Ta Pémiš Šprochna
The Bohemian Language


        Bohemian language evolved from the difficult situation of the Kingdom at the end of XVI. century. Although till that time the Czech language was the most used one, including wide spectrum of beletry, philosophical works and poetry, Habsburg policy of unification of the kingdom under one language changed the situation. Neither Czech nor German were acceptable, but frequent use of German by the Royal Court and administration resulted in slow change of Czech and/or German into Bohemian. After relatively tough regimes of kings during XVII. and XVIII. centuries, the language was already established and later codified as an official language in 1805 by the royal decret. Localy, the original languages were still preserved in rural environment, but vast majority of the population in metropolis Prague (Prák) and other big and small towns spoke it as a first tongue.

         During the XIX. century, national revival movements started to re-animate the individual cultures and languages of some regions (especially in Bohemia and both Lusatias), but without major support of the content population, it is mostly hobby of university and grammar-school professors or instrument of extremists in exil (Slevanian nationalists or Czechs in RTC). Several grammar books were issued (mostly in Bohemian or other major language, because none of the authors is able to fluently speak his claimed language), some authors are trying to write dramata in these languages and some rural writers are trying to pick up the last remnants of the dying folklore, but they are condemned to fade and disappear.     

        Generaly, Bohemian (15 000 000 speakers) is Germanic language with Slavic (Czech) superstrate, having majority of lexicum coming from German, whereas the grammar is based on Czech and German. It recognises five dialects (nortpémiš, vestsítpémiš, ostsítpémiš, prákeriš and pryneriš) and two interdialects; a Venedo-Bohemian wasiwenedyk/fasäfentiš and a Slevano-Bohemian ulimútán/olmyciš. There are three other major languages spoken in BK; slezna/šléziš (900 000), moravljanec/mériš (400 000; not recognised in Slevania as a language distinct from slvanjec/slevániš), and wenedyk/fentiš (600 000); along with three minor languages; serbski/sorpiš (50 000), czesstina/cechiš (20 000) and cidarke/arkiš (3 500):

map3


Great Master Plan
(or how German became Bohemian)

Bohemian Grammar

Bohemian Phrasebook and selected Texts


Under construction
Untr ófbó


Jan Havliš, 2004
jdqh@chemi.muni.cz