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Chung at work / Chung pri práci

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 Message 481 of 541
13 December 2014 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 

As noted here, I’m compiling a list of verbs that use prefixes in derivation or to indicate changes in aspect.

(From Grogy: Prehistorický tvor via S H O O T Y)

3) “Did grandpa also carve like this for you when you were small? - At that time we didn’t have Halloween.”*
4) “Huh? - But was there Ježiško** then? - At that time it was called the holidays of rest and peace.”***
5) “But there wasn’t Halloween at all.”
6) “Our dad is really old. Older than Halloween. - He was born before Christ was.”

* Halloween was little-known among Czechs and Slovaks before the fall of communism but since then has become more known (especially among younger people who enjoy trick-or-treating and costume parties).
** In Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Christkind (Ježíšek / Ježiško) brings Christmas gifts to children rather than Santa Claus / St. Nicholas.
*** This has been an alternative name to Christmas for some time but during the communist era (the father's childhood) it was used more a bit more than at other times since its seeming blandness fit well enough with the ruling communist party's hostility to organized religion (cf. "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people" (Karl Marx))

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (3rd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given


See here for the rationale for and information about this exercise in comparing Czech and Slovak.

The Czech sentences are red while the Slovak ones are blue. (...) denotes text that has been omitted because its subject matter does not tie back to the common translation thus making it ineligible for grammatical or lexical comparison.

Unit 15

Dialog 5 / Dialóg 5

J: Kolikátého je dnes?

J: Koľkého je dnes?

“What’s the date today?”

Cz: kolikátého | Sk: koľkého “how many; which” (genitive singular)

When it comes asking about a date, Czech and Slovak use an interrogative meaning “how many / much?”. However the Czech form has an adjectival ending typical for an ordinal numeral (kolikátého (< kolikátý) literally translates to “(of) how many-eth?”). The Slovak counterpart is the genitive singular of koľkí / koľké “how many”. Compare also kolik / koľko here under Cz: několikrát | Sk: niekoľko raz.

H: Je dvacátého sedmého června. V červenci jedeme do Paříže!

Z: Je dvadsiateho siedmeho júla. V auguste ideme do Paríža!

“It’s the 27th of June / July. In July / August we’re going to Paris!”

Cz: dvacátého sedmého (< dvacátý sedmý) | Sk: dvadsiateho siedmeho (< dvadsiaty siedmy) “twenty-seventh” (genitive singular)

Here is a comparison of several Czech and Slovak ordinal numerals.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
první, druhý, třetí, čtvrtý, pátý, šestý, sedmý, osmý, devátý, desátý
prvý, druhý, tretí, štvrtý, piaty, šiesty, siedmy, ôsmy, deviaty, desiaty

11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th
jedenáctý, dvanáctý, třináctý, čtrnáctý, patnáctý, šestnáctý, osmnáctý, devatenáctý, dvacátý
jedenásty, dvanásty, trinásty, štrnásty, pätnásty, šestnásty, sedemnásty, osemnásty, devätnásty, dvadsiaty

21st, 22nd, 23rd, 30th, 31st, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th, 100th, 200th, 300th, 1000th
dvacátý první, dvacátý druhý, dvacátý třetí, třicátý, čtyřicátý, padesátý, šedesátý, sedmdesátý, osmdesátý, devadesátý, stý, dvoustý, třístý, tisící
dvadsiaty prvý, dvadsiaty druhý, dvadsiaty tretí, tridsiaty, štyridsiaty, päťdesiaty, šesťdesiaty, sedemdesiatý, osemdesiaty, deväťdesiaty, stý, dvojstý, trojstý, tisíci

Cz: června (< červen) | Sk: júna (< jún) “June” (genitive singular)
Cz: v červenci (< červenec) | Sk: v júli (< júl) “in July”
Cz: v srpnu (< srpen) | Sk: v auguste (< august) “in August”

For some reason, the author used different pairs of months in the Czech and Slovak lines. The names of the months in Czech do not follow the familiar Roman-based nomenclature found in Slovak.

January, February, March, April, May, June
leden, únor, březen, duben, květen, červen
január, február, marec, apríl, máj, jún

July, August, September, October, November, December
červenec, srpen, září, říjen, listopad, prosinec
júl, august, september, október, november, december

Cz: do Paříže (< Paříž) | Sk: do Paríža (< Paríž) “to Paris”

Not only do the Czech and Slovak equivalents of “Paris” differ in spelling and pronunciation because of the medial ř versus r, but the Czech form is a feminine noun while the Slovak form is a masculine noun.

