For a real daily challenge, try playing Wordle in Czech

Two versions of the popular game let you try to guess a new five-letter word every day.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 07.02.2022 15:26:00 (updated on 07.02.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The linguistic guessing game Wordle has taken the English-speaking world by storm, but what about those who want to test their skills in a different language?

Two different versions of the game are now available in Czech. The version at Hádej Slova (Find the Word) uses diacritical marks. A slightly easier one at ignores them. The rules, though, are similar to those in the official version. Players have six chances to guess a five-letter word in Czech. After the sixth guess, the correct word is revealed, if the player hasn’t found it.

Letters not in the answer are gray, letters in the target word but wrong spot are yellow or orange, and letters in the right spot are green. Letter combinations that are not in the dictionary of possible answers don’t count, so it is not possible to enter a random string of letters to see which ones are valid.

Everyone playing on any given day tries to guess the same word, but the two Czech versions have different daily words. Results, in the form of tables of gray, yellow, and green squares showing the correct guesses, can be shared. People can only play once a day, at least from one computer.

Cyber security experts warn players to be wary of knock-off versions of Wordle, especially phone apps, as some have been found to have malware. So far, these two Czech versions when played over the websites seem to be safe.

Many of the strategies that work to solve the English version won’t be of much use. Some people in English like to start with vowel-filled words like “adieu” or “audio” to get at least a few early hits to work from. The Czech language is a bit stingy on vowel usage, with common words like “čtvrť” (quarter), “strhl” (tear off), and “zmrzl” (froze) having no vowels at all.

Letter popularity and placement is also different. Some of the least popular letters in English are b, k, v, and z. These become the new go-to starting points for the Czech version. Vowels in Czech are last letters a bit more than they are in English. There are other common word endings like “ík“ or “al.”

For beginners in the Czech language, some help is out there. The website, designed for help with crosswords, has a list of five-letter Czech words. The bad news is there at over 27,000 of them, and they are only sorted by the first letter.

This isn’t the only renegade version of Wordle. There are two versions based on swear words, both called Sweardle. Both use four-letter words, but one allows four guesses and the other six guesses. And there is a game for J.R.R. Tolkien fans called Lordle of the Rings.

So far, the creators of the original Wordle have not gone after the creators of the different versions to try to stop them from using the idea, but that might change now that the New York Times has bought the global rights to the game for millions of dollars. 

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