Czech Republic (Czechia)

Czech is the official language spoken in the Czech Republic, and the dominant language of the country. There are an estimated 10.7 million people in the Czech Republic who speak the Czech language, and data from a 2012 survey showed that the vast majority of all citizens of the Czech Republic were defined as Czech speakers – precisely, 98% of them. Aside from being the official language of the Czech Republic, Czech is also recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. Other languages spoken in the Czech Republic include Slovak and Polish, although they are spoken by a small percentage of the total population of the country.

The origin of the Czech language can be traced back to the 9th and 10th centuries, when Czech and Slovak emerged from the West Slavic language group. Until the 20th century, the Czech language was known as Bohemian language.

The Czech language is a member of the Indo-European language family and the Czech-Slovak language group. As such, it is closely related to the Slovak language. Three main varieties of the Czech language which are spoken in the Czech Republic, all three of which are geographically defined. Each of them has distinct characteristics which set them apart from one another, particularly when it comes to their morphology and phonology. The varieties include Common Czech, as well as Bohemian dialects and Moravian dialects. Common Czech is the most common variety of the language, having the highest number of native speakers. Most of them are found around Prague, the country’s capital city. Common Czech is also widely used in print and electronic media. The Bohemian dialects are further branched out into three dialects: Central Bohemian, Southwestern Bohemian, and Northeastern Bohemian dialects. The use of the Bohemian variant has declined in the recent years as a result of public stigmatization due to the Bohemian dialects being linked to the lower class of Czechs. Furthermore, the Moravian dialect is a variety of the Czech language predominantly used in the regions of the Czech Silesia and Moravia regions. The Moravian variety is made up of five dialects: Cieszyn Silesian, Lach, Eastern, Central Moravian, and Bohemian-Moravian dialects.

Some of the minority languages spoken in the Czech Republic are Slovak and Polish. Both Slovak and Polish are closely related to the Czech language, as all three are from the same language group – the West Slavic language group. Only a small population of Slovak people in the country speak Slovak as the first language, while the Polish dialect spoken in the Czech Republic is mainly spoken by the Gorals people who inhabit the mountainous region on the border between Czech and Poland.


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