poetic translation of "winter"

Discussion in 'Vocabulary & Translation Help' started by 1novelist, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. 1novelist

    1novelist New Member

    I am naming a character in my book with the last name "Winter" whose father was from the Czech Republic; he left when she was young. The name "Winter" implies the barreness that falls on her family when her father leaves, taking the passion of his ancestry with him. What would the Czech translation be for "winter" in that context?

    Thank you for whatever you can offer..
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Although Winter is common Czech surname, its origin is German. So in Czech have no meaning. In German is meaning same as in English - winter.

    Czech word for winter is "zima" and Zima is common Czech surname too.
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    The Czech word "zima" means both "winter" and "cold". I'm having a hard time coming up with synonyms for "zima/winter". There are synonyms for "zima/cold", such as "chlad" or "chladno" - "chlad" being a somewhat poetic version out of the two. You can't use the word "chladno" as a last name, it would look strange. "Chlad" could theoretically be used but also sounds a bit unusual.
  4. finn

    finn Active Member

    Chlad is quite usual surname, one of the most known is Mr. Rudolf Chlad, the head of Czech mountain rescue service.
  5. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Yes, I actually remember seeing Mr. Chlad on TV once and thinking what an appropriate last name "Chlad" is for someone who rescues people stuck in the mountains in freezing temperatures. :) I looked in the phone book and saw 112 people with the last name "Chlad/Chladová" listed in the Czech Republic.
  6. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    and since 1novelist is writing about a woman, we must be sure to let them know that "Chladová" is the form of the name they should use...
    (in case they are not familiar with last name m/f conventions)

    and, question, would Zima\Zimová be legitimate last names? To an English speaking ear they would sound more "exotic"
  7. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    Zima/Zimová is also rather common surname
    another possibility:
    Studený/Studená = cold (5 times more frequent that Chlad, similarly frequent as Zima)
    what about Mráz/Mrázová = frost? (1.5 x frequency of Chlad 8)
  8. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Good ideas! I like Mráz/Mrázová! It sounds like the most natural choice to me and I think it would work well in the context of the book.
  9. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    In this context:
    "Mráz přichází z Kremlu" (name of a book of Zd. Mlynář),
    the connection "mráz přichází z ... (Kremlu, Bílého domu, arcibiskupského paláce, ...) " often quoted in different contexts, even in the most recent ones 8)
  10. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    yes, yes - I agree and Mrázová "looks" very Czech!
  11. 1novelist

    1novelist New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your knowledge and insight into a poetic translation of "winter" into Czech. I never dreamed I'd have so many choices!

    My idea was that my main character's greatgrandparents' surname, Czechoslavakian when they immigrated to NY, was anglicized to "Winter". I am toying with the idea of my main character legally changing her name back towards the conclusion of the book to claim her roots.

    My main character's father becomes ill with a debilitating disease (something along the lines of MS) and out of his shame of not being able to take care of himself or his family, leaves his family when his little girl is 6 to die alone. Yet in his final days, when his daughter is in her 20's, he reaches out to his daughter and his wife to make amends. This is the catalyst for the action in the novel.

    Any additional insight you can offer into this woman's father, being third generation Czech, would also be immensely appreciated.

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