Czech discussion group

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Linguist108
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-11, 20:11

Lauren wrote:I'm having trouble figuring some things of Czech pronunciation. Some places say <o> and <u> are pronounced /o/ and /u/, but other places say /ɔ/ and /ʊ/, and I'm pretty sure I've at least heard /ɔ/ in recordings. Also, I'm pretty sure I've heard <i/y> pronounced as a short /i/ when everywhere says it's always /ɪ/. Similarly, I've heard short and long <e/é> definitely pronounced as /e(:)/ when most places say its /ɛ(:)/!.


  1. <o> and <u> are pronounced as /o/ and /u/ in standard Czech. I have never heard anything else.
  2. <i> and <y> are pronounced as /i/ in standard Czech. Both <i> and <y> are pronounced as /ɪ/ or even /e/ in Bohemian colloquial Czech (especial Prague) whereas Moravian colloquial Czech uses standard Czech pronunciation of both <i> and <y>.
  3. <e> and <é> are pronounced as /ɛ/ and /ɛ:/ respectively. I cannot imagine these to be pronounced as /e(:)/, it does not sound Czech at all.
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-11, 20:14

hreru wrote:Great, now you've made me listen to it over and over withe an effort to admit there might be stress on the second syllable and not on the first one, and I ended up swearing all the syllables are stressed and there's no stress whatsoever, alternately, and in the very end both at the same time even. :ohwell: Any unbiased opinion?, I can't listen to it anymore. :nope:

Where can I find the example?
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-11, 20:27

Lauren wrote:Unless I am sorely mistaken, I'm pretty sure I've heard it on the recordings of Colloquial Czech, and from speakers on Forvo. :hmm:

Before I was thinking that this example was stressed on the penultimate syllable, but now I'm doubting myself. :para:

No, the stress in this example is not on the penultimate syllable. Actually, there is no stress anywhere at all :shock: Standard Czech would/should have a bit stronger stress on the first one. Not the best speaker used here imho.
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Lauren » 2015-12-12, 1:29

Thank you for choosing up the vowels. Though I'm still not convinced about /o/ and /u/. :hmm:

And about colloquial vs. formal language, I highly doubt I will ever be writing any newspaper articles or working in the Czech government or anything, if I ever do become fluent in Czech, mostly just reading/watching things and talking to people online, so the formal language would be good for most media, but colloquial would be very useful talking to people I'm sure.
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Aurinĭa » 2015-12-12, 1:36

Linguist108 wrote:Finally, I must admit that am not a big fan of colloquial Czech (especially of Prague type) as I am originally from Brno :D

Some of the books I've used in Czech courses give the colloquial (Prague) pronunciation between brackets, next to the standard pronunciation. I agree with you, though, learning standard Czech first (and colloquial, if you want) is a more useful order than the other way round. And that's not just because I'm not a big fan of colloquial Czech either.

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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby hreru » 2015-12-12, 18:31

Linguist108 wrote: Where can I find the example?

Why, it's the Lauren's link of course, manželka ... only she says penultimate and I say second because it's too long and I'm lazy. :P

Dr. House wrote:To je zajímavé. V ruštině je důležité znát na které slabice je důraz (možná i důležitější, než výslovnost hlásek), ale vždy tam slyším, na které slabice ten důraz je. V češtině naopak vůbec a to je to má mateřština. Asi proto vždy poznáme, pokud je někdo z Ruska nebo Slovenska, i kdyby měl fonologii zvládnutou na jedničku a ř vyslovoval jako rodák. :)

Ze Slovenska taky?, to mě překvapuje. Totiž, nikdy se mnou žádný Slovák česky nemluvil, ale teď mě tak napadla Vašáryová a Labuda, a ti mají přízvuk perfektní. Ovšem zase to jsou herci, jsou zvyklí pracovat s jazykem ... hey, wait a moment. What am I talking about? Linguist, since when is stress in Slovak on penultimate syllable? :shock:

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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-12, 19:56

Aurinĭa wrote:
Linguist108 wrote:Finally, I must admit that am not a big fan of colloquial Czech (especially of Prague type) as I am originally from Brno :D

Some of the books I've used in Czech courses give the colloquial (Prague) pronunciation between brackets, next to the standard pronunciation. I agree with you, though, learning standard Czech first (and colloquial, if you want) is a more useful order than the other way round. And that's not just because I'm not a big fan of colloquial Czech either.

Colloquial Bohemian Czech differs not only in pronunciation but in grammar as well...
That's strange, what course was it? I would find colloquial pronunciation in brackets confusing whilst learning a foreign language. I have never seen anything like that in any English or German courses for example.
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-12, 19:59

hreru wrote:
Linguist108 wrote: Where can I find the example?

