Idioms & Phrases - Idiomy a fráze
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It’s happened to me several times recently that a foreigner addressed me Ahoj or Čau and then went on saying "Vy”. I must say it was mostly in writing (sms, chat, e-mail), where it kind of hits the eyes more as the author could have read it and thought about it (well, except the chat), but you surely might have met some foreigners in "spoken reality” who were cheerfully shouting Ahoj! in a shop (or were you the ones? :-) ).
On the one hand, we cannot really be angry with them, especially if they come from English speaking countries where, apparently, it is quite normal to greet strange people with "Hello” or "Hi”. So the drill from Czech schools, where we’re forced to differentiate between "Good morning” and "Good afternoon”, in order to know how to say "Dobrý den”, is pretty useless and one just stares in surprise when a postman or a handyman shouts "Cheerio!” at them. And I have noticed in Czech dubbing a few times that the translators then thoughtlessly translate "Hi!” as "Ahoj!” in a dialogue, followed by formal address as "Vy”…
So, dear students of Czech, a few clarifications for you…
How to greet?!
Being formal (Vy)
This way, we address adult people we don’t know: in the street, in a shop, in a bank, in a tram… Also teachers, neighbours… Teachers at universities (and at some secondary schools) address their students in this formal way. We also use it towards the parents of our (life) partners (well, it depends on the family, but in general we do.).
When we’re formal, we can greet e.g. like this:
- Dobrý den! (Good morning / afternoon / day)
- Dobrej! (Good ... = you leave out "day” = a little colloquial, but still formal)
- Dobré ráno! (Good morning)
- Dobrý večer! (Good evening)
- Zdravím! (I greet you = a little colloquial, but still formal)
And part with these:
- Na shledanou! Nashle! (= Good bye! Bye! = the second is more colloquial, but still formal)
- Na viděnou! Uvidíme se zítra! (See you! See you tomorrow! – you can replace when)
- Mějte se hezky! Mějte se! Hezký den! (Take care! Have a good time! Have a good day! – can be replaced)
- Zatím! (= for the time being = I’ll see you later, take care until then)
- Sbohem! (Farewell!)
Being informal (ty)
In an informal way, we address children, friends, people of the same age (automatically approximately until university studies). Also family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins...) – if they’re close relatives and we see them often. With more di
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Dear visitors of this website!
We would like to thank you for staying with us in 2011 and wish you wonderful Christmas, a jolly celebration of the New Year's Eve and in 2012, a lot of good luck and happiness, health and personal, study and work success!
Stay tuned, as we're preparing many changes and improvements for you!
PS: If you feel generous, support this website financially! The PayPal "Donate" button is at the bottom.
Co to znamená "mlžit"?
= to doubletalk, beat about the bush
E.g. Ministr neřekl nic konkrétního, jen tak mlžil. (The minister didn't say anything particular, he was just beating about the bush.)
- literally: to make fog
- the perfective form is zamlžit, another imperfective form is zamlžovat
- it is used also with the literal meaning - e.g. when you spray plants; or with "se" = mlžit se / zamlžit se / zamlžovat se (to get misty)
- related vocabulary:
- mlžení = waffle, beating about the bush, doubletalk
- mlhavý = foggy, misty; vague, foggy
- mlžný = foggy, misty
- mlhavě = vaguely - e.g. Mlhavě si vzpomínám. (a synonym possible in this sentence: Matně si vzpomínám. = I vaguely remember)
- mlhavo = foggy (about weather) - e.g. Dneska je pěkně mlhavo. (= It's pretty foggy today.)
- mlha = fog, mist, haze (possible to say "mlžný opar" for the last one) - e.g. Venku je hustá mlha. = Venku je mlha jak mlíko! (There's thick fog outside. - the second is colloquial - literally: There's fog like milk outside.)
- mlhovka = světlo do mlhy = fog light
- zamlžený = steamy, misted, fogged (e.g. Mám zamlžené brýle, nic nevidím! = My glasses are misted, I don't see anything!); obscure, hazy
Co to znamená "celkem vzato"?
= all in all, all things considered, generally speaking
- Literally: in total taken
- celkem = in total; altogether; quite
- vzato = taken, a passive form of "vzít"
- Some further phrases with vzít or celkem:
- Kolik je to celkem? (How much is it altogether?; celkem = dohromady)
- Je to celkem dobré. (= It's quite good.; celkem = docela)
- Oni se vzali? (They got married?)
- Vezmi mě s sebou! (Take me with you!)
- Co si mám vzít na sebe? (What shall I put on?)
- Vezmeme to jedno po druhém. (We'll take it one by one.)
- Vzali roha. = Vzali nohy na ramena. = Vzali do zaječích. (They took to their heels. They ran away.)
- Na to vem jed! (You bet!)
- Vzala to hopem. (She took it quickly.)
- Jak se to vezme... (Depends how you look at it/view it...)
- Docela mě to vzalo. (I was quite shaken by it.)
- Vezmeš to za mě? (Will you fill in for me?)
- Kde se to tu vzalo? (How has this appear/got here?)
- Kde se vzal, tu se vzal, stál před nimi... (Out of the blue, ... was standing in front of them.)
Co to znamená "Teče mu do bot"?
= He's in dire straits. His situation is bad.
- Literally: It's leaking to him to shoes. = Water's leaking into his shoes.
- Má to nahnutý. (He's on a slippery slope.)
- Hoří mu termín. (His deadline's "burning" - he has to finish something quickly.)
- Other phrases with "boty":
- Kominík byl černý jak bota. (The chimneysweep was as black as a shoe.)
- Práskl do bot. = Vzal do zaječích. (= Utekl. = He took to his heels. He ran away.)
- Udělal pěknou botu. (He made quite a blunder.)
- Znám to tady jako své boty. (I know it here like the back of my hand.)
- Bonus: pohádka Kocour v botách
English "shoe" idioms
- put yourself in someone else's shoes - znamená myslet jako z perspektivy někoho jiného
- if the shoe fits (nebo if the cap fits) - pokud má něco všechny charakteristiky nějaké věci, je to nejpravděpodobněji tato věc
Co to znamená "Bez legrace!"?
= Seriously! No kidding!
- Literally = Without fun / joking!
- Beze srandy! Bez prdele! (The same meaning, but "sranda" is colloquial and "prdel" is rude. "Prdel" means "ass", but is also used to mean "fun".)
- Tady končí legrace / sranda! (Fun's ending here.)
- Opravdu! Fakt! (Really! The second form = colloquial)
- Vážně! (Seriously!)
- Myslím to vážně! (I mean it seriously!)
- Nedělám si legraci / srandu! (I'm not making fun! I'm not kidding!)
Co to znamená "Tak ať!"?
= So be it! So what! I don't care!
- Literally: So let!
- Ať! Aťsi!
- No a co! (So what!)
- Mně (už) je to jedno! (It's all the same to me! - I don't care (anymore)!)
- Víš, že má Martina nového kluka? - Tak ať, mně už nezajímá! (Do you know that Martina has a new boyfriend? - So what, I'm not interested anymore!)
- Other uses:
- Jestli chce, ať to udělá. (If s/he wants, let her do it.)
- Objednal si to? Tak ať si to zaplatí sám! (He ordered it? So let him pay for it himself!)
- Zítra jedeme na výlet. Ať neprší! (We're going on a trip tomorrow. Hope it won't rain!)
Something you don't understand? Ask!
Looking for a good Czech-English (or English-Czech) dictionary? Try these...