Czech, Comprehensive

Czech, Comprehensive

Learn to Speak and Understand Czech with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • This Edition: CD ( Also available in: MP3 )
  • Lessons: 30
  • ISBN: 9780743544818
  • Availability: In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
  • List Price: $345.00

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Learn a new language while commuting, while cleaning the house, or working out. Like millions before you, discover the power of the scientifically sequenced and portable Pimsleur Method.

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Description

Includes 30 lessons and reading instruction on 16 CDs, plus a reading booklet

Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic. There are approximately 12 million native speakers. The two largest dialect groups in the Czech Republic are Bohemian (most widely spoken) and Hanak Moravian, spoken in the southeast. Pimsleur's Czech teaches the Bohemian dialect.

Comprehensive Czech  includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus an introduction to reading. Upon completion of this program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures.

  • In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
  • In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
  • In the final 10 lessons of Phase 1, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.

Reading Lessons are included at the end of Unit 30 to provide you with an introduction to reading the Czech alphabet. These lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.

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REVIEWS SUMMARY

by PowerReviews
PimsleurCzech Phase 1, Units 1-30
 
4.4

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (19)
  • It works (18)
  • Portable (17)
  • Fun (10)
  • Perfects accent (10)

Cons

  • Too fast (6)

Best Uses

  • Self-improvement (16)
  • Travel (15)
  • Business/work (10)
  • Fun (8)
  • Family background/heritage (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Traveler (17), Business person (8), Student (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Challenging

I am preparing for a trip to Prague and am almost done with the 30 lessons. Thanks to this course, I am confident I will be able to communicate in Czech in life's basic...Read complete review

I am preparing for a trip to Prague and am almost done with the 30 lessons. Thanks to this course, I am confident I will be able to communicate in Czech in life's basic situations. I highly recommend the Pimsleur lessons to anyone. This is my 4th language through Pimsleur, and I will hopefully continue learning many more.

Besides all the positive, I do have a few issues with this course specifically. And I can see I am in agreement with other reviewers in some of my points:

- Speed and repetition. Some extremely long phrases are introduced very fast and with few repetitions. This is the case specifically in lesson 6 where the "kde byste si chtel dat neco k piti" rapid-fire sentence is first heard (sorry, spelling is probably not correct). Well, I spent several hours with that lesson, plus some serious digging on the internet. Finally I nailed it.

- Breaking up of phrases. It is hard to determine just by listening where one word ends and the other begins. And when a phrase like the one above is suddenly broken into pieces (even at points that the listener thought were the middle of a word), then reshuffled and mixed in with some additional new words, repeated maybe twice (very fast), not to be heard again until several minutes later, well, that's when the student just throws up his or her hands, has a drink, takes a deep breath, and starts again. Suggestion: please make sure to indicate the individual words within a phrase, especially a long one like the ones we are up against in this Czech course. Sometimes very simple words and phrases are repeated many more times than these really long ones. If a little more care were taken to properly introduce them in the beginning, one would not need to spend countless extra hours on one lesson. We could just easily move on to the next one. BTW, this point applies to other languages I encountered, as well. But it is more pronounced here.

- Tone and pronunciation. First of all, the lessons are spoken in a very low voice. Many times I can hardly hear the end of the words. Then the voice, especially the male voice, is very monotonous, unemotional, shall I say boring. Good bedtime listening. Also, he has this habit of making those phantom sounds before/after saying a word. I happily practiced the word "hano" as "yes", until I heard it from the female voice and realized it was "ano", without the "H" in front. Or he says "korun-uh" when the word is simply "korun". This was very confusing and a big problem for me throughout the course. I learned not to trust his pronunciation, waiting for the female voice instead to say it before committing to a pronunciation.

