The 9 Best Books to Learn Czech the Right Way

Gardenia Reynoso Last updated on May 22, 2023

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If you want to speak Czech, there are many resources available. Studying with a book provides a simple yet effective way to learn a language. This article can help you find the best Czech books available. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, there’s a book on this list that will help you learn Czech easily.

Best Books to Learn Czech

The Czech language is a gateway to the rich heritage of the Czech Republic. From the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia to the modern Czech Republic, the nation has played a vital role in shaping the course of European history. By learning Czech, you can better appreciate the works of famous Czech writers like Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera in their original language. The language also provides a unique insight into Czech customs, traditions, and humor, allowing learners to create a connection to the Czech people and their culture.

How Long Will It Take You To Learn Czech?​

What is your current level?

Upper Intermediate

What level do you want to reach?

Upper Intermediate

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In today’s globalized world, learning a foreign language is a necessary skill. And as one of the most spoken european languages, Czech is no exception. For travelers, speaking the language can make a visit to the Czech Republic much more enjoyable. The Czech people are known for their warmth and hospitality, and the ability to communicate with them can create a meaningful experience. And since it’s a popular tourist destination, the Czech Republic offers numerous opportunities for language learners to immerse themselves in the culture and practice their skills.

What Are The Best Books To Learn Czech?

There are quite a few books available for learning Czech. Each one has a unique approach and caters to different levels. The 9 books listed below have a combination of grammar explanations, vocabulary, dialogues, pronunciation practice, and cultural insights. By using these resources, you can gain a solid foundation in the Czech language and work your way towards fluency. 

Below are the nine best books to learn Czech. Scroll down to learn more about each one.

Best Overall Czech BookComplete Czech
Best for SpeakingColloquial Czech
Best for GrammarCzech: An Essential Grammar
Best for VocabularyCzech Frequency Dictionary
Best for Czech ImmersionCzech Step by Step
Best for ReadingFirst Czech Reader for Beginners
Best for PracticalityCzech-English/English-Czech Practical Dictionary
Best for TravelLonely Planet Czech Phrasebook & Dictionary
Best for Learners with Limited TimeCestina Expres

Complete Czech

Best Overall Czech Book

Complete Czech is best for beginners who want to progress to the intermediate level. It offers a comprehensive approach to learning Czech, with a focus on real-life situations and conversations. The book is accompanied by audio recordings, which are helpful for practicing pronunciation and listening comprehension. 

In general, the book is a comprehensive guide, covering all language skills such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and more. Reviewers thought it was a great option if you are studying with a tutor or teacher. See what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive way to learn Czech
  • Online tests to keep track of your progress.
  • Practice exercises to apply what you’ve learned

Colloquial Czech

Best for Speaking

Colloquial Czech is a comprehensive book that introduces learners to the basics of the Czech language. It covers grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and contains dialogues, exercises, and cultural notes. This book is well-organized and user-friendly, making it ideal for self-study or as a supplement to other language courses. 

One of the main advantages of Colloquial Czech is its focus on developing practical communication skills. The book uses authentic dialogues and real-life scenarios to help you learn how the language isi used. It’s best for beginner learners because it focuses primarily on the basics. Read what people thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • Detailed and simple grammar explanations
  • Dialogues that cover a wide range of situations
  • Practice exercises with answer key, grammar review, and bilingual glossaries

Czech: An Essential Grammar

Best for Grammar

Czech: An Essential Grammar is a comprehensive guide to grammar, providing clear explanations, examples, and exercises. It’s a valuable resource for learners of all levels, but will be more useful for intermediate to advanced learners. Although it’s primarily a reference book, it can also be used for self-study or as a supplement to other Czech language courses.

The best part of the book is its thorough and systematic explanations of Czech grammar rules. The book also includes tables and charts that help with learning and memorization. It provides insights into the historical and cultural aspects of the Czech language, which can enhance learners’ understanding and appreciation of the language. Learn more about the book here.

