If you’re thinking about learning the Czech language, chances are you understand how hard it is. Czech is a tricky and memorization-intensive language widely spoken throughout the European Union.
Like other Slavic languages, Czech is one of the most challenging languages to learn. For that reason, language students need to prepare themselves mentally. Here are some things to help you make the most of your time and improve your knowledge of the Czech language!
Is Czech Hard To Learn?
Czech is hard to learn because of its grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. It also uses the Latin alphabet, with a few additions, and has irregularities in consonant clusters and vowel harmony. Learning Czech also requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. However, there a numerous resources available to help with learning this language.
Get ready as I talk about 13 things you can expect when deciding whether or not to learn this Slavic language, so tune in!
1. Czech is the Official Language of the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, Czech is the official language of their citizens. Minority languages spoken here include German, Polish, and Romani.
It is also a Slavonic tongue, similar to Polish and Russian, closely related to the Slovak language.
According to American scientists, the Czech language is among the most challenging globally, as classified by Institute for Defense Languages.
As mentioned above, Czech is a Slavic language, and because of its peculiar rules, learning it requires a lot of memory. If you aren’t familiar with or fluent in another Slavic dialect, learning Czech can be challenging!
Currently, there may be minor Czech-speaking communities in Romania, Ukraine, the US, Canada, and Australia!
2. Czech Language has Incredibly Complex Grammar
Czech is a difficult language to learn because of its incredibly complex grammar.
Among other things you might not be used to, it includes grammatical cases and unpredictable irregular plurals. There are three genders, seven cases, two voices, formal and informal and three conjugations: present, past, and future.
There are also various verb endings for each tense, and knowing which is right can be challenging.
Czech uses a convenient root word system that uses various prefixes and suffixes to generate a significant portion of its vocabulary, just like other Central European languages.
You may need to memorize fourteen different versions of a single word in Czech as the language has seven cases and singular and plural forms!
As you can see, learning Czech will need determination and long-term practice. However, learning to speak may be easier than compared to mastering writing.
3. Vocabulary & Alphabet
One of the essential things you need to learn about the Czech is the fundamentals of vocabulary and the alphabet.
Czech written script was created using Latin characters. It has 42 letters compared to 26 for English!
Aside from that, Czech vocabulary is very natural. You can almost always guess the words for items by utilizing widespread prefixes and suffixes, even if you aren’t familiar with Slavic languages.
Keep in mind that Czech has fewer verb tenses than other languages, so you won’t have to spend as much time learning different verb endings!
4. Resources and Classes in Learning Czech
A native English speaker will need about 1100 hours to learn Czech. That translates to 1100 hours of speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
Many language schools, colleges, and institutions provide Czech classes at all levels. The classes are taught by highly experienced teachers in a physical classroom along with other students. Classes may run for 8 to 10 weeks.
Alternatively, you may purchase a textbook like the Berlitz: Czech Phrase Book & Dictionary and Czech: An Essential Grammar (Routledge Essential Grammars).
On the other hand, platforms like Duolingo can be a fun and fantastic way to start learning Czech.
Learning fundamental grammar and vocabulary can take a lot of practice, so you might wish to utilize another tool in addition to Duolingo, such as Mondly and Pimsleur. They also offer free courses and trials.
Alternatively, you can find a Czech language tutor online for $6.50 per hour at Italki to help you on your learning journey.
With just your phone and an internet connection, you can begin your journey with free Czech language courses!
5. Czech Can be your Gateway to other European Languages
You will need a solid reason to learn this language as it’s quite tricky. Therefore, you must understand the benefits of learning check to keep you motivated in the long term.
Czech can be a wonderful place to start if you want to learn multiple languages and are particularly interested in Slavic ones.
You can understand some spoken and written Slovak and Polish and talk to Russian if you have developed Czech language skills. These and other Slavic languages will be simpler to learn in no time.
In addition, learning Czech could open up new work opportunities for you in the U.S. and Central Europe.
6. Consonant Clusters and Pronunciation in the Czech Language
When learning the Czech language, pronunciation is one topic that needs attention.
Grammar usually follows an internal logic that makes learning a language simpler, but pronunciation is a different story.
It can be challenging to bend your tongue into positions it is not accustomed to in that sense. So Czech undoubtedly presents a difficulty.
Czech tends to intimidate many people from speaking it because of its infamous consonant clusters and sounds!
7. Unevenness and Stem Modifications
When you try to decline a noun mechanically, even if you are aware of the correct declension class, you will occasionally fail.
Why? mainly because many nouns are irregular in the Czech language.
These modifications are more like laws than inconsistencies but offer much new information to understand.
No wonder Czech is one of the most difficult Slavic languages because of these stem modifications!
8. Learn Using Other Online Tools
To start with this, pick out a great beginner’s book with audio recordings.
Second, with some practice, you may use a pop-up dictionary to read Czech articles online.
With the Google translate tool, you can click any word anywhere on the internet and receive an instant translation that generally even considers the context of the text!
9. Learning Outcomes
Setting reasonable goals, such as studying for thirty minutes to one hour every day, is possible while learning Czech as a hobby. Over time, you can use many words and make small talk.
At the same time, if moving to Czech seems like a good idea for you, studying this language might also be beneficial.
You don’t have to be a native speaker. Instead, keep in mind the vocabulary’s fundamentals, such as declension, conjugation, formal and informal speech, and pronunciation.
Generally, the fact that you are studying Czech would indicate that you are enthusiastic about Czech culture and would be beneficial in making connections in Europe.
10. Helpful Tips and Avoiding Comparisons Between English and Czech
Several factors, like your commitment and learning style, will influence how long it takes to learn Czech.
It is best to make studying Czech a habit. Create phone reminders as needed. Pick a good time to learn every day and stick with it. What counts most is your commitment!
Additionally, avoid comparing Czech with English. Whether you’re learning Czech grammar or how to pronounce a new word.
Additionally, Czech is thought to be a more emotional language and can express emotions better than you can in English. Alternatively, English is suitable when used to describe science, technology, and business interactions.
11. Career Opportunities After Learning Czech
In the U.S., the salary you can make as a translator is between $50,000 to $70,000.
However, if you wish to move to the Czech Republic and seek employment as an interpreter, salaries can be as high as 300,000 Kč (CZK) per year. Starting salaries, however, are lower and may begin at 438 128 Kč (CZK) per year.
You could move to Europe if you were given better employment, or you could work remotely as a freelancer.
There are also job alternatives, including being a Digital Business Consultant, which only requires working from home, as long as you can comprehend and speak Czech!
To learn more, you can also see our posts on Polish, Dutch, Russian and Spanish.
Overall, Czech is quite difficult to learn and takes a long time. The grammar and syntax are more complex than they appear, with cases and declensions that differ from those of other European languages.
The good news is that Czech learning materials have grown extensively over the past few years, and the number of Czech students has boomed.