Everything You Need To Learn Czech
Czech is an Indo-European language spoken by over 10 million people, most of which are Czechs. It is the official language of the Czech Republic, and also an official minority language in Slovakia.
Czech is linguistically similar to Slovak, due to their common origin. It is said that they are almost identical and that most speakers can understand each other. This means that learning Czech will give you a language discount on Slovak, and to an extent some other Slavic languages like Polish and even Russian.
Czech, for the most part, seems to be a popular language among learners, likely due to the fact that the Czech Republic (Prague specifically) is a very popular tourist destination.
Thus, there has been a concerted effort to make learning materials easily accessible via the web. You’ll find plenty of learning resources available to you – from Czech course books to movies with Czech language dubbing.
Czech Language Learning Books
Czech textbooks and course books are a fantastic way to learn Czech, especially if you’re on a budget and there are no speaking courses available to you, either in-person or online.
Czech books that teach the language will introduce you to the ins and outs of the language, familiarizing you with important vocabulary, grammar and examples of how the language is used day to day. You’ll learn how to use the language grammatically from the get-go.
Other Czech study books that will come in extremely handy are Czech dictionaries and phrasebooks. An English-Czech dictionary is almost a must-have for any student of the language, as these are useful for translation, looking up new vocabulary and checking over your work.
Czech phrasebooks usually contain common conversational sentences, allowing you to quickly make yourself understood when travelling or living in the Czech Republic.
Another resource that’s useful for adding Czech vocabulary in a fun and memorable way is through Czech puzzle books. There’s nothing better than picking up lots of vocabulary without it feeling like work.
Czech Children’s Books
If you’re teaching yourself Czech, children’s books may be the most enjoyable way to ease yourself into the language. They offer basic language exposure and also expose you to illustrated text that can help you remember new words.
Czech-language children’s books are written in simple, easy-to-understand text. They often use repetitive sentences that can really solidify your understanding of words and phrases.
Almost all the books on this list are bilingual, i.e., they feature the Czech on one page and a matching English translation on the other. This makes them great for improving your reading comprehension without the need to keep checking your dictionary.
You won’t want to limit yourself to just children’s fiction, especially as you progress in the language. That’s where Czech books written for adults come in handy.
Czech novels and short stories written for adult readers will be more of a challenge and utilize more advanced language, but this is precisely what you need to go from beginner to intermediate and onward.
This selection is small, however, because most Czech-language fiction isn’t available online, and can usually only be found in the Czech Republic.
Czech Movies & TV Shows
While the dialogue in Czech movies and TV shows may be fast and advanced, particularly at the start of your language journey, they still offer a fun way to learn and improve your Czech.
This is because you can follow the story of the movie or show even if you don’t understand everything that’s being said. You’ll pick up plenty of Czech vocabulary, learn proper Czech pronunciation and colloquial expressions, see how the language is used in different contexts, and even get exposed to Czech culture. Your listening comprehension will improve considerably, too.
Czech Digital Courses
One way to learn Czech is through e-courses. Because these are designed by language experts, they offer the most up-to-date teaching methods that not only teach you proper grammar and pronunciation, but also help you improve your listening comprehension and speaking skills.
A Czech digital/audio course is ideal for those who learn best with audiovisual material. They’re usually more focused on getting you to actually use and speak the language rather than just study it. That’s why, if you’re planning to visit the Czech Republic or converse with natives, you might want to consider grabbing a Czech conversational course.
Both Udemy and Pimsleur offer Czech digital courses, the former through video instruction, and the latter entirely through audio. Both are affordable, useful and have their benefits. They’re also available to use on almost any device, and with Udemy’s Czech courses you get lifetime access to future updates.