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18-11-2019, 10:07 UTC
Living Czech

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss...

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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 today is Czech proverbs and sayings, what they mean, and what their English equivalents are. These, of course, split into different categories. Some of them, you will notice, are exactly the same as in English, and many of the others are fairly close.

The first category is love. There is the old saying ¹tìstí v kartách, smùla v lásce, which is lucky in cards, unlucky in love. The power of love should never be underestimated as is testified to by the saying láska hory pøená¹í, or love moves mountains. If you have once loved and parted, but you still have residual feelings, then perhaps the saying stará láska nerezaví will apply to you. It literally means old love will not rust, or can be translated as old love will not be forgotten.

For the more fickle amongst us, there are the sayings sejde z oèí, sejde z mysli, which means once he or she leaves your sight, then you will cease to think about them, or our of sight - out of mind, and navrch huj, vespod fuj, which translates as from above hooray, from below yuk, which is the equivalent of beauty is only skin deep.

If you get in the way of a friend's romance, then dìlá¹ nìkomu køena, you are a horseradish for someone, this is equivalent of being a gooseberry in English, or more simply put, two's company, three's a crowd.

Our second category concerns the home. Perhaps the most common one in the English language is there is no place like home. The Czech equivalent is v¹ude dobøe, doma nejlíp, which literally translates as everywhere is good, but the best place to be is at home. An interesting one is jak se do lesa volá, tak se z lesa ozývá, which means if you shout into the forest, you will get an echo, and is the equivalent of people who in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Another saying that is exactly like its English version is stìny mají u¹i, or the walls have ears.

Next up is money. For those who have the gift of being able to save up money that many of the rest of us have never mastered, then kdo ¹etøí, má za tøi is the saying for them. It translates as he who saves, can buy three times the amount, or the equivalent of a penny saved is a penny earned. These people will no doubt also tell you schovej si to pro strejèka Pøíhodu, hide it away for Uncle Incident, or save it for a rainy day.

There are quite a few good ones for human qualities and relationships. There is kdo se smìje naposled, ten se smìje nejlíp, or he who laughs last, laughs best. A more amusing version of this is kdo se smìje naposled, myslí pomalu or he who laughs last, thinks slowly. If you are in an awkward situation, then v nouzi pozná¹ pøítele, in an emergency you will recognise a friend, or a friend in need is a friend indeed. On the other end of scale are the kind of people who believe in the philosophy ka¾dý sám za sebe, or every man for himself. And, of course, if someone is kind enough to give you something then darovanému koni na zuby nekoukej, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Well, that's all we have time for this week. Next week we will have a look at modes of transport in Czech. If you would like a transcript of Living Czech, please write to Radio Prague 120 99 Prague 2. Until next time, mìjte se fajn, or take care.

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