There are around 10 million Czech speakers in the world. Along with being spoken by the majority of Czech citizens, it’s also considered a minority language in Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Austria as well as being the most common home language in over a dozen counties in the USA (Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, North Dakota and Minnesota). Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German.
- The country’s capital city, Prague, is known as the defenestration capital of the world.
- The Czech Republic has been brewing beer since 993 and has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.
- The country was previously known as Czechoslovakia until the ‘Velvet Divorce’ in 1993 with neighbouring Slovakia.
- As a country, it has the highest standard of living of any former Soviet Bloc country. They have the most hospital beds per capita in the EU and the highest rate of secondary education.
- The Czech Republic is almost fully dependent on imports of natural gas.
- Prague is among the top 10 retail destinations in Europe and a number one destination for high-street and luxury brands.
It is reported that the Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous markets in central Europe and that more than 300 British companies are present in the market and they range from large investors to smaller companies established by British entrepreneurs. Companies such as Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Marks and Spencer and Allen and Overy run their central and eastern European operations from the capital city of Prague.
Benefits for UK businesses exporting to the Czech Republic include:
- English is widely spoken
- Business culture is similar to that of the UK
- Its location gives easy access into CEE and Russian markets
- It’s less than a two-hour flight from the UK
The region offers numerous export opportunities for British businesses, in particular through advanced manufacturing, defence and security, energy, healthcare & life sciences, infrastructure and services. Stable growth in automotive and aerospace production in the Czech Republic is expected to continue.
Czechs are cautious people. Conversations are normally approached in a soft, hushed tone and they tend to distrust anyone who is loud and brash.
Always greet people with a firm handshake and use direct eye contact. A weak handshake can mean that you are weak, and no direct eye contact can be taken to mean that you are hiding something. Likewise, timekeeping is very important, so you shouldn’t arrive too early and definitely don’t be late – both of these could mean you have a hidden agenda.
Business tip: In any business dealings, Czechs are non-confrontational and often take an indirect approach, so where you might think that negotiation is required, Czechs generally offer what they expect to get and do not often give counter-offers.
Here are some basic phrases you should familiarise yourself with:
|How are you||Jak se máš (informal)
Jak se máte (formal)
|Pleased to meet you||Těší mě, že vás poznávám|
We have done extensive Czech translations in the health & wellbeing sector as well as personal documentation for pre-employment screening. Examples of copy that we have translated into or out of Czech include product catalogues, Criminal Record Checks, newsletters and manuals.
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