behind the Starting Line at a Race

Lépe pozdě než nikdy. / “Better late than never.”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Czech Proverbs About Money
  2. Motivational Czech Proverbs
  3. Czech Proverbs About Time
  4. Czech Proverbs About Attitude
  5. Czech Proverbs About Life
  6. Cool Czech Proverbs in English That Even Many Natives Don’t Understand
  7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Czech Proverbs About Money

Believe it or not, there are plenty of Czech sayings out there on the topic of money. Here are just a few… 

Odvážnému štěstí přeje.

  • “Luck favors the brave ones.” / “Fortune sides with him who dares.” 

This one is pretty straightforward, right?

Fun fact #1: This quote is actually from Virgil (the author of the Aeneid), but my nation seems to like it a lot.

Fun fact #2: Czechs aren’t the most courageous people in the world. 

During the communist era (I’m going to repeat this a lot, bear with me), which ended “only” thirty years ago, it was much safer to keep quiet and remain unseen. Today’s kids are a whole different story, though: adventurous, ambitious, wordly.

Bez práce nejsou koláče. 

  • “Without work, there are no kolaches.”

No pain, no gain, guys. This one pairs great with…

Pečení holubi nelítají do pusy. 

  • “Baked pigeons don’t fly into your mouth.”

The Czech believe that if you want to achieve something, you have to hustle and work extra-hard. Every success has to be hard-earned. There have to be blood stains all over you. 

Making money doing what you love? Pffft. 

Making two dimes a week as a miner working twenty-hour shifts? Well done, buddy!

Czechs love their food, so don’t be surprised when you see them come up often in proverbs. Speaking of, what’s your favorite Czech food? And do you know how to order in a Czech restaurant?

Čas jsou peníze. 

  • “Time is money.”

The meaning of this one is pretty obvious: Don’t wait around if you could be making money instead.

Oh, just don’t talk about money in the Czech Republic. No figures. People might look at you funny if you ask them about their income, mortgage, debt, child support…just kidding. 

However, there are some basic money-related Czech phrases that you’ll need for your everyday interactions. Check them out: 


Zadarmo ani kuře nehrabe. 

  • “Chickens don’t dig for free.” 

Knowing your worth and value sure is important. But this Czech proverb is more about…not doing stuff just out of the goodness of your heart.

Kdo šetří, má za tři. 

  • “Who keeps saving has more than three people combined.”

Okay, guys. I do agree it’s important to save some bucks for a rainy day, but saving can get out of hand too! Don’t forget that your happiness and well-being are way more important, so don’t deny yourself the opportunity to use your own money on stuff that makes you happy!

This proverb doesn’t apply to money exclusively, and it comes from the old dark times when people ate artificial “honey” and didn’t know when the local store would restock on toilet paper, so…they stocked up on it, and saved it. (True story.)

Coins Stacked with a Small House on Top

Sometimes, money CAN buy happiness.

2. Motivational Czech Proverbs

We could all use some motivation now and then, whether to lift our spirits…or to lift our bums off the sofa. Here are a few of the best Czech proverbs to do just that! 

Co můžeš udělat dnes, neodkládej na zítřek. 

  • “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

If you want to do something, do it right away. Like… The last piece of cake in your fridge might as well be eaten tonight, don’t you think?

Malé ryby taky ryby. 

  • “Even small fish are fish.”

Here we go again: the communist era (you can learn more about the Czech history after WWII here). Here’s what I genuinely enjoy about my people—we can appreciate the little things in life. Even small victories count, you know?

Opakování matka moudrosti. 

  • “Repetition is the mother of wisdom.”

A.k.a. “Repetition is the mother of all learning.” If you want to create new neural paths, repeat the thing you want to learn until it becomes second nature.

S poctivostí nejdál dojdeš. 

  • “Honesty is the best policy.”

Being truthful is a virtue. Just don’t overdo it, please. 

Last weekend, my grandma was being very honest and shrieked: “You look pregnant!”

I’m not pregnant.

Naděje umírá poslední. 

  • “Hope dies last.”

…for hope to even possibly die is for there to be nothing else left.

3. Czech Proverbs About Time

Time affects literally every aspect of our lives, so it should come as no surprise that there are a number of proverbs on the topic…

Nač stahovat kalhoty, když brod je ještě daleko? 

  • “Why put your pants down while the ford is still far away?”

