This is a post I wrote THREE YEARS AGO! I found it hiding in my drafts section. A lot of these things I’ve now gotten used to completely (and have written about in other places – for example, language, food, drinking, slippers, and living in a small town, plus Czech-merican cultural differences 1 and 2) – … Continue reading Time Travel Wednesday: Culture Shock?
When I was in middle school, the Blue Collar Comedy Tour was a really popular comedy troupe among my friends. BCCT was a group of four Southern comedians, the most famous of which is probably Jeff Foxworthy (in both these pictures), who started the infamous series of jokes that always ended, “…you might be a … Continue reading You’ve Lived Abroad Too Long When…
Czech – like English, and I’m sure like many other languages – has some very nice phrases for referring to cultural oddities. Some Czechspressions, for example: “It’s a Spanish village to me” (Je to pro mne španĕlská vesnice) = “It’s all Greek to me” = I don’t understand it even a bit. (They would also … Continue reading Do you have an American smile?
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