The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another perspective, Czech is an inflectional language, which means that the words “inflect” (their endings change). The meaning a given word has in a sentence is primarily determined according to this inflection.
Many Czech-speaking people are to be found in Austria (particularly in Vienna), Poland, Germany, Ukraine (the Volhynian Czechs), Croatia (especially around Daruvar), and in western Romania (Banat). Several tens of thousands of Czechs live in Slovakia, where they have remained since the break-up of the Czechoslovak Republic (in 1992).
Czech is also spoken outside of Europe – in Australia, Canada, and particularly in the United States, where the greatest number of Czechs reside outside of the Czech Republic. The largest communities are in New York City, Chicago and Cleveland, but they are also to be found in agricultural regions of Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska. Altogether, more than 90,000 Czechs live in the United States (according to the census in 1990).