“I love learning Czech. It’s the challenge of a lifetime for me.”
I started learning Czech just over 3 years ago as my wife was a Czech national and her parents didn’t speak much English. For the first year I floundered around, buying language books and struggling to teach myself with the help of my wife. Although I learned a few basics I didn’t feel like I was making much progress. The Czech language is tough to learn for adults and requires persistence and devotion.
I started looking for a structured class and found the Czech Centre in London. The weekly lessons were 2 hours each way from my home in Newark but they were worth the rail journey which I used to study before and after each class. I felt like I finally started making some progress with the language. Visits to the Czech Republic became much more enjoyable as I felt like I could understand parts of conversations and communicate in simple ways. I decided to sit the A2 exam in Prague last year. Just studying for this exam gave me a leap forward. I was so happy when I learned that I had passed it.
Then my wife and I moved overseas with my job and I feared that I wouldn’t be able to study any more. Thankfully, my tutor offered to continue helping me to learn with regular Skype sessions. These have been essential in keeping my Czech studies alive. It takes commitment from both teacher and student, but Skype learning has been working really well for me for the last year. I love learning Czech. It’s the challenge of a lifetime for me. I hope one day that I will be able to speak fluently with Czech family and friends. The real way to progress rapidly would be to live in the Czech Republic. But in the absence of that, regular structured study with a professional teacher has been the way to continued progress for me. I am also fortunate enough to be married to a supportive fluent Czech speaker which helps! My next focus is the B1 language exam, perhaps next year.