Vítej! (Welcome!) Czech, the official language of the Czech Republic, has about 12 million native speakers. Along with its relative Slovak, it is a West Slavic language, which is part of the Indo-European family. Czech is closely related to Slovak, and speakers of each language can typically understand each other, though may have trouble with regional slang and accents. Czech’s rich literature became known internationally in the 20th century through such writers as Ivan Klíma, Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal, and Václav Havel.
Czech Fun Facts
In a nod to its hoppy past, the Czech Republic has currently has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. The oldest Czech brewery existed in 1118 (unclear when it opened) and several cities had breweries by the 13th centuries.
The language of Bohemia: The Czech language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century – which makes sense given that the Czech state was known as Bohemia until after World War I.
Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí, or “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera is a worldwide favorite of Czech literature, set in Communist Prague of the 1960s and 70s.
Prague in the morning. Photo submitted by Max.
The Červená Lhota (red village) chateau in Bohemia, Czech Republic. Photo submitted by Hana.
A road in the Bílé Karpaty Mountains (White Carpathian Mountains). Photo submitted by Jenda
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, a small city in South Bohemia known for its art and architecture. Photo submitted by Mravandlay
Czech and the Livemocha Community
- Most Czechs on Livemocha are learning English. After English, however, equal numbers of Czechs are learning Czech, Spanish, and German
- More Russians are learning Czech on Livemocha than people from any other country
- Unsurprisingly, most Czech speakers on Livemocha are from the Czech Republig but many are also from Slovokia, the US, the UK, and Russia