Are you learning Czech and do you find it hard? Keep your head up! You are certainly not alone. We all have been there at some point of our language learning. Czech is a very special animal. So many cases to remember, too many confusing prefixes to recognise and all those malicious sounds to pronounce! It can get really tricky. We do not deny it. However, there are ways to make your studying easier. Every student has their own learning techniques and what works for one does not necessarily have to work for someone else. We believe that some of these tips and tricks from our students can make your learning easier.
Helpful learning hints from our students
“A good teacher, and listening to your Czech family talk, a lot of the time you hear the same phrases in the pub or restaurant so learning these common phrases is a great start.” G.C.
“I think it is helpful to think about how multiple prefixes can be used to join to a base word and give new words e.g. v, od and za added to chod gives three new words: vchod, odchod, and záchod.” D.G.
“Practice is obviously most important. Also regular practice is much better than doing a lot all at once. Putting stickers on things was really useful when I was learning furniture. And just being bold and trying to talk Czech as much as possible, even though you make mistakes.” J.E.
“Focusing on practical usage of Czech e.g. situations where you might put the learning into practice. Written, listening and speaking drills that help explain and practice use of the cases. Audio dialogues in the textbooks are really helpful practice also. “A.F.
“I always make most progress after a week visiting family in the Czech Republic. Immersing in the language and really trying to decipher everything helps a lot!” M.P.
“When you read, try to write down the key words (even if you already know what they mean) soon after reading them – this will help improve your spelling and memory. Likewise, when you listen, either to your teacher, a CD or video or a real conversation, practise saying some of the words and phrases (even if it’s just in your head!).” G.R.
“What is helpful? Find a good and patient teacher (I have one). If you decide to conquer it just keep on doing it. Don’t give up. And do not decide to take a break. Be prepared to memorise a lot of new words. Try to be surrounded by the language and try and speak as much as possible. Don’t be put off by the weeks when you can not remember anything. Try to get Czech TV at home and watch easy programmes like soap operas. Visit the Czech republic regularly and keep speaking Czech even if they reply in English.” CH.J.
“Most helpful – online dictionaries that give examples of use, in context. I like Glosbe, in particular. Also, back translating, having found a suggested Czech word, looking that word up in Czech to see whether it’s appropriate for the current context. And frequency of practice – not new advice, but I find it’s true – even ten minutes morning and evening makes things stick in my memory more than 3 hours once a week.” M.G.