CZECH Facts & Figures

Size: 30,450 square miles

Population: 10,562,214

Capital: Prague

Currency: Czech Koruna

Weather / Climate:

The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Most rain falls during the summer. The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position.

Within the Czech Republic, temperatures vary greatly, depending on the elevation. In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitation increases. The wettest area in the Czech Republic is found around Bílý Potok in Jizera Mountains and the driest region is the Louny District to the northwest of Prague. Another important factor is the distribution of the mountains; therefore, the climate is quite varied.

At the highest peak of Sneka (1,602 m/5,256 ft), the average temperature is only −0.4 °C (31.28 °F), whereas in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature is as high as 10 °C (50 °F). The country's capital, Prague, has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by urban factors.

The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands. During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day. Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.

The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20 degrees higher than during winter. Especially in the last decade, temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are not unusual. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms.

Autumn generally begins in September, which is still relatively warm and dry. During October, temperatures usually fall below 15 °C (59 °F) or 10 °C (50 °F) and deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves. By the end of November, temperatures usually range around the freezing point.

The coldest temperature ever measured was in Litvínovice near Ceské Budejovice, at −42.2 °C (−44.0 °F) and the hottest measured, was at 40.2 °C (104.4 °F) at Praha.

Taken from wikipedia

CZECH languages

Czech pronunciation is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century. Czech is similar to and mutually intelligible with Slovak and, to a considerably lesser extent, to Polish and Sorbian.

Czech is widely spoken by most inhabitants of the Czech Republic. As given by appropriate laws, courts and authorities act and make out documents and executions in the Czech language (financial authorities also in the Slovak language). Czech can be used in all official proceedings also in Slovakia as granted by Article 6 of Slovak Minority Language Act 184/1999 Zb.

According to article 37, paragraph 4 of Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms people who do not speak Czech have the right to get an interpreter in a court of law. Instructions for use in Czech must be added to all marketed goods. The right to one's own language is guaranteed by the Constitution for all national and ethnic minorities.

Czech is also one of the 23 official languages in the European Union (since May 2004).

Speakers of Czech and Slovak usually understand both languages in their written and spoken form, thus constituting a pluricentric language, though some dialects or heavily accented speech in either language might present difficulties to speakers of the other (in particular, Czech speakers may find Eastern Slovak dialects difficult to comprehend). Younger generations of Czechs living after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 (therefore generally less familiar with Slovak) might also have some problems with a certain number of words and expressions which differ considerably in the two languages, and with false friends. Nevertheless, these differences do not impede mutual intelligibility significantly.

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_language

CZECH people

The majority of the 10.5 million inhabitants of the Czech Republic are ethnically and linguistically Czech (95%). Other ethnic groups include Germans, Roma, Poles and Hungarians. Historical minorities like those of Germans and Poles are declining due to assimilation. The Roma community is growing, while there is also a growing Vietnamese community. Other ethnic communities like Greeks, Turks, Italians and Yugoslavs are found in its capital city, Prague. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Slovaks staying in the Czech Republic have comprised roughly 3% of the population.

There are different groups of national and ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic. The so called old minorities usually live mostly in particular areas (e.g. Poles in the Zaolzie region, Germans in the Hultschiner region) while the new minorities are scattered among the majority population (generally in the larger towns). While some of the minorities have the whole social structure of the Czech society (Poles, Slovaks, Greeks), other represent only some of the social groups (i.e. Russian newcomers of middle class, or Ukrainians and Romanis who generally represent the underclass).[3]

Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Czech_Republic

CZECH food

Czech cuisinehas both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries. Many of the fine cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe originated in the Czech lands. Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common, and beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp, which is served at Christmas.

Side dishes

Knedlíky(steamed and sliced bread-like side dish) are one of the mainstays of Czech cuisine and are quite often served with meals. They can be wheat or potato based, and are sometimes made from a combination of wheat flour and stale bread or rolls. In contrast to Austrian cuisine, the type that is large and served cut into slices (instead of smaller quenelles) occurs more often. The smaller dumplings are usually potato-based.

Meat dishes

Roast pork with dumplings and Sauerkraut(pe?ené vep?ové s knedlíky a se zelím, colloquially vep?o-knedlo-zelo) is considered the most typical Czech dish. They can be prepared from scratch, from cabbage or from sauerkraut, which is most common. There are different varieties, from sour to sweet. Red or white cabbage can be used.