As in: Everything in due time. Also, the proverb’s delicately hinting that you’re going to “use the bathroom” someplace safe near the ford. 

By the way, before your trip to CZ, make sure you know how to ask where the nearest bathroom is—not a lot of people speak English!

Co se v mládí naučíš, ve stáří jako když najdeš. 

  • “What you have learned young you’ll find useful in the old.”

My grandma was probably taught to be extremely honest. Don’t be like grandma, and focus instead on learning skills that don’t traumatize other people, please.

Ráno moudřejší večera. 

  • “The morning is wiser than the evening.”

You know how sometimes you can’t sleep because your mind is racing, you get anxious, and everything seems so difficult and hopeless…and then in the morning you feel much better even though nothing has changed?

Or! Have you ever made a decision too fast and regretted it later?

These are great examples of what this proverb is referring to.

Don’t rush yourself. Sleep on it (literally or figuratively). Give yourself time to think things through. You’ll be wiser in the morning.

Ranní ptáče dál doskáče. 

  • “The early bird will hop further (gets the worm).”

No wonder all the billionaires and CEOs get up at four a.m., right?

It’s totally okay to sleep in, but if you get a head-start, you’ll get more done!

Starého psa novým kouskům nenaučíš. 

  • “You can’t teach an old dog to perform new tricks.”

My friend recently said this to me with a frustrated sigh and then took a sip of her wine.

Meaning: People who have been doing something a certain way for a very long time, most likely won’t change their routine just because you want to get married and move in together. Oh, the second part is totally just an example.

Trpělivost růže přináší. 

  • “Patience brings roses.”

And maybe, if you’re patient enough, he’ll finally produce a ring. Eventually. If you’re patient enough.

Okay, seriously. This proverb carries a message about “everything in due time.” So don’t try to rush things. Trust it will happen, and it’s yours.

4. Czech Proverbs About Attitude

They say that attitude is everything. But what exactly does that mean? 

Zlost je špatný rádce. / Mluviti stříbro, mlčeti zlato. 

  • “Anger is a bad advisor.” / “Speaking is silver, silence is gold.”

These two proverbs urge us to be careful about what we say in anger, because people can’t unsee or unhear things. Next time you’re tempted to scream your lungs out or say something nasty, take a deep breath first.

Dobrá rada nad zlato

  • “Good advice is more valuable than gold.”

IMO, sometimes good advice even YIELDS gold.

Kdo jinému jámu kopá, sám do ní padá. 

  • “He who digs a hole for someone will fall in it himself.”

Karma’s a b*tch! Be nice and nice things will come to you. Dig holes and you’ll end up with both legs broken.

Darovanému koni na zuby nekoukej. 

  • “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Accept gifts graciously, and don’t question their value. I mean…who doesn’t like free stuff, right?

    → Attitude and personality often go hand-in-hand. If you would like to learn how to describe your personality in Czech, see our list of adjectives and go through this lesson

A Horse Neighing

Darovanému koni na zuby nehleď.

5. Czech Proverbs About Life

We all want to live the best life possible, right? But it’s not always that easy. Here are some Czech proverbs that might help you, though! 

Nehas, co tě nepálí. 

  • “Don’t fight a fire that’s not burning you.”

Mind your business. Did you know that Czechs are known for not giving an F? That’s why we often seem disinterested, cold, or rude (even though we’re dying to engage on the inside).

Sytý hladovému nevěří. 

  • “The sated/full doesn’t believe the hungry.”

If I told you that Czech is totally easy, and that if you’d started studying it a couple weeks ago, you should be fluent by now…would you believe me?

And if you told me that Czech is so hard, almost impossible to learn…would I believe you?

Now who’s the sated one?

Dvakrát měř, jednou řež. 

  • “Measure twice, cut once.” 

The meaning of this one is obvious. Be careful and do all the preparations carefully. (Sometimes it’s called procrastination.)

Co zaseješ, to sklidíš. 

  • “You reap what you sow.”

Ever heard about karma?

Pes, který štěká, nekouše. 

  • “A dog that barks doesn’t bite.” / “Someone who makes threats all the time seldom carries out the threats.”

Except for the angry, tiny dogs—those always bite!

The actual meaning of this proverb is: Even if something seems intimidating/scary/too much/too loud, don’t get put off or scared. It’s likely just a facade.

Kdo uteče, vyhraje. 

