Monday, January 30, 2017

English Comes to Brno

When I first moved to Brno, going on 7,5 years ago, it wasn't easy to find an English speaker.  Going to a restaurant was an adventure.  Even if I asked a waiter or waitress (in Czech), if they spoke English (or German), I mostly received a grunt and the menu was tossed on the table.  What a difference a few years has made.  Now when I go out, and speak Czech, many of the waiters will want to respond back in English.  Of course, I just keep speaking Czech.  If I had to learn it then I'm going to use it.

But one place I never thought would lighten up was going to the city administrative offices.  Of the 29 Brno city districts, Brno-střed has the largest number of foreigners living there, around 6,000 people.  About 7% of the local population.  Well now the Brno-střed, Brno-centre, website has information online in both English and Russian.

Paperwork is now available in both English and Russian and at the main office there is an English-speaking clerk.  And starting next month, 150 office employees will get English lessons.

Wow!  How times have changed.  I wonder if other languages, like German or French, are next?  Or if other districts plan on doing this too?  

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