4 Texts
The following two texts exemplify literary and Colloquial Czech. The first text, which illustrates
LCz, is excerpted from the opening pages of Michal Vieweghs 1992 novel Báječná léta pod
psa Those Marvellous Crummy Years.
Kvido se měl podle Zitiných
Kvido-NOM REFL-A had-pastmsg according to Zitas-Gpl
According to Zitas estimate, Kvido was supposed to
předpokladů narodit v prvním srpnovém
assumptions-Gpl give-birth-infin in first-Lsgm August-Lsgm
be born in the first week
týdnu roku devatenáct set šedesát
week-Lsg year-Gsg nineteen-N hundreds-Gpl sixty-N
of August in the year nineteen hundred sixty-two
dva v porodnici v Podolí.
two-N in maternity-hospital-
Lsg
in Podolí-Lsg.
in the maternity hospital in Podolí.
Jeho matka měla v té
His mother-Nsg had-pastfsg in that-Lsgf
At that time his mother had already
době za sebou dvanáct divadelních
time-Lsg behind self-I twenty-A theater-adj-Gpl
completed twenty seasons in the theater,
sezón, avšak velkou většinu svých
seasons-Gpl, however large-Asgf majority-Asg own-Gpl
although she considered the vast majority of her
převážně dětských rolí v Jiráskových,
primarily childrens-Gpl roles-Gpl in Jiráseks-Lpl
primarily childrens roles in plays by Jirásek,
Tylových, Kohoutových a Mařenkových hrách
Tyls-Lpl Kohouts-Lpl and Mařeneks-Lpl plays-Lpl
Tyl, Kohout, and Mařenek
považovala za mírně kompromitující hříchy
considered for mildly compromising-Apl sins-Apl
to be the mildly compromising sins
96
mládí. Studovala ostatně čtvrtý ročník
youth-Gsg. Studied-pastfsg after-all fourth-Asgm year-Asg
of youth. After all, she was studying in the fourth year
práv a svou účast v
law-Gpl and own-Asgf participation-Asg in
of law school and she now thought of her participation
komparsu Divadla československé armády na
bit-parts-Lsg Theater-Gsg Czechoslovak-Gsgf army-Gsg at
as an extra for the Theater of the Czechoslovak army in
Vinohradech brala už jen jako
Vinohrady-Lpl took-pastfsg already only as
Vinohrady as merely a
nezávaznou hru (což jí ovšem
noncommittal-
Asgf
game-Asg (which-Nsg her-Dsg of-course
noncommittal game (which of course
nebránilo, aby víceméně náhodnou okolnost,
not-preventedpastnsg,
in-order-to-
3sgAUX
more-or-less random-Asgf circumstance-Asg,
did not prevent her from presenting the more or less random fact
že termín porodu spadá do
that time-Nsg birth-Gsg falls-nonpast3sg to
that the expected date of birth coincided with
divadelních prázdnin, nepresentovala před úspěšnějšími
theater-adj-Gpl holidays-Gpl, not-presentedpastfsg
before more-successful-Ipl
the theaters vacation time to her more successful
kolegyněmi coby věc naprosto samozřejmé
colleagues-Ipl as thing-Asg absolutely obvious-Gsgf
colleagues absolutely as a matter of proper
profesionální kázně). Jakkoli to zní
professional-Gsg self-control-Gsg). However that-Nsg sounds-nonpast3sg
professional discipline). However paradoxical it may sound,
paradoxně, pod slupkou ochotnického zanícení
paradoxically, under peel-Isg amateurish-Gsgn enthusiasm-Gsg
beneath the veneer of amateur enthusiasm
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byla Kvidova matka -- někdejší hvězda
was-pastfsg Kvidos-Nsgf mother-Nsg -- one-time-Nsgf star-Nsg
Kvidos mother -- the one-time star
školních představení -- ve skutečnosti velmi
school-adj-Gpl shows-Gpl -- in reality-Lsg very
of school plays -- was in reality very
stydlivá a kromě Zity ji
shy-Nsgf and aside-from Zita-Gsg her-Asg
shy and noone else besides Zita
také nesměl nikdo jiný prohlédnout.
also not-was-allowedpastmsg
noone-Nsg else-Nsg examine-infin.
was allowed to examine her.