Marinated beef sirloin. Braised beef, usually larded, with a thick sauce of carrot, parsley root, celeriac, and cream. This dish is often served with Knedlíky, chantilly cream, a teaspoon of cranberry compote, and a slice of lemon.

Snacks

Since beer is a big part of Czech life, many popular Czech dishes and cheeses are usually eaten as pub fare.

Bramboráky(regionally called cmunda or vošouch in Pilsen and "strik" or "striky" in Czech Silesia) are fried pancakes made (very similar to rosti) of rough-grated or fine-grated raw potatoes (brambory in Czech), flour and sometimes sliced sausages (although this is not common, because bramboráky are usually intended to be a vegetarian meal) or sauerkraut. They are spiced with marjoram, salt, pepper, and garlic, and usually sized to fit the cooking dish. Smaller variants are often eaten as a side dish. There is a similar dish from the Slovakian-Ruthenian borderland called harula, which is prepared with less milk and fat, and the addition of an onion. Harula are baked on tin in an oven instead of frying.

Utopenci(literally "drowned") are piquantly pickled bratwursts  in sweet-sour vinegar marinade with black pepper, bayleaf, lots of raw onion and chilli peppers.

Cheese

Smazený sýr is maybe the less noble, but the most contemporary of Czech national dishes. A slice of cheese (usually Edam or Camembert) about 1 cm thick (or whole Camembert) is coated in bread-crumbs like Wiener schnitzel and fried and served with tartar sauce  and potatoes.

Nakládaný hermelínis a soft cheese, same family as brie marinated with peppers, onion etc. in oil. Camembert can also be deep fried as above.

Pivní sýr(Beer Cheese) is a soft cheese, usually mixed with raw onions and mustard, and spread on toasted bread.

Olomoucké syrecky or "tvaruzky" is an aged cheese with a strong odour. It's made in Loštice, a small town in Moravia. The tradition of making this cheese dates back to the 15th century.[1] The company A.W. of Josef Wesselss started to produce it in 1876. Tvaroky can be prepared in a number of ways—for example, you can fry it, marinate it, or add it to Bramboráky.

Soups

Soup plays an important role in Czech cuisine. Czech meals usually consist of two or more courses: the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and then other courses such as dessert or compote may follow. Common soups you can find in Czech restaurants are beef or chicken broth with noodles (optionally with liver dumplings), garlic soup with croutons (optionally with minced sausage, raw egg, cheese) and cabbage soup with minced sausage. Other soups, which are mainly cooked at home, are pea, bean or lentil soup, goulash soup, potato soup, fish soup (carp broth is often served on Christmas), champignon mushroom soup and assortment of mixed vegetable soups.

Sweets

Fruit dumplings (ovocné knedlíky) are mostly made using plums (švestkové knedlíky) or apricots. Whole fruit, in some regions including the stones, are coated with potato or curd dough and steamed, then served with butter, sugar and sometimes milled poppy seed or tvaroh(rarely also with cream instead of melted butter). Different varieties of fruit dumplings include strawberry, cherry, apricot, bilberry, or peach. They are usually eaten as a main dish.

Kolache is a type of yeast pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits to cheeses or poppy seed on doughnut. Buchty yeast pastry similar to Kolá?e, the same filling is wrapped in piece of dough and baked. Sweet dumplings with custard sauce (Buchti?ky se šodo) are traditional Czech dumplings. The recipe comes from Czech roots, however, the bordering countries, mainly Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary consider Buchti?ky se šodo as food that came from their country. Vánocka is prepared for Christmas, along with many kinds of biscuits and sweets (váno?ní cukroví). Vánocka is the same type of pastry as Jewish Challah.

With the exception of Kolá?e and váno?ní cukroví, most sweets are consumed with coffee in the late afternoon, rather than immediately after a main meal. Kolá?e are commonly eaten at breakfast.

Beverages

Aside from slivovitz, Czech beer and wine, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola but not as sweet. A mixed drink consisting of Becherovka and tonic water is called Beton (concrete in Czech). Beton is an abbreviation of BEcherovka and TONic. Another popular mixed drink is Fernet Stock mixed with tonic, called "Bavorák" (literally: the bavarian).

