Are Czechs Slavs?

czechs slavs
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The Czech Republic and Slovakia are Eastern European countries with a significant Slavic population. Still, when you look at their history and culture, it’s hard to say whether they can be considered Slavic countries. Are Czechs Slavs? Can the same be said about Slovakia? Let’s look closer at the countries themselves to answer these questions.


Czech comes from Czechia, which means the land of Bohemia. Other languages, such as Turkish and Polish, derive their names for Bohemia (and its people) from Czechia. In addition to linguistic similarities between Czech and other Slavic languages, this has led some historians to classify them together. But how does one determine whether a language is related to another? And what are these linguistic similarities that we speak of? Let’s take a look at a few examples. First off, it should be noted that all Slavic languages share certain features, including:

Vowel harmony – all vowels in words must agree with each other. For example, if a comment has an o sound, every vowel after it will also have an o sound.

Consonant gradation – when words end in consonants, they often change depending on grammatical context or meaning. For example, if a comment ends with a hard consonant (such as to ask), it may become soft (such as g), followed by another word that begins with a vowel sound.

Stress accent – all words have one syllable that is stressed more than others; usually, it’s either at the beginning of a term or right before a suffix is added to a word.

Feminine and masculine nouns – many Slavic languages distinguish between feminine and masculine nouns. For example, in Russian, there are separate endings for these two types of nouns.

people of czech replublic
czechia people

The History of the Term

The word Slav goes back to ancient times when it was used to name numerous tribes who occupied parts of Central and Eastern Europe. The stone ovens found in the corners of the buildings are a characteristic still used in Eastern European homes today. The Romans called them Sclavi, while they referred to themselves with names like Wends or Venedi.

Later, with Carolingian expansion eastward, new denominations such as Antes and Sclaveni were used by Charlemagne’s chroniclers to describe various peoples. In modern usage, Slav refers to three distinct groups: South Slavs (including Bulgarians, Serbs, and Bosniaks), East Slavs (including Russians and Ukrainians), and West Slavs (including Poles). These groups are further subdivided into smaller ethnicities. Slav is an umbrella term encompassing many different cultures—and can be challenging to define precisely in some cases.

What does it mean to be Slavic today?

Being a member of one of Europe’s large Slavic groups—or speaking any one of dozens of Slavic languages—is to identify with an ethnic group with a rich, often-bloody history. But what does it mean to be a Slav today, after centuries of intermarriage and assimilation have made most modern-day citizens bilingual? For some scholars and activists, there is still much work before that identity can be declared whole again. While many people in Eastern Europe are proud of their heritage, others may feel conflicted about their place in a region where nationalistic fervor has led to violence and war. And yet other Slavs might not care about ethnicity or nationality at all.

Cultural Commonalities

Czech culture, for example, has more in common with German and Austrian cultures than with Russian or Ukrainian cultures. This can be attributed to centuries of Austrian rule and influence. Also, Czech cuisine is said to have originated from a mixture of central European traditions, some influenced by Jewish communities that resided in Bohemia and Moravia. The most notable culinary contribution was probably goulash. It’s still served today as one of the national dishes. Another cultural difference between Czechs and Slavic peoples is religion. While many Slavic countries are predominantly Orthodox Christian, only about 1/3 of all Czechs are affiliated with organized religion. Most others identify as agnostic or atheist.

Czech Ancestry

Czechs are a Slavic ethnic group native to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They have been present in the territory of modern-day Czechoslovakia since at least the 6th century when they settled there from the area that is now Poland. The first written record of “Slovak” dates from 907 AD. Today, the majority of Czechs are Roman Catholics. Some also practice Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism, and Confucianism.

Slavic Origins

The Slavs are believed to have arrived in the Carpathian Basin around 500 BC. Their ancestors migrated south through Ukraine and Russia until reaching the lower Danube River basin. They established several kingdoms there, including Pannonia, Dacia, Moesia, and Illyria. By the 4th century AD, the Slavs had expanded westward across the Balkans, settling in Thrace, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. By the end of the 8th century, Slavs’ population expanded, and the groups began to extend to other regions. In the 19th century, Pan-Slavism developed among intellectuals, scholars, and poets, but it rarely influenced practical politics.

Slavic Language

The Slavic languages include Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Rusyn (Ukrainian), Ruthenian, Sorbian, and Old Church Slavonic.

