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 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (15)
  • Portable (15)
  • It works (14)
  • Fun (10)
  • Perfects accent (10)

Cons

  • Too fast (6)

Best Uses

  • Self-improvement (13)
  • Travel (12)
  • Business/work (7)
  • Fun (7)
  • Family background/heritage (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Traveler (14), Business person (5), Student (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good, but a few road blocks

This is my second time using Pimsleur, the first was German and was a great experience. Czech is necessarily more difficult as it leaves the Germanic/Latin roots of Western Europe. Also, words...Read complete review

This is my second time using Pimsleur, the first was German and was a great experience. Czech is necessarily more difficult as it leaves the Germanic/Latin roots of Western Europe. Also, words are not phonetically helpful in the written form.

I was up to lesson 5 and was having a moderately easy time of it until, in lesson 6, Czech words were split apart, components reversed and the sentence structure rearranged. I realized the lesson didn't give any guidance in the changes. Other than the moderator telling us to "Be careful of the word order", there was little guidance. Eventually, by using pad and paper, and writting the sentences out phonetically, I was able to reason what was happenning in the word structure and muddle through. It was suprising that after such a positive experience with German and flowing along rather nicely through 5 lessons of Czech, that we would be left on our own at what seemed and important break with the logic of the lesson.

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 17 customers

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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.

 
5.0

Get started!

By jg

from Oregon

About Me Teacher, Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    I've been listening to a lesson every morning while I do back exercises and I'll have my last oral lesson tomorrow. I found myself pausing it on occasion to give me enough time to compose a sentence, but usually the timing was good. I also found myself seeing the written forms of words in my mind and I am anxious to start the reading lessons, though I think I'll go back to the aural ones occasionally. I think it's a great way to start learning a language.

    I actually was/am trying to learn Slovak and I chose Czech because I was told they were mutually intelligible, but I still would like to learn Slovak.

     
    5.0

    Looking to advance

    By Dan

    from Milwaukee, WI

    About Me Teacher, Traveler

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accessible
    • Easy to use
    • Fun
    • It Works

    Cons

    • Only One Level

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    This is an amazing course for people looking to learn conversational Czech. It is incomplete, due to the fact that each region of the country has a different way of talking, but you would always be understood. It takes you slowly through the words and phrases that will be immediately helpful after getting off the plane, then by the time you finish the course, you should be able to get around Prague without feeling like there's a linguistic wall is between you and everyone you meet.
    I highly recommend this and look forward to Level 2!

    Service and delivery comments:

    We need Level 2 ASAP!!!

     
    4.0

    Very good program

    By Momma Z

    from Odell, IL

    About Me Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Too Fast

    Best Uses

    • Business/Work
    • Family background/Heritage
    • Self-improvement
    • Travel

    Comments about Czech Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    I'm 47 years old and taking on learning a new language for the first time in over 30 years. I am mostly Czech by heritage and am planning on going to the Czech Republic on a missions trip with my son and husband. My son is also using this program - though he learns faster than I do. I usually spend a half hour on the lessons in the early morning before my children wake up, or in the evening after they are in bed. I rarely complete a whole lesson in that time frame, as I stop it when I am having trouble remembering or pronouncing something. But I'm ok with that. I may learn a little more slowly, but I am learning!

    I really like Pimsleur's conversational approach, mixed with spending time learning new words intermittantly, the way I have to think about things sometimes, rather than just repeating. Lesson time flies by. I like how it's teaching the various tenses of words in that context, rather than having me memorize lists of words as I did in high school Spanish. But, I do have to agree with another review I read before purchasing Pimsleur Czech - starting with lesson 6, the people are sometimes talking so fast I can hardly distinguish words in the longer sentences. That, combined with new words that were just practiced a few times and then thrown into a new, longer sentence that has a completely different structure, has made it difficult for me. I've found I have to listen to the lesson in my music program on the computer so that I can stop it, rewind (so to speak), and listen again - sometimes several times - to be able to discern what the words are. If I were actually talking to a person who realized I wasn't understanding, that person would slow down for me. I can't make that happen with a recording. That really, is the only serious criticism I have, and the reason for rating this program a 4 rather than a 5.

    Being a visual learner I would also prefer to see the words while I'm hearing them so I don't see them in my mind with English spelling, but it's not crucial.

    I would definitely recommend this program to others

    Service and delivery comments:

    The only improvement I would make would be to have the people speak more slowly when new sentences are being taught. Better enunciation of the words would also help, as some of the Czech sounds are completely new to speakers of English. Sometimes I can't figure out exactly how words are being pronounced, so I don't know how to say them. My 16-year-old son is learning with me, and he doesn't have the same problems I do - probably because his mind is younger!

    I know the guide says to not worry about learning the alphabet first, and to not take notes or look at the words yet - I'm very visual and I "see" them anyway. I'm afraid that's going to cause me trouble later since I'm spelling these words in my head with English phonics. I would prefer to be learning the Czech spelling/alphabet along with it, so it would all be learned at once. At this point I'm trusting Mr. Pimsleur's research that produced this program and not looking at the word lists. Overall, I'm very excited to be learning Czech!

     
    4.0

    Good Teaching Method

    By Blue Line Kid

    from Florida

    About Me Business person, Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Need Sections In Lessons

    Best Uses

    • Business/Work
    • Self-improvement
    • Travel

    Comments about Czech, Comprehensive:

    I use the CD lessons several times to get it.
    The gradual movement of the training from simple to more complex is well structured.
    Some simple things like numbers and travel terms could be introduced sooner.
    We need a level 2 Course. I only have level 1 with lessons 1 - 30 and the reference CD.

    Displaying reviews 1-5

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