- Czech pronunciation. I did not have a very hard time mastering the special Czech sounds (I do have some background). However, I did mistake some letters for others in the audio. I only realized my mistake after I saw and recognized those words in the reading lessons. Thus, "něco k piKí" turned out to be "něco k piTí", and "pojďte dáO" proved to be "pojďte dáL". Oh, well. But this is where a transcript of the lessons would prove really useful. Or at least if the reading lessons contained more of the words that come up in the audio lessons.

- Other problems. I forgot which lesson it was, it was about numbers. And suddenly she says the word "jsou" in a sentence, without any explanation or further reference. This is not in the initial conversation but deep inside the lesson where one is supposed to repeat everything one hears. It is several lessons later that we are officially introduced to the word that is the plural form of "to be": jsou - are.
At another time, the narrator suddenly says "second"; it clearly does not belong there. The lesson continues without any reference to it. It must be some editing issue.

There are other minor issues but these were my main ones. All in all, I think this course needs some thorough quality assurance review, hopefully a more accurate (and livelier!!!) male voice, and a slight re-balancing of the time spent on easy vs really difficult words/phrases, and it would be perfect.

Other than the above, this is still a very good introducion into Czech, I highly recommend it to anyone. It is especially good for businessmen travelling to a conference with family who want to rent a car. Others may be left wanting to learn different words and phrases but it is still a good first step into a new language. It gives you the tools to strike up a conversaion with any native speaker and, from then on, only the sky is the limit.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

the speakers speak too quickly

I finished the course and I learned a lot. The main drawback is that many of the new words and phrases are spoken too rapidly. The Czech sound system is quite complex, so...Read complete review

I finished the course and I learned a lot. The main drawback is that many of the new words and phrases are spoken too rapidly. The Czech sound system is quite complex, so the native speakers really need to slow down when introducing new words and phrases. With the help of a separate phrase book and a lot of repetiion, I was able to figure out most of the phrases.

Reviewed by 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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4.0

Best way to learn a new languange

By Filpudo

from Sweden

About Me Business person

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • It Works

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Business/Work
    • Self-improvement

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    Best way to learn a new language. The voice actors could speak a little slower and wait a little longer sometimes.

    Service and delivery comments:

    It was OK.

     
    5.0

    Helping a lot

    By Canadian-Czech

    from Camrose, Alberta, Canada

    About Me Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • It Works
    • Portable

    Cons

    • Time commitment

    Best Uses

    • Self-improvement
    • Travel

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    Only on session #6 but am able to recall and use what I have learned

    Service and delivery comments:

    Great download system

     
    4.0

    Excellent Conversation Builder

    By DrHolt

    from Hradec Králové Czech Republic

    About Me Business person, Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • It Works

    Cons

    • Time commitment

    Best Uses

    • Business/Work
    • Travel

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    Czech is a very difficulty, with all the extra letters and many different endings to the same words. Pimsleur's approach builds common conversational language like a child learns. It gets way from trying to memorize tables of declensions. Each lesson builds naturally on the previous (with just enough reminders of previous learning).
    But, I'm old now. I have to try and write down what I'm learning to spark my visual memory. I wish there was a transcript.
    I'm also using several other methods of learning Czech (WordPower, private lessons, TV, radio, shopping, reading Czech with a corresponding English translation) which isn't recommended. Czech is just a tough language. I'm glad Pimsleur is there.
    I'm getting better though. Practice is the best reminder of what is being learned. Never give up.

    Service and delivery comments:

    Loved the quick Internet download.

     
    5.0

    Listen...Speak...Repeat!

    By Wildman

    from New York City

    About Me Business person, Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • It Works
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Business/Work
      • Family background/Heritage
      • Just for fun
      • Self-improvement
      • Travel

      Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

      Listen, Speak and Repeat until mastered!

