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Short Vowel: rather like the English vowel in cup but clearer: ano, tam, tady.
Short Vowel: like the English o in not but less open; the lips are rounded and protruded: ovoce, maso, nalevo.
Short Vowel: like in English book but more tense. The lips are rounded and protruded so as to make a funnel: guma, student.
Short Vowel: resembles the English e in set but it is more open: je, jeden, den.
Short Vowel: like the English i in sit but more closed: pivo, tady.
Long Vowel: like the English a in father but it is distinctly clearer because it is not formed so far back as in English: káva, máte, marmeláda, tabák.
Long Vowel: rather like in English lawn: citrón, gól, balón.
Long Vowel: like in English stool but not diphthongized: stůl, sůl, úkol.
Long Vowel: has no equivalent sound in English. Except for quantity (length) it is same as short e: mléko, dobré, léto.
resembles the English vowel in seat but it is not diphthongized: jídlo, prosím, sýr, dobrý.
diphthong: houska, mouska, louka
diphthong: auto, autobus, automat
diphthong: neutrum, neutralita
b, v, d, z, m, n, f, s
These consonants, b, v, d, z, m, n, f, s, represent the same phonetic values in Czech as they do in English.
c is like the group ts in English oats. It is, of course, on sound: co, cena, práce, celý, moc, citrón, cizinec.
g is always the same sound as the English g in good, get. Do not confuse with the English g in general, gin: guma, generál, logika, inteligence, gram.
j is the same as the English y in you: jaro, jazyk, je, jeden, jím, jídlo.
ch has no equivalent sound in English. In Czech it is a voiceless sound formed by air passing between the raised back of the tongue and the soft palate. It resembles the combination kh but there is no explosion: chudý, charakter, chyba, chci, chvíle.
p lacks the aspiration it has in English stressed syllables, cf. pie (the same applies to the Czech sounds t and k): Pavel, pero, piju, pivo, plyn, pták.
t lacks the aspiration it has in English syllables, cf. tie: tady, tabák, máte, dejte, tlak.
k lacks the aspiration it has in English syllables, cf. kite: káva, kalhoty, kolej, doktor.
r is a "rolled" sound and far more energetic than the English r: ráno, ryba, ruka, brambory, prosím.
l is the clear l of the English leave, let, etc.: odpoledne, mléko, plyn, úkol.
h is a voiced consonant. It resembles the English h in have but it is more energetic: houska, Praha.
The stress in Czech falls on the first syllable of the word:
- maso, kakao, pivo;
- jídlo, máslo, mléko;
- nalevo, napravo, brambory;
č is the English ch in child: česky, čaj, čistý, slečna.
š is the same as sh in ship: škola, španělsky, košile, šaty.
English equivalent of ž can be found in, e.g., rouge, pleasure: nadráží, život, železo, žena, každý.
d' is nearest to English [dy] in [dyooty], duty: Maďarsko, děkuju, neděle, divadlo, rodina.
t' is nearest to English [ty] in [tyoozdy], Tuesday: chut', tělo, prostěradlo, tisíc, ticho.
ň is nearest to English [ny] in [nyoo], new: žízeň, něco, německy, nic, není.
ř is produced by the tip of the tongue which vibrates against the upper teeth. The vibrations are shorter than those of r. (It is wrong to replace the sound by [rš] or [rž].): řada, řádek, řeka, ředitel, kouřím, říjen, dobře, dřevo.
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