Czech (Czech Republic) and Slovak (Slovakia) are two closely related Slavic languages with similar spelling systems.
About Czech and Slovak
Both Cezch and Slovak are closely related enough that speakers may understand parts of each other’s languages, but both use distinct spelling systems. The ancestor to both languages were first attested in the Middle Ages.
Note: Czech was sometimes called Bohemian, but this does not imply that it is related to German.
Czech Language Links
Slovak Language Links
Latin-2 (Central European) Encoding
Although these languages use the Western alphabet, Czech and Slovak includes accented letters (e.g. č, š) which may not be found in all fonts.
Note: The term Central European is sometimes used to refer to the languages which use accented letters not common in Western European languages.
Many common fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Calibri, Cambria, Palatinto and many more do include these characters.
Third Party Fonts
Below are some additional third party Unicode fonts which include Central European characters.
- SIL Fonts – The SIL has created multiple fonts with IPA characters including:
- Andika – Designed for new readers. It could be suitable for some students with reading disorders.
- Doulos SIL – Includes Greek, Cyrillic
- Charis SIL – Font family and includes Greek, Cyrillic
- Gentium – From SIL. Very readable
- Quivira – Modelled on Garamond and includes ancient language, basic Cyrillic/Armenian/Georgian and math/astronomical symbols.
Note: Many fonts designed to include phonetic characters or Greek and Western letters include Central European characters. Additional Central European or Extended Latin fonts may be available online, but users should be sure they are properly encoded fonts before installing them.
Typing Czech and Slovak
Microsoft provides keyboard utilities for Central European languages which allow you to type Central European Characters.
Note: Neither the Windows International
Keyboard or ALT code repertoire includes Central European characters.
- See detailed keyboard activation instructions for different versions of the Windows operating system.
- To see where the critical keys are, go to the Microsoft Keyboard Layouts Page.
- You can also input characters from the Character Map. This can be useful if you only need to insert characters into only a few words.
Extended Keyboard Codes
You can activate the Extended Keyboard to input Central European characters.
|Hachek Caron||š,Š||Option+V, X|
Note on Hacheck: The keyboard also converts hacheks after L,D to Ľ and ď with an "apostophe".
Note on Circumflex: Use Option+6 instead of Option+I for circumflex acents.
Czech and Slovak Mac Keyboard Utilities
Apple also has keyboard utilities for most Central European languages. See instructions for activating a Macintosh keyboard for more details.
Web Development and Language Codes
If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites below should display
the correct characters.
Note: If a site displays gibberish, see the Browser Setup page for debugging information.
utf-8) is the preferred encoding for Web sites. However, the following historic encodings may still be encountered.
win-1250(aka "Windows Encoding")
Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Czech and Slovak text more efficiently. The appropriate codes are:
Inserting Unicode Character Codes for HTML
HTML Entity Codes
Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML for short words and phrases. For instance, if you want
to type čtrnáct you would type
Note: Be sure the appropriate Encodings and Language Tags are used.
Note on Hacheck Caron: The hacheck mark for L,D is visually similar to an apostrophe.
Capital A umlaut
Lower A umlaut
Capital E hachek
Capital O circumflex
Lower O circumflex
Capital L acute
Capital R acute
Capital C hachek
Capital D hachek
Lower D hachek
Capital L hachek
Capital N hachek
Capital R hachek
Capital S hachek
Capital T hachek
Lower T hachek (apos)
Capital Z hachek
European Quote Marks
Many modern texts use American style quotes, but if you wish to include European style quote marks, here are the codes. Note that these codes may not work in older browsers.
|Sym||HTMl Entity Code|
|«||« (left angle)|
|»||» (right angle)||‹||‹ (left single angle)|
|›||› (right single angle)||„||„(bottom quote)||‚||‚(single bottom quote)||“||“(left curly quote)||‘||‘(left single curly quote)||”||”(right curly quote)||’||’(right single curly quote)||–||– (en dash)|
|—||— (em dash)|
Czech Language Links
Slovak Language Links
Central European Computing Links
- AATSEEEL Central European Pages
- The Czech and Slovak Character Encoding Mess Explained – Page explains Central European encoding for regional language including Hungarian, Romanian and Polish.
Linux is used in the region so a search for specific issues may be useful.