Accusative nouns for dummies

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by flapcats, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Interesting discussion in class. We were learning about tense sequence e.g.

    He said he speaks Czech is reported later as Rekl, ze mluvi Cesky (present tense) vs the English - He said that he spoke (past tense) Czech. The example in the grammar book: Budu mluvit Cesky is reported as Rekl, ze bude mluvit Cesky. Our instructor translates this as either 'he said that he will (or would) speak Czech. When asked about the difference between 'will' or 'would', she said that little distinction would be made by Czech speakers (to be fair to her, we were pressed for time here so I may not have understood correctly). It is interesting to me as one learning Czech that I must go back and relearn the distinctions of my own native tongue - English. To me 'will' and 'would are different.

    1. [will]: He said he will (emphasized) speak Czech. (very likely to occur).
    2. [would] He said he would (less emphasis) speak Czech. (may or may not happen).

    Just an observation.
  2. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

  3. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Good to hear about the class. Thanks for updates.
    I find that interesting too.
    I make lots of mistakes with the sequence of tenses.
    Are you able to put together complete sentences in conversation?
    Without practice, it is incredibly hard.
    How many people in your class?
    Kolik lidí jsou v tvé třidě?
  4. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Prominte, pan Scrimshaw. Nevidel jsem vas vyraz. Mame sest studenty v trede. Jsem jeste nemocs dobre s rozhovorem. Whew! Doufam, ze jsem spravne. I can hold a brief conversation if given an inordinate time to receive, process, understand, form and then express an answer. Much time will have flown past in the interim (I think I can feel a beard growing). But, that is the point for me, is it not? Given my self study, I likely have the most vocabulary in the class but the other students have me on listening/comprehending. We are moving into verbs of motion now which ought to be fun, blending the determinativeness (?) of a verb with its perfectiveness. I might soon be able to use the 'jit' and 'jet' like verbs correctly and that will be a time of celebration (mozna budu pivo pit - asi Samson dark).
  5. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    We are now learning about verbs of motion. As I was driving around today, I realized just how much information a Czech verb can contain. While the tense system is relatively simple compared to English, the idea of aspect and, with these verbs of motion, determinativeness (if that is an actual word) and the possible addition of prefixes really packs a wallop (English idiom for 'Wow' - that's a bunch of information in that verb).

    I saw a newspaper article that noted that English is about to reach the one million count in actual words in the language. Spanish has about 250,000 and French about 100,000. I don't know the word count in Czech but I wonder what words would be counted? Is a perfective different than the imperfective and the determinate different than the indeterminate? Where do prefixed verbs with the same root fit in?

    All this is to say that the information in one word is very impressive in Czech but, for the student, better in the formulation than the reception. Given enough time, I might be able to actually pick the most appropriate verb in whichever guise I might put it but hearing and processing such a verb is a whole other story.
  6. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Had an interesting class the other day. While I would like to say interesting things about the language, this was just a bizarre class but these things can happen. Czech class is being taught by a graduate student this year because the long-standing professor of Czech languages had left. The university is interviewing candidates for the permanent faculty position and each has come and taught one of our classes. All have been quite good though I don't think the students (me included) have been particularly great. The last candidate is currently from Heidelberg in Germany. He arrived to find just one of six students in class that day - me. [truly a very poor and embarrassing showing for American university students that day]. Our instructor and two current faculty members (search committee) were also there. The English-American idiom "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" applied. Well, I got an intense one-on-one lesson that day. He allowed very little English to be spoken so I was on the frying pan all hour. Near the end, he played a little Czech music (written in the 20's) for me to hear spoken Czech. Very catching foxtrot. Following the spoken part, a nice instrumental began so, already being spent of mind, I decided to ask the Ceska (instructor) sitting beside me to dance. She thought I was joking but, no, I was serious so to everyone's astonishment, we danced the foxtrot and nicely too, I thought. The faculty member said he thought I had as much Czech in my feet as I did in my head. Pretty good, thought I, as I have no Czech blood in me at all but maybe he was referring to poor dancing as I certainly am not very good at the language. I don't know but I found out today that this professor from Heidelberg got the job! Not sure I want him to remember me or not!
  7. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a fun experience Michael.
    Those other's don't sound very enthusiastic if they are willing to skip such an opportunity. But you made the best of it, and even danced a waltz.
    I'm sure she was impressed.
    What is the motivation the others have for learning czech?
    I'd like to be a fly on the wall there.
  8. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    MichaelM, good job :) I think he'll remember you for sure no matter you want him to or not.

    I've never heard any german speak good czech :), it must to be kind of interesting to visit those classes for a native czech speaker.

    Btw. may I know what made you to attend czech classes? One of usually reasons (blood as you said) cannot be the reason... girlfriend? Or something else?
  9. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member


    1. I think the visiting professor from Heidelberg is Czech, just has a position in Germany (sorry, can't remember his name). I sure liked his music though. The album name is Stara, Natoc gramofon ... , originalni prazsky synkopicky orchestr by Jiri Traxler and Karel Kozel (Jedu noci). Mam rad!
    2. Six students: three have been to CZ and want to go back - inspired by their visits there; one has a Czech husband and will be moving there and one I do not know. and myself ... (and thus to the most important answer).
    3. If you note any of my posts to this site last summer, you will find me asking about a translation of the English "I once knew a fine woman of Tabor", asking about cultural knowledge of sending flowers and a discussion of Jan Zizka. This is because I know of that fine woman though I have never actually met her. She is my motivation for all of this as is my wife whose mother was Czech (she knows no Czech however). The woman lives in Florida and has cancer so I dedicated myself to her language/culture and will speak the words "Znal jesm jednou jednu dobrou zenu z Tabora" this coming May (the 23rd, I think) in Zizkovo Namesti in Tabor as a fulfillment of a promise to her. She once worked on that square. You were right though DAvatar, a woman is behind every man's motivation.
  10. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    MichaelM: Klobouk dolů!
  11. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    DjAvatar, dekuju mnohokrat. I asked my Czech instructor about your words i.e. how serious/important are they and she said that 'klobouk dolu' is pretty meaningful. So, I thank you deeply for those words.
  12. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Btw: how would you translate "Řekl, že mluvil česky" ? ^_^

    by past perfect?
  13. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    My book translates that as "He said he had spoken Czech" (not sure if that is past perfect or not).

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