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21-7-2019, 09:18 UTC
Living Czech

Go, Johnny, Go, Go, Go...

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Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am joined today in the studio today by Jana Durèáková. Our theme for this week is modes of transport in Czech.

Of course, the easiest way to get anywhere is usually on your own two nohy, or feet. If you want to say I am going on foot somewhere, then the expression is jdu pì¹ky, or chodím pì¹ky. Jdu comes from the verb jít, and chodím comes from the verb chodit. In brief explanation It should be pointed out that in Czech there are always two forms of every verb, one for a repeated action which is called the imperfective, and the other for a one time event, the perfective. So if you say I'm going school on foot right now, it's jdu do ¹koly, which is the perfective form, and I go to school on foot every day is chodím do ¹koly, which is the imperfective. The perfective form is used most often, and this is the form we generally use in this programme. Every single verb in Czech has these two parts, and I will at some point devote more time to this phenomenon. For the moment, though, back to transport.

The verb jít that we just examined is only used for walking. There is a separate verb in Czech for to go when using a form of transport. This verb is jet. If you go for a bike ride, then jedu na kole, or literally I will go for a ride on my kolo, or bike. When you talk about bike riding in Czech, you only use this expression, and there is no term for going by bike. This is also the case for going roller skating, jedu na bruslích, or other forms of manually power transported.

There is an expression for going by other forms of transport by land. Jedu vlakem, means to go by train. By way of a warning for going by train, you should always pay attention to the type of vlak or train you are travelling by. There are two main kinds in the Czech Republic, the rychlík, or fast train, which is sort of fast, but still tends to stop in just about every hamlet with an indoor toilet. Then there is the osobní vlak, literally the personal train, which goes at a much slower pace than the rychlík, which is quite difficult to achieve, and stops in even more backwaters. If you want to travel by car, then this is expressed in the same way, jet autem. Auto is course an abbreviated form of the word automobil. A motorcycle is motocykl, but generally the slang term motorka is used. A nákladní auto is a truck, or literally a goods car, and the slang term for this is a náklaïák.

For travelling by plane, you can say letím, I am going to fly. If you are in a great hurry then a common expression is letím, which is the equivalent of I must fly. The Czech word for a plane, letadlo, literally means a flying thing, and is also used for the expression air mail, letadlem, or literally by plane, which is the same as the French term par avion.

A more relaxed form of transport is travelling by boat. In the same way as for travelling by plane, you can say jedu lodí, I am going by boat, or plavím se, I am going to sail. Jedu lodí is used more for short trips, say, on a river cruise or even in a rowboat, and plavím se is more for long trips, like, for instance, sailing across the Atlantic.

Well, that's all we have time for this week. Those of you with a sweet tooth should look forward to next week's show, where we will take a look at desserts, candies, ice cream and the like. Until next time, mìjte se fajn, or take care.

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