I found this hilarious list of foreign words that sound rude in English. None are Czech, but that’s a shame because I would definitely add ‘díky’ and ‘fakt.’ Czech people who don’t have a lot of experience with native speakers tend to be really shy and embarrassed of their English, even when it is actually … Continue reading Native Speaker Mistakes: In Comics
My students may hate me for it, but whenever possible I force them to use real paper dictionaries. Why? I believe that phone dictionaries are cold, unfeeling devices that don’t care if you use the precise word – they don’t even have the emotional range of a teaspoon (thanks JK Rowling for an amazing Hermione phrase … Continue reading Czechspress Yourself: Adventures in Using a Phone Dictionary
I don’t dance around the subject – I absolutely love learning Czech. Why? 1. It’s the second-most spoken Western Slavic language after Polish. So, it’s somewhat similar to the language of my own ancestors and I have 10.5 million people to talk to! Compared to Poland’s 38.5 million, that’s way less intimidating 😀 In the … Continue reading 5 Reasons I Love Learning Czech
A conversation. I point to an ironing board, wanting to confirm the verb. “Žehlit?” Boyfriend’s mom: “Ano.” Me: “Víte, jak jsem to se naučila (to slovo)?” Boyfriend’s mom: “Ne, jak?” Me: “Divala jsem se na ‘Báječná léta pod psa.’” Boyfriend walks in. “Jak jsi naučila žehlit?” Me: “To jsem se ještě nenaučila.” *once more in … Continue reading You know how to iron?
After living for 2.5 years in CZ, it was time to visit Plzeň (which I’ll refer to using the English name Pilsen), city of the most famous Czech beer and puppets galore. I was so happy to finally make it there with Ondra, on a bright sunny day: Pilsen is the home of Pilsner Urquell, … Continue reading Is Pilsner Urquell Better in Plzeň?
Featured photo credit to Mike Geffner – a moment’s hesitation and reflection before the speech bubble bursts… I’ve mentioned one of my favorite Czenglish phrases, “My English isn’t well today.” It’s easy enough for me to giggle about it, but the truth is that I totally get it. I’ve messed up my words before and stated … Continue reading The Three Stages of Language Faux Pas
I still wake up sometimes surprised that I’m not in my childhood bed, and that I actually live abroad. It’s what I always dreamed – to be immersed in a foreign culture learning its language. Even past the 2.5 year mark living in Czechia, I often compare the phenomena I see with what I grew up with, … Continue reading 10 More Czech-merican Cultural Differences