J: Jo, druhého července! Za necelý týden! Strašně se na to těším! Vrátíme se až v srpnu!

J: Hej, prvého augusta! O necelý týžden! Strašne sa na to teším! Vrátime sa až desiateho októbra!

“Yeah, the second of July / the first of August! In less than a week! I’m really looking forward to it! We’ll come back in August / on the 10th of October!”

Cz: za (+ accusative) | Sk: o (+ accusative) “in” (temporal expressions)

In Czech, za (+ accusative) can translate “in” when dealing with the time that will elapse before the action will occur or be completed as well as when referring to the time needed to complete an action. In Slovak za (+ accusative) can express the latter nuance used in Czech but not the former. For the former sense, Slovak uses o (+ accusative) instead.

“I’ll read (finish reading) the letter in an hour.”
Cz: Přečtu dopis za hodinu.
Sk: Prečítam list za hodinu.

“I’ll come back in an hour.”
Cz: Vrátím se za hodinu.
Sk: Vrátim sa o hodinu.

For temporal meanings, o (+ accusative) in Czech is sometimes translateable as “by” when comparing events. The preposition used in this way in Slovak has the same translation in addition to the sense mentioned in the second example above which is expressed in Czech with za (+ accusative).

“I came back an hour later than usual.”
Cz: Vrátil jsem se o hodinu později než obvykle.
Sk: Vrátil som sa o hodinu neskôr než obyčajne.

H: Kdy máš narozeniny?

Z: Kedy máš narodeniny?

“When’s your birthday?”

Cz: kdy | Sk: kedy “when”
Cz: narozeniny | Sk: narodeniny “birthday”

Slight differences in spelling reflect slight differences in pronunciation.

J: Šestnáctého listopadu, bude mi čtrnáct!

J: Šestnásteho októbra, budem mať pätnásť rokov!

“16th of November / October, I’ll be 14 / 15.”

Cz: bude mi... | Sk: budem mať... “I’ll be... [x years]”

Each language uses a different structure to express age. In Czech, the structure contains the byt “to be” while in Slovak it contains mať “to have”.

How old are you? - I am four years old. (I am five years old / fifteen years old.)
Cz: Kolik je ti let? - Jsou mi čtyři roky. (Je mi pět let / patnáct let.)
Sk: Koľko máš rokov? - Mám štyri roky. (Mám päť rokov / pätnásť rokov.)

The Czech forms translate literally as “How many summers is to you? - There are to me four years. (There are to me five summers / fifteen summers)”. The Slovak forms translate literally as “How many years do you have? - I have four years. (I have five years / fifteen years)”.

H: Takový velký kluk! Já mám narozeniny osmého února a bude mi třicet pet. Na moje narozeniny pokaždé sněží a já nenávidím sníh.

Z: Taký starý človek! Ja mám narodeniny ôsmeho februára. Zakaždým sneží, nenávidím sneh a budem mať tridsaťpäť rokov.

“Such a big guy! My birthday is the 8th of February and I’ll be 35. On my birthday it snows every time and I hate snow.”
“Such a big man! My birthday is the 8th of February. It’s snowing every time, I hate snow and I’ll be 35.

Cz: kluk | Sk: chlapec “boy”

Chlapec also exists in Czech with the same meaning. On the other hand, kluk “boy” does not exist in Slovak, although there is the similar-looking kľuk which means “push-up”.

Cz: člověk | Sk: človek “man; person”

Slight difference in spelling reflects a slight difference in pronunciation.

Cz: pokaždé | Sk: zakaždým “always, every time; whenever”

Even though each adverb is unique to its language, one could substitute them with vždy “always, every time” which is common to both languages.

Cz: sněží (< sněžit) | Sk: sneží (< snežiť) “it snows”

Slight difference in spelling although the pronunciation of the conjugated form is identical.

Cz: sníh | Sk: sneh “snow”

Slight difference in spelling reflects a slight difference in pronunciation.

J: Kdy ses narodila?

J: Kedy si sa narodila?

“When were you born?”

H: Roku devatenáct set šedesát tři. A ty?

Z: V roku tisícdeväťstošesťdesiattri. A ty?

“In 1963. You?”

Dates are often placed in genitive but years, months or days separately can be in other cases depending on the preposition.

“What’s today’s date? - It’s the 25th of December.”
Cz: Kolikátého je dnes? - Je dvacétého pátého prosince.
Sk: Koľkého je dnes? - Je dvadsiateho piateho decembra.

“She started working there in 1995.”
Cz: Začala tam pracovat roku 1995. / Začala tam pracovat v roce 1995.
Sk: Začala tam pracovať v roku 1995.

