Lots of students are learning Czech because of their partners. They want to understand their in-laws and be able to communicate in the Czech Republic. They are very motivated at the beginning. Later they try speaking Czech at home and find out that their partners actually do not enjoy it. They usually switch into English. Why is that? The answer is quite simple – they just do not know how to talk to someone who is learning Czech. Not everyone is a linguist. Many people cannot explain to their partners why certain things work in a certain way in their native language. There is nothing wrong about that. That is why students have private tutors and go to language classes.
However, there are many ways how couples can practise Czech at home and have fun at the same time. Next time, when you want to practise Czech with your partner, try some of these strategies:
- Ask your partner to write a shopping list in Czech for you
Shopping can be boring but imagine doing it and trying to figure our what “rajčata” or “mouka” mean. Once your mission is completed, these words will stick in your head. You can also switch roles and write a shopping list for your partner.
- Watch Czech films together
You can buy DVDs with English or Czech subtitles. Ask you partner when you do not understand and create a habit of watching one Czech film a month together.
- Use labels at home
Put a sticker on every object that you have at home. Think about having a sticker saying “lednička” on your fridge. You have to open it every single day. After a couple of days, you will know what “lednička” means without boring mechanical memorizing.
- Constantly ask your partner “co je to?”
People sometimes say that children learn foreign languages faster. Yes, they do but they have plenty of time. Learning is their full time job. But not only that. They learn faster because they are curious. They constantly ask their parents “what is that?” Adults unfortunately do not have so much time but we can always be curious again. Ask your partner “co je to?” at least three times a day. Have a little notebook and constantly write down new words.
- Play games
There are plenty of games you can play, from hiding objects, drawing, acting to Scrabble. Once you start having fun, you forget that you are learning.