Are you a foreigner living in the Czech Republic? Then you probably found yourself in a situation when you wanted to speak English to Czechs but they didn´t understand you. And when they didn´t speak English, they rather didn´t speak to you at all. But it isn´t a reason to give up any communication. On the contrary – do the first step by yourself! Let´s learn a few Czech phrases which help you at the beggining of any conversation. They will be your „first aid kit“.
Not all Czechs, especially out of Prague or bigger citties, speak English or other language. But when you contact them first, even using just elementary Czech, you will see that some of Czechs unbend. We, Czechs, know very well that our language is difficult and we appreciate everybody who is willing to learn.
Jsem cizinec a učím se česky. I am a foreigner and I learn Czech.
Jsem cizinec a rozumím česky jenom trochu. I am a foreigner and I understand Czech just a little.
Jak se řekne …? Jak se to řekne? How do you say …? How do you say this?
Jak se píše …? Jak se to píše? How do you write …? How do you write this?
Promiňte, nerozumím. Excuse me, I don´t understand.
Opakujte, prosím. Repeat, please.
Ještě jednou, prosím. Once more, please.
Pomalu, prosím. Slowly, please.
Download the sentences in pdf.
Also don´t worry to use your hands, legs or whatever which can help to „melt ice“ (that´s a Czech phrase which means to stop being close or refusing). Don´t let discourage yourself. We, Czechs, are quite close but not forever. Give us some time and we open out.
And now: Go! Write me how it went.
You can read this article also in Czech version.
Do you want to learn more? Read and download 10 tips for your effective study.
17. 1. 2017