“She started working there in January 1995.”
Cz: Začala tam pracovat v lednu (roku) 1995,
Sk: Začala tam pracovať v januári (roku) 1995.

“She started working there on January 1, 1995.”
Cz: Začala tam pracovat 1. ledna 1995.
Sk: Začala tam pracovať 1. januára 1995.

Cz: Roku devatenáct set šedesát tři | Sk: V roku tisícdeväťstošesťdesiattri “In 1963.”

In Czech, it’s common to express the year as something like “nineteen hundred sixty- three” (especially when speaking or in less formal writing) instead of as tisíc devět set šedesát tři “thousand nine hundred sixty-three”. In Slovak, the year is expressed with digits in sequence (thousands, hundreds, tens, units). As far as I am aware, this convention is the only one used in Slovak.

J: Zapomněl jsem! Počkej, už jsem si vzpomněl. Roku devatenáct set osmdesát čtyři.

Z: Zabudol som. Počkaj, teraz som si spomenul, v roku tisícdeväťstoosemdesiatdva.

“I forgot! Wait, I just remembered. 1984 / 1982.”

Cz: zapomněl jsem (< zapomenout) | Sk: zabudol som (< zabudnúť) “I forgot”

Each verb is unique to its own language although the root pom- in zapomenout and its association with terms pertaining to memory isn’t unknown in Slovak. See here under Cz: vzpomínat (si) | Sk: spomínať (si) “to recall, remember”.

All other differences have been covered in previous entries.


After comparing dialogues in “Colloqual Czech” and “Colloquial Slovak” in units 1, 4, 7, 10 and 15, it should be clear that there are noticeable differences between Czech and Slovak even though they do not drastically reduce mutual intelligibility. There are also other differences that would have turned up if I had gone through even more transcripts but I believe that what I've done so far is more than sufficient. I recommend to anyone interested Czech: Introduction to Slovak for Students of Czech for an indirect analysis and Slovenčina a čeština. Synchronné porovnavanie s cvičeniami for a comprehensive examination (in Slovak)

What is grammatical in one language often isn’t so in the other with examples being the differences in the sets of inflectional endings as well as in expressing comparison and certain moods. Furthermore these aspects aren't primarily superficial by being lexical differences (e.g. hloupý / hlúpy “dumb”; kočka / mačka “cat”) or orthographical ones that are phonologically inconsequential (e.g. sněží / sneží “(it) snows”). Lastly, the phonemic inventories of each language are distinct and also lend weight to treating these languages as separate.

Below is all of the analysis sorted by pair of dialogues with notable points of differentiation in parentheses (lexical differences including false friends are too numerous to list in parentheses)

Unit 1, Dialogues 1/1 (declension of 1st person singular personal pronoun)
Unit 1, Dialogues 4/3 (conjugation in present tense 1, "soft" declension for feminine nouns)
Unit 1, Dialogues 5/4 (declension of certain neuter nouns)

Unit 4, Dialogues 1/1 (conjugation in present tense 2, dative/locative singular of feminine nouns with nominative singular ending in -ha/-ka)
Unit 4, Dialogues 2/2 (declension of rok "year")
Unit 4, Dialogues 3/3 (Slovak rhythmic law)
Unit 4, Dialogues 4/4 (declension of feminine possessive adjective for 3rd person singular)
Unit 4, Dialogues 5/5 (declension of possessive adjective for 1st person singular and feminine personal pronoun for 3rd person singular )
Unit 4, Dialogues 6/6 (Slovak pre corresponding to Czech pře- or pro-)

Unit 7, Dialogues 1/1 (limited correspondence between Czech ů and Slovak ô)
Unit 7, Dialogues 2/2 (l-participle from verbs ending in -st/-zt / –sť/–zť, instrumental singular for "soft" feminine nouns)
Unit 7, Dialogues 3/3
Unit 7, Dialogues 4/4 (Czech přes and Slovak cez forming a mutually exclusive pair, conjugation of "to go" and "to take")
Unit 7, Dialogues 5/5 (declension of "this")
Unit 7, Dialogues 6/6

Unit 10, Dialogues 3/3 (formation of imperative, declension of "these, those", declension of numerals 2, 3, 4, plural of masculine animate nouns, declension of nouns ending in shared derivational suffix -ctvo/-stvo)
Unit 10, Dialogues 4/4 (nominative/accusative plural of neuter nouns, declension of "soft" adjectives, conjugation of verbs with infinitive -nout / -núť)

