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jezovec's Avatar
jezovec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonninSB
In signing on to the shengen agreement weren't the Czechs supposed to have some sort of visa for retired persons with stable income?


No. Schengen works the other way: by mutual accepting entry documents of the other member states, not by imposing unified documents and rules. Which, btw. is the very base principle on which most of EU rules is based.
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01-11-11, 09:37 AM

JKG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfschim
My experience was that it was a pretty lonely place for non-Czech speaking people, particularly if you are trying to integrate with Czech society without speaking the language.


So make the effort and learn the language. It takes about a year to be at conversational level, especially if you are not living with an English speaker (which I would assume to be the OPs case) and during that year people will be really friendly wanting to help you learn the language. Czech's are very proud of their language, and give a lot of respect to people that bother to learn it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfschim
What Jezovek as said above is really true. While Czechs seem pretty accepting, they are not very openly friendly, or welcoming to foreigners.


See my reply above
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01-11-11, 11:40 AM

JIZEK's Avatar
JIZEK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKG
So make the effort and learn the language. It takes about a year to be at conversational level, especially if you are not living with an English speaker (which I would assume to be the OPs case) and during that year people will be really friendly wanting to help you learn the language. Czech's are very proud of their language, and give a lot of respect to people that bother to learn it.




I can´t argue with that- funny thing is, more people speak to me in English now, than when I only spoke English.

I speak to them in Czech, they reply in English, strange as it seems, it seems to work that way, possibly before they were embarrased to try their English, but with me speaking ´oh so not´ perfect Czech, they seem much more relaxed at speaking to me with their English (which is usually far better than my Czech)
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01-11-11, 04:34 PM

pfschim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKG
So make the effort and learn the language. It takes about a year to be at conversational level, especially if you are not living with an English speaker (which I would assume to be the OPs case) and during that year people will be really friendly wanting to help you learn the language. Czech's are very proud of their language, and give a lot of respect to people that bother to learn it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JIZEK
I can´t argue with that- funny thing is, more people speak to me in English now, than when I only spoke English.


Both my wife and I did attempt to learn the language with limited results in the 10 months we were there. We also took some basic Czech lessons in the states before we came to Prague. We both speak some French and Spanish, and I have some rudimentary Russian, so we are not without some language experience besides English. Even with all that, we could only use very limited expressions in Czech, and nothing that even approached basic conversation.

I think people need to be realistic about how easy/hard it is to learn Czech. Particularly for English speakers who are not used to a synthetic and case oriented language.

I would also accept that it could be an age issue in my case, but that would also potentially apply to the OP.

My experience does not match yours. Other than in some very limited ways, the Czechs that I tried to interact with were very stand-off-ish. Younger people were generally more open than older people, but that did not help us very much.

Now, Jizek, before we get into another bashing loop where you insult me every way possible, I just want to say that:

a) I am not bashing the CR or living in Prague

b) this was MY personal experience, and may NOT apply to the OP

c) I did try quite honestly and openly to make contact with, and be friendly with everyone I did meet in Prague.

As I said in my initial post, in MY experience, the people I made friends with were other work expats (which is kind of natural), and non Czechs (Croatians, Belgians, Ukrainians and Italian) - who, in fact, were very friendly and open to friendship. OTOH, the Czechs that lived in our building, and who we would see almost every day, would barely even look at us, let alone acknowledge our attempts to say "dobre den".

My reply is mostly focusing on the OP's comment about being lonely in his own country. I do not believe moving to Prague (where he knows no-one, or has any family, and will be a real outsider for many reasons) is a good way to address being lonely.

Again, to the OP, good luck and I hope you can work out your living situation to your satisfaction. Maybe you could try to go to Prague/CR for an extended stay if you are retired. Schengen rules allow you to come for 90 days on your US passport.
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02-11-11, 06:45 AM

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JIZEK
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when have I ever insulted you?

learning any language is simply about yourself, there is huge difference bewteen making the effort, and making the effort.

for example a lesson once or twice a week means nothing without backing up that lesson once you leave the classroom.

eg- personally I drowned in the language, kept away from expats, listened hard to conversations of czech people everywhere (even though I didn´t know them.
Had them small yellow post it notes stuck on everything around the flat, open a draw and I would see a knife with the czech word written on it, post it notes on the mirror, taps, sink, plug, cups plates, cupboards, doors, windows, clothes, ´everything´

I didn´t even realise I was learning most of the time, first time I noticed was when I walked into an exchange to change money, asked ´in czech´if the girl spoke english, she said yes, then I managed to exchange money speaking in czech language, after I walked out she must have thought I was complete idiot, asking her if she spoke english, then I did the rest in Czech.
I did pat myself on the back though, and once you realise that you can actually go to a place, speak czech, and walk out the door with what you wanted- then there is no stopping you.

im a complete language nonse- useless- but I managed it somehow, and as I said, most of the learning came naturally without knowing I was learning, and absolutely stress (from my experience) that lessons are for nothing- without backing up your efforts out of the classroom. do or die. its up to you.
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02-11-11, 12:21 PM

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meluzina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIZEK
learning any language is simply about yourself, there is huge difference bewteen making the effort, and making the effort.



it needs to be kept in mind that not everyone can learn as quickly as others - age also plays a role ... my parents were both the same age when they arrived in an english-speaking country - my mother's english was always at a much higher level than my father's (neither knew any english before they arrived)
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02-11-11, 01:54 PM

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JIZEK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meluzina
it needs to be kept in mind that not everyone can learn as quickly as others - age also plays a role ... my parents were both the same age when they arrived in an english-speaking country - my mother's english was always at a much higher level than my father's (neither knew any english before they arrived)


maybe, but I think the biggest influence is the difference between trying, and doing.
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02-11-11, 02:00 PM

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