between exams here for a while again... will try to quench your thirst for knowledge:
1) the "ř" is a czech luxury, no other language has it. but the polish "rz" (like in "andrzej" or "przemyl") does sound quite similar. if you stock no polish mates, you´ll just have to try yourself: put your tongue the way how the spanish or italian "r" is pronounced, and then try to say "zh" (like in french "jean"). works??? :-) if not, don´t worry at all, czech kids learn it only in their 5 or 6, and our ex mr president didn´t manage any later...
2) the myth of connection between the surname říha and the word "říhat" (for "burp") is popular here too, but from the strictly linguistic point of view, they have nothing in common, i´m afraid. however, my říha-ancestors used to support this myth to a great extent, especially after the substantial sunday lunches, washed out with good czech beer :-)
3) what you´ve heard about the german říha´s is a big surprise for me. if it´s true (ask a german or an austrian please, and let me know!) i guess it could be because of the long and intensive co-existention of the german and czech element. an exhausting lecture on history of the czech-german contacts on e-mail request...
4) i live and study in brno now, but my grandpa říha was born in southern bohemia where the many many říhas have to be differed by nicknames :-) to know a little bit about my říha´s, take a look at my family tree: http://www.genealogy.com/users/t/r/a/Zuzana-Travnicek/TREE/87200001tree.html.
good luck, and i hope this is not the last time we meet.
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