Czech language blog

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Polednikova, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    I don’t know whether everyone knows about this site but I’ve just found it and it looks interesting. It’s in the form of a blog by Tereza Topferova who teaches Czech at Portland Community College. It looks like her teaching notes, with links to interesting things she’s found on other sites, together with her own useful tips and information.

    For example, within a minute, I found out that Vy or Vám, for example, when capitalised, means it’s definitely being used the singular formal sense rather than the plural. I’ve often noticed this in shops and didn’t know why they used a capital V – I thought it might just be a style thing…

    And also that you can say ‘zaplatíme’ as well as ‘zaplatím’. Although I knew it was the present perfective of zaplatit, I thought it might be the standard phrase, irrespective of how many there were of you at the table. Very elementary, I know, considering I’ve been in Prague for ten months now but I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t know the really obvious things!
  2. editas01

    editas01 Member

    My English isn't very good, so I hope I will answer the questions what you really asked :D.

    We write Vy, Vám (singluar and plural too) mostly in the letters when you want to show your respect, deference to some person. So generall you use it when you write to person who don't know very much and you don't thou them. So when you write to your teacher, boss, when you ask for job etc.
    Ti Ty - when it is your good friend, family you write small letters. A lot of Czech people use capitals in a letters with their good friends but it is mistake. I would expect to use capitals in Ti, Ty when somebody speak with mother-in-law etc (when you thou each other, of course).

    "Dobrý den, pane Nový. Děkuji Vám za odpověď. Chtěla bych Vás požádat o... "
  3. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    That's what I thought. Thank you very much for confirming it.
  4. miti38

    miti38 New Member

    I'm a current student (with a tutor since April, on my own for a couple of years).
    Isn't "zaplatíme" the "we" or Czech "my" form and ?zaplatím? the "I" or Czech "já" form?

    I love this forum! Michele

    And also that you can say ?zaplatíme? as well as ?zaplatím?. Although I knew it was the present perfective of zaplatit, I thought it might be the standard phrase, irrespective of how many there were of you at the table. Very elementary, I know, considering I?ve been in Prague for ten months now but I?m sure I?m not the only one who doesn?t know the really obvious things![/quote]
  5. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    In restaurant, if I am eating alone, I use "Zaplatím" (sg. - I pay). If there is more of us, and we are leaving together, one says "Zaplatíme" (pl. - We pay). If there is more of us, but only I am leaving and only I am paying, I will say "Zaplatím" (sg. - (Only) I pay).
  6. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I didn't explain myself very well. I know that technically zaplatim is I and zaplatime is we, I just thought that zaplatim was the standard phrase. I'm trying to think of a similar example in English but I can't.

    I always felt a bit uncomfortable saying 'zaplatim' when I was with other people because I thought it made it look as though I was showing off that I was the one with money and was graciously treating my friends! So it's 'zaplatime' from now on!

    I've now had another look at the site and I'm not sure she's still maintaining it. I will have another play but if she's isn't, that would be a shame - it was a very good idea.
  7. editas01

    editas01 Member

    Hehe, don't worry, after you will pay a bill of your 10 friends, you will learn this phrase to use very well!:-D
    Ok, so if you want to leave the restaurant with others, you can use just: "Chceme zaplatit (zaplatíme)". Becuase you use plural, a waiter expect that you mean: We want to pay separately. If you want to pay all, you would say: "Zaplatím" (Or Zaplatím vše. Zaplatím dohromady.)"
    So this is a difference. You don't mean difference between plural and singular - who wants to go home but you mean with it who wants to pay.

    Worse if your friends want to stay longer and you want to pay and leave them (it is case what you are afraid that you will say just "zaplatím" and the waiter will mean - aha, she wants to pay all). I would say: "Chci zaplatit 1 oběd, colu a chipsy." Or "Zaplatím." and I am sure that in 90% waiter ask: "Dohromady nebo zvlášť?" You can use too: "Zaplatím si"... "Si" mean myself. But I use "Zaplatila bych za 1 oběd, pití atd."

    So my advice. Say: "Zaplatila bych si". Or say: "Zaplatím + concrete meal"
  8. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Thanks, editas01, that was very illuminating. I think I've been getting away with it because I only have to ask for the bill when I'm in a restaurant with visitors from the UK and I'm the only one who speaks any Czech and the waiters know we're all foreign. If I'm with Czechs, they ask for it!
  9. flapcats

    flapcats Member

    Sadly it looks like this blog has been removed - does anyone know where she's moved to?
  10. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Sorry, no. I presumed that she'd either moved on or had just got bored with writing it.

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