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21-7-2019, 08:48 UTC
Living Czech

Jedno pivo, prosím

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Hello and welcome again to Living Czech. I'm here with Olga Szantova, and today, as I promised, we will be looking at a topic that is close to the heart of every true Czech: beer. Well, actually beer and alcohol. Why are they separate? Well, beer forms a large part of the average Czech's diet, with per capita consumption of an astounding 160 litres last year. It is an intergral part of Czech life, so much so that beer is not considered alcohol. Only wine and spirits are alcohol here. This is reflected in a slang term for beer, tekutý chleba, or liquid bread, and another is ¾ivá voda, or life-giving water.

We will look on slang terms for beer and alcohol next week. For now, here's an orientation lesson for getting around a Czech pub, ordering beer, and lest we forget, paying for it before leaving. For those of you who have already spent time in Czech pubs, this will be familiar ground.

Once you have found your seat, a èí¹ník, or waiter, will wander wander over your way. To order one beer, you simply say "jedno pivo, prosím". For the numbers two to four, the Czech word pivo changes to the plural piva. From five upwards, it changes to piv (which, since you may well ask, is the genetive plural, literally meaning five of beer). So for two beers it will be "dvì piva, prosím", and for five beers "pìt piv, prosím".

If you want a second beer, just say "je¹tì jedno", which.means "another one", or "the same again". You can just keep repeating this until you fall over. This will also work for ordering more than one beer, "je¹tì dvì", another two, and so on.

If you want to order beers for a group, and don't want to get bogged down with remembering case endings for beer, especially if you have had a few, you can say "je¹tì jedno do kola", or "another round, please"..

Once you have had enough and want to stagger off home, just say "zaplatím, prosím" or "I'd like to pay, please", or if you have company "zaplatíme, prosím", or "we'd like to pay, please".

If there is more than one of you the waiter will usually ask "Dohromady nebo zvlá¹»", which means "together or separately". Dohromady is from hromada, or pile, so dohromady is literally "in one heap", but here it means all together.

Another handy phrase for pubs is "Na zdraví", or cheers. It literally means "to health", and is standard when clinking glasses together.

Well, that's it for this time. Next week, as promised, it's slang terms for beer and alcohol. So, until then, mìjte se fajn, or take care.

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