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Archive for the 'Czech Podcasts' Category

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!

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

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

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