Paní Zita, primářka podolské porodnice
Mrs.-Nsg Zita-Nsg, head-physician-
Nsg
Podolí-adj-Gsgf maternity hospital-
Gsg
Zita, the head physician of the Podolí maternity hospital
a dlouholetá přítelkyně babičky Líby,
and many-years-adj-
Nsgf
friend-Nsg grandmother-Gsg Líba-Gsg,
and for many years a friend of grandmother Líba,
která znala Kvidovu matku od
who-Nsgf knew-pastfsg Kvidos-Asgf mother-Asg from
who had known Kvidos mother since
dětství, se trpělivě snažila jejímu
childhood-Gsg, REFL-A patiently tried-pastfsg her-Dsgm
childhood, patiently tried to
rozmaru vyhovět a přislíbila jí,
whim-Dsg cater-to-infin and promised-pastfsg her-D,
cater to her whim and promised her
že přeorganizuje služby lékařů tak,
that reorganizenonpast3sg
services-Apl doctors-Gpl thus,
that she would reorganize the doctors schedules
aby v onen kritický den
in-order-to-
3sgAUX
in that-Asgm critical-Asgm day-Asg
so that on that critical day
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neasistoval na sále ani jeden
not-assistedpastmsg
at ward-Lsg not-even one-Nsgm
there would not be even one man assisting in the
muž. U Zity v Podolí
man-Nsg. By Zita-Gsg in Podolí-Lsg
ward. With Zita in Podolí
žádný porod nebolí,
veršovala u
no-Nsgm birth-Nsg not-hurtsnonpast3sg
rhymed-pastfsg by
no birth ever hurts
, rhymed
oběda babička Líba, a dokonce
lunch-Gsg grandmother-Nsg Líba-Nsg, and even
grandmother Líba at lunch, and even
i otec Kvidova otce, dědeček
also father-Nsf Kvido
s-Gsgm father-Gsg, grandfather-Nsg
Kvidos fathers father, grandfather
Josef, ač apriorně skeptický vůči
Josef-Nsg, although apriori skeptical-Nsgm concerning
Josef, despite his apriori skepticism concerning
všemu komunistickému, zdravotnictví přirozeně nevyjímaje,
all-Dsgn communist-Dsgn health-care-Asg naturally not-excepting,
everything communist, naturally making no exception for health care,
byl ochoten připustit, že pravděpodobnost
was-pastmsg willing-Nsgm allow-infin, that likelihood-Nsg
was willing to admit that the likelihood
rozdrcení Kvidovy hlavičky porodnickými kleštěmi
crushing-Gsg Kvidos-Gsgf little-head -Gsg maternity-hospitaladj-
Ipl
tongs-Ipl
of Kvidos little head being crushed by the hospital tongs
je tentokrát přece jen o
is-nonpast3sg this-time after-all only by
this time was indeed
něco nižší než jindy. Jediné,
something-A lower-Asgn than elsewhere. Only-Nsgn,
somewhat lower than it would be elsewhere. The only thing
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s čím nikdo nepočítal, byl
with what-I no one-N not-countedpastmsg,
was-pastmsg
that no one had taken into account was
urousaný černý vlčák, který se
shaggy-Nsgm black-Nsgm German-shepherd-
Nsg,
which-Nsgm REFL-A
a shaggy black German shepherd which
už dvacátého sedmého června večer
already twentieth-Gsgn seventh-Gsgn June-G evening
suddenly appeared on the evening of the twenty-seventh of June
objevil v narudlém slunečním světle
appeared-pastmsg in crimson-Lsgn sun-adj-Lsgn light-Lsg
in the crimson-colored sunlight
na vltavském nábřeží právě ve
on Vltava-adj-Lsgn embankment-Lsg precisely in
on the embankment of the Vltava precisely at
chvíli, kdy Kvidova matka ztěžka
moment-Lsg, when Kvidos-Nsgf mother-Nsg cumbersomely
the moment when Kvidos mother was cumbersomely
vylézala z taxíku, a který
climbed-outpastfsg
out-of taxi-Gsg and which-Nsgm
climbing out of a taxi, and which
ji -- po krátkém, neslyšném rozběhu --
her-A -- after short-Lsgm, not-heard-Lsgm dash-Lsg --
-- after quickly dashing up unheard --
přirazil k teplé omítce domu
knocked-againstpastmsg
to warm-Dsgf plaster-Dsg house-Gsg
knocked her against the warm plaster of a house
na rohu Anenského náměstí.