Taken from wikipedia

Places to go in CZECH REPUBLIC

 

 

 

 

 

Doing business in CZECH REPUBLIC

The collapse of Soviet authority in 1989 and the peaceful ‘Velvet Revolution’ bought about  an end to this nation’s turbulent political  history, establishing democracy in Czechoslovakia once again. Since the separation of the Czech and Slovak Republics three years later, the Czech Republic has moved closer towards Western-style models of political and economic  reform,  showing a constant upward trend.  Today the Czech Republic is one of the most affluent of the post- Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Its recent ascension to the EU in 2004 combined with its Central European location  gives the Czech Republic  further potential for expanded markets and an ideal environment for foreign  trade and business investment opportunities.

Working practices in the Czech Republic

-When setting business appointments in the Czech Republic always  make them in advance and try not to schedule meetings on a Friday  afternoon as many Czechs visit their country homes  for extended weekends.

-Punctuality is an important aspect of Czech business culture. It is generally considered inappropriate to be more than five minutes late in business dealings; therefore colleagues should be informed of any unavoidable delays.

-A strong emphasis on the quality of life and public holidays means  that the majority of Czech companies tend  to start and finish work earlier than  most Western countries, and may close during the month of August. This is especially true of smaller towns  and cities.

Structure and hierarchy in Czech companies

-Leadership and authority is vertical in structure. Czech managers maintain their status and separate themselves from subordinates.

-As a result of the hierarchical system  of Czech business, decision-making power is centralised and is rarely  questioned or challenged by those of a lower rank.

Working relationships in the Czech Republic

-Knowledge and the ability to exert power and  authority, as opposed to age, are qualities worthy of respect  in Czech business leaders. However, in more everyday contexts  the elderly  command a certain level of respect  and consideration.

-It is important to remember that Czech’s place a high value on their privacy  and prefer  to separate business and their personal lives.

-Generally speaking, friendships and working relationships in the Czech Republic only tend  to form after a significant length  of time. Since there exists no equivalent in the Czech language to the English term “networking”, establishing business relationships with new colleagues is approached with caution.

Business practices in the Czech Republic

-When greeting your Czech counterparts for the first time, administering a firm handshake and establishing direct eye contact are essential indications that your business dealings are sincere and honest.

-Due to the reserved nature of the Czech culture, the use of status titles in both verbal and written forms is extremely important in Czech business settings. You should refer to your Czech counterparts as “Mr/Mrs...”, “Dr”, or “Ing” (Engineer) until invited to do otherwise. The use of first names without permission may be considered offensive, as they are generally reserved for close friends and family.

-The initial business manner adopted by many in the Czech Republic is predominantly one of formality and caution. The Czechs take a reserved and often impersonal approach to business meetings, during which trust and friendship is slowly cultivated. However, as the Czech Republic moves closer towards Western management styles, a more open method of business, in the form of business lunches and such meetings, is increasing in popularity.

-In Czech business culture, the preliminary stages of negotiation can be slow and detailed.  This is a direct outcome of the Czech tendency to avoid the unknown. Your Czech colleagues will be reluctant to digress from business protocol or show signs of flexibility during negotiations. Establishing and securing trust is a crucial element of the negotiation process, even up to the closing of a business deal.  Final decisions are rarely sealed verbally and any renegotiating may damage your business credibility.

Business Etiquette (Do’s and Don’ts)

DO expect to participate in some form of small talk and introductory conversation before entering into business discussions with your Czech colleagues.

DO try to distinguish between formal and informal language and situations that will allow you to select appropriate forms of address and greetings.

DO respect your Czech counterpart’s sense of personal space. Close personal contact with business acquaintances is frowned upon and should be avoided at all times.

 DON’T interrupt or raise the level of your voice during business discussions with your Czech colleagues, as this behaviour may be perceived as distracting or rude.

 DON’T refuse any invitation offered to you, as crucial business decisions are often made outside the business environment. The Czechs value hospitality as a means through which to build both personal and business relationships.

 DON’T be surprised if your Czech counterparts ask you about your personal earnings. This is still an acceptable enquiry of strangers in the Czech Republic.


Taken from www.communicaid.com

CZECH REPUBLIC: useful links

www.czechtourism.com

www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1108489.stm

www.czech.cz

www.myczechrepublic.com

www.czechairlines.com

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