The Czech Language
Spoken by approximately 13 million people worldwide, Czech sits in the Western Slavic language family.
Origins and Brief History:
- The Czech language, an Indo-European language, is a part of the West Slavic family, including Polish, Slovak, and Sorbian.
- Its earliest form, Old Czech, was used in the 11th-14th centuries, followed by Middle Czech, which was widely used between the 15th and 18th centuries.
- Modern Czech emerged in the late 18th century, concurrent with efforts by the Czech National Revival movement to resurrect Czech as a language of scholarship and literature.
- The language as we know it today was standardized in the 19th century by linguist Josef Dobrovský and his colleagues.
Number of Speakers:
- It is estimated that there are around 10.7 million native Czech speakers, most of whom reside in the Czech Republic.
- Additionally, there are a significant number of second-language speakers in other countries, particularly those bordering the Czech Republic.
Official Language Status:
Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union.
Example of Text:
“Dobrý den, jak se máte? Můj jazyk je český.” (Good day, how are you? My language is Czech).
Usage and Spread:
- Czech is primarily used in the Czech Republic, though it is also spoken by Czech communities around the world, including those in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
- Besides everyday communication, Czech is used for educational purposes, in media, literature, and the internet. It has a standardized form and numerous (four) dialects influenced by regional characteristics.
English Words in Czech:
Like many languages, Czech has borrowed a number of words from English, particularly in technology and popular culture. These include “internet,” “computer,” “smartphone,” and “jazz.”
Czech Words in English:
Some Czech words have found their way into English, often through music and politics. These include “robot” (coined by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play “R.U.R.”) and “polka” (a genre of dance and music). The word “pistol” also potentially has Czech origins, derived from the Czech word “píšťala,” meaning pipe or flute.
One interesting fact about the Czech language is that a large number of its words do not contain any vowels. Czech shares similarities with other Slavic languages such as Russian and Polish, but Latin has also influenced the language.
In summary, with its rich history and cultural significance, the Czech language continues to be a vibrant part of the global linguistic landscape. Its influences and exchanges with English and other languages demonstrate its continuing evolution and the broader interconnections between languages and cultures.
Here at Brightlines, our full-service translation agency has considerable expertise in Czech translation, and brands such as Elsevier, Dow and Stella Artois have used our Czech translation specialists.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.