Unit 15, Dialogues 1/1 (conditional mood, 2nd person singular in past tense of reflexive verbs)
Unit 15, Dialogues 2/2 (declension of 1st person singular possessive adjective with masculine animate object, declension of "all; everybody; everything")
Unit 15, Dialogues 3/3 (possessor suffixes, accusative of 3rd person singular personal pronoun in masculine and neuter, kinship terms)
Unit 15, Dialogues 4/4 (comparative and superlative)
Unit 15, Dialogues 5/5 and concluding remarks (dates, ordinal numerals, personal age)


Anyone can now appreciate why I’ve also come to deride attempts to frame BCMS/SC by appealing to Czech vis-à-vis Slovak (or vice-versa) (see here for a similar body of analysis for BCMS/SC using the 15 chapters of each of “Beginner's Croatian” and “Beginner's Serbian”). Based on my latest investigation, such framing stems from an incomplete and misinformed comparison of the data and background. Just because the standard languages of BCMS/SC are mutually intelligible and associated with different countries like Czech and Slovak doesn't mean that BCMS/SC is to be analyzed similarly by attempting to insinuate that the standard languages of BCMS/SC diverge as much as Czech and Slovak. In simple terms, if one native speaker almost always considers what another such person uses to be grammatical because of how it matches with what he/she him/herself uses as “correct language” or the “standard language”, then we're dealing with either one (standard) language or a pluricentric one. From neither outcome can one conclude that we have distinct languages without resorting to emotional, sociological or political whims. Mutual intelligibility alone is insufficient since "mutual grammaticality" also counts when determining on phonological, morphological and lexical grounds if one is dealing with one language or more.

Edited by Chung on 30 December 2014 at 6:42pm

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Senior Member
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Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 Message 482 of 541
29 December 2014 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
For his plans in 2014 for Finnish, Chung wrote:
As my study efforts in 2014 will form part of the team's "output", I will reveal in brief my plans for studying Finnish.

I plan to continue working with "Finnish for Foreigners" and should finish the first volume in January as I'm on the second last chapter. I then expect to move onto the second volume but given the greater focus there on Finnish for writing purposes, I'll need to use other sources to help with listening and speaking. I already have a couple of ideas in mind, as noted here. There's a good chance that I'll go to Finland in 2014 but it's competing with other places for my annual allotment for paid vacation.

I will be quite busy in the rest of the winter and don't expect to be able to study as much as I have in the previous two years. This also means that updating my log as frequently as I have recently doesn't seem likely in the upcoming weeks.

In general I did accomplish my modest goals for Finnish in 2014 by moving on to the second volume of "Finnish for Foreigners" after having finished the first one. I also began looking outside the textbook and used Korvat auki and am still using Ymmärrä suomea. Finally, I worked more on my grasp of colloquial Finnish by doing some exercises and listening to the dialogues of “Colloquial Finnish” while on vacation in Finland.

For 2015, I expect to continue the trend that I started in 2014.

For his plans in 2014 for Polish and Ukrainian, Chung wrote:
As my study efforts in 2014 will form part of the team's "output", I will reveal in brief my plans for studying Polish and Ukrainian.

For Polish, I am set to continue working steadily on Polish and perhaps even finish both volumes of "Kiedyś wrócisz tu..." by the end of the year in addition to taking in more authentic media. It would be great if I could increase my Polish network in my hometown since going to Poland every year is definitely nice but I can't stay there as long as I would like :-)

The situation for Ukrainian is similar to Polish in that I'm set to keep working on the language. I'm currently on Chapter 7 (of 15) of "Beginner's Ukrainian" and Chapter 12 (or 20) of "Modern Ukrainian". Working through those, in addition to going to Ukrainian classes should be enough to keep me occupied. In any case, I might even squeeze in work with the online course eMova. After my experience with eMagyarul for Hungarian (which has been unfortunately unavailable for several months), I'm all for doing a bit of study online to break the routine of doing things at my desk with pencil, paper, textbook and MP3 player. I can see myself logging on for brief sessions at the office when I have some downtime during the day >:-). There's a small chance that I'll visit Ukraine in 2014 but it's competing with other places for my annual vacation allotment.

I will be quite busy in the rest of the winter and don't expect to be able to study as much as I have in the previous two years. This also means that updating my log as frequently as I have recently doesn't seem likely in the upcoming weeks.

My studies in Polish and Ukrainian did not go well. My motivation in the latter started to fade in the spring and never recovered. By the fall I had shelved my Ukrainian studies indefinitely. My studies in Poliah moved slowly and I have not come close to my hope of finishing both volumes of "Kiedyś wrócisz tu..." (still on Chapter 4 of Vol. 1), and as I noted here it (among others) got squeezed aside by my desire to finish my Russian courses by the end of 2014. A minor irritant is that I'll still be studying Russian in January since as of today I have 10 chapters left in "New Penguin Russian Course" before I finish it. The only consolation is that I expect to have more time for Polish in 2015 and look forward to doing some work with material outside the textbook as I did this year with Finnish.

