How to Compliment Someone in Czech
Czechs might often come across as pretty serious and stoic, but this doesn’t mean they never compliment each other. They do.
In fact, complimenting someone’s cooking is a big part of Czech culture. Complimenting your romantic partner is also considered an essential part of any good romance.
But how do you compliment in Czech? Read this guide to find out.
Romantic Czech Compliments
Knowing how to compliment your partner in Czech is crucial. While Czechs aren’t exactly known as the warmest people, they can often be very affectionate with those closest to them.
These are some of the most common phrases Czechs might use in a romantic setting:
Czech compliments about appearance
- Jsi krásná/ý.
- Jsi nádherná/ý.
- Máš krásný úsměv.
(You have a beautiful smile)
- Máš hezké oči.
(You have pretty eyes)
Czech is a language which has grammatical gender. For the phrase «Jsi krásná/ý» - Use “krásná” when complimenting a woman, and “krásný” when complimenting a man.
Other romantic compliments in Czech
- Myslel/a jsem na tebe celý den.
(I’ve been thinking about you all day.)
- Je mi tu bez tebe smutno.
(It’s sad here without you.)
- Tolik pro mě znamenáš.
(You mean so much to me.)
- Byli jsme si souzeni.
(We were destined to be together.)
Again, since Czech is a language which has grammatical gender, the phrase «Myslel/a jsem na tebe celý den.» has two forms: If you are a woman, use the form “myslela”. If you are a man, use “myslel” instead.
(Related article: Czech term of endearment)
Czech compliments for friends
Complimenting one’s friends in Czech is far less common than complimenting one’s romantic partner. With their friends, Czechs tend to be much less poetic. Affection is often expressed through sarcasm and inside jokes.
Still, there are a couple of phrases that you might come across when talking to your friends. These are:
- Jsi skvělý/á kamarád/ka.
(You’re a great friend.)
- S tebou je vždycky sranda/zábava. (informal)
(You’re always fun to be around.)
- Máš skvělý smysl pro humor.
(You have a great sense of humor)
Tip: There is a time and place for sincerity in Czech friendships. Don’t shower your Czech friends with compliments all the time. Instead, be intentional with it.
Compliments for family members
Czechs have strong family values. They often say that you can only trust your family and that family is the most important thing in one’s life.
Despite this, there aren’t many commonly used compliments for family members. Many Czechs take this strong family bond as a given, and that’s perhaps why there seems to be a lack of family-themed compliments in Czech.
Still, there are some ways you can show your appreciation to your parents or your child. These are:
- Jsi nejlepší mamka/táta.
(You’re the best mom/dad.)
- Díky/děkuji, že se o mě tak dobře staráš.
(Thank you for taking such good care of me.)
- Ty jsi ale šikulka!
(You’re so skillful/handy/good at that! [only used for children])
- To se ti fakt povedlo!
(You did such a good job!)
How to compliment someone’s style in Czech
Complimenting someone’s style in English is vastly different from doing the same in Czech. The Czech language has a couple of set phrases that don’t translate well into English.
So, if you want to tell someone you like their dress, make sure to use one of the following phrases. A direct English-to-Czech translation would probably only confuse those around you.
- Ty šaty ti moc sluší.
(This dress really suits you.)
- Líbí se mi tvoje náušnice.
(I like your earrings.)
- Máš dobrý vkus.
(You have a good taste.)
- Pěkný kecky! (informal)
- Dneska máš super vlasy.
(Your hair looks great today.)
- Máš boží účes.
(Your hairstyle is awesome.)
Complimenting someone’s cooking in Czech
Food is an integral part of Czech culture. With that come certain traditions, such as complimenting the chef.
While Czechs can often be shy about their compliments in personal settings, this is very much not the case when it comes to someone’s cooking. Here, Czechs will often shower the person with as many compliments as possible.
If you don’t compliment a Czech chef on their cooking, they will most likely think you hated the meal – and there is no worse insult for a Czech.
