Czech Alphabet

The standard Latin script consists of 26 letters (the same letters are used in English). The Czech alphabet consists of 42 letters. Most of the added letters are letters from the standard Latin script with various diacritics.

Czech has 3 diacritical marks. In many languages, diacritical marks indicate a change in the pronunciation of a letter; however, the resulting character is not considered a separate character of the alphabet. In Czech, the diacritical marks indicate different characters. As another change, the letter combination ‘ch’ is its own single character, the ‘ch’ character.

The letters with diacritics are: Á á, Č č, Ď ď, É é, Ě ě, Í í, Ň ň, Ó ó, Ř ř, Š š, Ť ť, Ú ú, Ů ů, Ý ý, and Ž ž.

Ú and ů are the same; the difference is that ů is used inside words, while ú is used at the start of words.

The acute accent letters (Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý) and Ů indicate long vowels. The hacek (ˇ) indicates historical palatalization of the base letter.

The letters Q, W and X are used exclusively in foreign words and the former two are replaced with Kv and V once the word becomes “naturalized”; the digraphs dz and dž are also used mostly for foreign words and do not have a separate place in the alphabet.

Stress is always on the first syllable in Czech; a monosyllabic preposition (if any) counts as the first syllable of the following word. A vowel in any syllable can be either long or short. The length of Czech vowels is completely independent from the stress.

Czech has word-final devoicing of consonants. This means that in speech, voiced consonants are pronounced as their voiceless counterparts.

Generally, one alphabet character corresponds to one sound, with only a few extra rules, which makes learning to read Czech words fairly easy.

Czech Vocabulary

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FAQs about Czech

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