What does an "ř" sound like?
The first thing we did from home when we decided to move to Prague was to buy Pimsleur CDs, ($119) which are now compiled in their app. We would lie on the couch and do the simple call and response exercises, guffawing at the pronunciations of simple words like "thank you": děkuji (dyay-koo-yee)
Listening to the pronunciation over and over gets you used to the sounds and gives you a leg up on someone who's simply looking at the words with the funny diacriticals in phrasebook.
You don't have to pay for the luxury of hearing Czech spoken aloud. Peruse YouTube for Czech language channels. Youtube has lots of native Czech vloggers. Even if you can't understand a word they say, listen and get used to the the sounds and the pronunciation.
🏰Local's tip: if you want to search for Czech baking videos, don't search "Czech baking" or you'll get English videos. Instead, google translate "baking" >> "pečení", then search that term for Czech language options.
How to Learn Czech in 5 Minutes teaches you enough words and phrases to be a good tourist and/or survive your first month or so in Prague.
How to learn Czech in 30 minutes — ALL the Basics you need will take you step by step through the basic phrases.
Teaching Czech to friends from Brazil & Turkey will give you a taste of the tricky pronunciation, and assuage your embarrassment at pronunciation mistakes. We all have to start somewhere.
Jan Kraus is the David Letterman of the Czech Republic with guests ranging from actors to philosophers to politicians. I like to try to parse the conversations and see if I can suss out words, phrases, or complete concepts.
Google Translate gives you the ability to hear a native Czech (robot?) pronounce the word for you, which comes in very handy.
Tady Gavin is an inspiring and helpful Czech language channel made by an affable Colorado polyglot who took it upon himself to learn Czech (without actually living in the Czech Republic).
He films the entire process, month by month, and it's incredibly inspiring to see his progress. Judging by the warm praise in the comments section of his videos, you can take heart in the reception you will receive from Czechs when you make an effort to speak their language with them.
- Peruse Youtube to find a couple Czech channels that interest you, and subscribe to them.
- Commit to watching/listening to a video every time your brush your teeth or do the dishes.
- Pause & replay small chunks of speech. Practice repeating interesting and difficult sounds you hear.
We'll see you in the next lesson.