Do you speak Czech?

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by Tim Burdick on 20 February, 2014

I love learning a foreign language. It’s fun. It’s frustrating. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. On my good days, Czech, Spanish are my two strongest. Sometimes I’ve uttered French, German, and Hungarian phrases. But don’t even talk to me about Thai.

During my life here in the Czech Republic, I have tried as a mark of respect to learn my second home country’s language so that I can better communicate with locals and set myself apart from the tourists. In this linguistic journey, I have studied Absolute Beginner Czech twice, Beginner three times, and Intermediate twice. The last couple of years, I‘ve been taking private lessons which helped as I can’t get any of my friends to take classes with me.

So, I have been doing anything to interact with the language: listening to the radio, watching movies or lately I have been reading fairy tales, ghost stories, teen lit, whatever is interesting enough to keep me reading every day.

One conversation:
Katka: Next time you meet someone, you say ‘Těší mě’, not ‘Těším se’. Also, please introduce me as your girlfriend ‘přítelkyně’ and not your friend, ‘kamaradka’.
Tim: Was I really nervous, when I did it?
K: Yes, you were.
T: Okay, but I am getting better with my Czech reading.
K: Yes, but reading a comic book about killing Zombies won’t really help you with either situation.
I texted a witty comeback line on my way to work.

Feel free to share with me your joys and heartache of learning another language!


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