For his plans in 2014 for Slovak, Chung wrote:
With the near-certainty of the disbandment of Team Kofola as of Jan. 1, 2014, I will briefly describe below my plans for Slovak in 2014. See here for a summary of my progress with language in 2012 and 2013.

I will continue to work on Slovak at a reduced level. For the time being I plan to continue compiling a list of aspectual pairs of Slovak verbs with the help of dictionaries. Only after I have completed this task to my satisfaction will I return to my gradual study using "Hovorme spolu po slovensky "B" Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk".

I will be quite busy in the rest of the winter and don't expect to be able to study as much as I have in the previous two years. This also means that updating my log as frequently as I have recently doesn't seem likely in the upcoming weeks.

Not only did I keep building my list of aspectual pairs, but I finished my comparative study of Czech and Slovak based on 22 pairs of dialogues from “Colloquial Czech” and “Colloquial Slovak”. With that philological diversion out of the way (not that it was a negative development; I quite enjoyed doing it and hope that it demonstrates at least on this board that Czech and Slovak are distinct languages rather than variants of a pluricentric language or dialects of each other) I'll keep building that list of aspectual pairs before resuming "proper" study with "Hovorme spolu po slovensky "B" Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk".

For his plans in 2014 for Turkish, Chung wrote:
Since this has been posted, I've accomplished these modest goals. I finished "TY Beginner's Turkish" in June and after a bit of a hiatus, got going with "Turkish Self-Study Course - Book 1" and "Elementary Turkish I" in August.

For 2014, I expect to continue working with both courses and at the least expect to have finished "Turkish Self-Study Course - Book 1" by the time 2015 comes. My goals for Turkish remain modest since I'm keeping the focus mainly on Finnish and Ukrainian but also to a slightly lesser degree on Polish and Slovak.

I will be quite busy in the rest of the winter and don't expect to be able to study as much as I have in the previous two years. This also means that updating my log as frequently as I have recently doesn't seem likely in the upcoming weeks.

I did continue working through the two aforementioned textbooks but didn't quite finish "Turkish Self-Study Course - Book 1" (three more units to go). The Turkic challenge is underway and my studies in Turkish have decelerated a bit. However I did get a big motivational boost because of my trip to Istanbul and expect to keep working steadily on Turkish. For that I'll stick with “Elementary Turkish I” and move onto “Turkish Self-Study Course - Book 2” once the first volume of the latter is completed in January. Perhaps I'll be able to report in a year from now of having begun “Elementary Turkish II” and incorporated Turkish comic strips in my log as I've done in other target languages.

I haven't ruled out getting back to Korean in 2015 although it's tough for me to see how to fit it in satisfactorily as I've noted here on the need to spend more time on it.

Lastly I'm bound to the schedule of the Turkic Challenge and at minimum expect to study the languages for 2015 using the core material agreed on so far.
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Senior Member
Czech Republic
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Speaks: English*, Czech, Spanish
Studies: Italian, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Toki Pona, Russian

 Message 483 of 541
30 December 2014 at 4:59pm | IP Logged 
I enjoyed following your log as usual this year and especially enjoyed the comic strips
and the comparative study of Czech and Slovak.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 7024 days ago

4228 posts - 8259 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 Message 484 of 541
30 December 2014 at 6:02pm | IP Logged 
Thank you. It's kind of you to post that, hribecek.
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 Message 485 of 541
30 December 2014 at 6:04pm | IP Logged 
Kiitos, Chung, for the interesting posts. You cover a lot of languages I would like to
study someday, but I can't afford to spread myself that thin right now, so everything
will always have to wait... until it won't anymore.
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, Spanish
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 Message 486 of 541
30 December 2014 at 6:27pm | IP Logged 
I loved the comparative parts and I spotted a few similarities to Polish (and Russian, even though my understanding is limited to a few words).
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Senior Member
Joined 7024 days ago

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20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 Message 487 of 541
30 December 2014 at 6:37pm | IP Logged 
Bitte schön. Ich freue mich darüber, daß ihr die Beiträge interessant gefunden habt.
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 Message 488 of 541
31 December 2014 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
I too have enjoyed following your log, Chung, and testing my knowledge of
Slovak and Ukrainian by reading the comic strips. I was also impressed by
the amount of time and detail you put into your comparitive of Czech and

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