dominant language in prague?

Sep 8th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,635

When I was last in the Dolomites 7 years ago I found it very difficult to determine which language to speak to the locals. I've been a lifelong learner of French, German, and Italian (plus some Arabic and Russian and Danish, which clearly wouldn't apply here), but I was really confused as to which language to use there.

If I asked in Italian, they answered in German. If I asked in German, they answered in Italian. It seemed I couldn't win. Every village seemed to have a different linguistic preference. Most often, we resorted to French or English. I couldn't really get a sense of which nationality each village associated with. And funnily enough, I ended up sending a postcard from a village in Italy, with a Swiss potage stamp, to the USA, that took more than a year to get there!

That whole area where Italy and Austria and Switzerland converge is complete chaos as far as I'm concerned - but it's beautiful beyond belief!
StCirq is online now  
Sep 8th, 2005, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
StCirq, LOL!! I completely understand. And if you think you were confused say a pray for me when I am there. I must confess I am terrible at languages although I do admit that is my fault as I always tell myself I will study "some language" at least 30 minutes a day. Than I don't. And I have forgotten what I did know although it does comes back to me after I am there. And my Italian is more the Rome or further south Italian. As you know that doesn't help completely in the region of Veneto, especially in the northern region.

About German. I have been asked so many times "sprechen en Duetsch?" And then stupid me, I answer "Nein" Then they think I do! You would hide your head in shame at the problems I cause I truly believe, LOL.

But as I have said here on Fodors so many time I truly believe the Italians are so clever as even though my Italian is so pathetic I have long conversations with Italians that do not speak a word of english. I always wonder afterwards "how did that happen", LOL. Best wishes, and thanks for sharing your frustrations, it gave me a good chuckle!
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Oh StCirq, short story. Good friends husband. He speaks absolutely no English. One night after dinner sitting around their dining room table he starts talking about catalatic convertors (or is it converters?) He and I had an 30 minute conversation about this in Italian. Now I couldn't hold a conversation about catalatic convertors (or converters) in English for heavens sakes.

I woke up the next morning thinking "what, was that a dream". His daughter teased me for days. She kept saying "I couldn't believe the conversation you and my father had!" Neither could I!!!! She speaks of course fluent Italian and also fluent English. She was almost crossed eyed about this. And to this day I don't understand how this conversation took place you think it was all the Limoncello?
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,175
Back to the Czech - my father was Czech but lived in the UK with my English mother, from after the war. Half my relatives are still in Moravia. Some of my older relatives speak a little German but no English. Some of the under 50 age group speak English, some very well, but were taught Russian as a second language. All the younger generation seem to be learning English as a second language. I found English to be more widely spoken in Prague than out in Moravia, which is just as well as my father never taught me any, believing he would never be able to go back to his home country.
Maria_H is offline  

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