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Hey, You Rock: Czech Compliments

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Dobré slovo i železná vrata otvírá. (“A nice word can open even an iron gate.”)

However, there are a few things you might want to avoid when complimenting a native Czech…in Czech.

First and foremost: We are very reserved and generally not good with compliments. We don’t know how to accept them, and we don’t compliment often (this is especially true of older people who would rather bite their tongue).

And guess what: that actually makes Czech compliments even more powerful. Just don’t be surprised when you get a blank look or an “Oh, this? This dress is actually really old, I found it in the dumpster and I don’t like it at all.”

My dear friend V. gained 70+ pounds during her pregnancy, and it took her a long time to start shedding the extra weight. At that time, I was away for over a month, and when I got back to the Czech Republic, she looked like a different person.

I started jumping around, screaming: “Oh my God, look at you, you look so freaking awesome!”

She looked at me and said: “Guess how many people have mentioned that. Just you.”

Czech people (again, this is true mostly of older people—communism wasn’t particularly healthy for one’s self-esteem) often take other people’s success as their own failure. Don’t be surprised if nobody blinks when you present them with your hand-made tiara made of gold you mined yourself in Alaska.

Let’s look at how to give iron-gate-opening compliments in Czech.

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Table of Contents

  1. You’re Beautiful!
  2. Great Job!
  3. You’re the Master of Czech Compliments: Social Skills
  4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere
  5. How to Respond When Someone Pays You a Compliment
  6. Are You Flirting with Me?
  7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. You’re Beautiful!

Compliments

Complimenting someone’s looks seems to be reserved for women and flirting, and if you’re a guy, you probably won’t hear “Your hair looks good today, are you using a new shampoo?”

Czech men aren’t the most considerate gentlemen, and complimenting someone’s looks isn’t all that common (unless you’re flirting). However, if someone does tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes they’ve ever seen, they mean it.

The most common compliments in Czech include:

Jsi krásná. [feminine] “You’re beautiful.”
Jsi krásný. [masculine] “You’re handsome.”
Dneska máš super vlasy. “Your hair looks great today.”
Moc ti to sluší. “You look great.”
Máš krásný úsměv. [feminine + masculine] “Your smile is beautiful.”
Jsi moc zajímavá. [feminine] “You’re really interesting.”
Jsi moc zajímavý. [masculine] “You’re really interesting.”

1- Examples of the most commonly used adjectives (feminine / masculine / neuter):

  • Krásná / Krásný / Krásné (“Beautiful”)
  • Nádherná / Nádherný / Nádherné (“Gorgeous”)
  • Skvělá / Skvělý / Skvělé (“Great”)
  • Výborná / Výborný / Výborné (“Excellent”)
  • Milá / Milý / Milé (“Nice” or “Sweet”)
  • Roztomilá / Roztomilý / Roztomilé (“Cute”)
  • Fantastická / Fantastický / Fantastické (“Fantastic”)

You’re welcome to get more creative, of course.

You’ll find a guide on how to use Czech adjectives and a list of personality-describing adjectives on CzechClass101.com.

Want more? Watch the video below to learn the 100 adjectives every Czech beginner must know.

    → You can simply say “I love” or “I like” when complimenting someone’s looks or clothes.

Líbí se mi tvoje boty! “I like your shoes!”
Miluju tvoje vlasy! “I love your hair!”
Moc se mi líbí tvůj styl! “I really like your style!”

2. Great Job!

Woman Giving a Thumbs Up

Offering Czech compliments on professional success is a little more common, and people will appreciate your recognition—whether they just landed a huge deal or baked the world’s most perfect bread. However, your Czech colleagues or friends might respond with something like: “That was nothing.” Don’t take it personally, please.

That’s just how we roll.

Here are the most common work-related compliments in Czech:

Dobrá práce! “Good job!”
Skvělá práce! “Great job!”
To se ti vážně povedlo! “You did really good!”
Gratuluju! “Congratulations!”

3. You’re the Master of Czech Compliments: Social Skills

Social skills (and complimenting them in others) are the secret weapon of every successful person. You might be a genius scientist or an heir to the world’s biggest empire, but if you don’t know how to talk to people, it’ll be much harder for you to live up to your full potential.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I suggest you czech out How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I promise this book will change your outlook on human interaction, and it’ll help you deal with seemingly hard situations.

But you don’t always want to be complimenting someone’s glossy hair or major business deals, right?

These are the most common Czech compliments you might want to use at parties, family gatherings…or when you just want to win friends:

Mluvíš jako rodilý mluvčí! “You speak like a native!”
Moc si vážím tvé pomoci. “I really appreciate your help.”
Jsi vážně moc milá/milý. [feminine / masculine] “You’re really kind.”
Moc jsi mi pomohl/a. “You helped me a lot.”

