Vítejte na stránkách o češtině a české kultuře!
Welcome to our Czech Resource Pages !
Why Study Czech?
You may be wondering why people study Czech. Here are some reasons for starting this wild adventure.
- The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union and the city of Prague is one of the exciting European cultural centers
- Czech belongs to the West branch of Slavic languages. It is written in a Latin-based alphabet.
- Richness of culture is one major reason to consider studying Czech:
- Literature: World-renowned authors writing in Czech include Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Čapek, Milan Kundera, Ivan Klíma, Josef Škvorecký, and Bohumil Hrabal.
- Music: Composers such as Antonin Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček are just the tip of the iceberg in the Czech music scene. The Plastic People of the Universe, a 70's rock music group, was an important vehicle for the human rights movement in the former socialist Czechoslovakia
- Linguistics, computational analysis of language : The Structuralist school of linguistics and poetics originates in Prague. Czech linguists’ contributions to computer analysis of linguistics and corpus linguistics have been widely recognized. In fact, Brown’s computer science department has a project with the computational linguists in the Czech Republic.
- Religion: Jan Hus is one of the well known church reformers (who precedes Martin Luther). Jan Ámos Komenský (Comenius), who led the Unity of Czech Brethren, is also famous for proposing a communicative approach to language teaching.
- Film and animation: The Czech New Wave films provide a unique aesthetic experience and humor. Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, and Jan Svěrák, to name just a few, are internationally known filmmakers. Representatives of a long and vibrant tradition of animated films include Jiří Trnka, Karel Zeman, and Jan Švankmajer (who "animates" not only objects, but also people!)
- Politics and the art: Václav Havel is a playwright, philosopher, and politician. He was at the center of the human rights movement in the former Czechoslovakia and became President of the Czech Republic after the revolution
- We often discuss international situations in terms of superpower politics, military might, and sphere of influence. By in-depth study of Czech culture mediated by the language, we will start assessing these discussions from the viewpoint of a small nation.
- While revolutions and nationalist upheavals tend to be violent, Czechs made a peaceful transition from communism to capitalism (the Velvet Revolution), and a peceful separation with the Slovak Republic (the Velvet Divorce).
- There are many opportunities during and after Brown to combine language study and different academic interests.
BTW: Did you know that the Czech Republic has the largest per capita consumption of beer?