Here is the entire list of things I can currently say/understand in the Czech language. Aside from the first three items, it’s probably the most oddly specific, limited, and essentially useless beginner vocabulary I have ever had in a foreign country, ever.
Hello / Hi.
This train terminates at __________.
Exit/entrance (which look ridiculously similar).
Transfer to line A.
Lie down on your back and kick your feet in the air, then get up and do star jumps.
Please stand back from the doors.
End of compulsory ticket zone.
That’s it. Not even “thank you” has made it on to that list, and I’ve been here since the end of July. Lest you think I’m rude and ungrateful, I must point out that I have, in fact, learned the word for “thank you” approximately 50 times per week, and promptly forgotten it within about 2 minutes each time – what’s that about??? It simply will not stick in my head. Even when I do remember and try to say it, I can’t pronounce it, and the vowel sounds of the syllables inevitably come out in the wrong order – the equivalent in English would be a foreigner mumbling something like “thunk yeh vary mouch” and then scuttling off in embarrassment.
Alternatively, I gape blankly for a moment, panic, and somehow accidentally say it in Korean.
Fortunately, most people in Prague immediately switch to English the second I open my mouth, but still.
Czech lessons begin on Friday.