In the Slavic Department, we offer 4 semesters of instruction in Czech language on a 2-year rotating basis. Two literature and culture courses – LITTRANS 208: The Writings of Václav Havel and SLAVIC 254: Introduction to Central Europe (The Culture of Dissent in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia), are also offered on a regular basis. Czech language instruction beyond the fourth semester may be arranged through directed studies. Our program is designed with instruction for everyone from beginners with no experience to graduate students looking to gain knowledge of another Slavic language. Czech language and literature courses are taught by Professor David Danaher.
"To know another language is to live another life."
— T. G. Masaryk, President of the First Czechoslovak Republic
Czech is the language spoken in the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia: Czech and Slovak are different languages, although they are very close to one another). There are approximately 10 million native speakers of Czech world-wide, and it is believed that Chicago -- after Prague -- has the second-largest population of Czech speakers of any city. According to the latest estimates, there are still anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 Americans living and working in the Czech Republic.
All of our language courses focus on skill development in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and are taught in an interactive and communicative manner. Heritage speakers of Czech are encouraged to enroll, although no prior knowledge of Czech or another Slavic language is required for enrollment in the introductory course.
It is not possible to major in Czech, but Czech can be taken to complete the language requirement. In addition, UW-Madison has several sponsored study-abroad programs in Prague.
The teaching of Czech language, literature, and culture at UW-Madison is supported in part by donations to the Czech Fund. For more information about supporting Czech, please contact Professor Danaher.
- On-line Czech alphabet and sounds tutorial:
- Outline of Czech grammar:
- News and culture blog about the Czech Republic:
- Website of the International Association of Teachers of Czech: