I’ve decided to put Russian on hold for now and have started learning Czech instead. My Czech friends have taught a few words and phrases, and I hope to acquire a much more knowledge of the language.

I’m beginning my studies with the Pimsleur Czech course, which consists of 10 half-hour lessons. The small amount of material covered by the course seems to be covered thoroughly. As I listen to the tapes, I’m converting them to mp3 format so that I can copy them to my mp3 player and listen to again whenever I want.

At the same time, I’m also digitizing some of my other language courses, which is enabling me to brush my Spanish, Italian, Welsh, Cantonese and Taiwanese. It will take quite a while to convert all my tapes to mp3s, but I’m in no particular hurry.

This entry was posted in Czech, Language, Language learning.

14 Responses to Czech

  1. Logan says:

    You know, I keep telling myself I should buy an iPod just so I’d have sufficient reason to convert my cassettes to mp3. That fear of my tape deck one day suddenly eating a cassette has made me cautious of playing them too often, and having them in digital form is the best way at the moment to preserve them, it seems.

  2. Polly says:

    Simon, good luck with Czech.

    How do you convert tapes to mp3? I hope one doesn’t just use the mic feature on an mp3 player.

    I received a Linguaphone course of Russian tapes from 1971, at least according to the dialogue therein. I’m worried that the tapes will soon warp. I listen to the last tape whenever I’m in the car and there’s nothing on the radio.

  3. Jared says:

    Why learn Czech, aside from what I might loosely term entertainment value? It seems that Russian might be more useful. Not that I’m advocating learning only useful languages.

  4. TJ says:

    Polly>> here’s one method but it doesnt work all the time plus it can have a lot of noise. You need some good space in your PC and somehow a speedy one.
    All what you have to do is to play the tape in a casette player that supports headphones. Then you get a wire that has similar head on both ends to connect the headphone hole from the player to the mic hole in your PC. Play and record like you do when you record your voice with a mic, and usually that will be recorded in WAV first. Then with a nice program you can convert the WAV file into a MP3 file. The WAV can be large in size according to the quality that you fixed your player to record with. Some playing around with some program can give you a handful of some “technical” aspects 🙂

  5. Polly says:

    Thanks, TJ. I will have to give that a try.

  6. TJ says:

    Fáilte romhat 🙂

  7. Simon says:

    Polly – I have a lead connecting the line-out sockets on the back of my cassette player to my computer’s line-in socket. I play the cassettes on my cassette player and use a free piece of software called Audacity to record them. I can then export the recordings as mp3s. Connecting to the headphone socket on a cassette player would produce lower quality recordings.

    Jared – why Czech? Well I know a lot more Czechs than Russians and see them more often, so I’ll be able to put the Czech I’m learning to practical use. I plan to learn more Russian after I’ve got to grips with Czech.

  8. Polly says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I found the audacity download location. Here it is for anyone else who wants to know:
    Now all I need is a tapeplayer that doesn’t have an automobile connected to it!

  9. Polly says:

    Is there a way to capture streaming audio in an audio file? I would like to record on-line foreign radio and play it back at another time on my mp3 player, which also plays .wav and other formats.

  10. Simon says:

    You can use Audacity to recording streaming audio – just set the source to Stereo Mix, play the streaming audio and press record on Audacity.

  11. TJ says:

    He’s not a languages Man, but also a technician! 🙂

  12. Polly says:


    That’s great! I will have to try that when I have time. My home PC uses dial-up so downloads are at a crawl’s pace. Even streaming audio comes over haltingly. Hopefully, that won’t be reflected in the recording.
    Luckily, text isn’t affected.


  13. Sean Flanagan says:

    Good luck with the Czech! Je to moc dobrý, krásný jayzk! I speak both Czech and Russian, and you can’t go wrong with either as far as interesting grammar, phonology, and the rest. For instance, to my knowledge, no other language has the ř sound. (Correct me if I’m wrong). As for why one would want to learn Czech, I answer with only one lovely word – Prague. Be sure to “czech” out the materials available on (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

  14. renato says:

    ahoj! Simon. I wish you good luck

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