on corner-Lsg Anenské-Gsgn square-Gsg.
on the corner of Anenské square.
100
The second text, representing Colloquial Czech, is excerpted from the transcription of a
conversation in Mluvená čeština v autentických textech (Müllerová et al. 1992). A correlate to
punctuation that exists in speech are pauses, represented below by periods. Phonological and
morphological features of LCz that differ from CCz are noted below by inserting LCz variants
in square brackets.
tam prostě stojí jako. skupina
there simply stands-nonpast3sg like group-Nsg
standing there is just like. a group
lidí který [kteří] jenom tiše zíraj [zírají].
people-Gpl who-Npl only quietly stare-nonpast3pl.
of people who just stare quietly.
no a pak takhle přišla
well and then this-way came-pastfsg
well and then she came to him just like that
brácho [bratře] dem [jdeme] tancovat. neptala se
brother-Vsg go-nonpast1pl dance-infin not-asked-pastfsg REFL-A
brother lets dance. she didnt ask
ho to si myslim [myslím] že
him-G that-Nsgn REFL-D think-nonpast1sg that
him I think that
ani já nedovolim [-ím]. ale tak
not-even I-N not-allownonpast1sg.
but so
even I wouldnt dare. but then
já sem [jsem] taky jako. ráznější
I-N am also like more-forceful-Nsgf
I also come on kind of. strong
no ale. ona. předčila očekávání.
but well she exceeded-pastfsg expectation-Asg.
but well. she. exceeded expectation.
vona [ona] je taková. a vona [ona]
she-N is such-Nsgf. and she-N
she is like that. and she
jako. jak byla zřejmě v
like. when was-pastfsg obviously in
like. obviously when she was
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tý [té] situaci eště [ještě]. jako že
that-Lsgf situation still. like that
still in that situation. like
to byla pro ní [ni] taková
that-Nsgn was-pastfsg for her-A such
for her it was such
nátlaková situace. že vona [ona]. jako.
stressful-Nsgf situation-Nsg that she-N. like.
a stressful situation that she. like.
to přeháněla no. takže vona [ona]
that-Asg overdid-pastfsg well so she-N
overdid it well. so she
jako v hebounkejch
[-kých]
šatičkách. dycky [vždycky]
like in silky-Lpl dress-Lpl. always
like always appeared to be coming on strong in a silky dress.
