Boasting a wealth of grand historical and cultural sites, Prague is commonly known as one of the most beautiful cities n Europe. If you’re planning on heading to the capital of the Czech Republic, you’ll have the chance to explore cobbled alleyways in the Old Town, find ancient history in Prague Castle and take a stroll over Charles Bridge. Don’t forget to sample the famous local beer; the Pilsner Uquell and Kozel’s are a must-try when you book a holiday to Prague.
Here at Thomas Cook, we know that a little knowledge goes a long way. It’s always wise to be in the know before heading off to another country. So we’ve compiled a basic guide to the local language in Prague to help you on your way.
What language is spoken in Prague?
The official language in Prague is Czech (or “čeština”), which is also the official language of the Czech Republic. Don’t worry if you’re not a fluent speaker or you don’t understand the language; this is a popular tourist destination, so you should easily be able to get by with English during your stay.
You’ll find that a lot of locals, otherwise known as ‘Praguers’, speak at least a little bit of English, particularly at main attractions, restaurants and hotels. You’ll also notice that information and instructions are commonly written in English. All the same, it’s always worth picking up a few key words and phrases when you travel abroad; it’s polite to do so, and you never know when they might come in handy. Plus, the locals are sure to appreciate your efforts, even if you stumble a little over the pronunciation.
About language in Prague
Czech is a West Slavic language that has been heavily influenced by Latin and German. If you’ve ever heard Slovakian, spoken in neighbouring Slovakia, you’ll notice that it sounds quite similar.
Czech is considered a challenging language to learn, although you may hear the odd English-sounding word being spoken by the locals.
The Czech Republic is the only country to have Czech as the official language. The second most widely spoken foreign language in Prague is German, and the third most common is Russian. This is because Germany and Russia (the former Soviet Union) have played influential roles Czech history. Since Prague is a firm favourite as a tourist destination, and a multi-cultural city, don’t be surprised to hear a lot of different languages being spoken as you make your way through the city. Around 200,000 foreigners live in Prague. The biggest group are Ukrainian, while others come from Slovakia, Russia, and even Vietnam.
Ready to learn?
It’s always polite to learn some of the local language before travelling to another country. So why not ‘Czech’ out our list of essential vocab to help you get to grips with the local Prague language? Whether you’re at the airport, in a restaurant or buying your morning coffee, you never know when a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ could be helpful.