Use our quick glossary to unscramble the meanings of Czech and Slovak words commonly found in genealogical records.
Czech and Slovak research can leave you tongue-tied: You might
encounter up to a half-dozen languages, including your ancestors'
native Czech or Slovak. Though these closely related West Slavic
tongues use the Roman alphabet, their unfamiliar consonant combinations
and accent marks can trip up unsuspecting researchers.
The Roman Catholic influence means you'll also find records in
Latin; some Greek Catholic church records are in Old Church Slavonic,
which uses the Cyrillic alphabet (see <www.volgawriter.com/VW%20Cyrillic.htm>).
Since Austria controlled Bohemia and Moravia, Czech records may appear
in German (usually in a script called Kurrent). Likewise, you'll
stumble upon Slovak records written in Hungarian. Consult online and
offline translation dictionaries, the FHL's word lists (at <www.familysearch.org>) and the Church Record Translations Web site <www.bmi.net/ jjaso> for help — as well as this cheat sheet of common family history terms: