Vítejte na stránkách o češtině a české kultuře!
Welcome to our Czech Resource Pages !
Why Study Czech?
You may be wondering why people study Czech. Here are some reasons for starting this wild adventure.
- The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union and the city of Prague is one of the exciting European cultural centers.
- Richness of culture is one major reason to consider studying Czech:
- Literature: World-renowned authors writing in Czech such as Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Čapek, Milan Kundera, Ivan Klíma, Josef Škvorecký, and Bohumil Hrabal.
- Music: Explore the country that produced Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček. The Plastic People of the Universe, a 70's rock music group, was an important vehicle for the human rights movement in the former socialist Czechoslovakia.
- Linguistics, computational analysis of language: The Structuralist School of linguistics and poetics originates in Prague. Czech linguists have been active in computational analysis of their language since the 1960s. The Czech National Corpus Institute at Charles University has massive and well-balanced annotated web-based corpora for quantitative analysts of literary texts and political texts in a language that is understudied!
- Religion: Explore Jan Hus, one of the church reformers (who preceded Martin Luther) and Jan Ámos Komenský (Comenius), who led the Unity of Czech Brethren. Komenský was a strong advocate for education of women already in the 17th century!
- Film and animation: The Czech New Wave films provide a unique aesthetic experience and humor. Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, and Jan Svěrák, to name just a few, are internationally known filmmakers. Representatives of a long and vibrant tradition of animated films include Jiří Trnka, Karel Zeman, and Jan Švankmajer (who "animates" not only objects, but also people!)
- Politics and the art: Study Václav Havel's work: plays, philosophical and political essays, presidential speeches, and the film he made after leaving his position as Czech Presient.
- We often discuss international situations in terms of superpower politics, weaponry, and sphere of influence. By in-depth study of Czech culture mediated by the language, we will start reassessing these discussions from the viewpoint of a small nation.
- While revolutions and nationalist upheavals tend to be violent, Czechs made a peaceful transition from communism to capitalism (the Velvet Revolution), and a peaceful separation with the Slovak Republic (the Velvet Divorce).
- There are many opportunities during and after Brown to combine language study and different academic interests.
BTW: Did you know that the Czech Republic has the largest per capita consumption