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Czech Podcasts: The Thing You’ll Wish You’d Started Earlier

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You’re studying Czech, which means you’ve probably found out that textbooks and grammar tables play a more-or-less secondary role in your path to fluency. Awesome, right? Back in the day, we had to drill and memorize dozens of grammar rules, but those bleak times (before the internet and smartphones) are over! Today, you have numerous learning options for your Czech studies that are much more fun: Czech podcasts, YouTube channels, movies, learning websites…

Language is an organic, living thing, and it’s best to treat it as such. Think of young children. Do they read textbooks and spend hours a day memorizing conjugations? Not really. They play, they shove random objects into their mouths, and they listen. In no time, they’re speaking their mother tongue fluently––without even knowing how to read.

Listening skills and good pronunciation are the key ingredients that you absolutely need if you actually want to speak Czech and interact in the Czech language. How do you acquire them? You guessed it––you need to listen. And that’s where podcasts come into play. 

In this article, I’ll list the best Czech podcasts to help you master Czech pronunciation, pick up new words, and learn interesting facts about the language and culture. These podcasts will keep you company while commuting or going for your daily walk (if that’s your thing… I personally know someone who listens to podcasts right before bed, and they claim it helps them remember new words much faster).

Do you have your headphones ready? Let’s dive into it!

A Man Walking Alongside a Busy Street while Listening to a Podcast

With podcasts, you can learn Czech anytime, anywhere!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. The Amazing Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Czech
  2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Czech
  3. Tips and Tricks for Learning Czech More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. The Amazing Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Czech

I remember that back in the 90s, when I was just starting to learn English (I was eight at the time), many people would sigh and say: “Yeah, but you need to LIVE in the country to actually learn to speak the language.”

This was a popular misconception. I still hear it from time to time, and I’ve had a few people ask me: “How long have you lived in the States? Your English is pretty good.”

Well, guess what? I’ve never lived in the States, and you don’t have to move to the Czech Republic to learn Czech.

    There’s one thing you should do: You need to get comfortable with Czech. Really, really comfortable. The first thing you need to do is find out what it actually sounds like. Trying to learn it without recognizing it first would be like trying to draw a cat if you’d never seen a cat before. Get comfortable with the tune and sounds.

That being said, you need exposure. And in this case, the more, the better.

A Woman Smiling while Listening to Something with Headphones

Choose topics that you actually enjoy–you’ll be more inclined to listen and study more often.

Why should you learn Czech with podcasts every single day?

  1. It will develop and sharpen your listening skills immensely.
    I think you know this, but I’m going to say it anyway: There’s a huge, breathtakingly vast difference between “textbook knowledge” and being able to understand the names of stops on a subway in Prague (for example). Trust me: Your ego will implode if you realize that you’ve spent all these hours studying but still have no idea what your waitress is saying.
  1. It will improve your pronunciation. (This isn’t just a beginner tip—it still works for me after all these years.)
    This is pretty obvious. If you know what a word sounds like—if you hear it—it’s much easier for your tongue, mouth, and throat to make the very same sound. And pronunciation matters. Having a heavy accent makes it difficult for native speakers to understand you, even if your Czech convo partner is trying really hard to meet you halfway.
  1. It will help you remember phrases, frequently used lines, and chunks of words, which is exactly what you want––learning just words is fine, but you need to know how to use them and where to put them in a sentence. In short: You need context. 
    I remember how much I struggled with the English present perfect (I have done / you’ve been saying / etc.). I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. There’s no such tense in Czech, and I was frustrated, confused, depressed (okay, I’m being a little dramatic here). Years later, when I was actually exposed to spoken English, I realized how natural, simple, and easy the past perfect is––because I learned when to use it in the most organic way: from and with context.
  1. Your vocab will boom. You’ll learn the lingo in the best possible way.
    Here’s a little real-life story that shows how true this is. I found out what to say when someone thanks you (as in, “you’re welcome”) when I was 25 years old. Up until then, I thought it was prosím (“please”), just like in Czech. Yes, you really needed to know this. You’re welcome. If you choose a topic that you find interesting, I promise that you won’t even know you’re “studying,” and your vocabulary will expand beautifully.
  1. You will learn new things about Czech culture and other interesting topics.
    Pretty self-explanatory, right?