  • “He who runs away, wins.”

Sometimes, it’s wiser to give up and walk away from a situation if you think you can’t win.

The ‘ESC’ Button on a Keyboard

Kdo uteče, vyhraje.

6. Cool Czech Proverbs in English That Even Many Natives Don’t Understand

…but really, who understands all the proverbs in their language? 

Jednou za Uherský rok. 

  • “Once in a Hungarian moon.”

This is equivalent to “once in a blue moon” or “very rarely.” Nobody knows what Hungary has to do with it.

Házet flintu do žita. 

  • “Throwing your rifle in the rye.” 

To throw in the towel, especially after a long fight that seemed to be going nowhere.

Má máslo na hlavě. 

  • “He has butter on his head.”

This refers to when someone is hiding a lot of secrets (very obvious things) that everybody knows about (a.k.a. “has skeletons in his closet”).

Why butter? Who knows! We like butter. Butter is life. Butter is the Czech cream cheese and peanut butter in one.

V noci je každá kočka černá. 

  • “Every cat is black at night.”

When you can’t see things clearly, everything might seem the same to you.

Nedráždi hada bosou nohou. 

  • “Don’t pat a snake with bare feet.”

A.k.a. “walking into the lion’s den.” It’s a fun phrase, considering there are basically no venomous snakes in the country.

A Yellow Cobra

Don’t pat a snake with bare feet!

7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new! Which of these Czech proverbs can you most relate to? 

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, you basically have two options: grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient).

CzechClass101.com makes learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Let’s get in touch!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

Prague Travel Guide: The Top 10 Places to Visit in Prague

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Not many people know where the Czech Republic is (I don’t blame them: it’s a tiny country hiding between two giants, Germany and Poland), but everyone knows someone who has been to Prague.

I’ve lost count of how many people who, upon learning where I come from, have shrieked in excitement: “My neighbor’s nephew visited Prague! He said it was such a lovely city! We must go someday, too!”

Believe it or not, Prague is just as exciting and has the same old-timey atmosphere as other, more “famous” European cities. It looks similar, and (for now) Prague travel is more affordable than travel in many other European cities. That’s why it’s a loved and popular destination not only among tourists, but also among many movie-makers. 

Are you familiar with the films Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), or Mission Impossible (1996)? Then you’ve kind of seen Prague already. In the 2006 movie The Illusionist with Ed Norton, Prague filled in for late-nineteenth-century Vienna. A huge chunk of Casino Royale (2006) was shot in various Czech locations: Prague, Loket Castle, and Prague Airport (which filled in for Miami International). 

Prague, the seat of medieval Bohemian kings, is a small yet charming jewel in the heart of Europe. Even those who don’t care about history or architecture will most definitely be smitten with its ancient bridges, squares, churches, cobblestone streets and, of course, the breathtaking view of the largest castle in the world, standing proudly above the river. 

The Largest Castle in the World, Covering 18 Acres.

The largest castle in the world, covering 18 acres. 

Are you ready to pack your bags? 

In this Prague travel guide from CzechClass101.com, we’ll help you make the most of your trip by answering such questions as:

  • When is the best time to visit Prague?
  • What are the places to visit here?
  • Is it worth visiting Prague Castle?
  • Is Prague a safe city to visit?

We’ll cover this and more in our article!


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Before You Go: Basic Info About Prague
  2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip to Prague
  3. Not Leaving Yet? Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Czech Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

Before You Go: Basic Info About Prague

As mentioned, Prague is one of the best-preserved cities in Europe and it will transport you right back to the seventeenth century. I’m sure you’ve heard quite a lot about this charming City of a Hundred Spires, but you’ll need some practical info as well while planning a visit to Prague.

Population

With around 1.3 million inhabitants, Prague is the largest city in the country by population. The population is spread over ten different districts within the city, and it’s densest in the center and southern areas of Prague.

Weather

If you’re wondering when to visit Prague for the best experience, keep in mind that the Czech Republic has a continental climate. That means…

  • …mild, humid summers with occasional hot spells.
  • …cold, cloudy, and humid winters with temperatures often below freezing.
  • …lots of sun all year round.

You can visit any time of the year, though mid-April to September or mid-October would probably offer the most pleasant, sunny weather.

If you’re excited to see all the gems covered in snow, you might be disappointed—snow is sparse in the Czech Republic (except for in the mountains, of course).


