New language lesson

About seven days ago, I learned that modern Czech is actually an artificial language. It was originally its own Slavic language; but, some language scholars created the modern complex Czech grammar.

In 1620 after the Battle of White Mountain, the same year the Pilgrims came to modern day Massachusetts, Bohemia came  under deeper control by  the Hapsburg Empire.  It became highly influenced by German culture and politics. For about 250 years, German was the official language in Czech. In the late 18th century until 1848, there was a huge Czech Revival. At this time in Czech history, the Czech culture started to have its own voice.

Czech writers of the period often looked to the countryside for inspiration. In a similar fashion to how the Brothers Grimm recorded German folklore, Karel Jaromír Erben wrote Prostonárodní české písně a říkadla (Czech Folk Songs and Nursery Rhymes) which brought together various folktales. The countryside was looked to as the true Bohemia, where Czech folklore and traditions had survived away from the foreign influences of the cities. This can be seen in the work of Božena Němcová whose The Grandmother explores life in a rural Bohemian village. (from Wikipedia)

Josef Jungmann was very influential in the revival of the Czech language. He wrote a 5 volume Czech-German Dictionary in which he laid out the basis for modern Czech. He also studied historical documents and other Slavic languages to form the Czech language. As Charles Dickens invented new English words, Josef Jungmann created new Czech words.


Communcation: essential

Here are a few words in the Czech Language.

Last week, some of my Czech friends were sitting on the couch in my flat, and they were laughing and talking in Czech. I would catch a word or phrase, but not enough to understand what they were talking about. They were laughing and talking just as any American would do. Language is a necessity in life.

Starting Czech lessons is very exciting. My teacher speaks mainly in Czech, and if I don’t understand she says it in English. Czech is a fascinating language. There are do many ways to form words.  Unlike any other language I’ve studied (Spanish and English the only two really) or even learned a smidgen about, each adjective, noun, and even a person’s name changes depending on the case of the sentence. It amazes me that even its native speakers can learn it.

Czech shows the amazing complexity of the brain. God has truly created so much to reflect Himself and His nature. He is beyond our comprehension. He has created every language in the world, and He is more fluent in each language than a linguist devoted to a life of study.

Oh Father! You have created language to communicate to you and to each other. Help me learn by Your wisdom.