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18-11-2019, 08:55 UTC
Living Czech

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose...

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Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am joined in the studio this week by our producer Zuzka. This week, our topic is a warm and fuzzy one. That's to say, love and romance in Czech.

If we simplify things, then there are three degrees of liking and loving someone in Czech. When you first meet someone, then you might say to your friend of someone you find attractive or interesting, líbí se mi, I like him or her, or literally, he or she is pleasing to me. This is the first degree of láska or love. If you pluck up the courage, you will invite your prospective partner on a rande, or date. Rande comes from the French word rendezvous. A rande will involve a trip to the kino or cinema, or perhaps for veèeøe, or dinner in a restaurace, or restaurant.

If your rande goes well, then it will be followed by more, and you and your partner may begin to chodit spolu, literally walk together, or go out together. Now is the time for romantika, or romance, líbání, or kissing, from the verb líbat to kiss. Interestingly enough, a kiss is a pusa or pusinka, which is interesting because pusa also means mouth, and pusinka is a diminutive of this, meaning little mouth. So dej mi pusinku, or give me a kiss, could be literally translated as give me a little mouth. You will also dr¾et se za ruku, or hold hands, and you have begun to zamilovat se, or fall in love.

This is where the second degree of láska or love comes in. Czechs say this using the expression mít rád, which means to like someone a lot, even to love them a bit. If you say mám tì rád to your pøítelkynì or girlfriend, or mám tì ráda to your pøítel or boyfriend, then it means that you love them a fair amount. Interestingly enough, this expression, when used in a family context means to love someone in the fullest sense. If your mother says to you mám tì ráda then it is an unambiguous declaration of motherly love.

Now the third degree of láska or love is the most serious one, for when you are completely zamilovaný, or in love. For this we use the verb milovat, or to love, and if you say to your partner miluji tì, then it means that you love them intensely. It is heartfelt burning romantic love and is not to be used lightly, as it has connotations of serious commitment. You would never say miluji tì to your mother for instance, for it is simply a different kind of love altogether.

There are some interesting ways to refer to your partner in Czech, other than pøítelkynì or girlfriend, and pøítel or boyfriend. You can refer to your boyfriend as simply mùj kluk, my boy, or mùj mu¾, my man, and your girlfriend can simply be moje holka, my girl, or moje ¾ena, or my woman. There are also some sweeter terms for referring to girlfriends, such as moje lep¹í polovièka, literally my better half, or moje drahá polovièka, or my dear half.

After some years together, the man may well po¾ádat o ruku, or ask for his girlfriend's hand in marriage. If she accepts then they become snoubenci, or an engaged couple.

As for marriage and families, we will deal with that topic at a later date, as we have run out of time. Next week we will take a look at Czech Christian names and surnames, which seem as bizarre to us as many of our names may seem to the Czechs. If you would like to obtain Living Czech in script form, please write to us at Radio Prague 120 99 Prague 2. Until next week, mìjte se fajn, take care or milujte se, love each other.

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