Travel Tips + Packing Reminders

Prague (and the Czech Republic in general) is still considered a budget-friendly destination, although it’s not “Eastern European cheap” like, well…Eastern Europe, Budapest, or Bratislava. Most decent hotels don’t charge more than 2.000 CZK (just below $100), and if you want to splurge and enjoy the comfort of a five-star hotel, it’ll cost you about twice as much.

As for meal prices, they won’t break the bank either. A dinner for two, including drinks, is usually around 700 CZK ($30, give or take).

Additional reminders:

  • You’re going to need a type E socket, and don’t forget that your U.S. gadgets (like clippers or hair dryers) will get fried if you try using them in the Czech Republic—trust me, been there, done that.
  • Most supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions accept euros. While you can use your card, it’s a good idea to bring some cash just in case.
  • The Czech Republic is in GMT+2 time zone.
  • Most people do NOT speak English. Our Czech Key Phrase List will come in handy in a pinch. 
  • If you’re not sure how to pronounce the names of the attractions you want to visit, feel free to use our list of Tourist Attractions in the Czech Republic!

Type E Socket

Type E socket.

Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip to Prague

If you don’t have a lot of time to visit Prague, one to three days should be enough for you to see the medieval city center, museums, and churches.

Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

Day 1

Old Town (Staré město)

You do not want to miss the amazing, incredible astronomical clock (orloj) installed in 1410. It’s the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still operating. But there’s one problem: The Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) is always crammed with people. Here’s my little tip:

Get there early in the morning, definitely before eight a.m. Grab a cup of Starbucks, enjoy the fun performance, have breakfast (and make sure you know how to order it), send a video of the dancing figures to your friends with a funny caption (every hour, two doors above the clock open and the twelve apostles on a rotating platform send you their blessings, one after another, followed by prejudices and other still or moving figures). And then, go on with your day in Prague.

Charles Bridge (Karlův most) and Old Town Bridge Tower (Staroměstská mostecká věž)

Charles Bridge was built in the early fifteenth century and crosses the river Vltava. It’s one of the most famous places in Prague, and for good reasons! If you love late-night walks, even better. You can enjoy your stroll without other tourists trying to snap a pic, and truly savor the beauty and the magical, medieval atmosphere.

Walking through the tower will make you feel like a celebrity—it was reserved for Bohemian kings to pass under during their coronation.

Charles Bridge Is Named After the Emperor Charles IV.

Charles Bridge is named after the Emperor Charles IV.

Church of Our Lady Before Týn (Chrám matky Boží před Týnem)

This church is sort of like Sagrada Familia in Spain, just a lot older. It’s gorgeous on the outside, and absolutely breathtaking on the inside—the two buildings do not look similar in any way. Just sayin’. 

It was built in the fourteenth century during the Charles IV era, and 400 years later, the interior was renovated in the opulent Baroque style while the spiky exterior remained in Gothic style.

This Beauty Can Be Seen from Many Vantage Points.

This beauty can be seen from many vantage points.

Day 2

Prague Castle and Hradčany (Pražský hrad a Hradčany)

Do yourself a favor and save a full day for this. This complex of buildings from the ninth century might make your feet beg for a day off, but there’s just so much to see here!

Here’s what you don’t want to miss while visiting Prague Castle:

Because of the constant rebuilding at Prague Castle, the structure represents almost every architectural style from the last millenium. St. Vitus Cathedral is an example of the Gothic style, while the Basilica of St. George and some of the palaces were built in the Romanesque style. The castle is open to tourists and is home to the National Gallery’s collection of Bohemian mannerism and Baroque art, as well as other museums. The annual Summer Shakespeare Festival also takes place at Prague Castle.

As mentioned, this is the largest castle complex in the world. Wear comfy shoes, guys!

Day 3

Alright, I’m guessing that by now you’re ready for a break. That’s what the New Town is for!

New Town (Nové město)

The name is pretty self-explanatory, so I’m just going to say that Nové město has a lot to offer, even for shoppaholics and art-lovers.

Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)

Saint Wenceslas Square is one of the main Prague squares, and it’s very close to the main train station. If you love bars and parties, this is the place to go unwind after a long day of discovering Prague’s historical jewels.

Dancing House (Tančící dům)

This building, named after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, was built in 1996. Its unique design is considered controversial because it’s located among Art-nouveau, Baroque, and Gothic buildings.

