Czech

by Mirjam Fried

Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic, the western two thirds of the former Czechoslovakia. It is spoken by about nine and a half million people and belongs to the western branch of Slavic languages.

The Czech spelling system uses special letters for certain sounds; you will also find a few of them in this puzzle, including the following:

pronounced as the first syllable of the word "yellow."
pronounced as the first sound in the word "Czech."
pronounced as the first sound in the word "shop."
pronounced approximately as the last sound in the word "café."
pronounced as the last sound in the word "stew."
pronounced approximately as the first sound in the word "argue."

The following are examples of how to say in Czech what time it is:

'five minutes to eight'
'ten minutes to eight'
'quarter after seven'
'seven minutes to eight'
'seven minutes after seven'
'five minutes after six'
'half past seven'
'half past eight'
'twenty minutes after five'
'quarter after nine'

How would you say the following in Czech? (for the purposes of this exercise, you may use the plain letters e, c, s, u, and a in place of the special Czech letters described above):

'23 minutes after five'
'10 minutes after nine'