Mysteries of Czech Language: Diminutive Fever

Though I’ve left the Czech Republic for Germany, I feel obliged to keep up America’s favorite ongoing blog series, The Mysteries of Czech Language. Czech language has a built-in structure where you can form diminutives from just about anything. A waitress at our favorite Prague restaurant seemed to have a nervous disorder that compelled her … Continue reading “Mysteries of Czech Language: Diminutive Fever”

Mysteries of Czech language: Pirate talk

(Part of an ongoing series. Previous installments begin here). Last night, my wife and I passed a billboard ad for a local aquarium-type thing here called Mořsky Svět (Sea World). I joked that given the land-locked nature of the Czech Republic, they could probably just display a giant tank filled with salt water and people would … Continue reading “Mysteries of Czech language: Pirate talk”

Mysteries of Czech language: K(e)rmit

(Part of an ongoing series. Previous installments begin here). There’s a verb ‘krmit’ in Czech that describes the act of feeding an animal, small human or very old human (basically, anyone who can’t feed themselves). Czech is a very precise language in that there are often these highly specific verbs to differentiate between slightly different … Continue reading “Mysteries of Czech language: K(e)rmit”

Mysteries of Czech language

Another probing look at the third-most spoken language in Texas (well, not anymore, but it used to be for much of the 20th century). Previous installments here and here. Only one of the following statements is false: In Czech… “No” means yes “Yes” means eat!, but only as an imperative “Host” means guest Pants are … Continue reading “Mysteries of Czech language”

Adventures In German Language

JohnnyO once discussed his ‘Wheels On The Bus’ iphone app that allows the user (his daughter, in his case) to play back the song in a number of different languages. All is good until you get to the German version, where the singer is breathlessly rushing to keep up with the music— such is the syllabic … Continue reading “Adventures In German Language”

One Nose Horn

One of those semi-incriminating cached searches that come up on your iPhone when you don’t have a good alibi ready: Along similar lines, I wonder if the mysteries of Czech language point towards a secret unholy marriage between rhinoceroses and unicorns: Rhinoceros = nosorožec, meaning ‘Nose horn’ Rhinoceros visual aid: Unicorn: jednorožec, meaning ‘One horn’ … Continue reading “One Nose Horn”

Adventures in Czech language

Another installment in an ongoing series on oddities of Czech language. Czech, like many languages, has a formal and informal tense for addressing people. (I only realized a few years ago that English used to have this, too, before we decided to upgrade everyone to ‘formal’ status. That’s what all the thee and thou business in … Continue reading “Adventures in Czech language”