Clusters of consonants are quite common in Czech. Some words have no vowels at all. A couple that I came across recently: brzd [ˈbr̩st] (break) and krb [kr̩p] (fireplace).
Brzd is the genitive plural of brzda (brake (in a vehicle)). Related words include: brzdit [ˈbr̩zɟɪt] (to break) and brzdný [ˈbr̩zdniː] (breaking).
Krb means fire, hearth, fireplace or ingle. Related words include: krbový (relating or pertaining to fireplaces), krbová deska (hearthstone) and krbové náčiní (fire irons).
Other vowelless words include:
- blb [ˈbl̩p] = wally (stupid person)
- chrp [ˈxr̩p] = of cornflowers
- drhl [ˈdr̩ɦl̩]= he scrubbed, scoured, rubbed
- hrkl [ˈɦr̩kl̩] = he rattled
- krk [kr̩k] = neck
- plch [pl̩x] = dormouse
- scvrkl [ˈst͡svr̩kl̩] = he shrank
- škrtl [ˈʃkr̩tl̩] = he cancelled, deleted, scratched
- vlk [vl̩k] = wolf
There are several tongue twisters made up of words like this:
- Strč prst skrz krk.
Stick your finger through your throat.
- Smrž pln skvrn zvlhl z mlh.
Morel full of stains got wet from the fog.
- Plch zdrhl skrz drn, prv zhltl čtvrthrst zrn.
A dormouse escaped through a turf; first it swallowed a quarter-handful of grain.
In fact, the r and l in these words funtion as semi-vowels, so you could say that they’re not really vowelless. This doesn’t make them any easier to pronounce.