Indo-European > Balto-Slavic > Slavic > West Slavic > Czech-Slovak

Spoken by: 9.5 million according to, 2001

Official in: Czech Republic

Spoken primarily in: Czech Republic

Czech is closely related to Slovak, and the languages are (normally) mutually intelligible. As can be examplified by the many diacritics in the languages sample below, the idea behind the Czech orthography is one sound - one letter (with the exception of ch which stands for the phoneme /x/). One of these letters, ř, stands for a sound unique to Czech - a raised alveolar non-sonorant trill. In Czech, r and l can be syllabic - popularly illustrated with the phrase strč prst skrz krk (stick a finger through your throat), entirely without vowels.