This week in Mailbox: The first Bohemian chronicler Cosmas, listening to Radio Prague on smart phones, listening in the Czech Republic, a comment on the reduction of the number of winners each month, saving wild animals in the Czech Republic. Listeners quoted: Joe T. Vosoba, Armin Gerstberger, Kristina Pletková, Colin Law, Steven Bell.

Thanks for tuning in to Radio Prague’s Mailbox, a weekly show for your views, comments and questions.

A recent Czechs in History programme by Christian Falvey dedicated to the first Bohemian chronicler, Cosmas of Prague, inspired Joe T. Vosoba from the US to write in:

Cosmas of Prague
“Very much enjoyed your article on Cosmas of Prague. Big question: Has it been translated into English? And if so, where can it be seen or obtained?”

Frank Miata from the UK asked the same question. And here’s the reply:

There is at least one English translation of the Chronicles that can be obtained on the internet. You will find the exact link in the e-mail replies we have sent you.

Armin Gerstberger from California wrote his message using his smart phone:

“Believe it or not, this communication tool has become my crucial link to Radio Prague during the past year since I can easily download your programs and listen to them instantly. Many years I have been aware of your website, but rarely have I listened to your programs via the internet using a personal computer because it was simply not convenient for me to make sure I'm in front of the computer when I wanted to listen to your broadcasts. The advent of so-called ‘smart phones’ has changed the way I'm enjoying your programs and has in fact resurrected my desire to listen to your programs regularly. I have not done this since my high school days in the 1990s when I still lived in Europe and in the time between 2000 and 2004 when I used to live near Chicago – but in those days I relied on shortwave reception.”

Thanks for letting us know. We understand that there are more listeners, mainly in the US who use smart phones to access our programmes. How do you listen to or read Radio Prague’s stories? Please tell us at

Kristina Pletková follows Radio Prague in the Czech Republic:

“I am happy to hear that your broadcasting is (hopefully) going to continue. It would be a big loss to cut down your broadcasts since you cover – in a very informative way – not only the most important news and current affairs in the Czech Republic, but also cultural and science events I would often hardly hear mentioned in other Czech Radio or TV broadcasts. I appreciate the interviews with commentators, art experts etc. Briefly, I hardly need to follow the Czech broadcasting, since my curiosity regarding the current happenings in my country is fully satisfied by your broadcasts. Radio Prague is becoming my first news source. :)”

Thank you very much indeed for that lovely message and it’s good to know that we have faithful listeners here in the Czech Republic as well even though our broadcasts are primarily targeted at foreign audiences. I must admit, though, that years before I joined Radio Prague, I was a keen listener myself.

In a recent Mailbox we quoted from an e-mail complaining about the number of winners of the monthly competition having been reduced to one. Colin Law from New Zealand who himself takes part every single month had this to say:

“In 2005 I began sending responses to your monthly competitions. A quick scan of my email archives indicates that I have sent correct answers more than 50 times. I am a little unsure about prizes: I certainly recall one, there may have been two, but I’m not doing it to ‘win’ and, having been made redundant from my job in a broadcasting company last year, I can well understand Radio Prague’s budget restrictions. I respond to the mystery person puzzle because I enjoy the research and get extra pleasure to occasionally reveal some little-known detail about the mystery person that many other ‘competitors’ may not have noticed. I suggest to your readers and listeners that they should think of themselves as participants rather than competitors and enjoy the learning experience. Maybe you should cut out the prize completely, save on airmail postage, and simply continue to name a few contributors each month.”

The monthly quizzes are meant to be fun and I myself learn a lot from the answers every month. The prizes are rather symbolic thank you gifts – a book, a T-shirt, a CD, nothing of significant material value. Also, there have been complaints from listeners that their particular answer has not been quoted even though it was correct. Every month there are between a hundred and two hundred answers. It’s not possible to quote every single one. Some listeners get quoted more often, that’s true, but that’s because their answers stand out and bring some added value to the programme. However, everyone is included in the prize draw – unless their answer is an obvious plagiary from an internet source.

And finally Steven Bell from Canada responded to an article on a Czech rescue group saving thousands of wild animals every year:

“I am glad the article was written in such a heartfelt way. Thank you, Sarah Borufka, for a well-written article and the wonderful pictures of the Czech Republic’s wildlife that the article touched on. It makes me remember the great things that spring can bring in my own country as well.”

And just a reminder that you can still send us your answers to this month’s quiz question:

We are looking for the name of the physician and scholar of Slovak origin and Protestant faith who performed the first public autopsy in Prague in 1600. He was among the 27 Bohemian estates leaders executed on the Old Town Square in 1621.

Please send us your answers to or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague by the end of March. Those are also the addresses for your questions and comments concerning our broadcasts. Until next week, take care.