Get 31% OFF With The Pretty Big Deal Sale. Ends Soon!
Get 31% OFF With The Pretty Big Deal Sale. Ends Soon!
CzechClass101.com Blog
Learn Czech with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Introduce Yourself: How to Say “My Name is,” in Czech and More

Thumbnail

Introducing yourself in Czech (or any foreign language) might seem daunting at first, we get it. Maybe you googled “how to say my name is in Czech” and now you’re feeling a bit confused. But once you learn a few basic phrases, you’re good to go.

Czech is a fun, lively language, and you don’t need to be fluent to start a conversation. With this guide, you’ll be ready for any social situation or occasion. In our guide on how to introduce yourself in Czech, we’ve summarized all you need to know and memorize before you put yourself out there—how to say your name, which greeting is appropriate in specific settings, what information is considered too personal, and so on.

Sit back and put on your glasses. In a few minutes, you’ll be ready to make the best first impression!

Table of Contents

  1. The Best Start? A Smile and a Greeting!
  2. How to Break the Ice
  3. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

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

1. The Best Start? A Smile and a Greeting!

First Encounter

When you introduce yourself in Czech, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: While in English, you can get away with a simple “hello,” the Czech language isn’t that easy! We like to keep things fresh and exciting (joke!), and use different greetings depending on where we are and whom we’re talking to. Fear not; it’s pretty easy, and with a little bit of practice and effort, you’ll master the art of greeting in no time.

Let’s say you have a job interview or you’re meeting your friend’s parents. These are the most common greetings for a formal-ish occasion or when meeting older people:

  • Dobrý den (Good day) is the universal phrase you’ll use the most—when entering a store, in the workplace, at the bank, etc. It’s pretty formal and not typically used among friends.
  • Dobrý večer (Good evening). Pretty self-explanatory, right?

And if you’re with friends or talking to someone your age?

  • Ahoj (Hello). This is the most common casual greeting that you’ll use in a non-formal setting and with friends, anytime of day or night.

Unlike the first two phrases above, ahoj can be used to say “bye” as well. Beware, though. Some Czechs might be a little uptight or may just prefer to be less personal when first meeting new people, and you might want to stick to the more formal/polite greetings.

How to Translate: “My name is” in Czech

Woman with Question Mark in Front of Face

Now that you’ve greeted everyone, you’re ready to start a fun conversation! And what’s the best way to do that? Tell them your name, of course! Unless you want to be called “Hey, you!” all the time. Then don’t.

How to say “My name is,” in Czech and formal ways to introduce yourself in Czech:

  • Jmenuji se (I am named) is the more formal (and perhaps complicated) option, suitable for workplaces or interviews. It’s also used in written form.
  • Já jsem (I am) is how Czechs typically introduce themselves in both casual and formal settings.

Please note that Czech people, especially older folks who aren’t used to foreigners, aren’t very chatty. It’s not usual for them to approach strangers and inquire about their name, age, and favorite food. They often consider it rude and they just don’t want to “pry.” Don’t worry, though. Once the hard shell is cracked, you’ll find that most natives are actually warm and nice people who truly appreciate your effort to speak their language.

The Niceties

Being nice is nice, and letting people know you’re pleased to meet them is common while introducing yourself in Czech.

  • Těší mě (I am pleased/Nice to meet you) is a universal phrase that can be used for any occasion while talking to an individual or a group of people.

Formal vs. Informal Voice: Ty or Vy?

In the Czech language, there are two forms of the word “you,” and it’s crucial to remember they’re not the same to avoid possible faux pas.

  • The formal tone, vy: This is the second person plural form (instead of the informal second person singular), and is used when meeting older people or meeting people for the first time in general.
  • The informal, ty: This is the second person singular, and is used when talking to your close friends or people who offered tykání, meaning that you can use the informal (and call them by their first name). Using the informal right away might be considered impolite, especially in a professional setting, doctor’s office, or…anywhere, really.

To put it simply:

  • Your friends, work friends, family, children: Ty.
  • Anyone else (even your age): Vy.
  • When in doubt: Vy.

If you’re talking to a group of people, you don’t need to worry about formal and informal. You’ll address them by Vy (plural) in any case.

Handshake, Hug, or a Smooch?

The answer is simple: A handshake.

Czechs aren’t very cuddly, and hugging a stranger is never a good idea. There are exceptions, of course—you’re finally meeting your best friend’s sister you’ve heard so much about, or you happen to run into Brad Pitt at the grocery store…

Group of Friends Hugging

The same goes for kissing on the cheek. While this is quite common among friends, it’s not usual when meeting new people. On the other hand, if you come from a country where la bise is an everyday routine, just do it. Most people will find it charming.

Still not sure?

  • A hug or a kiss on the cheek is a very friendly and intimate gesture that’s appropriate in casual settings and among friends and family.
  • A handshake is more formal and polite, and you can’t go wrong with it.

Let’s Try It!

Introducing Yourself

Now you know how to translate “My name is,” in Czech and you’re ready to begin a conversation!
Let’s start with a formal conversation. You’ll use these phrases at work, at school, and at other semi-formal or formal occasions.

“Hello, my name is Jana.” Dobrý den, já jsem Jana.
“Good evening, my name is Jana.” Dobrý večer, já jsem Jana.
“Nice to meet you.” Těší mě!

It’s that easy. Now let’s try an informal version.

