Spoken vs. written Czech

Discussion in 'General Language' started by MichaelM, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    While I'm no expert on American slang, Scrimshaw, I would have said that there are less formal ways of saying most of that. What about "I'm a guy", just for starters. I think what you've written is actually good English, albeit with American spelling :)
  2. Anna683

    Anna683 Well-Known Member

    I agree!

    You should have a go at translating the Good Soldier Svejk! I don't know what the Czech version is like, but I'm reading the English version at the moment and keep wondering if it really does justice to the Czech. The English sometimes seems a bit too stiff and formal, particularly the reported speech.

    Czech version
    English version

    What do people think of the English version?
  3. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Ah, ok, I see the game. To use exaggerated slang. Ok....

    I'm a fellow, dude, guy, chap(eng), bloke. Well off and a man of the town. Some women think I'm all that. I'm over 50. I already have white hair, cut short, and I got a stash. I also wear glasses. They say I got canned. Some people pke fun at my hair and some clowns on television even mimic me. My wife is hated by th pavarotzi. I have two sons. One of them directs a well known school in Prague. I like to play tennis. Politically I'm right wing. I knocked off a couple books.

    Mixed some english slang in there :D
    In over exaggerating slang, intent of message is blurred.
  4. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    I agree with you that the English version is a very stiff translation of the Czech version. The Czech version for me feels more natural and lively, although obviously a Czech can judge it a lot better.
    As for translating it myself, it's a bit too long for me, would take ages but I'm pleased you both liked my exaggerated slang translation of the other piece.
  5. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Yes, hrbiček, it was a good translation. But Polednikova would know about the english slang better than I would.
    My version...no one would talk like that, would sound comical.

    I looked at those links of the czech and english version of Švejk.
    I tend to agree with you. The english version doesn't do it justice.

    But then the writer chose to use slang, so maybe the rougher sounding english version fits. Not sure.

    Práskli ho v Sarajevu....They bumped him off was the english translation..
    could be also...they knocked him off

    But those were the words that Jaroslav Hašek chose rather than just
    .....zastřeli ho.


    vono prej jich bylo víc.....It is said there was more than one of them.
    Is this a common form of speech today?
    Would you say it is over exaggerated slang?
  6. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    P.S. I remember we discussed Voják Švejk some time back, and I was told not to try to imitate that slang....somewhat out of date.
  7. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I also think it isnt best translation of Svejk.

    Not only for slang translation, but it seems to me that even basic meaning is shifted in some cases.


    Ježíšmarja, vykřikl Švejk, to je dobrý!
    Jesus Maria!, exclaimed Švejk, What a grand job!

    If I understand correctly, in Eglish translation it seems like Svejk thinks it's good thing.

    But his Czech "To je dobrý!" means in this case more something like whew! or blimey!

    And about "unnatural" language - all characters in Svejk are partly caricatures and their language relates to that fact.
  8. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    I like the English footnotes. It reminds me of the Werich and Horníček’s front piece.
  9. zenny

    zenny New Member

  10. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

Share This Page