Why, it's the Lauren's link of course, manželka ... only she says penultimate and I say second because it's too long and I'm lazy. :P

I can't hear stress on second/penultimate syllable in that manželka example. I rather hear a lack of stress on the first syllable where it should really be.
Last edited by Linguist108 on 2015-12-13, 11:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-12, 20:07

hreru wrote:Linguist, since when is stress in Slovak on penultimate syllable? :shock:

Polish definitely has stress on the penultimate syllable. As for Slovak, sorry my bad, it's probably not generally true for standard Slovak, but I've heard many Slovaks speaking like that. I bet this is the case for northern and eastern Slovaks. :wink:
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Aurinĭa » 2015-12-12, 21:45

Linguist108 wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:
Linguist108 wrote:Finally, I must admit that am not a big fan of colloquial Czech (especially of Prague type) as I am originally from Brno :D

Some of the books I've used in Czech courses give the colloquial (Prague) pronunciation between brackets, next to the standard pronunciation. I agree with you, though, learning standard Czech first (and colloquial, if you want) is a more useful order than the other way round. And that's not just because I'm not a big fan of colloquial Czech either.

Colloquial Bohemian Czech differs not only in pronunciation but in grammar as well...
That's strange, what course was it? I would find colloquial pronunciation in brackets confusing whilst learning a foreign language. I have never seen anything like that in any English or German courses for example.

I was specifically thinking of Česky krok za krokem. And yes, I found/find it confusing too, so I mostly tried to ignore them.

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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-13, 11:52

Aurinĭa wrote:I was specifically thinking of Česky krok za krokem. And yes, I found/find it confusing too, so I mostly tried to ignore them.

My English speaking (near native) partner had been using New Czech step by step and we both found it very good, furthermore I'd heard good reviews from others back then. I've just had a look into the book now and I haven't found the Common Czech (colloquial Bohemian) pronunciation there. This book is in English though, not in Czech.
http://www.czechstepbystep.cz/en/publikace/publikace_new_czech_step_by_step.html

Česky krok za krokem is from the same author but it's in Czech, not in English. And I think it's little bit more advanced than New Czech step by step. Looks like I've found it at home as well :), it's Česky krok za krokem 2 and it doesn't have any colloquial pronunciation there. Perhaps, it's mentioned just in the first book of the series? :hmm:
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-13, 12:10

Lauren wrote:Thank you for choosing up the vowels. Though I'm still not convinced about /o/ and /u/. :hmm:

Can you give me an example of o or u being pronounced anything else than pure /o/ and /u/ respectively? I'll check it out.

Lauren wrote:And about colloquial vs. formal language, I highly doubt I will ever be writing any newspaper articles or working in the Czech government or anything, if I ever do become fluent in Czech, mostly just reading/watching things and talking to people online, so the formal language would be good for most media, but colloquial would be very useful talking to people I'm sure.

That's about right. However, I must say that Standard Czech doesn't necessarily need to be formal, especially if you use Standard Czech grammar along with colloquial vocabulary and/or if you talk to people in Moravia, that should be perfectly fine. Praguers (and Bohemians) might find your grammar 'too correct/standard' though as the so called Common Czech (Bohemian colloquial Czech) differs from Standard Czech in grammar, but I wouldn't say it would be anything serious.
I'd definitely suggest to learn colloquial vocabulary, that's certainly very helpful. I'm not that much convinced about colloquial grammar. If your only objective is to talk to people in Prague's pubs, cafés and clubs then go ahead and learn Common Czech grammar instead of the standard one :)
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby hreru » 2015-12-13, 20:53

Linguist108 wrote: I can't hear stress on second/penultimate syllable in that manželka example. I rather hear a lack of stress on the first syllable where it should really be.

Exactly, I couldn't locate the stress so logical conclusion would be there's none, and I came to that conclusion. However, as I'm not too much of a realistic personality, my imagination denied to be satisfied with this clear and simple solution, when there are other ones to choose from... ;)

As for Slovak, sorry my bad, it's probably not generally true for standard Slovak, but I've heard many Slovaks speaking like that. I bet this is the case for northern and eastern Slovaks. :wink:

Really? I've met only once a Slovak girl from the East, but I can't recall she talked this way. Hmm, I guess there are things I notice only after I've been told so. :hmm: The only thing I can remember is that she was surprised I addressed her by her name in the "Východniari" manner because they use vocative (at least she said so), untill she realised after a few seconds it's of course normal for me as I'm Czech and not Slovak.

By the way, I use standard Czech exclusively for writing, my mother tongue is that Prague variant that's called colloquial Czech, and I'm not able to speak the standard way even if I wanted. (True that my ability to express myself is kind of limited, so focusing on "how it should be said properly in standard Czech" is wasting of time from my point of view, which I can allow myself to do when writing.) I always find it surprising and cute when I listen to Moravians. It's like they come the past century. :P

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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2015-12-18, 1:03

hreru wrote:By the way, I use standard Czech exclusively for writing, my mother tongue is that Prague variant that's called colloquial Czech, and I'm not able to speak the standard way even if I wanted. (True that my ability to express myself is kind of limited, so focusing on "how it should be said properly in standard Czech" is wasting of time from my point of view, which I can allow myself to do when writing.) I always find it surprising and cute when I listen to Moravians. It's like they come the past century. :P

That's interesting. When I listen to Bohemians and especially Praguers, it's like they lost the ability to speak correct/standard Czech :D
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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby drakon » 2016-01-17, 17:07

hey folks, how do i say in czech
' committed to you for every moment '
thanks so much

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Re: Czech discussion group

Postby Linguist108 » 2016-01-18, 11:33

drakon wrote:hey folks, how do i say in czech
' committed to you for every moment '
thanks so much

Is this for a love letter? :)
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