Czech Alphabet

Czech Alphabet

If you're trying to learn the Czech Alphabet you will find some useful resources including a course about pronunciation, and sound of all letters... to help you with your Czech grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and memorize the sounds. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Czech. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!

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Czech Alphabet

Learning the Czech alphabet is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. Without it, you will not be able to say words properly even if you know how to write those words. The better you pronounce a letter in a word, the more understood you will be in speaking the Czech language.

Below is a table showing the Czech alphabet and how it is pronounced in English, and finally examples of how those letters would sound if you place them in a word.

Czech AlphabetEnglish SoundPronunciation Example
A auu like in the word fun
Á áaa like in the word father
B bbb like in the word bat
C ctsts like in the word bits
Č čchch like in the word chat
D ddd like in the word dog
Ď ďdydy sound like 'du' in duel
E eee like in the word red
É éaiai like in the word pair
Ě ěyeye like in the word yes
F fff like in the word far
G ggg like in the word gap
H hhh like in the word hot
CH chchch like in the word loch
I iii like in the word fit
Í íeeee like in the word bee
J jyy like in the word yes
K kkk like in the word kit
L lll like in the word lip
M mmm like in the word mat
N nnn like in the word nut
Ň ňnyny sound like  'n' in onion
O ooo like in the word hot
Ó óoooo like in the word door
P ppp like in the word pin
R rrr like in the word rat
Ř řrž sound like  'rg' in bourgois
S sss like in the word sun
Š šshsh like in the word ship
T ttt like in the word top
Ť ťtyty sound like  'tu' in tune
U uuu like in the word push
Ú úoooo like in the word fool
Ů ůoooo like in the word fool
V vvv like in the word vat
Y yii like in the word bit
Ý ýeeee like in the word bee
Z zzz like in the word zip
Ž žzhzh sound like  's' in treasure
Qq, Ww, Xx in foreign words only

Czech Pronunciation

You saw how a letter is written and might be pronounced, but there is nothing better than hearing the sound of the letters in a video or audio. Below you will be able to hear how the letters above are pronounced, just press the play button:

Czech Pronunciation

Spelling Lesson:

Written Czech is based on Latin alphabet.  As a result of several reforms,  an “Extended Latin” alphabet was established, with strong emphasis on straightforwardness. Some Latin characters exist in two variants, i.e. hard and soft consonants s and š (like in sine/shine) or short and long vowels o and ó (like in cost / door). Czech spelling is almost purely “phonetical”, i.e. one character represents one sound. For instance ř is always written and pronounced the same way, no matter what comes prior or after it in the word.

There are only few spelling exceptions from this simple system:

i/y  both are pronounced the same, like in disk, kid, whip. Accented í/ý is pronounced longer, like in speed, wheel, sleep.  After hard consonants (h, ch, k, r, d, t, n), only y/ý follows. After soft consonants (ž,š, č, ř, ť, j, ď, ť, ň), only i/í follows.  After “ambidexters” (b, f, l, m, p, s, v, z), usually i/í follows, but there are cca 100  so called Memorable Words (+ all other words derived from these) where y/ý follows.

je/ě – both pronounced the same, like in yellow, yetti. Normally,  je is used where the sound j is  a part of the word stem, such as boj/boje (fight/fights) , while ě is used in grammatical affixes or where a non-j stem is being changed, such as zpívat/zpěvák (to sing/singer).

 

mě/mně – both pronounced m-nye. The  3rd and 6th case of the pronounis spelled mně, while the 2nd and 4th case of  same is spelled mě.  Again, this sound in words derived from an m-n based stem  is spelled mně, such as vzpomínat/vzpomněl (to remember/he remembered).

 

As you can see from the above, these exceptions can be either painfully memorised, or a throughout knowledge of Czech etymology is required. However, making a mistake or even a string of mistakes in these   have very little negative impact on intelligibility.


The alphabet and its pronunciation have a very important role in Czech, therefore they need very special attention. Once you're done with Czech alphabet, you might want to check the rest of our Czech lessons here: Learn Czech. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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