The official language of the Czech Republic, the Czech language has its genesis in the rich cultural history of the region.
Closely related to Slovak and Polish, the Czech language features influences from Latin and German and in fact, the Moravian dialects as spoken in the east of the Czech Republic are much closer to Slovak in structure.
Given the relatively recent history of their two countries, it is perhaps unsurprising that the highest concentration of Czech speakers outside the Czech Republic is in neighbouring Slovakia and the Czech language is an officially recognised minority language there.
Slovaks will generally have no problem understanding Czechs and vice versa however some of the dialects may confuse not only Slovak visitors but also their own countrymen.
European emigration to the US has meant that there are areas in Texas, Nebraska and Wisconsin where Czech is spoken as the most common language in the home.
Grammatically complex, Czech is classified as one of the most difficult languages to learn for the average English speaker who will also have difficulty with pronunciation. The Foreign Service Institute suggests that it will take around 44 weeks for an English speaker to get to basic proficiency in Czech compared to 23 weeks for French or Italian.