The national language is Czech. However, English is widely spoken (especially by the younger generation), as is German and Russian (mostly by the older generation).
The Czech language can be quite difficult to learn, and many English speakers find it very hard to pronounce. If you are keen to learn some basic words and phrases, we recommend a Czech phrasebook from Lonely Planet. Believe it or not, even knowing a few short sentences will always delight the locals, who will be pleased with your efforts and admire your trying. There are also courses for English tourists willing to learn the Czech language. Czechs usually speak German, English or Russian as a second language, through their ability will vary. This may be more obvious when talking with the older generation. Before the turnover in 1989, learning Russian was compulsory in schools. These days almost no one learns Russian, and most people prefer to speak English or German.
Pronunciation for Some Special Letters in the Czech Alphabet
ch like the English h
ř like rs in Persian
č like ch in church
ě like ye in yes
j like y in yellow
c like is in tsetse
ň like the n in Canute
š like the sh in shine
ž like the s in pleasure.
Worried That You Can’t Understand the Czech Language?
It is always better if you know the language used in the country you are going to. However, it is not necessary. If you speak English or German, you are all set in Prague.
Czech to English and English to Czech Online Dictionary
This dictionary is in Czech but is one of the best on the net – www.slovnik.cz. Very easy to use, remember Anglicky mean English, Cesky means Czech and Preloz mean Translate. It also has other 5 languages to translate from and to. You can also try Google language tools.
All about Czech language & culture
Survival English-to-Czech Dictionary
Beer – Pivo
Girls – Holky
Cheers! (a toast) – Na Zdraví
Do you speak English? – Mluvíte Anglicky?
Hello or Good day – Nazdar, Ahoj, Čau
Good morning/Good afternoon – Dobré jitro/Dobré odpoledne
Good evening/Good night – Dobrý večer/Dobrou noc
Yes – Ano/Jo
No – Ne
Sorry/Excuse me – Promiňte
Thanks – Děkuji