3 Times Czech Signs Were Rude to Me

One common stereotype about Czechs is that they are rude or cold. While this can be the case with strangers, it generally isn’t when you get to know people. But what about when you’re angry and you really want to send people a message and you don’t care who knows it?

We all have our rude moments, Americans included. But the writers of these Czech signs should really win an award.

 

  1. The Foreign Pigolice

There are many things at the Foreign Police written in Czech, English, Russian, and Vietnamese. But the best part about this sign (and probably the reason why it was written, if the writer is really passive-aggressive) is that most of the visitors to their bathroom can’t understand it!!

It says,

“LADIES, CHECK THE TOILET SEAT AFTER YOU USE IT. WE ARE NOT PIGS.”

Except in this case, the word referring to the “ladies” could be literally translated as “kittens.”

Talk about condescending.

I even actually texted someone and asked them, “Is this sign as rude as I think it is?” just to make sure.

 

2. The patients aren’t as innocent as they look

Another stereotype about Czech people is that they steal. Apparently, this doctor’s office agrees. They’ve posted a sign that says,

“PEOPLE!!!!

DON’T STEAL!!!!

Not even flowers!!!!!!!!”

Do you think they mean it?

Putting potted plants that are too large to be carried out unnoticed was probably a good call.

 

3. Dear Pig,

While on a hike in Bystřice nad Pernštejnem last year, my companions and I noticed this nice little sign that addressed its reader as “Dear Pig.” To be fair, the writer is addressing people, and I think one particular person, who litters, throwing their plastic and glass bottles on the ground.

Despite knowing otherwise, I turned around – no one behind me – and asked silently, Who, me?

It was probably written by the caretaker of the woods, and truly, I understand their anger. But I’m not sure how effective their rant is if the person doesn’t see it… that’s probably why they posted the same letter on a bunch of different trees 😀

Here’s a sample:

Dear Pig,

I don’t know what brings you to “sprinkle” trash around the woods. Do you hate people and nature? Or were you brought up in dirt and mess, you poor thing, and so you do it everywhere you go?

[…] This is all probably too complicated for your tiny brain to understand.

Nature is patient enough, but one day she will pay you right back. Don’t you think?

 

One nuance of Czech is that there are two levels of formality. The letter addresses the reader in the lower, familiar one, but capitalizes the word “You” probably to emphasize the irony of the reader’s low level status in the writer’s eyes.

Czech double burn!

Whether or not the litterer gets the message, I bet that it felt good to post 😛 Overall, these signs are a good education in how to be rude in a foreign language… I mean, ahem, things I will definitely never say.

Categories Czech Customs, Faux pasTags , , , , , ,

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