1- Complimenting on Food

This, my friend, is the most useful list of compliments in Czech.

Czech people love talking about food and movies (and other people).

When complimenting on food:

  • Vynikající. (“Delicious.”)
  • Chutné. (“Tasty.”)
  • Výborné. (“Great.”)
  • Velmi dobré. (“Very good.”)

Tohle jídlo je opravdu vynikající. “This is a very delicious meal.”
Tohle je opravdu moc dobrý koláč. “This is a very good pie.”
Tohle kuře je vynikající. “This chicken is delicious!”
To je výborná polévka! “This is a great soup.”
Vypadá to skvěle! “It looks fantastic!”
Nádherně to voní. “It smells great.”

You might also want to check out this guide on Speaking Perfect Czech at a Restaurant.

2- Sentence Structure

    → When complimenting on a skill, the simplest sentence structure is:

Example:

  • Skvěle vaříš. (“You cook great.”)
  • Nádherně kreslíš. (“You draw beautifully.”)
  • Krásně zpíváš. (“You sing beautifully.”)
    → When complimenting on a trait, you’ll follow the SVO sentence structure:
    1. Personal pronoun
    2. Conjugated verb
    3. Adjective

Example (feminine/masculine):

  • Ty jsi vtipná/vtipný. (“You are funny.”)
  • Ty jsi klidná/klidný. (“You are calm.”)
  • Ty jsi statečná/statečný. (“You are brave.”)

This list of the 50 most-used Czech verbs might be helpful when getting ready to be the start of the party!

5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Women Talking

Let’s just go over how to avoid giving empty and fake compliments: Be honest, shower your companion with sincere appraisal, but don’t overdo it.

Here’s how to compliment someone in Czech:

  • Be honest. If there’s nothing to compliment, keep your mouth shut.
  • Look them in the eyes.
  • Be ready for a rather cold response.

Oh yes, Czechs love to demean themselves, and you’ll often hear something like this:

  • To nic nebylo. (“That was nothing.”)
  • Nemyslím si, ale díky. (“I don’t think so, but thanks.”)
  • Ty jsi lepší. (“You are better.”)
  • Tohle? To je hodně staré. (“This? This is very old.”)

6. How to Respond When Someone Pays You a Compliment

Positive Feelings

1- Thank them.

Please don’t deny the appraisal; Czech people don’t compliment often, and when they do, they mean it!

  • Děkuju! (“Thank you!”)
  • Díky! (“Thanks!”)
  • Moc děkuju! (“Thank you very much!”)
  • Vážím si toho. (“I appreciate it.”)
  • Prosím. (“You’re welcome.”) [to be used after receiving a “Thank you.”]
  • Moc to pro mě znamená. (“It means a lot to me.”)

2- Return the favor.

Responding with another compliment in Czech is a great way to make people feel good about themselves (which will make them like you).

  • Ty také! (“You too!”)
  • Já taky děkuju! (“Thank you too!”)

Example:

Compliment Response
Máš moc hezké šaty.
“You have a very nice dress.”
Děkuju, ty také!
“Thank you, you too!”
Moc jsi mi pomohl, díky.
“You helped me a lot, thank you.”
Ty mně také!
“You helped me too!”

7. Are You Flirting with Me?

Couple Flirting

There’s a very thin (and blurry) line between being nice and hitting on someone.

    → Being the “cold” and “distant” people that we are, some folks might take your compliments the wrong way.

Complimenting someone’s looks (eyes, smile, or even a perfume) is very personal, and many people might find it inappropriate.

Just to illustrate this:

My mom told me she’s flirting with her English teacher. I was genuinely impressed and asked what’s been going on. She said: “I texted him and wished him a happy birthday.”

That’s it.

I don’t mean to scare you, of course. Saying “You are beautiful,” in Czech sounds lovely to most people (an accent is always cute, isn’t it?); however, it would be best for you to stick with less-personal compliments and focus on their achievements:

  • “This is a wonderful pie!” (To je vynikající koláč!)

Or skills:

  • “Your handwriting is gorgeous.” (Tvoje písmo je nádherné.)
    → Don’t get too personal too soon.
    → Complimenting someone’s looks might be intimidating and feel just “too much.”

1- How to Compliment a Czech Girl

Czech chicks are used to hearing cheesy compliments, or no compliments at all.

So, pretty much any nice thing you say will be met with great enthusiasm and appreciation.

Save the personal compliments for later and try to enchant her with your amazing observation skills. Be unique: mention her voice, her achievements, her green shoelaces…anything but her eyes or figure.

Feel free to use our list of 15 compliments everyone wants to hear! Happy complimenting!

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

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun.

What can you find there?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips & tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now; it’s free!

But before you go and create your account, let us know in the comments if this article helped you! Are there any compliments in Czech you still want to learn? We’ll do our best to help you out!

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