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Learn Essential Czech Phrases for Travel and Emergencies

By Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch

Traveling to the Czech Republic? Learn some Czech phrases before you go! Includes the pronunciations of certain Czech letters.

Introduction

According to the CIA World Book, the Czech Republic has an estimated population of 10,211,904, with 94.9 percent speaking Czech. Only 24 percent of the population speaks English, according to the European Commission, so it is good to know some Czech before traveling. We will go over some basic phrases in Czech that will help with introductions, getting directions, etc., as well as some fun phrases.

Pronunciation

Czech is a phonetic language, so words are usually pronounced the way they are spelled. Some of the exceptions are letters with accents. For example, letters like “á” and “é” are longer than “a” or “e”. Let's go over some of the different pronunciations:

č: ch

ě: ye

ř: rz

š: sh

Introducing Ourselves

The first step in conversation is the greeting. Like other languages, the greetings in Czech change by the time of day. For example:

Good morning: Dobré ráno

Hello: Dobrý den

Good evening: Dobrý večer

Good night: Dobrou noc

In Czech, we also have more informal greetings, such as:

Hi: Ahoj

Let's learn some questions we can ask to get a conversation going:

How are you: Jak se máš?

What is your name: Jak se jmenujete?

Where are you from: Odkud jste?

We also need to introduce ourselves:

Let me introduce myself: Dovolte mi, abych se představil

My name is...: Jmenuji se...

I am...: Já jsem...

I am fine, thank you: Mám se dobře, děkuji

I am from the USA: Jsem z USA

When we are ending a conversation, we can use the following phrases:

Goodbye: Na shledanou

Have a nice day: Hezký den

Nice to meet you: Těší mě

Here are other essential words and phrases we need to know:

Yes: ano

No: ne

Please: prosím

Excuse me: S dovolením

I am sorry: Promiňte

Thank you: Děkuji

You are welcome: Není zač

Getting Directions

One of the possible difficulties with traveling to a foreign country is finding our way around. Let's learn some essential phrases for public transportation:

Where is the bus stop: Kde je autobusová zastávka?

Where is the train station: Kde je vlakové nádraží?

Where is the subway station: Kde je stanice metra?

Where do I buy tickets: Kde se kupují jízdenky?

How far is it: Jak je to daleko?

Another group of words we need to learn are directions; that way we can understand the directions being given to us:

Walk straight ahead: Jděte rovně

Turn right: Zahněte doprava

Turn left: Zahněte doleva

It will be on your right: Bude to napravo

It will be on your left: Bude to nalevo

(To the) east: (na) východ

(To the) west: (na) západ

Near: blízko

In front of: před

Behind: za

Next to: vedle

If we are using a map, we can always ask directions by saying:

Can you show me on the map: Můžete mi to ukázat na mapě?

Emergency Phrases

If we ever have an emergency situation when abroad, it is important to know some phrases to seek help. Let's go over a few:

Help: Pomoc!

Call the police: Zavolejte policii!

Where is the police station: Kde je policejní stanice?

I want to call my embassy: Chci si zavolat na ambasádu

I have an allergy to...: Mám alergii na...

Here are some other essential words:

Heart attack: infarkt

Accident: nehoda

Hospital: nemocnice

Injury: zranění

Fun Phrases

Here are a couple of random phrases in Czech. If we around someone who is sneezing, we can say:

Bless you (for sneezing): Na zdraví!

If we are out with another person would will be footing the bill, we can say:

This gentleman will pay for everything: Všechno zaplatí tento pán

This lady will pay for everything: Všechno zaplatí tato paní

It is always important to know how to protect ourselves. If we have someone bothering us, we can say:

Leave me alone: Nechte mně být!

And, of course, a phrase that every language lover should know:

One language is never enough: Jeden jazyk nikdy nestačí