Czech culture and language
About Czech Republic
- Capital: Prague
- Geographical size: 78 867 km²
- Population: 10 694 480 (31. 3. 2021)
- Official language: Czech
- Political system: parliamentary republic
- EU member country: since 1 May 2004
- Schengen Area member: since 21 December 2007
- Neighbours: Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia
- Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)
- Religion: 88.5% non-religious or non-declared; 10.4% Roman Catholic; 1.1% other
Czech is classified as a member of the West Slavic sub-branch of the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Slovak is by far the closest genetic neighbour of Czech, and the languages are closer than any other pair of West Slavic languages.
"Spisovná čeština" refers to the formal, written form of the national language, which is used in official documents, in literature, at school and in the media. Its rules are found in dictionaries and grammar handbooks and are overseen by the Czech Academy of Sciences' Institute of the Czech Language. The spoken form of this formal language is known as "hovorová čeština".
"Obecná čeština" is an informal variant of the language, which is simplified and has a slightly different morphology, vocabulary and pronunciation. It is used in everyday conversation but is not considered "correct" in written or formal communication.
EURAXESS Centre Brno
The South Moravian Regional Centre to Support the Integration of Foreigners offers Czech language courses for EU citizens free of charge. All of the courses are run by experienced and certified Czech language teachers.
The Centre supports the elimination of language barriers and the improvement of the language and cultural situation by offering a wide range of free Czech language courses, for both adults and children for non-EU citizens.
EURAXESS Centre Ostrava (VŠB)
In all Czech cities there are numerous private language schools offering classes for foreigners at all levels. Some of these lead to tests/examinations from which you would receive a certificate. In general, these courses are not free of charge, but prices vary... Your nearest EURAXESS centre or local contact point can advise you on courses offered in your area.
The Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies, which operates under the Charles University in Prague, offers Intensive Czech Language Courses, Preparatory Courses for University Study in Czech, Language Exams, Online Czech Courses and Summer Czech Language Courses.
The Czech for Foreigners Portal provides an overview and comprehensive information for foreigners who are applying for permanent residence in the Czech Republic or for Czech citizenship and will be taking the Czech Language Exam or Czech Life and Institutions Exam.