Czech is considered a difficult language because the grammar is rich in inflections and exceptions. Not only nouns, adjectives and pronouns, but also names and number words are declined in seven cases. Furthermore, nouns of each of the genders – masculine, feminine, and neuter – split into not just one ending form, but four. For example, masculine nouns are declined according to the patterns pán (masculine, animate, hard sound), muž (masculine, animate, soft sound), hrad (masculine, inanimate, hard sound) and stroj (masculine, inanimate, soft sound). This results in an immense number of endings, which is challenging, especially for learners of the language.
To form a complete sentence in Czech, unlike in German, the subject does not need to be marked with an additional personal pronoun. This means that, in Czech, a sentence can consist of one word, such as žiju (I live). A personal pronoun is only used if the subject needs to be emphasised. Therefore, when translating from German into Czech, it must be kept in mind that the language is generally shorter than German.
Alongside the extensive grammar, pronunciation in Czech is also treacherous. In particular, the Czech unique feature – ř – is a particular challenge. However, this does not only apply to people from abroad, but also to the Czech people themselves. It is not uncommon for Czech children to be sent to a speech therapist so that they can master the correct pronunciation. Furthermore, the frequent juxtaposition of different consonant groups is also considered a stumbling block in pronunciation, since the consonants r, l and m are syllabic. This means that the Czech language even manages to formulate a sentence without any vowels at all: Strč prst skrz krk (Put a finger through the throat). The constant stress on the first syllable is also very characteristic of Czech. Czech people often mistakenly transfer this to other languages.
What is also interesting about Czech is the distinction between different levels of language. The spisovná čeština (Standard Czech) is a system of linguistic devices used throughout the nation, primarily in written form and in official speeches. Spoken Czech (hovorová čeština) is based on the spisovná čeština. It describes the use of spisovná čeština in spoken language. However, it sounds unnatural to a native speaker, because Common Czech (obecná čeština) is always used in everyday life. This is an interdialect that is not used in writing. An interdialect describes the last stage of development of traditional territorial dialects, which gradually lose their sole and conspicuous characteristics. According to the rules of the spisovná čeština, for example, beautiful dog is krásný pes, but in everyday speech the expression krásnej pes is used.
When it comes to Czech translations, it is important to be aware of false friends, because often there is a completely different meaning behind words that sound the same: Stuhl is chair in German but stůl means table in Czech. Strom means electricity in German, but strom is tree in Czech. Kuss and klug mean kiss and clever in German, but kus and kluk in Czech mean piece and boy.
oneword, your language service provider for Czech, provides high-quality translations for German to Czech and Czech to German, as experienced native-speaker translators take into account the unique linguistic features of each language and specific features of the country.