Tančící Dům.

Tančící dům.

Powder Tower (Prašná brána)

This impressive building was built in the late fifteenth century, meant to be an impressive entrance to the city. Wondering why “powder”? It was used for gunpowder storage in the seventeenth century.

Not Leaving Yet? Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

Will you have more time to spend exploring Prague? Great! This will give you ample time to see even more of the city’s major attractions. 

Day 4

Malá Strana

The name literally means “Little Side.” How adorable is that? You’ll find a lot of cute narrow cobblestone streets, numerous churches, little shops, and…

Petřín

This park on a hill in the center of Prague is an amazing place for walks and taking in the gorgeous views of the city. Also, if you’re going to propose while in Prague, I suggest you do it here.

I know you’re probably tired, but remember that 15k steps is the new 10k. So brace yourself and climb up the Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna). The view will be worth it.

Days 5-7

Okay, maybe you’re ready to explore outside of the city center, too! Take a day trip. You’ll see more and let your mind rest a little.

Here are a few things you might want to see:

Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad was the royal residence of the Czech kings until the early twelfth century when they moved to the new, modern Prague Castle downtown.

Do not expect to find a perfectly intact castle here (okay, it’s ruins), but the views of the city are spectacular. 

If you’re tired of spending all day in crowded places, Vyšehrad might be your jam: it’s one of the few parts of Prague that isn’t packed with tourists.

Karlštejn

This fourteenth-century castle up on a hill in the middle of the woods looks like something straight from a fairytale. It’s only a thirty-minute drive from Prague, and you can also take a train to reach this location.

The Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of this beer at some point in your life, just like we’ve all heard of Kleenex.

In just over an hour, you’ll get to the birthplace of modern lager. If you decide to stay overnight, you can have a lot of fun taking a tour of Pilsen pubs and enjoying not just the beer, but also the Czech food!

Czech Survival Phrases for Travelers

I highly recommend getting your language skills up to date before you leave, because not a lot of Czechs speak English. Feel free to Czech out our vocabulary lists.

What words and phrases will you need the most during your stay in Prague? We’ve got you covered!

EnglishCzech
“Hello.”Dobrý den.
“Thank you.”Děkuji.
“Goodbye.”Nashledanou.
“Sorry.”Pardon.
“Very good.”Moc dobré.
“I don’t understand you.” (to locals who don’t speak your language)Nerozumím vám.
“Where is the restroom?”Kde jsou toalety?
“How much is it?”Kolik to stojí?
“I want this.” (while shopping or ordering food)Vezmu si tohle. (while shopping) / Dám si tohle. (while ordering food)
“Help!”Pomoc!

Want more? Then see our list titled Don’t Travel Without Knowing These Top 10 Czech Verbs

How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new!

If you’re taking your Czech studies seriously, your two main options are to grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient).

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Which of these Czech travel destinations are you most excited to see, and why?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

English Words in the Czech Language

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Czenglish. Have you ever heard this term? It’s been a hot topic lately, mostly due to the vigorous power of the internet and social media. Nowadays, everybody loves YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and…influencers!

Although you won’t find a lot of similarities between Czech and English (with the exception of words derived from Latin), English is seeping into the Czech language more and more. 

By the way, the phenomenon of English words used in Czech is not as new as it might seem! I was watching a Czech comedy from 1938 a couple of days ago, and one of the first scenes is a perfect example of Czenglish used in real life: Já changuju subject? Ty changuješ subject! (“I am changing the subject? You are changing the subject!”). We like using English words. We adopt them, lovingly decline and conjugate them, adjust the pronunciation to our liking, and make them our own.

Yup, it’s very convenient to speak more languages because (besides other, more prominent and useful advantages) it gives you the option to pick your favorite words and use them as you please! I am guilty of using English words in Czech convos, and it makes my grandma very confused at times!

There are also words that you probably consider English…which are actually Czech!

Let’s get into it! In this article, we’ll look at Czech words you’ve been using without realizing it, Czenglish, and Czech words of English origin.

A Woman Giving a Confused, Defensive Shrug

I’ll make sure I never make this mistake again.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Czenglish
  2. Czenglish Examples
  3. Loanwords vs. Czenglish: List of English Words in the Czech Language
  4. Foreign Brands, Titles, and Names in Czech
  5. Czech Words in English: Did You Know?
  6. How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

Introduction to Czenglish

The term ‘Czenglish’ was first introduced in 1989 by Don Sparling, a Canadian professor at the Masaryk University in Brno (1977-2009), who’s also the author of English or Czenglish?

