Quick post on the way back from Zagreb!
When you start to really identify with or feel a language, you start to reevaluate your own a little bit. It’s a bit of a scary feeling for me, but also pretty cool to realize I am constantly starting to “get the hang of it.”
Here are some words that I feel fit the meaning better in Czech than English.
1. Zmrzlina (ice cream)
Besides being one of the first words I learned in Czech, it was one of the first words that I really got and could understand immediately as it was said to me. With the root “mrz” meaning “frozen,” it perfectly captures the word “ice cream”!
Fun fact: Jason Mraz has Czech ancestry and his last name means “frost.”
2. Domluvit (to decide/agree on, make up to do something)
I don’t know why, but this one word Czechs have for so many English word seems to fit so much better! All the English words you can translate it to have their own connotations, but domluvit is just domluvit.
3. Včely (bees)
Though we have the alliteration of “buzzy bee,” včela is such a nice an elegant way of referring to these most important of creatures! It’s even more impressive when you know that so many Czechs actually take care of them and make their own honey!
4. Motýl (butterfly)
Another insect making it on the list. But I’ve gotten tired of answering why a butter flies if a fly doesn’t butter. The Czech word is much classier 🙂
5. Perník (gingerbread)
For whatever reason (maybe because it bears no resemblance to the thing itself), people cannot remember how to say “gingerbread.” But perník sounds so cute, and you can make it even cuter with the diminutive perníček. And Czech people are oh so good at decorating them… better than I’ll ever be 😦
6. Rozzlobený (annoyed, angry)
This word buzzes with anger. It sounds like it was made to be spit out through your teeth. “Angry” isn’t so bad with its hard ggrrrrrrrr sound. (Dwight Schrute from The Office tells us why ‘r’ is the most menacing of sounds.) But zzzz sounds like a bunch of super pissed off bees swarming to come get me…
What are your favorite words?
just small mistake … včely<- Y 😉
and your blog is absolutely perfect 😀
Thanks Ed! It’s fixed.
[…] produced wine start at $5, a bag of rice or lentils is $1.50. My hosts asked me how much ice cream (zmrzlina!) costs in NYC, and then bought me a huge cone for the equivalent of […]
[…] little while ago, I posted about how to say it better in Czech – words that seem to fit the meaning better than in English, because of their sound or […]