How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

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Destati
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How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby Destati » 2013-08-07, 16:23

Native Dutch speaker here, willing to learn Czech. However, tons of people say it's a very hard to learn language. Is it really that hard? I am new to the language learning world, I don't have a lot of experience in learning languages. Is Czech worth the time and effort? If yes, where should I start? I don't see a lot of resources on the internet, and I don't want to start a language I can't finish due the lack of resources.

Btw, if there's someone here that speaks Czech and would like to learn Dutch, contact me, we could help each other :)

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johnklepac
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby johnklepac » 2013-08-09, 6:22

Destati wrote:Native Dutch speaker here, willing to learn Czech. However, tons of people say it's a very hard to learn language. Is it really that hard? I am new to the language learning world, I don't have a lot of experience in learning languages.

It's harder than, for example, German would be for you, but probably not as hard as Mandarin Chinese or Navajo. I think the hardest part is the case declensions, and even that is manageable if you practice (though I still mess up sometimes).

Is Czech worth the time and effort?

That depends on why you want to learn it. I personally didn't have much of a practical reason, but my mother is of mostly Czech heritage and my dad has a bit of Czech blood too, so I thought of it as an ancestral tongue. Are you interested in the Czech Republic? Do you have Czech friends?

If yes, where should I start? I don't see a lot of resources on the internet, and I don't want to start a language I can't finish due the lack of resources.

This lists some courses that Unilangers have come up with. I've never used them, but I've heard they're quite useful.

Btw, if there's someone here that speaks Czech and would like to learn Dutch, contact me, we could help each other :)

I'm boning up on Japanese right now and will be taking Arabic at university in a couple of weeks, so I don't have much time to add another language now, plus I'm not confident enough in my own Czech abilities, but this is a list of everyone on Unilang with at least "advanced" command of the language; try asking them.

Let me know if you have any further questions. :)

Destati
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby Destati » 2013-08-09, 18:02

johnklepac wrote:
Destati wrote:Native Dutch speaker here, willing to learn Czech. However, tons of people say it's a very hard to learn language. Is it really that hard? I am new to the language learning world, I don't have a lot of experience in learning languages.

It's harder than, for example, German would be for you, but probably not as hard as Mandarin Chinese or Navajo. I think the hardest part is the case declensions, and even that is manageable if you practice (though I still mess up sometimes).

Is Czech worth the time and effort?

That depends on why you want to learn it. I personally didn't have much of a practical reason, but my mother is of mostly Czech heritage and my dad has a bit of Czech blood too, so I thought of it as an ancestral tongue. Are you interested in the Czech Republic? Do you have Czech friends?

If yes, where should I start? I don't see a lot of resources on the internet, and I don't want to start a language I can't finish due the lack of resources.

This lists some courses that Unilangers have come up with. I've never used them, but I've heard they're quite useful.

Btw, if there's someone here that speaks Czech and would like to learn Dutch, contact me, we could help each other :)

I'm boning up on Japanese right now and will be taking Arabic at university in a couple of weeks, so I don't have much time to add another language now, plus I'm not confident enough in my own Czech abilities, but this is a list of everyone on Unilang with at least "advanced" command of the language; try asking them.

Let me know if you have any further questions. :)


Thanks for your reply!

German is easy indeed :) Haven't tried Chinese or Navajo yet, but if Czech is easier than Japanese or Arabic, I'm willing to take the challenge :) I really don't have any reason to learn Czech. Went to Prague once, loved the city, the country and the language. No friends, family or whatsoever. That will make it harder to learn the language, unless I can find some Czech friends here at Unilang :D I'll ask someone from the list you provided, but if you'd like to learn Dutch someday, you're more than welcome mate :)

rebus16
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby rebus16 » 2013-10-20, 9:34

Hi! I'm a native Czech speaker from the Czech Republic, so if you want some help with Czech I'm here for you. :D

jonc275

Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby jonc275 » 2013-11-10, 3:03

I have the same question. I'm interested in visiting Czech Republic and Slovakia, as I have Czech heritage. I'm a native English speaker, however I do have some experience with Russian and Ukrainian if that would help. But I'm actually quite intimidated by the language and worried that I would do nothing but struggle. I've heard it's the most difficult of the Slavic languages (except maybe Polish)... but would Czech be a realistic option?

