"The Wonders of Czech"

Discussion in 'Vocabulary & Translation Help' started by Lorenzo, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Hi my dear friends of the language forum, :D

    I have been searching for the right way to render the English expression "I wonder if/whether..." and as my Czech-Italian dictionary gives me puzzling Czech renditions of the Italian equivalent ("Mi chiedo se", literally "I ask myself") with expressions as "Naskytá se otazka" and "Clovek se ptá" which sound too impersonal, I have asked a couple of native speaker of Czech who have come up with the following translation "Zajímalo by me, jestli..." which is ok but gives me the impression the person saying this would sound a little too curious or pushy if what they wonder about are personal matters. What would you suggest? Is there any other expression which could be used, something used in spoken, every day Czech? I really wonder... 8)

  2. Kikko

    Kikko Well-Known Member

    I would use divit se

    Ja se divim jestli...
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Good to see you back Lorenzo!

    "Zajímalo by mě, jestli..." is the first thing that came to my mind even before I finished reading your post. It's the most commonly used expression for the English "I wonder if...". Some other phrases that can be used depending on the context are "Chtěl(a) bych se zeptat, jestli..." or "Jsem zvědavý(á), jestli...".

    Kikko, "já se divím, jestli..." cannot be used for two reasons. First of all, the verb "divit se" means "to be surprised" (to wonder in a surprised way). Secondly, the verb "divit se" cannot be used with "jestli". You can say "divím se, že..." (I'm surprised that...) but not "divím se, jestli..." (I'm surprised if...).

  4. Kikko

    Kikko Well-Known Member

    :shock: thanx dana, the dictionary always writes a word without explaining anything :)
  5. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Good to be back Dana and read your post :wink:

    So I think in my case I could say both:

    Zajímalo by me, jestli budes mít cas se sejít pristi tyden


    Chtel bych se zeptat, jestli budes mít cas se se mnou sejit pristí tyden (does this sound lame? :?)

    And could I say?

    Jsem zvedavy, jestli Jana prisla domu

    Diky moc

  6. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Lorenzo, regarding your sentences:

    "Zajímalo by mě, jestli budeš mít čas..." is grammatically fine but it sounds a little bit impersonal to me. I think "zajímalo by mě" works better in statements such as "Zajímalo by mě, jestli bude zítra pršet", "Zajímalo by mě, jestli Lorenzo přijede do Prahy", i.e. statements where you are not directly addressing another person. E.g. a mother may scold her messy child by saying "Zajímalo by mě, jestli už sis uklidil v pokoji" (expecting a negative answer).

    "Jsem zvědavý" can often replace "zajímalo by mě" - "Jsem zvědavý, jestli bude zítra pršet", "Jsem zvědavý, jestli Lorenzo přijede...". And yes, "Jsem zvědavý, jestli Jana přišla domů".

    "Chtěl bych se zeptat..." may often be a better choice when you're asking someone about something. It sounds more polite and personal. "Chtěl bych se zeptat, jestli budeš mít zítra čas", "Chtěl bych se zeptat, jestli máte volný pokoj" (at a hotel), etc.
  7. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Thank you Dana,

    Things have taken a clearer shape now :)
    Myslím, ze v blizké dobe budu mít cestu do Cechy a jsem zvedavy, jaky bude zivot v Maticce Praze...

Share This Page