In addition to the above, there are also numerous dialects spoken throughout the former Yugoslavia, including Albanian, Arbanasi, Aromanian, Bashkir, Bektashi Turkish, Berber, Bosniak, Bulgar, Chakavian, Chechen, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Criote, Cyrillic, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hungarian, Istro-Romanian, Italian, Kajkavian, Kalmyk, Khanty, Kirgiz, Kumyk, Ladino, Latvian, Lezgian, Limburgish, Lombard, Mansi, Marwari, Megleno-Romanian, Mongolian, Mordvin.

czech genetic traits

Czech Language

The Czech language () is a Slavic language native to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It belongs to the East Slavic group of languages within the Indo-European family. The Czech language has been spoken in Bohemia since at least the 10th century. In the 13th century, the Kingdom of Bohemia became part of the Holy Roman Empire. During this time, the Czech language spread throughout much of Central Europe. After World War II, Czechoslovakia split into two separate states – the Czech Republic and Slovakia – maintaining their official languages. Know here about What languages are spoken in Slovakia?

Czech People

Czechs are ethnically related to other Slavic nations such as Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and Bosnians. However, they are not considered a subgroup of any of these groups. According to the 2011 census, 8,847,967 Czechs lived in the Czech Republic and 2,737,065 in Slovakia.

czech ethnicity

Czech Culture 

The Czech people are known for their love of beer, traditional folk costumes, Christmas traditions, and folklore festivals.

Czech Cuisine 

Czech food includes dishes like goulash, koláč, and pěstovka.

Czech Music 

Czech music includes classical music and jazz. Famous musicians include Vítězslava Nejedlý, Josef Suk, Jan Hammer, Petr Jarchovsky, Jaromír Nohavica, Pavel Novotný, Zdeněk Ryšel, and Jiří Brdcek.

Czech Art 

Czech artists include František Španiel, Antonín Blaho, Bohumil Kubišta, Alois Vašut, Ivan Olbracht, Josef Lada, Jan Preisler, Ondrej Nepela, Otakar Broda, Miloš Macourek, Miroslav Sasecký, and Vladimír Weissenbruch.

Czech Architecture 

Czech architects include Josef Schulz, Rudolf Schwarz, and Otto Wagner.

Czech Literature 

Czech literature includes works by authors such as Karel Čapek, Jaroslav Hašek, Milena Jesenská, Bohuslav Martinu, and Jaroslav Seifert.


The Czech Republic’s official nationality is listed as Czech, but a little digging shows links to other ethnicities. The Germanic tribes arrived in Central Europe centuries before any Slavic migration and thus impacted modern-day Czech language and culture. Geographically, it makes sense that they would be part of a larger Germanic community (the Visegrád Group of countries) rather than a single Slavic one. In addition, many prominent figures in Czech history were of Germanic people’s descent. So, while we can’t say for sure whether or not modern-day Czechs are Slavs, we can say with certainty that they aren’t solely Slavic.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you consider Slavs to be those who speak languages from the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family, then the Czechs are Slavs. If you think Slavs only mean Russian, Polish, Ukrainian speakers, etc., then the Czechs are not. On the other hand, if you consider the term “German” to refer to anyone who speaks a language from the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European family, then the Czech people are German.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are two independent states located in central Europe. They share a border along the Danube River. Both countries are members of the EU and NATO. Despite being neighbors, the two countries have very different cultures. While both Czechs and Slovaks are predominantly Roman Catholic, most Slovaks are Orthodox Christians. The Czechs are likelier to live in cities and towns, whereas most Slovaks live in rural areas. Most Slovaks speak Slovak, which is similar to Hungarian. However, some Czechs also talk to Slovak.

The Czech Republic is a Slavic country because it is located in Central Europe, its official language is Czech, and its culture has Slavic influences. The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe. Slavic countries like Poland and Slovakia border the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is also close to Slavic countries like Russia and Ukraine.

Although Czech and Slovak share a common Slavic heritage, they are two distinct languages. Czech and Slovak differ in their grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation—grammatical differences between Czech and Slovak. Czech has more inflection than Slovak. Slovak has a more straightforward verbal system than Czech. Czech has more word order flexibility than Slovak.

Czechs and Germans are not the same. Czechs and Germans have different histories, cultures, and languages. Historical differences between Czechs and Germans

1. The Thirty Years’ War

2. The Austro-Hungarian Empire

3. World War

Cultural differences between Czechs and Germans

1. Music

2. Art

3. Literature

Linguistic differences between Czechs and Germans

1. The Czech language is Slavic, while German is Germanic

2. Czech has seven cases while German has four

3. Czech has no gender in nouns, while German has three genders

Czech and Slovakia are two different countries. Czech and Slovakia have different histories, cultures, and languages.

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