I study Czech, Russian and Polish at university, and most people’s response to that is, “Why, though?”
The honest answer, that I don’t know – it just seemed interesting, never seems to satisfy anyone. And, reader, if you know anything about me, you know that I live to please: an unsatisfactory conversation is a weight on my very soul. I’ve started brainstorming better answers:
- “I love beer.”
- “I really like chess and I thought it’d be related.”
- “My grandfather/uncle/childhood friend/goldfish was a Slav.”
- “I love vodka.”
- “I want to work as a spy. Wait, I shouldn’t have said that. I mean, I want to work in banking.”
- “War and Peace changed my life. No, I’ve not read it. I mean the TV show.”
- “I’m just super into pickles.”
- “I’m an aspiring nesting doll.”
- “Solidarity, innit.”
- “Why do you think?”
This last one is particularly interesting – the ideas people come up with are always way better than anything I can dream up. One suggestion sticks out – someone asked if I’d chosen Czech, Russian and Polish because of the potential for puns.
It’s true: of all the ~6,500 languages spoken on Earth, the three I’ve devoted my education to are amongst the most pun-rich. Puns, of course, rarely translate into foreign languages, which is one of the hardest facts I’ve ever had to come to terms with.
For our own education and enjoyment, though, I’ve decided to translate all the homophones of “Czech” I could think of into Czech. Enjoy this meaningless list of vocab.
- Czech (adj.)
- Czech (noun; language)
- Czech (noun; Czech person)
Čech / Češka
- Cheque (noun)
- Check (noun; situation in chess)
- Check (noun; inspection)
- Check (noun; control)
- Check (noun; a mark, usually a tick)
- Check (noun; a lengthwise separation of the rings in wood)
I didn’t manage to find a translation for this; that might be for the best.
- Check (verb; to inspect)
- Check (verb; to mark with a checkmark)
- Check (verb; to control or limit)
- Check (verb; to compare)
Isn’t learning fun?