“Hi/hello, my name is Jana.” Ahoj, já jsem Jana.
“Nice to meet you!” Těší mě!

2. How to Break the Ice

About Yourself

After the officialities are done, you and your new acquaintance are ready to get to know each other. The topics of basic conversation in Czech when introducing yourself are probably shockingly similar to what you would talk about in your country: where you’re from, your job, what you’re doing in the Czech Republic.

If you’re at a bar or a gym, just having fun and making friends, you’ll probably want to talk about your family, pets, and hobbies too.

What are the most common questions (and answers)? And how do you ask about other people’s names?

“Hello, my name is Jana.” Ahoj, já jsem Jana.
“And you?” A ty?
“Nice to meet you!” Těší mě!

As for conversations with people who are older or “higher-ranked” than you, you introduce yourself and wait for them to continue. Asking about their name would be considered impolite.

Now let’s look at how to say “I am from” in Czech:

Czech Countries

Informal Formal
“Where are you from?” Odkud jsi? Odkud jste?
“I am from Chile.” Jsem z Chile.
“Where do you live?” Kde bydlíš? Kde bydlíte?
“I live in Brno.” Bydlím v Brně.
“Do you like it here?” Líbí se ti tu? Líbí se vám tu?

It’s up to you how much you want to give away, of course.

This neat list of introductions and greetings in Czech will make creating a simple outline of your next convo in Czech really easy!

Work

Man Who Works as a Baker

Work is not only a huge part of our everyday life (that also pays the bills), but is also an awesome conversation topic!

Informal Formal
What’s your job?” (Where do you work?) Kde pracuješ? Kde pracujete?
“What do you do?” Co děláš? Co děláte?

You’ll hear this question a lot. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a family gathering, pub, yoga studio, or on the tram—this is the most common and popular opening line.

You can answer it in two ways:

  • Pracuju jako asistentka.
    “I work as an assistant.”
  • Jsem asistentka.
    “I am an assistant.”

The Perfect Ice Breaker: Hobbies and Family!

Most older Czech people will probably inquire about your marital status, especially if they are elderly ladies. This topic is quite common, although most people won’t go that far and it’s something that likely won’t be discussed during formal occasions.

People will probably ask:

Informal Feminine Formal Feminine Informal Masculine Formal Masculine
“Are you married?” Jsi vdaná? Jste vdaná? Jsi ženatý? Jste ženatý?
“Do you have kids?” Máš děti? Máte děti? Máš děti? Máte děti?
“Do you have siblings?” Máš sourozence? Máte sourozence? Máš sourozence? Máte sourozence?
“What are your hobbies?” Jaké máš koníčky? Jaké máte koníčky? Jaké máš koníčky? Jaké máte koníčky?
“What kinds of things do you like to do?” Co tě baví? Co vás baví? Co tě baví? Co vás baví?
“Do you have any pets?” Máš nějaké zvíře? Máte nějaké zvíře? Máš nějaké zvíře? Máte nějaké zvíře?

To which you might reply:

Feminine Masculine
“Yes, I am married.” Ano, jsem vdaná. Ano, jsem ženatý.
“No, I am not.” Ne, nejsem. Ne, nejsem.
“I am divorced.” Jsem rozvedená. Jsem rozvedený.
“I am an only child.” Jsem jedináček. Jsem jedináček.
“I have a brother and sister.” Mám bratra a sestru. Mám bratra a sestru.

Getting Too Personal aka TMI

Like I said before, a random Czech person probably won’t ask personal questions, even the ones that are perfectly normal and fine in other countries.

In fact, many foreigners are surprised how little people in the Czech Republic “care.” The fact is, they just don’t want to be impolite or nosy, and discussing personal things makes them feel uncomfortable.
It’s not appropriate to ask or talk about sexual orientation, in particular.

The most personal question you’ll hear from an average Czech might be:

  • Kolik je ti let?
    “How old are you?”

Asking about the other person’s age isn’t usual, but it’s not the first topic that will come up when meeting new people.

The answer is short and sweet; you can just say the number. The proper (and formal) way of stating your age is:

  • Je mi 34 let.
    “I have 34 years.” / “I am 34 years old.”

When in doubt, stick with neutral, inoffensive topics—work, pets, hobbies, or weather.

How to Make a Good Impression

We truly believe you’re a charming person who always leaves the best impression, and we won’t bore you with etiquette.

Just a few quick tips:

  • Don’t be self-centered.
  • Ask questions, but not too many questions.
  • Make sure you’re using the formal and informal language correctly.
  • Don’t worry too much—every Czech understands that our language isn’t the easiest one. We really appreciate your effort and do our best to guide you, if needed!

Man and Woman Having Coffee

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

This article is a great guide on how to greet new people and introduce yourself in Czech. All you need to do now is go out and practice! Have fun, make new friends, and see learning Czech as a game.

You’re probably thinking: “Yeah, this is cool, but how am I supposed to know how to pronounce things? And where can I find more useful words and phrases?”

Well, my friend, start here. It’s a great summary of how to introduce yourself in Czech, complete with video, vocabulary, grammar, sentences, and phrases.

Make sure you check out this list of basic Czech phrases that will help you learn the most important words for introducing yourself in Czech. You can also practice the pronunciation here.

Before you go, though, why not start practicing how to speak and introduce yourself in Czech right away? Leave us a comment with some introductory sentences in Czech; we look forward to hearing from you!

Good luck! Ahoj!

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