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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Some students answered the questions… in a very witty, interesting or quaint way:
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:
PS: I thank all my students for their help.