A Frequency Dictionary of Czech : Core Vocabulary for Learners book cover
1st Edition

A Frequency Dictionary of Czech
Core Vocabulary for Learners

ISBN 9780415576628
Published January 12, 2011 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

A Frequency Dictionary of Czech is an invaluable tool for all learners of Czech, providing a list of the 5,000 most frequently used words in the language.

Based on data from a 100 million word corpus and evenly balanced between spoken, fiction, non-fiction and newspaper texts, the dictionary provides the user with a detailed frequency-based list, as well as alphabetical and part of speech indexes.

All entries in the rank frequency list feature the English equivalent, a sample sentence with English translation and an indication of register variation. The dictionary also contains twenty thematically organised and frequency-ranked lists of words on a variety of topics, such as family, food and drink and transport.

A Frequency Dictionary of Czech enables students of all levels to get the most out of their study of vocabulary in an engaging and efficient way. It is also a rich resource for language teaching, research, curriculum design, and materials development.

A CD version is available to purchase separately. Designed for use by corpus and computational linguists it provides the full text in a format that researchers can process and turn into suitable lists for their own research work.

Table of Contents

Thematic vocabulary lists   Series preface   Acknowledgements   List of abbreviations  Introduction   Frequency index   Alphabetical index   Part of speech index

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František Cermák is Professor of Czech language and Director of the Institute of the Czech National Corpus, Charles University, Prague.

Michal Kren is Head of Computation Technology Department at the Institute of the Czech National Corpus, Charles University, Prague.



Linguist List 10/7/2011

As a language teacher and student, I have often found frequency-based
dictionaries to be extremely useful, and I have no doubt that this work will
prove similarly valuable for learners of Czech. As noted by the authors, the
book is also likely to be helpful for educators, including teachers of Czech as
well as individuals involved in curriculum design and materials development. The
statistical information that is presented may also be of substantial interest to

This book is particularly welcome in light of the fact that Czech is spoken by
relatively few people (12 million or so), which has meant that learners and
teachers of the language have had access to educational resources which are far
fewer in number than those available for more widely-spoken languages. In fact,
it happens to be the case that while living in Prague and studying Czech, I
searched in vain for exactly this kind of dictionary


Overall, there is much more to praise here than to criticize. The issues I have
mentioned above are quite minor when one takes into account the obvious effort
and care that has gone into creating the main frequency-ranked word list along
with the other tools this dictionary provides. The example sentences are clear
and illustrative; learners will no doubt find it a helpful exercise to practice
translating both the vocabulary words and their example sentences from Czech to
English and vice versa. The part of speech index and the ''thematic vocabulary''
sections permit the learner to focus selectively on particular grammatical
classes or other groups of words.

In my generally favorable review of a previous entry in this dictionary series
(the one for Mandarin Chinese), I stated that despite a few weaknesses I had
noted, my main reaction upon examining the dictionary was a sense of regret that
it had not been available to me years earlier when I was first studying Chinese.
My reaction to this Czech frequency dictionary is much the same. I would have
greatly valued such a resource when first studying Czech, and believe that
future learners will find it an extremely effective learning tool. I have no
hesitation in giving this dictionary a strong positive recommendation.

Michael Grosvald earned his doctorate in Linguistics in 2009 at the University of California at Davis. His background includes over a decade as a language instructor in Prague, Berlin, Taipei and the US; his interests include the phonetics and phonology of signed and spoken languages, second language acquisition, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics and the neuroscience of language. He is currently working as a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, Irvine.