What’s your reason to learn Czech?
What all led you to decide to learn the Czech language? Is it to learn a/another Slavic language, you enjoy how it sounds, family roots, or just plain curious?
In my case, my fiancé is a Bohemian native that I had met 3 months in during her 2 year au-pairship here, I’m Texan, and I assisted her in learning English as she originally spoke very little. When she spoke well enough, she was excited to tell me all about the Czech immigration to Texas, the differences in what they call a kolache, and bragged about their beer and slivovice(fantastic stuff if I may add). Later on, I promised her I would learn the language for several reasons;
First and foremost is being able to communicate with her family, they are very hospitable people and I wish I could have communicated without her having to translate the whole time, they naturally understood and still had a great time. Second is that we would likely want to retire there or begin our family there when we’re ready. Third being that it meant a lot to her when I said I’d do it; They’re a very proud people that cherish their language and culture and a good bit of them enjoy helping those who wish to share in it.
What led you to your decision in this among others?
My father's family is from Slovakia and resources to learn Slovak are fairly hard to find. Also, I've enjoyed a number of vacations in the Czech Republic and want to return. In addition, I'm a big fan of the composer Janáček and he wrote a number of operas, in Czech of course.
My family is Serbian. Czech is kind of similar to Serbian in that it shares some words with Serbian, like syr and sir, both of which mean cheese; lisku and lisice, both of which mean fox; medved and medved, both of which mean bear; my jsme and mi smo, both of which mean we are; and kniha and knjigu, both of which mean book. So, I'm learning Czech in the hopes I'll recognise some vocabulary or say some Czech words and the family will understand. TL;DR: To learn another Slavic language.
I’m Polish and I wanted to learn a language so similar to ours yet different to the point there are jokes about funny Czech words (many of which do not even exist). The reason is: it helps me to expand my knowledge about Slavic languages in general and about my own, too, also - knowing some Czech I'd be able to dispel some myths about the language some people might believe in. The other reason is - communicating with the other Slavic people in English seems like pure nonsense, especially when our languages are 50% intelligible (or more), therefore knowing the language (or even its basics like verbs conjugation or noun declension) when meeting somebody from Czechia or Slovakia might be great (I'm going to try to learn Interslavic at some point - it has to be fun :D). Another - the more Slavic languages you know, the easier it becomes to learn next ones :)
I live in rural Czechia. English won't get you very far here. My wife kicked me out and my children have their own lives. Smiling and drinking beer at the pub is only so productive. I can't teach the whole nation English, even if I was so inclined (I'm not). I guess I might as well concede that continuing to live here is a much better option than living under Trump in America (we'll see how things go with Babíš). Nothing left but to get on the stick with the language.
Yeah, being Czech might mean being optimism-challenged. One deleted sentence was based on the sentiment widespread in the CR especially after the "virosis" and "k-nda" debacles: Stydím se za svého prezidenta. Unfortunately for me, the same sentiment spread to the other side of the Atlantic by beta time, and we needed to take into account that Potrefená husa nejvíc kejhá.
I have to admit I was left a little out in the cold trying to parse out that last phrase. Fortunately, the internet has an answer for everything.
Thanks for sharing your reasons. You can find many others in previous discussions on this topic:
I had always wanted to visit Prague, because of links with Mozart and Dvořák. When I did, I found it very beautiful, but was ashamed that I could not even say Please or Thank you. I know French and Spanish and a little German, so enjoy learning languages. I have found Czech very enjoyable but difficult. I can now speak it (a little), and read it (much better) but have a long way to go. If I had chosen Polish instead, I would have found a lot more people to talk to here in England! In restaurants I often ask waiters and waitresses their nationality, but they are usually Polish, Latvian or Romanian! The other day the waitress was Slovakian so we had a brief conversation.
Well.... I was sitting in front of my computer, practicing my romance languages and thought "Why am I not learning any Slavic language right now?" It'd be just as easy as learning another Romance language, but without getting confused with the similar vocabulary. Czech uses the latin script, so there's no way I'll accidentally begin typing something in Russian. The reason why I chose Czech and not something else is probably because of curiosity since I've never had experience with this language before. I also have a few Czech friends, so I'll have who to practice with once I learn more :D
My cousins are Czech and I've been visiting since the 70's. We all had to speak German together, the kind you learn in college and then half-forget. Won't it be nice if I finally surprise them with some understanding of this lovely language I've heard all my life? I wish Grandma had taught me long ago.
In my case, simple curiosity, trying to learn a Slavic language (I'm also doing some Russian and Polish) to expand my horizons beyond the Romance and Germanic languages I'm most familiar with (although I'm giving a fair amount of attention to those, especially the Scandinavian languages). I'm not sure yet how deep I'll go with it, but I'd love to achieve at least a basic mastery.
I know the Czech republic since 2010 and I travelled a lot there with my husband. We have friends in Brno, Praha and Jhilava. First of all our friends make effort to speak french so I wish to make effort to speak Czech. Second, we fall in love of this country and wish to live there !