Czech Pronunciation

Czech spelling is amoung the most phonetic of all European languages. This means that you need not worry how to pronounce each new word because the letters or combination of letters consistantly represent the sound. The following are a few important points to remember about Czech spelling.

Czech has two accents which HTML cannot accomodate: when a letter is followed by a ^ (for example c^) it means there is an upsidedown caret on top of the letter (looks like a small v on top of the letter). And u* means a u with a small circle above it.

VOWELS:

LETTER PRONUNCIATION
a as in the 'u' in luck
e as in the 'e' in bet
i,y as in the 'i' in sit
o as in the 'o' in cost
u as in the 'oo' in look

These same vowels can be also marked by a slash (or a little circle) above them and are pronounced a little bit longer:

ACCENTED VOWELS:

LETTER PRONUNCIATION
á as in the 'a' in father
é as in the 'ea' in bear
í,ý as in the 'ee' in meet
ó as in the 'a' in ball
ú, u* as in the 'oo' in soon

The following letters have a 'caret' above them and have the following english equivelents:
LETTER PRONUNCIATION
z^ as in the 's' in treasure
s^ as in the 'sh' in bush
c^ as in the 'ch' in chese

CONSONANTS

LETTER PRONUNCIATION
c as in the 'ts' in bats
j as in the 'y' in yes
k as in the 'c' in cat
g as in the 'g' in good
h as in the 'h' in hand (always pronounced)

SOFTEND CONSONANTS

A common phenomenon in the Slavic languages is "softening" or "softened" pronunciation of consonants. This is made by pronounced a slight 'y' immediately following the letter. This only happens in three letters (d, t, and n) and in the following combinations:
LETTER PRONUNCIATION
de^, di DyEH
te^, ti TyEH
ne^, ni NyEH (like the spanish ñ)

The following sounds have no english equivalent:
LETTER PRONUNCIATION
r trilled (rolling) r
r^ as in Dvorzhak
ch as in German noch or Scottish loch


This page compiled by Timothy Króll.



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