So, what is the definition of Czenglish?

    Czenglish is a version of the English language spoken by Czech learners of English. It is heavily influenced by Czech vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or syntax.

Czenglish mistakes might include a wide variety of “abominations,” such as:

Incorrect pronunciation

For example:

  • /θ/ is often pronounced as [s], [t], or [f].
    • “Thing” in Czech sounds more like “sink,” “tink,” or “fink.”
  • /ð/ is often pronounced as [d].
    • “They” is pronounced “dey.”
  • /r/ has the typical rolling rumble to it.

Voiced consonants pronounced as unvoiced

Voiced consonants (B, D, G, J, L, M, N, Ng, R, Sz, Th as in “they,” V, W, Y, and Z) are made by vibrating the vocal cords. Unvoiced consonants…yes, you guessed it! Your vocal cords can take a break while pronouncing these: Ch, F, K, P, S, Sh, T, and Th (as in “thing”).

Czech natives, however, often pronounce them incorrectly. Which is no biK deal, but it sounds funny. I’m sure you’ve hearT a lot of Dose. Am I rrrright?

Omission of articles

It’s no wonder Czechs make this mistake, as there are no articles in the Czech language. Most Czech natives find them…redundant. Why bother, when it’s just a few letters (or even a single one)? Another thing you might encounter while talking to Czechs is the use of “some” in place of an indefinite article.

Literal translations

This is a big one. And given the stark difference between the Czech and English word order, there’s a good chance you’ll get lost in translation quite often.

Czenglish Examples

This part should be easy to write since I’m the “uncrowned queen of Czenglish” and sometimes it’s hard for my mouth to keep up with my mind, so…here it goes.

  • “Basic school”

    Got it? Basic school is the literal translation of základní škola (“elementary school”). I’ve heard this one way too many times to ever forget it. Základní means “basic” in Czech.
  • “She said me that my English is great!” 

    Řekla mi, že moje angličtina je skvělá!

    While in English, you might say “She said to me that my English is great,” omitting prepositions is very common in word-for-word translations. It can lead to some very funny situations…
  • “I am watching on TV.” 

    Dívám se na televizi.

    Generally speaking, the Czech language uses prepositions where English doesn’t, and vice-versa. Na means “on.”
  • “Riding on bike” 

    Jet na kole.

    This is a perfect example of preposition errors in literal translations.
  • “I can English.” 

    Umím anglicky.

    Mluvit means “to speak.” In Czech, we don’t say: Umím mluvit anglicky.
  • A: “Hey, I don’t like it.” / B: “Me too.” 

    A: “Hele, nelíbí se mi to.” / B: “Mně taky.”

    Shrug. That’s how Czech works, folks!
  • Using the word “please” instead of “ask”

    Oh my gosh, this mistake can actually be pretty embarrassing because “to please” has a very different meaning in English, and it’s similar to the Czech potěšit (“to make happy”). Not cute.

    Poprosit (“to ask”) is derived from the word prosím (“please”), and for the average Czech, it totally makes sense to “please you to do something.”

    To give you an example, the sentence Poprosil mě, abych něco řekl (“He asked me to say something”) would be incorrectly translated as “He pleased me to say something” (Potěšil mě, abych něco řekl).

I suppose you’ll want to avoid such mistakes in Czech! That’s why you should check out our list of 100 Core Czech Words and Key Czech Phrases!

Two Men Pointing and Laughing at Something

Some Czenglish words sound adorable.


Loanwords vs. Czenglish: List of English Words in the Czech Language

Loanwords are “borrowed” from English without significant changes and tend to be easily understood by native English speakers.  

This phenomenon has grown in popularity due to YouTube and social media, and we often use social media-related terms without changing them. However, we apply declension and conjugation in order to make them work in a Czech sentence.

We do use heavily altered (or even pure Czech) words when talking about technology, though. Check them out here.

A Woman Vlogging while Cooking

Young Czechs use a lot of English words, mostly due to social media and influencers.

