Do you know a foreign language?

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by merquiades, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    Ahoj czech friends,

    In May I'm going to be going to Prague for a week and want to learn as much of your language before to get by, but there's a phrase I want to learn by heart in case I'm lost.

    Do you know a foreign language?
    I wrote the sentence myself with the help of my diccionary. From my knowledge of Russian I know the foreign language part should be in the accusative case.
    Is this right? I wanted something easy to remember.

    Ne rozumím česky. Znaš cisim jazykem?
    Also, which syllable is stressed. Ne rozumÍM čESky. Znaš cisIM jaZYkem?


    I'm sure I'll be back

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  2. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Nerozumím česky. Znáte cizí jazyky? or Znáte nějaký cizí jazyk? or Mluvíte někým cizím jazykem? Znáš is for people with whom you are in familiar terms. I think negative forms, though, sound better in this context: neznáte, nemluvíte.

    Your cisim jazykem isn't accusative, it's almost the instrumental (cizím jazykem). You could use cizím jazykem, or its plural form, cizími jazyky, with the verb mluvit (to speak).

    Czech stress is always on the first syllable, but it's not as strong as in English.
  3. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Nerozumím česky (nérozumim cheski). = I do not understand Czech.

    Nemluvím česky (némluvim cheski). = I do not speak Czech.

    Znáš nějaký cizí jazyk? (znáš ñéyaki tsízi yázik) = Do you know ...?

    Mluvíš nějakým cizím jazykem? (mlúviš ñéyakim tsízim yázikem) = Do you speak ...?

    š is pronounced like English sh (non-existent in Spanish)
    c is pronounced like ts in cats
    z is pronounced like English z in zulu
    č is pronounced like Spanish ch

    The acute accent sign (áéíóúý) denotes the long vowels, and NOT stress.
    The first syllables are stressed.
  4. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    Muito obrigado, Jazyk! Now I know what your pseudo means. :)
    I think I'll go with "Nerozumím česky. Neznáte cizí jazyky?" I can remember that. So that is NErozumím čESky. NEznáte CIzí JAzyky? I take it the accent marks are only to show vowel quality and if the preceding consonant is palatized. The ate versus š verb endings are very coherent for formal versus informal usage.
  5. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    Thanks for the lesson Bibax! I think pronouncing czech isn't too hard for me. I just need to learn the alphabet. J is y and ž is j. The three consonants in a row like in "na shledanou" is daunting though! Maybe making those áéíóúý long without stressing them too. Cheers!

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