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POLL: Czech friend translation
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MichaelM
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Joined: 04 Jun 2007
Posts: 70
Location: NC, USA but not in Czech recently enough!

PostPosted: 12-Dec-08 19:59  Reply with quote

I've read three Czech textbooks now (by Heim - 1982, Hola - recent, and Short 2nd edition) and I have noted a contradiction for the translation of 'friend'.

Short would say that 'pritel (pritelkyne) is the closest friend and kamerad is not as close. Heim says just the opposite. Hola is quiet about the controversy. I've asked several Czechs (male and female) and have got mixed views about this.

So, a poll - to the readership of this authoritative language forum and learners of Czech: which is the translation for the closest form of 'friend' in Czech and which means less of a friend and more of an acquaintance?
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Tagarela
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 87
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 0:23  Reply with quote

Ahoj,

Well, I am only a learner too, but I thought that kamarád was less strong while přitel is the word for close friends and even boyfriend. But, as you, I also would like to have the opinion on this point.

Nashled.:
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eso
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 1716
Location: Kladno/Prague

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 8:47  Reply with quote

I would say "přítel" is more literary expression than "kamarád" in case of "friend" meaning.

Another meaning for "přítel" is also "boyfriend"
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gementricxs
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Joined: 16 Aug 2005
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Location: Prague, CZ

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 11:43  Reply with quote

Přítel (přítelkyně) can also mean boy(girl)friend.
Kamarád does not have this connotation.

I'm Czech and I dont feel the difference in strongness of those two words.
I use kamarád (and even kámoš) more often than přítel.
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GlennInFlorida
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Joined: 10 Apr 2005
Posts: 996
Location: Tampa Florida USA

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 13:46  Reply with quote

I use kamarád more often than přítel because I can barely say the ř Confused
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Tagarela
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 87
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 15:34  Reply with quote

Ahoj,

GlennInFlorida wrote:
I use kamarád more often than přítel because I can barely say the ř Confused


It is a important point for foreigners Very Happy př- is not easy to me too... but, Glenn, we must do our best, otherwise there will be a looong list of words that we wont say all those před- ^^

But "kolega" is really "weaker", right? I can use it for classmate, work partners and so on?

Nashled.:
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ondras
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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 8

PostPosted: 13-Dec-08 19:42  Reply with quote

gementricxs wrote:
Přítel (přítelkyně) can also mean boy(girl)friend.
Kamarád does not have this connotation.

I'm Czech and I dont feel the difference in strongness of those two words.
I use kamarád (and even kámoš) more often than přítel.


Well, I'm also Czech from Prague but I for one would never use přítel/přítelkyně when I'm talking about friends. I (and most of other people I know) use it only when referring to a boyfriend/girlfriend. This applies only to the singlar form of the word friend (přítel/kamarád). For me, the plural "přátelé" has the exactly same meaning as "kamarádi" (although I still use "kamarádi" far more often).
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Ctyri koruny
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 550

PostPosted: 14-Dec-08 12:54  Reply with quote

My teacher told me to just say Kamerád as Přítel is quite old fashioned and has that confusing connotation of boyfriend.. But I don't know, sometimes she just makes things up on the spot! Smile
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Tagarela
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 87
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

PostPosted: 14-Dec-08 14:43  Reply with quote

Ahoj,

But is there a specific word for boy/girlfriend?

Nashled.:
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Ctyri koruny
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 550

PostPosted: 14-Dec-08 17:11  Reply with quote

Tagarela wrote:
Ahoj,

But is there a specific word for boy/girlfriend?

Nashled.:


I asked that just last Thursday in class! And i was told no...

I know that in German you say my friend for boyfriend or girlfriend and a friend for friend.. but of course there's the lack of any indefinite article in Czech
So I guess people just assume when it's an a member of the opposite sex and you say Přítel/přítelkyně that you're going out?
It must be very awkward and confusing for gay people.

I've also noticed this problem in teaching; where students refer to their friends in English as their girlfriends and boyfriends.
I think my girlfriends works in English without suggesting you're dating but not my girlfriend, and only if you're female.
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