The Czech language belongs to the Slavic family of languages, which includes Polish, Russian and Slovak. In Czech, the principal stress of the word is on the first syllable. Like German and unlike English, nouns have genders: masculine, feminine or neuter.

 Vowels are topped with accents to indicate different pronunciations. "A" without an accent is pronounced like the "u" in "cup", while "á" with an accent is pronounced like the "a" in "father". A small mark called a hácek tops some letters. "C" without an accent is pronounced like the "s" in "hats", while "c" with a hácek is pronounced like the "c" in charge.

  Did you know?
The word "robot" was invented by Karel Capek in a 1920 science fiction play called RUR (Rossum's Universal Robots). The word comes from an old Czech word, "robota", meaning hard work. 
When the Habsburgs of the Austrian Empire defeated the Czechs, they tried to suppress the Czech language. By the middle of the 18th century, only peasants spoke Czech, while many well-educated people spoke German. Czech was restored as a literary language in the early 19th century. German is still widely spoken, because the Czech Republic and Germany share a border and many Czechs have worked in Germany and Austria.

 During the Communist regime, Russian was taught as a compulsory subject in schools. Although most Czechs can speak Russian, very few use it today; most people prefer to learn English as a second language.

Time is expressed and written in an unusual way in the Czech Republic. For example, when it is 11:30, Czechs say it is "half twelve," written as 1/2 12. Also, 11:15 is "a quarter twelve," and 11:45 is "three-quarters twelve." There is also no equivalent to a.m. and p.m. Most Czechs specify ráno, meaning early morning, dopoledne (before noon), odpoledne (afternoon) or vecer (evening).
  English   Czech
  Yes   Ano
  No   Ne
  Please   Prosím
  Thank you   Dekuji
  Good day / Hello   Dobrýden
  Goodbye   Na shledanou 
  Water    Voda
  Tea   Caj
  Coffee   káva
  Did you know?
It is common to share a table at a bar or café. If there is only one patron in a restaurant, a second patron will always join the first. Strangers sharing a table wish each other "Bon appetit" before the meal.