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kotrcka
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby kotrcka » 2013-11-11, 16:40

I think.. czech grammar is pretty hard, that is the reason why everyone desribe czech as a hard language in general.. but spoken czech is not so difficult..

but that is only my opinion as a slovak, which means that I can consider czech as my second native language (and yes, czech grammar is hard even for me - and for many many czechs too :-D )
Knowledge: Slovak, Czech, English

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silmeth
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby silmeth » 2013-11-13, 0:45

Well, if you have some knowledge of Russian and Ukrainian, that’s a great start. ;-) That means you already have knowledge of basic vocabulary and basic concepts of (Slavic in general) grammar (declensions, perfective/imperfective verbs…).

You will have problems with pronunciation and phonology, because West Slavic differ here much from East Slavic and Czech is probably the weirdest one of them ;-). But it’s worth a shot.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl)foghlaimeoir na Gaelainne Mumhan ’s ea mé (ga)mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs)

jonc275

Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby jonc275 » 2013-11-13, 14:10

silmeth wrote:Well, if you have some knowledge of Russian and Ukrainian, that’s a great start. ;-) That means you already have knowledge of basic vocabulary and basic concepts of (Slavic in general) grammar (declensions, perfective/imperfective verbs…).

You will have problems with pronunciation and phonology, because West Slavic differ here much from East Slavic and Czech is probably the weirdest one of them ;-). But it’s worth a shot.


Good to know about the vocab and basic grammar:)
But you worry me now about pronunciation and phonology. I looked over the alphabet, it didn't seem that terrifying (only ř seems considerably strange). Honestly, the Polish pronunciation and phonology looks more difficult (though similar). And I haven't even tried to dabble with the southern ones (Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, etc.) so I don't know how they compare... :D

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Diamanto
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby Diamanto » 2013-11-17, 10:35

No. Czech's not that hard. :) Any language may seem difficult at first, but if you take the right approach, you'll get into it soon. For example the many verb forms of Spanish may scare you away, but if you learn only those you need as a beginner, then it'll be easier to learn the rest later on. The same goes for Czech. You can't think negative when looking at the verb aspect or the noun declension which depends on cases, gender and paradigms... Just learn the basics, make mistakes and get corrected. :)
Sooner or later, you'll find out certain patterns and it will be much easier. Just like Finnish or Hungarian would be for me. :)

Of course there are languages such as Chinese which doesn't have almost any patterns and you gotta learn it sentence by sentence, but Czech is an Indo-European languages just like Dutch, so they're much closer to each other.

I would probably be puzzled too by the nuances of Dutch in this example:

Doe het raam dicht!
Doe het raam eens dicht!
Doe het raam even dicht!
Doe het raam maar dicht!
Doe het raam nou dicht!
Doe het raam toch dicht!

But do I need it as a beginner? No. I'll just star with: "Hallo." and "Dank je wel." :wink:

Koko
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby Koko » 2014-09-10, 23:17

I only just started a basic (to me) intro to Czech, and I can tell you that the hardest thing will be the palatal plosives (are these an actual thing? Or are they just palatalized?) and some consonant clusters. Many cases are merged, most are consistently merged in the singular (dative and locative), the neutre nouns ending in -í have the EASIEST DECLINING PARADIGM I HAVE EVER SEEN!! (thank you Czech; why can't all your nouns be like that?) and the most irregular verbs could be seen like a third or fourth class verb with a different stem: spát (to sleep) has the stem sp and conjugated like a third class (spím, spíme, spíte, etc).

The irregularities of the language usually have patterns and become to be seen as regular (so I've heard :) ). I expect to have a fun time with Czech and will probably learn more of it faster than, say, Russian.

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Naihonn
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Re: How hard is Czech to learn? Where do I start?

Postby Naihonn » 2014-09-12, 14:50

Good luck. Having fun is always the best choice. :)


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