The international service of Czech Radio 
18-11-2019, 09:48 UTC
Living Czech

How much is that doggie in the window...

Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am joined in the studio today by Jana Kotalikova. This week we will take a look at going shopping in Czech.

Going shopping translates as jít na nákupy in Czech, and nákupy shopping is related to the verb koupit, to buy. When you decide that you want to jít na nákupy, go shopping, you will find that this can be a fascinating experience in the Czech Republic. This is because ten years after the fall of the communist regime you can still find a wide variety of obchody, shops, a mixture of East meets West. The traditional form of obchod, shop, which you can still find in places, although it is almost extinct, is one where you are served over the counter, and your nákupy, shopping is done in three stages.

First of all you have to select your desired items from a range of products on the other side of the counter, and you only have physical contact with them if you ask the prodavaèka, or prodavaè, salesman or saleswoman to see them close up. Once you have decided what you want to koupit, buy, the prodavaèka, or prodavaè will give you a ticket which you take to the pokladna, or cash register to pay. Once you have paid for your nákupy, you then go to a third man or woman with your paragon, receipt to collect your purchases. This is a very lengthy process, and is dying out in the developing market economy of the Czech Republic. You should try to visit such an obchod, shop while you can. If you get the chance, there is a butcher's shop roughly halfway up Wenceslas Square on the right-hand side where you can still experience this type of shopping. Another thing to watch out for with this type of shopping is that the service is still old-fashioned, which means that you will tend to be treated like something unpleasant that has just been wiped off the bottom of someone's shoe.

Shopping in the Czech Republic now predominantly takes place in a samoobsluha, or self-service shop, where you are free to browse around and buy whatever you choose. There are the small shops, called potraviny, which means groceries, which tend to be mini supermarkets, but these tend to be separate from shops such as ovoce a zelenina, a fruit and vegetable shop, pekárna, a bakery, or a øeznictví a butcher's shop. The service in a samooblsuha tends to be more pleasant than the traditional style.

A fairly new phenomenon in the Czech Republic is the appearance of supermarkety, or supermarkets. Large and with a wide range of goods on offer for lower prices, they tend to be very popular with the Czechs. In some cases you will find that they are part of an obchodní dùm, or department store selling everything from light bulbs to underpants.

Another phenomenon that has appeared rather recently are hypermarkety, or hypermarkets. These, as elsewhere in the world are appearing all over the country on the edge of cities, covering many acres, with jam packed car parks and full of eager shoppers. As they provide a broader range of goods than in the little grocery stores, they are immensely popular. For many people out in the country who have traditionally attended village markets at the weekends, this is now the more upmarket way to spend a day and revel in consuming.

Well, that's all we have time for this week. Next week we will take a look at public transport in Czech. Until then, mìjte se pùvabnì, or take care.

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