      Just remember the above mantra and you'll find Pimsleur is the best learnign course for someone interested in actually using- and speaking- a foreign language.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Challenging

      By VtheLearner

      from Florida

      About Me Business person, Student, Traveler

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to use
      • Engaging
      • Fun
      • It Works
      • Perfects Accent
      • Portable

      Cons

      • Male Makes Phantom Sounds
      • Male Voice Boring
      • Not Loud Enough
      • Too Fast

      Best Uses

      • Business/Work
      • Self-improvement
      • Travel

      Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

      I am preparing for a trip to Prague and am almost done with the 30 lessons. Thanks to this course, I am confident I will be able to communicate in Czech in life's basic situations. I highly recommend the Pimsleur lessons to anyone. This is my 4th language through Pimsleur, and I will hopefully continue learning many more.

      Besides all the positive, I do have a few issues with this course specifically. And I can see I am in agreement with other reviewers in some of my points:

      - Speed and repetition. Some extremely long phrases are introduced very fast and with few repetitions. This is the case specifically in lesson 6 where the "kde byste si chtel dat neco k piti" rapid-fire sentence is first heard (sorry, spelling is probably not correct). Well, I spent several hours with that lesson, plus some serious digging on the internet. Finally I nailed it.

      - Breaking up of phrases. It is hard to determine just by listening where one word ends and the other begins. And when a phrase like the one above is suddenly broken into pieces (even at points that the listener thought were the middle of a word), then reshuffled and mixed in with some additional new words, repeated maybe twice (very fast), not to be heard again until several minutes later, well, that's when the student just throws up his or her hands, has a drink, takes a deep breath, and starts again. Suggestion: please make sure to indicate the individual words within a phrase, especially a long one like the ones we are up against in this Czech course. Sometimes very simple words and phrases are repeated many more times than these really long ones. If a little more care were taken to properly introduce them in the beginning, one would not need to spend countless extra hours on one lesson. We could just easily move on to the next one. BTW, this point applies to other languages I encountered, as well. But it is more pronounced here.

      - Tone and pronunciation. First of all, the lessons are spoken in a very low voice. Many times I can hardly hear the end of the words. Then the voice, especially the male voice, is very monotonous, unemotional, shall I say boring. Good bedtime listening. Also, he has this habit of making those phantom sounds before/after saying a word. I happily practiced the word "hano" as "yes", until I heard it from the female voice and realized it was "ano", without the "H" in front. Or he says "korun-uh" when the word is simply "korun". This was very confusing and a big problem for me throughout the course. I learned not to trust his pronunciation, waiting for the female voice instead to say it before committing to a pronunciation.

      - Czech pronunciation. I did not have a very hard time mastering the special Czech sounds (I do have some background). However, I did mistake some letters for others in the audio. I only realized my mistake after I saw and recognized those words in the reading lessons. Thus, "něco k piKí" turned out to be "něco k piTí", and "pojďte dáO" proved to be "pojďte dáL". Oh, well. But this is where a transcript of the lessons would prove really useful. Or at least if the reading lessons contained more of the words that come up in the audio lessons.

      - Other problems. I forgot which lesson it was, it was about numbers. And suddenly she says the word "jsou" in a sentence, without any explanation or further reference. This is not in the initial conversation but deep inside the lesson where one is supposed to repeat everything one hears. It is several lessons later that we are officially introduced to the word that is the plural form of "to be": jsou - are.
      At another time, the narrator suddenly says "second"; it clearly does not belong there. The lesson continues without any reference to it. It must be some editing issue.

      There are other minor issues but these were my main ones. All in all, I think this course needs some thorough quality assurance review, hopefully a more accurate (and livelier!!!) male voice, and a slight re-balancing of the time spent on easy vs really difficult words/phrases, and it would be perfect.

      Other than the above, this is still a very good introducion into Czech, I highly recommend it to anyone. It is especially good for businessmen travelling to a conference with family who want to rent a car. Others may be left wanting to learn different words and phrases but it is still a good first step into a new language. It gives you the tools to strike up a conversaion with any native speaker and, from then on, only the sky is the limit.

      Service and delivery comments:

      Needs quality assurance review. Needs slower introduction, with more and slower repetition, of long phrases. Needs a wider vocabulary.

      Displaying reviews 1-5

      Back to top

      Previous | Next »