Homepage > Remarkable Language

Do you speak Hostivar (11.12.)
Tramping in Charles University (23.8.)
The Great Czechs (22.8.)
Scams in Prague (18.6.)
Shopping Paradises (17.6.)

Articles about:

Remarkable Language

I have started to realize how important is to handle even little bit local language. Czech language is really hard language and foreign need to study many years before he/she can even hope to speak correctly. Our own studies were limited for only basic words and phrases (and how to understand menu in restaurant), but it was enough. Czech will like you more if you can say even something.

I don’t know why, but I get along especially good with old ladies. In a cloth shop I had a very fun time with the eldest saleslady when I was brave enough to talk with her using some kind of czenglish. In the underground one grandmother liked so much about our discussion (where I used all my vocabulary) than she turn to wave me in the stairs. In Strahov monastery one local inhabitant lead us through the mysterious gates and wonderful closed courtyards to our right way just because we speak Czech.

Hard thing in Czech is different bending forms and strange letters like for example special č and ř. Especially that ř is good to know, because from pronunciation of that you can recognise the real Czech. Try something like [rsh] before you hear it correctly from native speaker. Also recognition of words is harder because they use their own forms instead of common forms. I mean that when people in other countries go theatre or teater or some that sounds similar, people in here goes actually to divadlo (lookery).

Masculine, feminine and neuter are even harder to learn… or maybe they are not so hard but you need still to remember all. I have never understood that need to separate men and women in spoken language: “he” and “she” and so on. I still confuse them quite often, because in Finnish we have only one word and form. In Czech this is even more complicated because words will be bended according to who is saying it or what is the gender of word. E.g. masculine: bilý autobus – white bus, feminine: bilá hora – white mountain, neuter: bilé pero – white pen. The best examples you can find from the map of Prague: ”Karlovo Námesti” square in other words námesti is neuter, so the world Karlov (Charles) gets form Karlovo. But because street is feminine, have street names usually a –ending. E.g. Karlova, Masarykova (Masaryk was a first president of Czech), Nerudova (according to local writer Jan Neruda) and so on. And most funnies example was in movie commercials: You can go look to movie named Bridget Jonesova!

Czech has also many funny sentences. With them you can practise your pronunciation or just show up for your friends. The most famous is maybe ”Strč prst skrz krk!” that means, “Put the finger through your throat!” There are no vocals in that sentence at all. Best way to practise special ř–letter would still be ”Tři sta třicet tři střibrnýcn střikaček střikalo přes tři sta třicet tři střibrných střech.” That means “333 silvered pipes sprinkles water to the 333 silvered roofs.” I just wonder how this people would make out Finnish version ”alavalla maalla hallan vaaraa”? That means, “Open lands has a danger of frost”.