Let´s get to know typical Czech behavior and customs

Do you think Czechs are closed and dismissive? Would you like to be in contact with them but they are indifferent? Don´t be afraid to make the first step – address Czechs by yourself! Let´s learn a few phrases which help you in getting acquainted with Czechs.

I want to know you, Czechs!

The Czechs need time. We need to know a new person a bit before we come closer. We are also a shame to address an unknown man first. And when he/she is a foreigner we are afraid that our English (German…) is not good enough to talk with him/her. Therefore: make the first step! Don´t worry to address Czechs.


How to start – Czech useful phrases in addressing people

 Learn a few phrases. Write down and download them, have them in your phone or diary, and use them. Here they are:


Dobrý den. (formální) „Good day.“ (formal universal greeting all day)
Ahoj. (neformální) Hello. Hi. (informal)
Já jsem (vaše jméno) Jmenuju se (vaše jméno) My name is …
Odkud jste? (formal) Odkud jsi? (informal)  Where are you from?
Jsem z (stát)  I´m from …
Jak se máte? (formální) Jak se máš? (neformální) How are you?
Dobře.   I´m fine.
Jsem cizinec a učím se česky.  I am a foreigner and I learn Czech.
Jsem cizinec a rozumím česky jenom trochu.    I am a foreigner and I understand Czech just a little.
Co děláte? (formální) Co děláš? (neformální) What do you do? (means: What is your profession?)
Co studuješ? (informal)  What do you study?
Já jsem (vaše profese) I´m a … (your profession)
Můžu vám pomoct? (form.) Můžu ti pomoct? (neform.) Can I help you?
To je hezké, že?  It is nice, isn´t it?
To je zajímavé.    It is interesting.
Dáme si kávu?   Can we have a cup of coffee?
Kam jedete? (formal) Kam jedeš? (informal) Where are you going?
Děkuju.  Thank you.
Prosím. You are welcome. (also: Please.)
Promiňte. (formální) Promiň. (neformální) Excuse me. (also: I´m sorry.)
Na shledanou. (formální) Good bye.
Ahoj. (neformální)  Bye.

Read also an article Speak to me! I endeavor! and learn other useful „opening“ phrases.


Practice listening


Audio – listen and learn how to pronounce the phrases.


When can you use the phrases?

  • You are at work and meet your colleagues in the offices, in the kitchenette. Invite them to have a cup of coffee. If you are acquainted with them a bit more, invite them on a trip or organize lunch, dinner, or a beer together. You live in the dormitory and meet students in the corridor, kitchenette… Address them and introduce yourself. Ask them what they study.
  • You are at school and meet students during lessons and lectures. Address them and introduce yourself. Ask what they study.
  • You go by bus or train. Address the man sitting next to you and ask where he/she is going.
  • You are in a shop and see that someone needs help (to take goods from a shelf, to find some goods, to read a label…). Address him/her and offer your help.
  • You are in a shop waiting in a queue at the cash desk. Address the man in front of/behind you and offer your help (to put goods on the cash belt…).
  • You exercise in fitness. Address a man you meet there regularly, introduce yourself, and ask how he/she is. (You can apply this to any activity which you do regularly and meet people there.)
  • You are at the doctor sitting in the waiting room. Address a man sitting close to you.
  • You are in a restaurant or a café alone. Choose a table where someone has been sitting. Ask if the seat is free. Sit down and introduce yourself.


Share your experience and get a new one. Where?

Also don´t worry to use your hands, legs, or whatever can help to „melt the ice“ (that´s a Czech phrase that means to stop being closed or refusing). Don´t let yourself discourage yourself. We, Czechs, are quite closed but not forever. Give us some time and we open out.

And now: Go! Write me about how it went.


You can read this article also in the Czech version.

Do you want to learn more? Read and download 10 tips for your effective study.

  1. 1. 2017
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