Here are some commonly used English words in Czech:

  • Blog / blogging / blogovat (“to blog”) 
  • Lobbing 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Barman (“bartender”)
    • masculine animate
    • This one only works in masculine, though. We like to be super-specific with grammatical gender, so the feminine version is barmanka.
  • Blok (“block”), blokovat (“to block”)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Sendvič (“sandwich”)
    • masculine animate
  • Galon (“gallon”)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Klub (“club” as in “facility”)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Svetr (“sweater” or “jumper”)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Followers / followeři 
    • masculine animate
  • Views 
    • not declined
  • Stories (as in “Insta stories”) 
    • not declined
  • Intro 
  • Trailer (as in a movie trailer)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Internet 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Web (pronounced with a “v”) 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Chat (when referring to an online conversation) 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Email 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Smartphone 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Spoiler 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Korporát (“corporate”)
  • Brainstorming 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Mainstream 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Steak 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Filet (“fillet”)
    • masculine inanimate
  • Cheesecake 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Cupcake 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Cookie 
    • neuter
  • Brownie 
    • neuter
  • Manager 
    • masculine animate
  • Management / Marketing 
    • masculine inanimate
  • Business 
    • masculine inanimate

Please note:

    ➢ All loanwords, even those that remain unchanged, are pronounced the Czenglish way and you might not recognize them when you hear them…

Just sayin’.

You might have noticed that a lot of these borrowed words are office- or work-related. But you’ll still need to know some Czech vocabulary to talk about your workplace

Foreign Brands, Titles, and Names in Czech

There is one thing that technically doesn’t belong to Czenglish, but I get asked about it A LOT.

Angela MerkelOVÁ
Sigourney WeaverOVÁ
Anna BoleynOVÁ

In Czech and other Slavic languages, the suffix -ová is added to the last names of all females. Back in the day, it literally meant “belonging to…,” and somehow, it never went away. Are you wincing now?

Lately, more women choose to go by their husband’s last name without the -ová, which means they have to literally lie to the authorities when applying for their new documents. You have to confirm that you’re either going to move abroad or have married a foreigner in order to be allowed to choose your own name. I’m not kidding.

There’s one advantage to this whole “belonging to” thing: it makes it clear whether a person is male or female immediately.

Now back to Czenglish!

Do we translate foreign titles? Yup. Some of them. Any rules? No.

Look:

  • Star WarsHvězdné války (literal translation, same meaning)
  • Pretty WomanPretty woman 
  • Misson: ImpossibleMission: Impossible
  • Inception Počátek (literal translation is “beginning,” but vnuknutí [meaning “suggestion”] would be more accurate)

However, titles are created based on specific instructions from Hollywood headquarters before the creators have seen the actual movie, which definitely makes the job harder.

A Cartoon Drawing of Yoda Holding a Lightsaber

Hvězdné války – Yoda.

P.S.: We also omit the ‘90210’ from Beverly Hills, 90210 and pronounce Nike as Nik.

By the way, if you’re going to the movies in the Czech Republic, check out our specialized movie vocab list first!

Czech Words in English: Did You Know?

There are words you probably consider English, but…

Bohemisms or Czechisms are words derived from the Czech language, and many of them originate in Latin. Let’s look at a couple of English words from Czech you’ve heard at least once before:

Robot

This word was first coined by the Czech playwright, novelist, and journalist Karel Čapek (1880-1938), who introduced it in his 1920 sci-fi play, R.U.R., or Rossum’s Universal Robots. It’s derived from the old Slavonic word robota, which literally means “forced labor.”

Čapek first named these creatures laboři, but didn’t really like it. At the suggestion of his brother, artist and author Josef Čapek, he later opted for roboti (“robots”).

An Image of a Robot Against a White Background

Robot or labor?

In case you’re interested: The play is pretty awesome, and there’s an English version as well. It’s pretty ironic that R.U.R. was his least favorite work. 

By the way, Čapek was close friends with the first Czechoslovak president, a passionate democrat (although he wasn’t directly involved in politics), and strictly against totalitarian regimes. Some of his works were considered “subversive,” and as such, were hated by the rising Nazi party. He died of the flu in December 1938.

Polka

This popular folk dance (and the word used to describe it) originated in the mid-nineteenth century. It’s drawn from the word půlka (“half”), and refers to the short half-steps and rhythm of the dance.

The word became widely popular in the major European languages in the early 1840s.

How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new! Did any of the words we listed surprise you? 

If you’re taking your Czech learning seriously, you could grab a Czech grammar book or learn online (the latter of which is way more convenient).

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