A Woman Sitting in Front of a Blackboard, Studying Books, and Looking Up to Think

Be active with your passive learning: take notes, write a summary.

2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Czech

Now you know why listening to podcasts in Czech is the best way to get familiar with the language and hone your skills. But which ones are worth your time, and why? Here’s my list of the best Czech podcasts for learners. 

Czech with Iva

This fun and authentic podcast in Czech will teach you a lot about everyday life in the Czech Republic––books, food, movies… The speed is more suitable for intermediate Czech learners than for beginners. New episodes are uploaded about every three months or so, and most of them are around 15 minutes long.

CzechClass101

Of course I can’t leave this gem out! The structure of these podcasts is designed by professional teachers—native Czechs who just know how to make things flow. It’s suitable for absolute beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students. It’s about all things Czech: culture, practical info, lifestyle…

To make this fun process even more effective, you get access to word lists, slideshows, and flashcards when you create an account on our website. 

SBS Czech

Although this podcast has been inactive since 2019, you can still listen to the old episodes. It mostly covers international events and news, and we recommend this one for advanced Czech learners.

Learn Czech

It’s no longer being updated, but the spoken word isn’t perishable, right? This is an excellent tool for beginner Czech learners––you’ll learn the very basic vocabulary and key Czech phrases that you will 100% use in your everyday life.

One Minute Czech

Okay, these episodes are not one minute long, but 3-4 minutes isn’t that long either, is it? Sadly, it’s been inactive too, but you can go ahead and make the most out of the old episodes. It’s a great podcast for absolute beginners, covering the very basics of the Czech language in bite-sized lessons.

Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic

3. Tips and Tricks for Learning Czech More Effectively with Podcasts

If you really want to make the most of your time, don’t treat podcasts like white noise.

  1. Start with podcasts that focus on learning.
    Ease into it. You need a slow pace, tips on Czech grammar, and vocab––don’t overwhelm yourself.
  1. Listen. Focus.
    Choose a topic you actually like/need, and don’t think about chores or whatever you need to do next. If you lose focus for a second, you’ll probably get completely lost and will have to start again. Be present.
  1. Slow it down and pause if needed.
    Don’t ignore words that you don’t understand. You know, those that sound like a suppressed burp or weird little chuckle––krk (“neck”) for example, or Praha (“Prague”).
  1. Write down new phrases and vocabulary.
    Have a notebook on hand and write down words you don’t know. You’ll create your own personal dictionary. You’re going to love me for this tip.
  1. Write a summary of the podcast.
    Right after you’re done listening, write down what you remember from the podcast. Let it sit for a few hours, go back to it later, review, practice, and see how much you remember. Try to rephrase it slightly. This is an awesome tip I wish I’d known much earlier.
  1. Use flashcards.
    I personally recommend using smart apps that make your effort much more enjoyable. No need for drudgery, right?
  1. Repeat words that spiked your interest. In your head and out loud.
    Practice makes perfect, and trust me: You need to get used to hearing yourself speaking Czech. You need to figure out how to move your tongue and adjust your breathing. It’s funny at times, and you might feel silly, but this is actually the first step to being able to speak Czech instead of just being able to read it or say random words.
A Happy Woman Pointing to Her Cell Phone

Learn Czech smarter with CzechClass101.

4. 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 looking to start learning Czech the smart way or want to sharpen your Czech-language skills, please check out our Basic Bootcamp—the very basic grammar and vocab in five compact lessons.

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 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!

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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! Do you already have a favorite Czech podcast or two? Share them in the comments!

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