Key Features

  • Emphasis on the language’s morphology and syntax.
  • Real-world examples.
  • Comprehensive index for quick information access.

Czech Frequency Dictionary

Best for Vocabulary

Czech Frequency Dictionary is a valuable resource for learners who want to learn the most common Czech words and phrases. It includes the 2,500 most frequently used words, with example sentences and English translations. This book is for beginner and intermediate learners and includes vocabulary from CEFR levels A1 to B1.

The frequency-based approach of this dictionary help you learn the most common vocabulary. The example sentences also provide essential context for understanding how the words are used in real-life situations. This book can help you learn new words, but it’s primarily a reference tool and does not offer a structured learning program. It’s best to use it in combination with other resources that provide grammar instruction and practice activities.

Key Features

  • Practice exercises, images, and explanations that help students comprehend grammar topics
  • Divided into independent sections
  • Illustrated workbook with activities for each unit

Czech Step by Step

Best for Czech Immersion

Czech Step by Step is a well-structured book that covers grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation in a systematic way. This book is suitable for beginners and intermediate learners and can be used for self-study or as part of a formal language course. The book contains more than 20 lessons, which cover topics like greetings, family, transportation, and food. Each lesson includes grammar explanations, vocabulary lists, dialogues, exercises, and cultural notes.

One potential drawback is that the grammar explanations may be challenging for complete beginners, as they are written in Czech. However, this can also be an advantage because it encourages learners to immerse themselves in the language. See what else people thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • Elementary and pre-intermediate courses with parallel Czech-English texts
  • Each sentence uses only words explained in previous chapters
  • Funny stories about real-life events like meeting people, studying, looking for a job, and working.

First Czech Reader is an excellent supplement to other Czech learning materials. It provides authentic and engaging content to practice reading. Additionally, the bilingual format enables learners to check their understanding and gain confidence in their reading abilities. The accompanying audio recordings also help improve listening and pronunciation skills. 

Many reviewers highlighted that you can easily understand what is being said because the speaker and the audio for this book do an outstanding job of repeating each word in the vocabulary at the beginning of the audio session and speak slowly with emphasis on the syllables.

 Key Features

  • Elementary and Pre-intermediate courses with parallel Czech-English texts
  • Each sentence uses only words explained in previous chapters
  • Funny stories about real-life events like meeting people, studying, looking for a job, and working.

The Czech-English/English-Czech Practical Dictionary is a bilingual dictionary containing approximately 30,000 entries. This resource is for learners of all levels who need a reliable reference for vocabulary and basic grammar. It’s better for English-speaking Czech learners than for Czech-speaking English learners. The emphasis is on common vocabulary rather than on literary language.

The dictionary is well-organized and easy to navigate, with entries listed in alphabetical order and accompanied by pronunciation guides. Additionally, the inclusion of grammatical information, such as gender and plural forms, is helpful for learners who are developing their understanding of Czech grammar. One limitation, however, is that the dictionary does not provide example sentences or idiomatic expressions, which can be crucial for understanding the nuances of vocabulary usage. See what people who used the book thought about it here.

Key Features

  • Alphabet and pronunciation keys
  • More than 42,000 entries 
  • Clear linguistic grammar

Lonely Planet Czech Phrasebook & Dictionary is a compact resource for travelers who want to learn essential Czech phrases and vocabulary. The phrasebook contains over 3,500 phrases and expressions, grouped into categories such as food, accommodation, and transportation. 

This resource is particularly beneficial for learners who are interested in developing their speaking and listening skills for practical communication. The inclusion of a pronunciation guide, cultural tips, and a two-way dictionary makes one of the best Czech phrasebooks available. Most reviewers said this book is pocket size which is convenient as you can easily carry it with you. See what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Key Features

  • 3500-word two-way dictionary
  • Helpful words and phrases for travel
  • Breaks down the words phonetically in both Czech and English

Cestina Expres

Best for Learners with Limited Time

Cestina Expres is an excellent resource for beginners who want to learn basic Czech in a short amount of time. The book is designed for students who need to achieve basic proficiency for travel or work. Cestina Expres has seven lessons that cover essential topics including: introductions, directions, family, and more. The book uses a communicative approach that focuses on essential phrases and vocabulary to help you navigate everyday situations.

