Czech is a Slavic language that is both mutually intelligible with Slovak and closely related to Polish. Czech is spoken by over 10 million people as a first language and at least 2 million as a second language.
Czech is a synthetic language, like Russian and Icelandic, which means that unlike English and other analytical languages such as Thai and Vietnamese, different grammatical aspects are expressed in one word by changing the structure of that word, such as by adding an ending or prefix or by modifying the core of the word. One word in synthetic languages often expresses the same thing as what English requires multiple words In analytical languages, grammatical aspects use separate auxiliary verbs, pronouns or adjectives, with the actual word remaining unchanged.
The only tricky sound in Czech is 'ř', which is like putting a trilled 'r' and 'su' in "pleasure" together to make up a 'rrrzh' sound.
Pronunciation is very simple since words are pronounced the same way as they are written.
Stress is nearly always on the first syllable, but it is stressed more weakly than in English and German.
The Vowel Ěě
The Czech vowel "ě" is pronounced in one of three ways, depending on the preceding letter.
Diphthongs ahave two vowels within the same syllable (an example is the English word "meow").
The vowel groups ia, ie, ii, io, and iu in foreign words are not regarded as diphthongs, they are pronounced with Czech "j" between the vowels - 'ija, ije, iji, ijo, iju'.
In using digital time in the Czech Republic, a 24 hour clock, ranging from 0.00 to 24.00, is usual. However, both 12 and 24 hour formats can be used when speaking about time. There are three ways to specify, for example, two o'clock PM: "dvě hodiny" (literally "two hours", AM/PM information must be clear from the context), "dvě hodiny odpoledne" (literally "two hours in the afternoon") or "čtrnáct hodin" (literally "fourteen hours").
There are two ways of expressing "fractional hours". The simpler way is just to spell out a digital time in the 24 hour format: 16:30 (half past four in the afternoon) would be spelled as "šestnáct třicet", literally "sixteen thirty". That is often used when time exact down to a single minute is to be given or just because the speaker is too lazy to convert a digital time to a different format mentaly.
The other way is as follows:
The 12 hour format is always used with this method. If it is not clear from the context, it can be appended by a word like "ráno" (early morning), "dopoledne" (late morning), odpoledne (afternoon) or "večer" (evening), eg. "půl desáté večer" (21:30, "a half of ten in the evening").
Attention: When this method is used, Czech always refers to the upcoming full hour! This is different from English, which refers always to the full hour which is closer (and to the previous one when in the middle between two full hours).
Monday is viewed as the first day in week in the Czech Republic.
Bus and train
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