Multicultural Family

The name game

February 24, 2012
Czech name calendar

Navigating Czech name culture

Even after being here all this time, wrapping my head around Czech names and titles and the culture of using them is still a challenge. I find myself stumbling when I say good morning “Pane řediteli Karvánku” (Mr. Director Karvanek) to Anna’s school principal, or goodbye “Paní doktorko Čadkovo” (Mrs. Doctor Chadkova) to the children’s pediatrician. Saying all the titles followed by the last name is a mouthful. I’ve never been that good at remembering last names, although it wasn’t a skill I’d particularly needed until coming to the Czech Republic. After a recent name bumble, I realized I still didn’t have the Czech name game figured out. Besides the often complicated business of using titles correctly, there’s also the matter of the Czech names changing when they are spoken.

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