Czech Translation Services
Whether you are looking for Czech translation for something technical, legal or medical, or simply a letter, we can help you.
Lingua Translations is well known for its quality-driven Czech translation services. We will equip you with knowledge and methods, enabling you to communicate in the correct written form of from the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Poland, we can help. Remember not to pick the wrong one!
We offer a professional Czech to English and English to Czech language translation service, amongst others. Here is some information which you will find useful as the Czech language is full of interesting facts and essential tips when you are looking to communicate effectively in Czech speaking countries.
- About the Czech language
The Czech language (which used to be known as Bohemian) is the official language of the Czech Republic and a minority language in Slovakia. It is also one of the official languages of the EU. Business opportunities with this country have greatly expanded since its admission to the EU in 2004, and it is one of Central Europe’s most stable markets. During the last few years, the Czech economy has recovered from the 2008 global economic crisis and in the first quarter of 2015 it marked its fastest rate of growth in seven years. The Czech National Bank has forecasted growth of 2.5% in 2015. Expanding into the Czech Republic could also enable your business to move into other Central and Eastern European markets.
Through the European Structural and Investment Funds programme, the EU has invested 23 billion euros in the country for the 2014 – 2020 period, which will help to ensure that the Czech Republic maintains its status as a steadily growing, stable market offering numerous business opportunities. Opportunities in the Czech Republic involve such sectors as advanced engineering, energy, infrastructure and life sciences, among others. Although English is a language of business in the Czech Republic, you will reach more consumers and make a lasting good impression on clients and potential business partners if you have you website and documents professionally translated into Czech by skilled linguists and use professional interpreters at conferences and business meetings to ensure maximum understanding. With its promising rate of growth and expanding opportunities, professional Czech translation and interpreting services have never been more in demand.
- Written Czech
Czech is written using Latin script, just like English. However, there are 42 letters in the Czech alphabet because Czech writing makes heavy use of accented letters. These accents change how certain letters are pronounced, for example softening or lengthening them, so they can’t be left out! One interesting thing about written Czech is that many words do not contain vowels and it is possible to construct entire sentences in Czech without a single vowel in them!
- Dialects of Czech
As well as a written and spoken standard, there are three distinct regional Czech dialects, all of which are mutually intelligible but differ in terms of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The first, which is called “Common Czech”, is spoken in Bohemia (primarily near Prague). One major difference is that adjectives do not end in ý (as in standard Czech) but instead in ej. Therefore, Strom je zelený (the tree is green) becomes Strom je zelenej when spoken.
Secondly, there is the Moravian dialect, which differs more extensively from standard Czech than Common Czech, and has more individual dialects that vary from town to town. This may be because there is no centre for this dialect, as there is with Prague for the Bohemian dialect. These dialects incorporate many German and Yiddish loanwords, for example šalina instead of tramvaj for “tram”, which comes from the German elektrischelinie.
Finally, there is the dialect spoken in Silesia, based around the city of Ostrava. It is influenced by both Czech and German, and although there are less grammatical divergences with standard Czech, the Silesian accent is quite different and people generally speak faster.
- Differences between Czech and English
According to the Defense Language Institute, Czech is one of the most difficult languages to learn for English native speakers. Here’s a little taste of some of the differences between Czech and English so you can see why!
• Czech has seven different grammatical cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, instrumental and vocative) for nouns, pronouns and adjectives. This means different grammatical aspects are expressed in the one word by changing their endings. This means there can be up to 14 different forms of one word (singular and plural)! To mark a point of contrast and show you quite how many that is, English only has two! For example, in the three sentences
o “I’m going to Prague.” (Jedu do Prahy.)
o “I’m in Prague.” (Já jsem v Praze.)
o “I love Prague.” (Miluju Prahu.)
the way that “Prague” is written changes.
• Czech does not have definite or indefinite articles. In English, we would have to distinguish between “I saw the man” and “I saw a man”, for example. In Czech, this would become “I saw man”. This can cause significant ambiguity, because translating back into English would mean having to decide whether to insert a definite or indefinite article, depending on the context.
• Like many other European languages but unlike English, Czech has two forms of the word “you” to address people, depending on how well they know them and the formality of the situation. Tykání is used to address friends, relatives and children, while vykání is reserved for strangers, superiors and more formal relationships.
• Stress is ALWAYS placed on the first syllable of a word, contrasting to English where stress can be placed on any syllable. Czech students of English therefore find it hard not to put stress on every word in a sentence (even short words like “a”, “the” or “by”).
• You do not capitalise days, months or seasons as you do in English. For example, you would say Je pondělí with a lowercase, whereas in English you would say “It’s Monday”.
• As in other European languages, the decimal point in Czech is a comma instead (3,14 instead of 3.14). Instead of using a comma to separate large numbers (1,000,000), a space is used instead (1 000 000). Dates are written using full stops instead of forward slashes (1.7.2015 rather than 01/07/2015).