Here are some of the most common food-related compliments:
- Bylo to výborné.
(It was excellent/delicious.)
- Moc mi to chutná.
(I really like the taste of this.)
- Tahle omáčka je vynikající.
(This sauce is outstanding/delicious.)
- To voní opravdu dobře.
(This smells really good.)
- Dal/a bys mi recept?
(Would you give me the recipe?)
- Musíš/te mi říct, co jsi/jste do toho dal/a/i!
(You have to tell me what you put in this.)
- To se ti/vám doopravdy povedlo.
(You did a really great job.)
- To je dobrota!
(This is delicious/yummy!)
How to compliment someone at work in Czech
Complimenting someone in a professional setting can be tricky in Czech. You need to make sure to keep it formal and to the point. Czechs don’t often dish out flowery compliments at work.
Still, there are ways you can show your appreciation to your colleagues and employees. Here are some examples:
- Dobrá práce!
- To se vám opravdu povedlo.
(You did a really good job.)
- Tento zaměstnanec odvedl skvělou práci.
(This employee did a great job.)
- Ta prezentace se vám vážně povedla.
(The presentation was a great success.)
There are two things to keep in mind when complimenting someone you work with:
- Keep it formal and appropriate. Don’t forget to use vy instead of ty. It’s inappropriate to use tykání in a workplace unless otherwise specified.
- Make sure to sound sincere. Many of the above compliments could also be used sarcastically. If you don’t get the intonation right, the person you’re complimenting might think you’re actually trying to insult them. Make sure you sound enthusiastic and lively. If you sound monotone, your compliment won’t land well.
How to accept a compliment in Czech
When a Czech person gives you a compliment, it’s important that you respond appropriately. Because Czechs don’t hand out compliments too often, any hesitation or awkwardness might result in them never giving you another compliment again.
Here are some ways you can respond to a compliment in Czech:
Děkuji. / Moc děkuji.
(Thank you. / Thank you very much.)
Vážím si toho.
(I appreciate it.)
- This is perhaps the most straightforward way to respond to a compliment. You can’t go wrong with a simple thanks, especially if you deliver it with a smile.
- Note: Make sure to say the full “děkuji,” and not the more informal version “díky.” While the informal version might be acceptable in certain situations, it’s not always appropriate in this case. A “díky” might make the other person think you didn’t genuinely appreciate their compliment.
Moc to pro mě znamená.
(This means a lot to me.)
- This is a more serious way to respond to a compliment. It lets the other person know that you truly heard what they said and you are grateful.
- Use this response in particularly heartfelt moments – or at work, if your boss is being extra complimentary.
- Much like “Vážím si toho,” this is another way that Czechs express genuine gratitude.
- Use this response when you feel really touched by the compliment.
Nemyslím si, ale díky.
(I don’t think so but thank you.)
- This is a very common phrase Czechs might use after receiving a compliment. It shows that you appreciate the other person, and it makes you look more humble and friendly.
- Use “Ty také/y.” when someone tells you that you’re beautiful or that you have nice eyes.
- To respond to other, more specific compliments (such as when someone compliments your earrings), come up with something nice to say back to them (e.g., Hezká sponka! – Nice hair clip!).
- Czechs are often self-deprecating. They don’t like to come across as big-headed or conceited. That’s why they might sometimes accept your compliment by disagreeing with you.
- This doesn’t mean that they want reassurance. Czechs just like to stay humble, and this phrase is one way for them to do so.
Czechs don’t hand out compliments very often. When they do, it usually means they are being sincere. They mean what they say.
That’s why you need to make sure you know how to respond appropriately. For Czechs, compliments aren’t part of everyday small talk. They’re a big deal and should be viewed and treated as such.
Be mindful when giving and receiving compliments. Fake politeness won’t get you anywhere with Czechs. Using compliments sparingly but honestly is much more preferred.
If you’d like to learn more about the Czech language and culture, have a look at these guides to Czech girl names and Czech boy names. Alternatively, Czech out this comprehensive guide to Czech language basics.