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.
Czechs need time. We need to know a new person a bit before we come closer. We also 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 phrases useful in addressing people
|Dobrý den. (formální)||„Good day.“ (formal universal greeting during 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?|
|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?|
|Prosím.||You are welcome. (also: Please.)|
|Promiňte. (formální) Promiň. (neformální)||Excuse me. (also: I´m sorry.)|
|Na shledanou. (formální)||Good bye.|
Read also an article Speak to me! I endeavour! and learn other useful „opening“ phrases.
When can you use the phrases?
- You are at work and meet your colleagues in offices, in the kitchenette. Invite them to have a cup of coffee. If you are acquainted with them a bit more, invite them to 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 a ask where he/she is going.
- You are in a shop and see that someone needs a 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?
- Speak Easy Praha. Great activity: you can meet other foreigners learning Czech here and you can share the training and experience or just have a beer or a cup of a coffee together.
- Web/Facebook groups: Expats.cz, Prague Morning, Foreigners living in Prague…
- In comments under this article.
Also don´t worry to use your hands, legs or whatever which can help to „melt ice“ (that´s a Czech phrase which means to stop being closed or refusing). Don´t let discourage yourself. We, Czechs, are quite closed but not forever. Give us some time and we open out.
And now: Go! Write me how it went.
You can read this article also in Czech version.
Do you want to learn more? Read and download 10 tips for your effective study.
- 1. 2017