It is true, the Czech language has a reputation as being a rather difficult language to learn. Between irregular plurals, seemingly unpronounceable consonant clusters and seven cases there might very well be other challenges to commit to. Yet, this beautiful language spoken by over 10 million people located at the heart of Europe can be mastered and grant you accesses to the rich culture of the Czech Republic: excellent cuisine and beer, the largest number of castles and castle ruins per square miles in the world and cutting-edge cinematography of the New Wave!
Why is Czech not so difficult after all?
– Unlike English, Czech is a phonetic language. This means that words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled—no surprises!
– No articles.
– Only three tenses: past, present, and future.
– The frequent use of prefixes allows you to get away with memorizing fewer new words.
Why study Czech (at Carolina)?
– Small, individually oriented classes.
– Czech is a gateway to other Slavic languages. It’s related to Slovak to the point of intelligibility and once mastered, it will help you understand other Slavic languages such as Polish and Russian as well. – The Triangle and North Carolina has a surprising Czech presence including two heritage Czech and Slovak Schools and a Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Charlotte.
– Czech opens career-opportunities in the stunning Czech Republic and in Czech institutions in Central Europe.
– Apart from the Czech language, UNC Chapel Hill allows you to engage with Czech culture and history through events organized by Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies (CSEEES) and various course offerings.
Still unconvinced? Listen to fellow Tar Heels:
Why did you choose to study Czech at Carolina?
Emily Dolegowski (Class of 2020): I chose to study Czech at UNC because I fell in love with the language and culture when I visited Czech Republic in 2015 and 2016. Studying Czech in a formal setting was an incredible experience! It greatly helped me form new connections to my primary language of study (Polish). The introductory courses were appropriate and paced well for Slavic and non-Slavic language speakers alike. I highly recommend taking Czech at UNC if you have any interest in the language – do not be intimidated!
Sarah Pollack (Class of 2021): I chose to study Czech after my family visited Prague and I loved it! I wanted to take four semesters of Czech and was discussing with my professor the idea of
attending a language-intensive study abroad program. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and low enrollment, I was only able to take three semesters and didn’t get to study abroad. Although I haven’t been able to use it much after graduation, studying Czech language, culture, and literature at Carolina, both through the Czech language courses and an English-language course on Central European literature, was a unique and enriching experience. I still hope to go back to the Czech Republic soon!
What Czech courses does GSLL offer?
Currently, we are offering CZCH 401 in the Fall, which is aimed at complete beginners; and CZCH 402 in Spring as a continuation. These bring students to A2/B1 level of proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).