rázně přišla. no totiž takhle
forcefully came-pastfsg well you-see like-this
well you see like this
vono [ono] třeba tam se ty
it-Nsg perhaps there REFL-A those-Nplf
its maybe those
holky voblíkaj [oblékají] eště [ještě] jako do
girls-Npl dress-nonpast3pl still like to
girls there still dress like in
růžovejch [-ých] šatiček a vona [ona] měla
pink-Gpl dresses-Gpl and she-N had-pastfsg
pink dresses and she was wearing
šaty jako pučený [půjčené] vod [od] starší
dress-Apl like borrowed-Aplf from older-Gsgf
a dress like she had borrowed it from an older
dámy. sice děsně moderní jako
woman-Gsg. admittedly very modern-Aplf like
woman. Admittedly very modern and like
lehounký [-é] jo [ano] jako. hebounký [-é] sou [jsou]
light-Npl yes like. silky-Npl are-nonpast3pl
light yes and like. its silky
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no prostě nevypadala tak sladce
well simply not-looked-pastfsg so sweetly
well she simply didnt look as sweet
jak ty některý [-é] slečny tam
like those-Nplf certain-Nplf misses there
as some of the other young ladies there
no. který [-é] musely bejt [být] celý [-é]
well. who-Nplf had-to-pastfpl be-infin all-Nplf
well. who had to be all
ve zlatě. nebo zase celý [-é]
in gold-Lsg. or again all-Nplf
in gold. or even all
v růžovym [-ém]. to je prostě
in pink-Lsgn that-Nsg is-nonpast3sg simply
in pink. thats just
vidět. jak ty holky třeba
see-infin. like those-Nplf girls-Npl maybe
clear. its like maybe those girls
nechoděj [-ějí] jako takhle na plesy.
not-go-nonpast3pl like this-way to dances-Apl.
dont like go to dances.
jo jako. nemaj [nemají] prostě ňáký [nějaké].
yes like. not-havenonpast3pl
simply some-Aplf.
yes like. they just dont have any
běžný [-é] šaty a příde [přijde] jim
normal-Aplf dresses-Apl and seems-nonpast3sg them-D
normal dresses and it seems to them
že ten maturiták
[maturitní ples].
je něco
that that-Nsgm senior prom-Nsg. is-nonpast3sg something-Nsg
that the senior prom. is something
děsně nóbl [vznešené]. že se musej [musejí]
terribly fancy. that REFL-A must-nonpast3pl
terribly fancy. that some special dress
ušít ňáký [nějaké] zvláštní šaty a
sew-infin some-Nplf special-Nplf dress-Npl and
has to be sewn and
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pak je z toho prostě.
then is-nonpast3sg from that-Gsgn simply.
then it becomes simply.
že to třeba jako je.
that that-Nsg perhaps like is-nonpast3sg
that its maybe like.
moc zlatý [-é] nebo. jo. mně
very gold-Nsgn or. yes. me-D
too much gold or. yes.
to tam přišlo takový [-é] sme [jsme]
that-Nsg there seemed-pastnsg such-Nsgn AUX1pl
it seemed that way to me there
s Pétou řikali [říkali] že sme [jsme]
with Péta-Isg said-pastmpl that AUX1pl
Péta and I were saying that we are
strašný [strašní] staroši. a že. prostě.
terrible-Nplmanim old-people-Npl and that. simply.
terribly old. and that. simply.
jako máme k tomu takovej [-ý]
like have-nonpast1pl to that-Dsgn such-Asgm
like we have such
pozorovatelskej [-
ý]
přístup jo. jak se
vicarious-Asgm approach-Asg yes. like REFL-A
a vicarious attitude to it yes. how
chová dnešní zlatá mládež jo
behavesnonpast3sg
todays-Nsgf golden-Nsgf youth-Nsg yes
todays golden youth is behaving yes
i když ten rozdíl věkovej [-ý] je
even though that-Nsgm difference-Nsg age-adj-Nsgm is-nonpast3sg
even though the age difference is
vlastně malej [malý]
actually small-Nsgm
actually small
104
105
Abbreviations
1 1st person
2 2nd person
3 3rd person
A accusative
anim animate
AUX auxiliary
C consonant
CCz Colloquial Czech
D dative
f, fem feminine
G genitive
I instrumental
inan inanimate
L locative
LCz Literary Czech
m, masc masculine
N nominative
n, neut neuter
pl plural
pres present
REFL reflexive
sg singular
V vocative; vowel
n/s non-syllabic
PPP past passive participle
0 zero suffix or ending
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