Archive for the Category: Czech


Fušování‏ is a Czech word I discovered recently that appealed to me and that means “tinker, dabbling”. The related verb, fušovat means “to potter, to tinker at, to botch, to dabble, to mess about, to tinker”. Other related words include: – fušer – quack, tinker, blunderer, boggler, botcher, bungler, cobbler, dabbler – fušerská práce – […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Words and phrases 6 Comments


I spent yesterday in Aberystwyth with two Czech friends and we talked in a mixture of Czech, Welsh and English, with occasional bits of other languages thrown in for good measure. When they were speaking Czech to each other I found that I could understand or guess enough to get a basic idea of what […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language learning, Welsh 4 Comments

Čmeláci a včely

Recently I discovered that there are two different words for bee in Czech: čmelák [ˈʧmɛlaːk] (pl. čmeláci) for bumblebee and včela [ˈfʧɛla] (pl. včely) for honey bee. While investigating these words I also discovered the wonderful Czech word hmyz [ɦmɪz] (insect), which sounds like it might be onomatopoeic. This got me wondering about the differences […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 14 Comments


I came across the Czech word spolubydlící [ˈspɔlʊbidliːtsiː] on a blog I read today and was pleased to realise that I could work out what it meant from its constituent parts. Spolu means together, byd is related to bydlet (to live), I didn’t know what lící signified, but correctly guessed that the word meant “house […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 14 Comments

Remembering words

When learning a language one challenge is to memorise the vocabulary, and to be able to use it when you need it. I’ve tried a number methods to do this: repetition, flash cards, SRS, associations and so on. A method for learning individual words that works quite well for me involves making associations between the […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Memory, Welsh 12 Comments


Nadolig Llawen Joyeux Noël 聖誕快樂 Nollaig shona doibh ¡Feliz Navidad! Nollick Ghennal Bo Nadal Nollaig chridheil メリークリスマス Buon Natale Frohe Weihnachten Bon Nadal Veselé vánoce and Merry Christmas!

Also posted in Chinese, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh 18 Comments

Colds, streams and rivers

It’s rather cold here at the moment with daytime temperatures not much above freezing, and nighttime dropping to -10°C (14°F) or even -20°C (-4°F) in places. As a result, some of the snow that fell last week has frozen solid and been trampled down on pavements and ungritted back streets making them decidedly icey and […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Etymology, French, German, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Languages in the Czech Republic

According to a report I found today in The Prague Post, less than half of Czechs speak foreign languages. A survey by the Social and Economy Analyses Institute (ISEA) found that while 27% of Czechs can communicate in at least one foreign language – the most popular languages are English and German, 54% of Czechs […]

Also posted in English, German, Language 10 Comments

Word of the day – Sny

I’ve heard today’s word sny in the Czech phrase hezký sny and from the context I thought that it meant “sleep well” or something similar. I knew that hezký meant beautiful or pretty and assumed that sny meant sleep. When I finally got round to looking it up, I discovered that it means “nice dreams”. […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 25 Comments

Winter climber

The word zimolez, which is honeysuckle in Czech, came up the other day during a conversation with a Czech friend. It comes from zima (winter) and lézt (to climb, crawl, creep), so could be translated as “winter climber”. Other interesting words that came up include plšík (doormouse), smršť (tornado) brblat (to grizzle, beef, grouch, mutter) […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Inuktitut, Irish, Language, Latin, Spanish, Words and phrases 17 Comments
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