Tomorrow I will be starting my first formal lessons in Czech. After being here for almost 2 years now, it is amazing how I survived without speaking the language fluently. Of course I can get by with knowing how to count, say one phrase or two, or maybe even converse with my broken Czech, but if I really want to make something out of myself in this country, I have to speak the language like a native.
Another motivator is my son’s fluency in Czech. Since he has been in school, his Czech fluency has greatly improved. Pretty soon, I would like to be able to help him when he does his homework. His awareness of Czech and English as 2 different languages is very amusing. One day he asked me: “Mommy, what is gulas (Czech dish) in English?” I answered: “It is still gulas, but spelled as goulash.” But of course, it is difficult to explain spellings to a 2.5 year old, as he is not even able to read yet.
Me being able to speak Czech fluently will also take a lot of load off my husband’s shoulders. All through the building phase of our home, he had to arrange everything from buying the land, getting the permits and looking for a builder. On top of that, he has to go to work since he is the breadwinner of this family.
My current Czech knowledge is enabling me to go to the store and do groceries, bring my son to school , go to the doctor and even befriend a few locals. This time, I would like to be able to go to public offices, make negotiations, and perhaps even write essays in Czech. Very ambitious, I know. But I will get there….somehow.