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Learning Czech (čeština)

I started learning Czech in September 2006. I wanted to try out a Pimsleur course in a language I hadn't studied before, and chose Czech because I have quite a few Czech friends. They all speak English, but I'd like to be able to speak to them in their language.

I started my studies with Pimsleur Speak and Read Essential Czech, an all-audio course consisting of 10 half-hour lessons. This gave me a good basic introduction to Czech. It covers a small amount of material but does so in a thorough way and encourages you to apply what you're learning to create your own phrases and sentences. This gives you a feel for the language.

After completing the Pimsleur course, I started working my way through Routledge's Colloquial Czech, which consists of a text book containing a detailed pronunciation guide, 18 lessons, a grammar summary, Czech-English and English-Czech glossaries, and an index of language points. Each of the exercises is made up of a number of short dialogues, exercises and notes on grammar. The accompanying CDs contain recordings of all the dialogues.

I've used Routledge's Colloquial series to learn quite a few other languages, and usually go through the lessons only a couple of times. With Colloquial Czech I decided to take longer over each lesson to make sure I take in all the vocabulary and grammar. This is mainly because Czech is a completely new language to me - I have studied a bit of Russian and sometimes recognise Czech words that I know already in Russian, but most of the vocabuarly and grammar is unfamiliar. Previously I've tried to complete courses like this in a set time, tended to rush through them, and didn't retain much of each lesson.

Towards the end of 2010, after quite a long gap without studying much Czech at all, I decided to have another go. I started listening to online Czech Radio (Český rozhlas) regularly and pick up bits and pieces of Czech from various other sources - friends, blogs, dictionaries, phrasebooks, etc.

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Other languages I've studied

Welsh, French, German, Italian, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Korean, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Esperanto, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, Czech, Irish (Gaelic), Latin, Manx (Gaelic), Russian, Urdu, British Sign Language (BSL), Hindi, Breton

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