Prague, language thoughts
Some attempts at creating useful phrases:
Muzete mi pomoci? Could you help me?
Prosím, kde můjv mozek? Excuse me, where is my brain?
Nabízíme Vám můjv hloupost. I offer you my stupidity.
(We won't get into "vlajici sukne", especially for Gerald's sake.)
I've been trying to learn some very basic turistický Czestina/česky, but the going isn't easy.
For example, you'd think that saying the word for "ticket" wouldn't be all that hard, and would be a useful word for dealing with transport, museums, et. cetera. Ah -- but what kind of ticket?
When I fly into Praha, it'll be with a "letanka" or air ticket. But to use the tramway, autobus, or metro I'll need to purchase a pass or "jízdenka" (ticket, passage, travel permit). But that won't get me into a museum or theater. No, for those I'll need something like a "vstupenka" (entrance ticket) or lístek (ticket, coupon), not to be confused with the jídelní lístek (menu) in the restaurace (restaurant).
More slovniki vzrušující zábava :
ticket - jízdenka (ticket, travel permit, passage; jizdenka na vlak railway ticket)
ticket - letenka (plane ticket, air ticket, flight ticket)
ticket - lístek (scrip, ticket, coupon, card, leaflet)
ticket - vstupenka (entrance card, entrance ticket, admission card; vstupne – door-money, entrance fee, entrance, gate)
ticket - lístkový (ticket, card; listky – tickets, seats)
ticket - cedulka (tag, sticker, sign, ticket, slip)
ticket - oznámení (na cedulce) (ticket, bill, notice, announcmeent)
ticket - cedule (notice, poster, slip, ticket)
ticket - cenovka (tag, price tag, ticket)
ticket - opatřit si lístek (ticket)
ticket - přivěsit lístek (ticket, tag-card)
ticket - stvrzenka (ústřižek) (voucher, receipt, certificate, chit (clipping, coupon))
ticket - vydávat lístky (ticket, seat-issue)
ticket - kandidátka (volební, USA) (political ticket, slate)
ticket - označit (lístkem) (brand, sign, indication)
ticket - program strany (USA) (ticket, political platform)
ticket - los (papírový) (paper ballot)
So there's a huge mass of vocabulary. But wait -- there's more -- because Czech nouns and words in general are highly inflected, the endings keep changing, so one has to try to learn to recoznize many different forms of the word. As a poor dumb cizinka, my mind is adequately boggled.
A trivia question about names -- I understand that "-ova" is the feminine name particle that in some senses means roughly "daughter of" but which also is the name-ending a Czech woman traditionally takes upon her wedding. Hence Carol Anne would be "Byrnesova" if she were a Czech chick. I understand, if I read correctly, that in the vocative case a name ending in "a" changes its ending to "o". So, if this is more or less right, would I greet Marianna, "Ahoj, Marianno!" It sounds strange to my ear but maybe it is something I just need to get used to.
Here's something I found on the Internet at the "Local Lingo" site that gives just a tiny bit of some flavor of Czech grammar:
Czech has 7 grammatical cases:
The case expresses the "attitude" of the speaker towards the subject he or she is talking about. Cases are often expressed by using a preposition - e.g. the genitive is often used with the preposition "z/ze" (from), the dative can be used with "k/ke" (to/towards), "do" (to/into), etc. No preposition is used with the nominative and vocative....
Examples (using the word "hrad" - "castle"):
Nominative: "hrad" Hrad je starý. - The castle is old.
Genitive: "hradu" Z hradu vycházejí lidé. - People are coming out of the castle.
Dative: "hradu" Cesta vede ke hradu. - The road leads to the castle.
Accusative: "hrad" Vidím hrad. - I see a castle.
Vocative: "hrade" The vocative is used only for calling/addressing someone or something.
Locative: "hradu" Mluvím o hradu. - I am talking about a castle.
Instrumental: "hradem" Za hradem je les. - There is a forest behind the castle.