Every Easter (or Velikonoce), I meditate a bit on gender. In CZ, the Easter Monday tradition has boys and men braiding a “whip” from willow branches (called a pomlázka, every woman’s favorite sight), decorating it with colorful ribbons, and then walking in groups from house to house (in villages) or to the houses of their close … Continue reading Manliness in CZ vs. USA
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
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?
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
I visited Greece in summer 2011, and to this day it’s one of my favorite trips. I spent one month there studying (no, really!) Greek history and culture. Admittedly, I was extremely homesick – it was my first trip abroad completely alone without knowing anyone before – and spent a lot of my time reading … Continue reading Greece: Land of Moussaka and Typos
In this winter season, we tend to spend a lot more time inside drinking coffee, tea and hot chocolate; cuddling up in our jammies and blankets; and having germ-collecting contests. The early evenings are made better at least when we can see the winter wonderland accumulating outside. Moar snow! Give me all the snow! And spending more … Continue reading 11 Things You Will Find in Every Czech Home