One of the strengths of this book is its presentation of grammar in context, which helps students to learn grammar rules in a natural way. Additionally, it includes a variety of practice exercises that reinforce what you learn. Cestina Expres is a practical and accessible resource for time-constrained learners. See if the book is right for you here.

Key Features

  • Czech coursebook with a workbook and an extra supplement with vocabulary, grammar tables, and explanations in English and other languages.
  • Written completely in the Czech language
  • Divided into 7 thematic units

Why You Should Use Books for Learning Czech

Learning a new language can be a daunting task, and choosing the right resources is essential to achieving fluency. While there are many ways to learn Czech, books remain one of the most effective and comprehensive ways to learn. The primary reasons for using books include accessibility, in-depth explanations, and the development of reading skills. 

Books are readily available online or in stores, and many are designed specifically for language learners. These books often provide a well-structured curriculum that helps you progress in a systematic manner, ensuring that they build upon previous knowledge and acquire new skills at a steady pace. 

Additionally, books offer flexibility in terms of learning pace and style. Unlike classroom settings or online courses, books allow learners to progress at their own pace and revisit previous sections as needed. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for adult learners, who may have different learning styles and time constraints.

How To Use Books To Learn the Czech Language

If you are wondering how to learn Czech and maximize the benefits of using books, here are some practical tips:

1. Choose the right book: Select a book that matches your current proficiency level and learning goals. Beginners may benefit from books that focus on basic vocabulary and grammar, while more advanced learners may prefer books that explore complex language structures or literary works.

2. Set a study schedule: Establish a regular study schedule and allocate sufficient time for reading, reviewing, and practicing. Consistency is key for language learning, and setting aside dedicated study time can help you maintain motivation and progress.

3. Engage in active reading: Rather than passively reading the text, engage in active reading strategies such as underlining key points, taking notes, and summarizing key concepts.

4. Use other resources: While books are an excellent resource for learning Czech, it is essential to supplement them with other learning materials such as language apps, podcasts, or exchange programs. These resources can help you acheive well-rounded language skills.

Best Books To Learn Czech: Final Thoughts

All of the resources mentioned in this article offer unique benefits for learners of the Czech language. These books cater to different learning preferences, covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading skills. You can choose the resources that best suit your needs and goals, whether you are beginners, intermediate, or advanced students. You’ll be speaking Czech before you know it!

Best Books to Learn Czech: FAQ

What is the best book to learn Czech?

One of the best books to learn Czech is Complete Czech by David Short. Complete Czech offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers important aspects of the Czech language, including grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation skills. This comprehensive approach ensures that learners have a solid foundation in the language.

What is the best way to learn Czech?

When it comes to learning a new language, using combination of methods is most effective. In addition to using a high-quality textbook, learners should also have regularly practice listening and speaking. Listening to native speakers and attempting to communicate in Czech will help you to develop you listening comprehension and speaking abilities more rapidly.

Is it difficult to learn Czech?

The US Department of State considers Czech to be a hard language if English is your native language. Czech presents several challenges, such as complex grammar and pronunciation. But you can overcome these difficulties with regular practice and the use of effective learning strategies.

Try this fluency calculator so you can have a notion of how long will it take you to learn Czech.

Can I learn Czech in 3 months?

While it may be possible to achieve a basic level of conversational proficiency in Czech in three months, it’s important to recognize that language learning is a long-term process. The time required to become proficient in a language depends on factors such as study time and the quality of the learning material available. To become truly proficient in Czech, you’ll have to invest significant time and effort into your studies.

Gardenia Reynoso

Gardenia Reynoso is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She loves connecting with people from other cultures and learning new languages. She had the opportunity to travel to different countries and received a scholarship to work and study in South Korea. She also enjoys dancing and playing the piano.

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