Czech Alphabet

With my 7th grade class, I’m currently doing a unit on language. During one lesson last week, we listened to and discussed  an episode from the podcast “I Will Teach You a Language.” The episode was “How to Learn a Language from Home.” The host of the podcast is Olly Richards, a guy who’s taught himself eight languages.

I told my students that I wasn’t fully buying Richards’ argument that it’s relatively easy to learn a language from home and admitted that I was still struggling to learn Czech on my own (luckily I’ve started a Czech class!). I made a joke that I still didn’t really know the alphabet after four months (and a previous year living in Prague).

My students took this very seriously and decided to teach me the alphabet on the spot. It took about ten minutes; they all said each letter and then I repeated after them. They got a kick out of correcting all my mistakes. But it worked; I learned the alphabet better with them than I did on my own or in my Czech class. I’m still working on the two trickiest letters: ch and ř.

a [ah]

b [beh]

c [tseh]

č [cheh]

d [deh]

d’ [dyeh]

e [eh]

f [ef]

g [geh]

h [hah]

ch [?]

i [ee]

j [yeh]

l [el]

m [em]

n [en]

ň [en-yeh]

o [ow]

p [peh]

q [kveh]

r [er]

ř [?], I’ve heard juh and er-juh and a rolled rrrr

s [es]

š (esh]

t [teh]

t’ [t-yeh]

u [oo]

v [veh]

w [dvo-yiteh-veh]

x [iks]

y [ipsilon]

z [zet]

ž [jet]






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