The Czech language is a Slavic language related to such languages as Russian, Polish and Slovak. It’s spoken by around 12 million people in the world and the majority of these people live in the Czech Republic in Central Europe. But where else is Czech spoken in the world?
According to a survey, Czech is spoken by close to 99% of the people in the Czech republic. The Czech Republic actually has one of the highest degrees of native language homogeneity in the world. Secondly, almost 25% of the Slovak population speak Czech, followed by 2% of Portuguese, 1% of Polish and 0.5% of the German population.
But is that all? There’s a Czech presence in many countries in the world due to immigration. While many people in the Czech diaspora might have assimilated to local culture and forgotten the Czech language, one can’t ignore these numbers.
1,5 million Americans are of Czech descent, yet only around 70,000 report Czech as being their mother tongue. (That’s about 0.02 % of the American population)
In Canada there’s around 300,000 people of Czech descent, in the UK and Austria around 100,000 each. And there are several thousand people of Czech descent in countries such as Australia, France, Ireland, Norway and Serbia. But who knows how many of them actually speak Czech?
That’s all very fine.. But here’s the deal about Czech
While many countries have Czech immigrants and descendants, Czech won’t get you far outside of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Slovakia and the Czech Republic have a long and close relationship (not limited to their time as Czechoslovakia). This means that not only do 25% of Slovaks speak Czech, but the Slovak language is understandable by a Czech speakers too. So the Czech language will easily let you travel in Slovakia.
So what about other countries close to the Czech Republic that speak related languages? Well.. Polish is close to Czech, but it’s not the same thing. You might be able to communicate in a primitive way, but you won’t be able to converse. Ukrainian and Belarusian is even worse!
As for the rest of the world?
Well.. You’ll probably need to search a while before stumbling on a Czech speaker.