7 tips how to get to know a Czech character

7 tips how to get to know a Czech character

Are you a foreigner living in the Czech Republic and would you like to adapt here quickly? Let´s get to know typical Czech behavior and customs. It helps you to find appropriate approach to Czechs and to avoid misunderstanding.

Who is a „typical Czech“? Does he/she exist? We, Czechs, can be too subjective in describing ourselves. That´s why I asked my students of Czech to answer this question. This is no reliable research but can help us to imagine how a foreigner sees a Czech character. Let´s read how 15 foreigners see a typical Czech man/woman and how you can use their information.

# Tip 1. Give Czechs time to get to know you.

Czechs are not too much friendly to foreigners, sometimes they are pretty negative. When you meet a Czech guy for the first time, he/she is exclusive, seems to be cold, not ready to believe others easily. Czechs keep a distance, communicate more formaly than e.g. people in Poland or India. But they are more friendly than Russians. Czechs need their time to know other people. That´s why they are closed at some point and set a personal limit. But once they know you, they trust you, they are kind, opened and helpful, especially young people.

∗ A special tip: You can learn some „opening“ phrases which can help to „melt ice“ (that´s a Czech phrase which means to stop being closed or refusing).



# Tip 2. Start to learn Czech language and speak Czech. Czechs appeciate it. Doesn´t matter whether you make mistakes.

Czechs probably don´t help you when they realize you don´t speak Czech. But Czechs don´t speak English much, even not members of Alien Police. Czechs are hesitant to use English even if they know little. Therefore don´t wait until Czechs learn English or other language and show them you have been learning their language. You´ll see, they appreciate it! And don´t let discourage yourself by quickly speaking Czechs. The better you speak Czech, the better you will understand.

∗ A special tip: Here you find a couple of Czech phrases useful in addressing people. They help you to make the first step.


# Rada 3. Take trips and know the Czech Republic. Tell Czechs what you have already seen and what you like.

Czechs like their country. They are peaceful and think much of Czech culture. They read a lot. They are ateists. Only 10 % of Czechs are Catholics but everybody celebrates Christmas. Czechs willingly talk to you (in Czech) of Czech attractions and traditions.

∗ A special tip: You don´t know where to go? Watch this video and the most attractive places in Czechia.



# Tip 4. Don´t irritate Alien Police but otherwise rest.

Czechs approach to many things calmly, they are pragmatic and reasonable, think conservatively. They are not active and goalseeking much, sometimes they are pretty lazy. Official acts take a long time, nobody is in a hurry. On the other hand, some Czechs prefer their careers path and stability first, want to achieve higher goals. Then they are still busy, discuss their work problems a lot.

So, if you need someone´s help and need to find a quick solution, ask a Czech guy.


# Tip 5. Would you like to get to know Czechs? Go to the mountains or have a dog.

Czechs don´t smile. They are a bit egoistic, prudent, sometimes bad, never in a good mood. However, they also have a sense of humour, like jokes, are never serious. They often go outside, like to have fun. Czechs do sports very actively, almost every Czech can ski. They have a lot of friends. Czechs are crazy about dogs, take them everywhere, even to the restaurant. And they drive their cars very carefully.

∗ A special tip: Do you know that in winter special skibusses go to the Czech mountains every day? For example at Ještěd you can ski in one hour!


# Tip 6. Rise above some weird customs and have a beer with Czechs.

Almost every Czech man is Pepík or Honza, he is blond and tall. He cleans his nose and breathes in a loud way, smokes, takes his shoes off on a visit. He drinks a lot of beer, eats fried food, pork knees, dumplings and rohlíky which he buys every day. But many Czechs have a slender figure – how is it possible? However, compared to their popularity of going to restaurants, they provide bad services there.


Czechs in a graph

I asked my students what the typical Czech characteristics are. Look at the graph and compare their answers with your experience. Each number means a number of answers. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

∗ A special tip: You can also find interesting information and opinions on the Expats.cz website.


The most interesting answers

Some students answered the questions… in a very witty, interesting or quaint way:

  • A Czech man from a village sold me a washing machine. He wore old trousers fallen to the middle of his buttocks. I can´t forget this situation. But another Czech man from another village sold me a washer. He was very kind, cheerful and he didn´t mind I could say just ahoj in Czech. He explained everything to me and helped me to put the washer in my car.
  • I was at the airport, I didn´t have my mobile phone and I needed to call up. I asked a Czech guy and he lent me his phone!
  • Czechs are more kind than Ukrainians because they have better life conditions, more money and a normal life.
  • Men are more pleasant than women.
  • A typical Czech doesn´t exist. There are a lof of personalities as everywhere.


So, what do you think now? Does a typical Czech exist? The answers are different, depending on individual experience. That´s why here is  just last, general tip for you:

# Tip 7: Keep smiling, we are learning this attitude from you.

21. 2. 2017

PS: I thank all my students for their help.

About the Author

Jitka Pourová administrator