Czech is a gateway language
Czech is a Slavic language, related to Russian, and even closer to Polish and Slovak, which can be learned more easily after Czech. Unlike Russian, it uses the Latin alphabet and is thus more immediately accessible to the western learner. Czech may be difficult (make no mistake), but for that it remains rewarding.
The Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the term “robot” for his 1920 play Rossum’s Universal Robots. The word immediately spread throughout the world. And then of course there is Prague, the “city of a hundred spires.” Located in the geographical center of Europe, Prague is indeed the heart of the continent.
The Czech and Slovak Republics joined the EU in 2004 and are the fastest growing markets in the European Union. Western European nations have moved many factories eastward, finding burgeoning markets with fewer governmental restrictions and a population eager to work. Banking and property investment are also growing sectors of the Czech Republic economy.
Cars and more cars
The Czech Republic has a very long history in the automobile manufacturing industry. The first car brand established in the Czech Republic was the Laurin & Klement. When founded by automotive pioneers Václav Laurin and Václav Klement in 1895 in the Kingdom of Bohemia, this manufacturer initially specialized in the production of motorcycles and bicycles.
In 2002, a company known as Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) formed to manufacture Toyotas, Peugeots, and Citroëns at a new Czech factory at Kolin. In 2004 the South Korean car and appliance maker Hyundai chose Slovakia for a giant car manufacturing plant, joining earlier carmakers such as Volkswagen and Porsche and giving the country the nickname “the Detroit of Europe.” In May 2006, Hyundai confirmed its intention to invest up to 1 billion Czech crowns in a plant in Nosovice, north Moravia. In January 2021, Toyota will take over the ownership of the TPCA plant in Kolin, making it Toyota’s 8th plant in Europe and a subsidiary of Toyota Motors Europe.
The world’s first pilsner beer
Pilsner Urquell, the world’s first pilsner beer, was invented in a Czech brewery in 1842. It is now the preferred style of beer throughout the world. Look at any can of Budweiser, Miller, or other less common beers, and you will see the words “Pilsner style.”
The Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world, putting away an astounding 163 liters per person a year. This includes men, women, and children, and since women and children don’t consume a lot of beer (preferring wine and milk respectively), a lot of Czech men are drinking a lot of Czech beer.