I believe this is already a verb? Or at least somehow it's conjugated to mean that I am saying thanks to someone? (and not you, or he, or they, or whatever)
And even shorter one, dík [dyeek]. That means one thank, while díky [dyeeke] means plural thanks.
To add a bit more context, "dík" is very informal, and might be considered a little rude when thanking someone who is not a friend.
"Díky" is also informal, but not as much, so when said in a light tone of voice and with a smile, can be appropriate even with strangers.
In formal settings, however, stick to the full form, "děkuji".
The more informal díky is used for "thanks." Somewhat like the difference between the more standard "yes" and the more informal but widely used "yeah."
Yes, it does sound nasalised - very much like in Polish. I'm new to Czech, so I can't comment on the accuracy.
Czech does not have any Polish nasal vowels (ę ą).
The audio (machine generated, NOT a recording) may not be perfect, but is still among the reasonable ones. There are unfortunately some, where the computer had much larger problems pronouncing them.
You can always check real people's recordings at different sites such as forvo.com.
They are both used to show gratitude, but "thank you" is more formal than "thanks".
In Czech, the full, formal variant is "Děkuji." (Thank you.)
The short, less formal version is "Díky." (Thanks.) You would usually use "díky" when talking to friends or family, but not when thanking a stranger or a person in authority.
"Děkuji" conveys more respect.
I grew up with a Ukrainian father who taught me the basics of Ukrainian pronunciation. I was taught that there were two different shapes of e, the e shaped like e softened some consonants like d so I am used to inserting an invisible y between d and e. By the way, I love learning Czech.
I don't hear the "d". I hear exactly the same than you. What is your native language? Maybe it's related? Mine's French. Some other users hear the same than us?
This effect is described in the lesson. It is pronounced as if it was written "ďekuji". The d is changed by the following letter ě and it is pronounced like ď and e. Your approximations may be close, though I can't judge that.
In the "Tips and Notes" section, it states that a Czech "H" is like an English "H," but an English "H" is unvoiced. A Czech "H" is a voiced /ɣ/ like a Ukrainian/Belarusian Г.
/ɦ/, not /ɣ/, as far as I know -- voiced glottal fricative, not voiced velar fricative.
I recently spent a little time in Prague, and it seemed to me that people were saying what sounded more like děkuju than děkuji. Was I just mis-hearing it?
No - you just experienced the difference between standard written Czech and what people actually speak.
If you speak written Czech, you'll be understood but will "sound like a book".
A vague comparison might be someone who speaks completely without contractions in English. "I am not sure what you are talking about" versus "I'm not sure what you're talking about" -- understandable and completely grammatical but not that natural in speech.
Děkuji is fine for spoken official speeches and other formal occasions, děkuju is the everyday form. Both are standard Czech now.
Hm, is děkuju accepted by Duolingo? I've just started using this again after a rather long break, when I tried using děkuju instead of děkuji in the past Duolingo considered it to be incorrect.
Because the more formal Thank you! is closer. But I am afraid we may have some inconsistency here, I was already looking for it today and I will investigate more.