help with "identification".

Discussion in 'General Language' started by EngCzech, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. EngCzech

    EngCzech Member

    Hi everyone,
    Long story short: we have prayer books around from my great-grandparents. We are in the midst of trying to find out if we are Czech or Slovak. I, myself, have been told my whole life that we (the kids and my mom. As my dad is not of the same nationality.) are Czech (or "Czechoslovakian" as they say sometimes). I've always been proud of being Czech.. But lately with trying to search through family trees for distant relatives who still live there, i've only found confusing facts that say that we might be Slovak. That would be devastating for me, as I've always been proud of being Czech, as I said before (maybe I'm silly.. Or maybe some people understand with their own love of country type thing.). Does anyone know a way that I could find out for sure??
    Okay.. so that wasn't so short as I thought it was going to be. But as I was saying before i rambled, we have prayer books here in Russian and Czech/Slovak from ancestors. Now, Czech and Slovak look pretty much the same to me. I need help on discerning which one it is.. Here is a small excerpt from the two books. (the books are very old so some letters are somewhat hard to discern).
    Book 1:
    "Pred fwiatočným dňom Wel't'onočným, wediac Ježiš, že priffla jeho hodina, prejft'. z tohoto fweta t' Otcu, milujúc fwojich, onižto boli na fwete: milowal jich až do ft'ončenia."
    Book 2:
    "Za času strašného prenasledovania Židov skrze Antiocha žil v krajine judskej kňaz Mathatiáš s piatimi synmi svojimi."

    Can anyone help? Thanks.
  2. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    Worry it is Slovak.

    Book 1 (older - w is used instead of modern v) - I think f should be s ( Pred swiatočným dňom .. ) -> in Czech (Před svátečním dnem)

    "Pred swiatočným dňom Welikonočným, wediac Ježiš, že prišla jeho hodina, prejst' z tohoto sweta k (ku) Otcu, milujúc swojich, onižto boli na swete: milowal jich až do skončenia."

    Book 2 (which is newer) - "s piatimi" (with five) it is Slovak, in Czech it is "s pěti"

    but no need to feel sore, Slovaks are also great people.
  3. EngCzech

    EngCzech Member

    Thank you very much!
    Yeah, I think it's just the shock of not really being the nationality you were told you were as a child. But, thanks for your help. I've been told that I catch on to languages quick, and so, I plan on giving Czech-Slovak a try.
    R.I.P. Czechoslovakia...
  4. bibax

    bibax Well-Known Member

    I think the prayer books in Slovak prove nothing. I have a prayer book in Latin but I am sure I am neither Roman nor Catholic.
  5. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Exactly, in addition, a Slovak passage doesn’t mean the whole book is Slovak, it could be a compilation of both Czech and Slovak psalms. What’s the title of the book?

    That’s so called “long s”. It’s an older typographic variant of “s”. You should know this letter as the integral sign.

  6. EngCzech

    EngCzech Member

    Yeah.. One situation I've thought of is that because the Czech Rep. and Slovak Rep. were once part of one country, my ancestors could have been Czech by heritage but grew up speaking Slovak and the surrounding languages such as Russian and German (from Austria), and a little Hungarian if needed.
    I believe the title of book 1 is "Sw. Gitania (Citania?) a Ewangélia" I think. The binding is old and can't make it out to be either a G or a C.

    The title of book 2 is "DEJEPIS BIBLICKÝ Starého i Nového Zákona". There is "Pre" in small letters under that, and then this "vyššie triedy národných škôl a pre l'ud".
    I'm not sure if that is a subtitle or something on the 2nd book.
  7. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I would say in future the quickest way to tell them appart is Czech has the r with the symbol over it ř - and Slovak doesn't. It's quite a common sound so if you can't find it in a few pages it's probably not Czech.

    Do you know what the old Czechoslovakian surname was and how it was pronounced? It might give people here some clue, I don't know.

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