Language, Prague

22 Reviews

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    Close but not quite!
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    What tourists do
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  • wrldtravlr's Profile Photo

    A few words will take you a long way...

    by wrldtravlr Written Sep 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Czech is not an easy language to learn, but making the effort to learn to say Hello, Please and Thank you, really is worth the trouble. Locals will be pleasantly surprised and you might get a smile or a new friend just for trying...

    Hello = Dobry den
    Please = Prosím
    Thank you = De Kuji Vám

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  • Learn Czech

    by Nimier Updated Jul 28, 2003

    Czech is a difficult language. Czech people seem to know that and reward (like Italians- not like often in my homecountries France and Germany) if you try a little bit. As everywhere I try always to learn some words as sign of politeness (Please, Thank you , Hello - very simple : Ahoi, Good bye). But in Prague most people one meets speak English (much better than my Czech) and language is really not a barrier for the visit.

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  • vanessadb's Profile Photo

    Learn a few basic Czech words

    by vanessadb Written Feb 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just as in any country, local people really appreciate when you make an effort to speak their language. Even if it is just the word "hello" or "thank you", so learn a few basic words. They will really value your attempt to learn Czech, and as they are generally very friendly people, will easily help you and share a lot of things with you.

    Even if English is the international language, Czech is still theirs so don't expect to have menus in English, or for them to understand everything you say.

    It might seem like a very obvious tip to some of you, but trust me, I have witnessed many times tourists complaining and saying "How can they not have a menu in English!!!!"

    Typical Prague building

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  • orlikins's Profile Photo

    Language issues

    by orlikins Updated Dec 16, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first time I went in May 1999, nobody really spoke good English,except in pricey restaurants and I had to speak German (Which is fine by me). When I came back in September 2000, most people had a pretty good command of Anglisky. So the moral of the story is, if you cant handle Czech accented consonants, dont worry :)

    I saw some Russian signs around Prague's train & metro stations though, clearly dating back to Communist times... and the metro trains seem to be Moscow Metro rejects, but they still work! :)

    czech flag

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  • Maccie's Profile Photo

    Language can be a problem...

    by Maccie Written Sep 8, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Language can be a problem sometimes, especially with older people. Most Czechs older than 20 has some knowledge of Russian (since they learned it in school), but be aware that it is culturally sensitive due to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, and some people might be offended if you try it. Still, as a last resort and with some polite excuses, it could work.

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  • prazacek's Profile Photo

    Czech language is very hard...

    by prazacek Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Czech language is very hard (sometimes even natives don't speak well) so you'll need dictionaries. But some 'usefull' phrases, which you can find in that books, are mostly wrong and they don't exactly mean what they are suppose to. So many young people speak English and German (mostly teenagers and businessmen), a lot of people speak Russian, but don't try to talk to them by using that language. Many people don't like Russians so much because of some historical events so when you'll talk to them in Russian they'll simply walk away or tell you that they don't understand. The best way how to get some informations is to go to one of the many INFO kiosks in downtown or just go to some restaurant and ask the waiter - most of them speak English.

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  • NetSurfer's Profile Photo

    Take the time to learn how to...

    by NetSurfer Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Take the time to learn how to pronounce some basic words. Do not think you can guess at it based on the spelling. Czech is a difficult language to learn and is not pronounced the way it looks. If you learn the basics you will find the people notice it and respect you for it. You can listen to basic words on the web at http://www.locallingo.com/countries/czech_republic/language/

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Comments (1)

  • Merry.Perry's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    On my many visits to Prague I have found people to be really helpful and polite. I think Czech is very different grammatically from English and perhaps that is why the Czech find it hard to speak English. Most people think in Czech and then translate into English.
    Right from Vaclav Square all the way to Old Town, across Charles Bridge and up the Castle it is quite easy to find people who speak English. The trouble is in non tourist parts of Prague.
    There are a number of native English speakers who have made Prague their home. It is always a delight to come across them. We were pleasantly surprised when the receptionist at one upmarket Prague Hotel spoke to us in clipped English. He is from Eton and has moved to Prague as he has a Czech sweetheart. That was so totally sweet. Just recently we met an Irishman in a bus who showed us the way and also offered us strawberries from a basket he had bought at a farm.
    People are really nice, they are always polite. I always smile and say Dobry den and one should it is the custom to wish when you enter and say Na Shledanou when you leave a store. One thing I have discovered about the Czech people is that they are not very comfortable about their English and so they are reluctant to speak it. When someone says "I am sorry my English is not very good" I always say "it is much much better than my Czech". Which usually makes them laugh and feel comfortable.

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