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How much Czech per day?

Ahoj! I am trying to achieve a high beginner-intermediate level of Czech by late August. Does anybody have advice for a good pace through the Czech tree? How many new skills per day/how much review per day?


May 29, 2018



Duolingo alone won't get you there, especially not in a language as different from English as Czech (unless you already speak a Slavic language). You should supplement Duolingo with a lot of review of conjugations and declinations, reading "real" texts (f.ex. the Czech wikipedia) and some sort of practise of actually using Czech. Try to write a short text every day or something like that. Even then, Czech isn't easy. Don't expect too much.
As progress through the tree is concerned, a skill a day is doable and should get you through it. Or get the exact number of lessons and divide by days left. Then monitor skill strength on duome, as suggested, and try and keep everything golden (which, at that pace, will probably demand for quite a bit of review every day). Good luck.


i agree with your skepticism. in addition to what you said, this first tree has approximately the vocabulary consistent with CEFR A1 in size, except this vocabulary is used differently. some A1 topics/situations are not covered, such as those that require less frequently used words from the corpus we relied on, yet some of the grammar goes well beyond A1. to get to A1 coverage, we may need to expand the tree by about 40%, and A1 in terms of vocabulary and grammar would be reached before the half-way point of the expanded tree.


So excluding vocabulary, what level do you think is obtainable as far as grammar? I'm not as concerned with vocab because once I have a good grasp of a fair amount of words and grammar I'll try to read some young adult fiction to learn more words...


No, please, do not read YA in Czech... translations are usually bad (cheap beginning translators), and our original fiction in this genre is not so good either. I would recommend perhaps Karel Čapek, he was a brilliant writer with great language and he knew how to write in a comprehensible way. Although his books are from the first half of the 20th century, they are very readable now, it did not get obsolete at all. If you are more into modern not-too-demanding fiction, perhaps try some post-apo by František Kotleta. Here is a list of good Czech books https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/26770.Best_Czech_Books , just beware of Kafka (quite complicated), Havel (absurd dramas are great... just not much if you are beginning with the language) and pretty much everything from before 1900. If zou like humour, I would recommend Zdena Frýbová's book Malinkatý kretén (about a naughty dog), if you like something more serious, Ludvík Aškenazy's short stories are brilliant. There are also some simplified books http://en.jitkapourova.cz/i-want-to-read-a-czech-book/


Wow! thanks for all the recommendation! I will certainly check them out. I'm open to many genres but I'll probably stick to more recent works


the grammar is approximately A2, with some things missing and others in excess. but with only approximately 1,200 dictionary entries covered, reading pretty much anything in czech will involve discomfort and heavy dictionary use.


That's not a huge deterrent for me as a learner. I'm pretty okay with ambiguity overall and so long as I get the main idea of a text in a language I'm learning I'm happy


You can probably learn most of the grammar rules in that time, but you will lack the practise to use it correctly. For example, I did read a Russian grammar book cover to cover. But I still can't speak with any kind of fluency, because I need to stop and think for almost every word. Am I using the right case? The correct conjugation? Is the verb irregular? Correct gender? Correct aspect of the verb? And so on... So, you can probably read up to a B1 or even B2 level grammar knowledge, but for actually applying that knowledge, I'd say A1, regardless of vocabulary.

I haven't spent enough time on the DL tree to know how much it teaches, but many of the trees at least touch on most or all major grammar subjects.


Thanks for the response. When I've learned languages in the past I try not to worry too much about 100% accuracy regarding how I gender words, use case, or conjugate words... You improve by making mistakes and so long as I can get my point across (even if only hazily) I'm satisifed


i would suggest doing one new lesson per day and monitoring https://duome.eu/TannerLT/progress to make sure your tree is doing well, which is what i am currently doing with portuguese. if that comes to be too overwhelming, you could also do a new skill every day for two days, then leave the third for a review day.


Those are both very good ideas, thank you!


If you want beginner-intermediate level then Duo will give you exactly that! And you can totally finish the whole tree in that time as long as you dedicate yourself. (I even think you could get level 25 in that time, but you'd need a lot of free time and patience). Let's say you have two and a half months, thirty days each so 75 days. There are 84 skills in the Czech tree so you could do one or two a day if you want. That's probably about 7 lessons a day on average. And you're already level seven so you've already covered some of it. And you could do forty lessons a day if you wanted level twenty five. Czech is quite different from English. It all depends on the person how much review you want to do. I would recommend finishing the tree first before you worry about intensely reviewing everything. It doesn't matter if you forget the word fish because you can always come back and learn all that stuff later. It all depends on how you want to learn and if you think you'll have enough time to practice. And it's better to do one or two a day than fourteen in one day ^^ Good luck on your language learning journey :-)


Thanks man, that's some solid advice. I definitely have the time to do it because I just finished school and now just work part time until the day I move! Do you recommend getting crown 5 in each skill before moving on?


" am trying to achieve a high beginner-intermediate level of Czech by late August"

If you do a Duolingo Course its possible to get a good "better beginner" Level. But especially for a language like Czech you will still be far away from being able to use the language. I would recommend using the Czech Course in Combination with a classical self-learning Coursebook while focusing there on the Texts and Dialouges... and ignoring the grammar exercises, because this can be practised better with Duolingo. And for getting a "Beachhead" into the language working with a "Phrasebook" for travelers, or Pimsleurs "Essential Czech" Audio Programme. The Assimil Course (my favourite) is also very good, but only avaible in French and German.

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.