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Ordering a Beer in a Czech Pub

Perhaps one of the most important things to learn when visiting another country is how to order a beer in the native language. Luckily, ordering a beer Czech-style is simple and only involves mastering a few words. When the bartender or waiter comes to take your order at a pub or restaurant, simply say “Pivo prosím” (pee-vo pro-seem) which means “beer, please.” Forget trying to conjugate numbers – indicate with your fingers how many drinks you want: holding up a thumb for one, a thumb and index finger for two, and so on.

Next you may be asked if you would like your drink large or small. Respond with “VeIké” (vel-keh), which means “large,” for a half liter (about 16 oz.) or “malé” (mah-leh), which means “small”, for a third of a liter (about 10 oz.). It will be taken for granted that you want the golden Pilsner-style lager, so be sure to say “tmavé” (tuh-mah-veh) if you would like a dark beer.

The bartender or waiter might also ask what octane you want. If you’d like the lighter, less-alcoholic 10-degree beer, say “desítku” (dess-eet-koo). Standard 12-degree brew is “dvanáctku” (duh-vah-naht-skoo). Afterwards, if you’d like another, say “ještě jedno” (yesht-ye yed-no) for “one more.”

However, if you’d like to pay up and move on, say “zaplatím prosím” (zah-plaht-eem pro-seem), which translates awkwardly as “I will pay now, please.” Be prepared that you will then be asked whether you want to pay “dohromady nebo zvlášť?” (doh-roh-mad-ee nay-bow zev-lasht), which means “together or separately”, so figure this out with your fellow drinkers in advance to avoid embarrassment!

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