Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The other day at the travel agency I overheard an employee using the verb "upgradovat." (Or would that be "upgrejdovat"?)

I don’t see any particular problem with this, but I must say the Czechification of foreign (mostly English) words can reach levels of utter silliness at times. My source who used to work at one of the major Prague law firms says the lawyers there use the verb "closovat," as in "to close a deal." This is just plain stupid, since the Czech term for "to close a deal" ("zav?ít smlouvu") is perfectly fine as-is and, moreover, transliterates exactly between Czech and English.

On a related topic, several years ago I was discussing with a Czech friend the nicknames for certain places in Prague (Václavák, Karlák, Staromák...) and was told that some people say "I-pák" for I.P. Pavlova. "But that's just stupid," said my friend at the time. Mind you, this was about five years ago. These days I hear "I-pák" it quite often, perhaps more so than the more traditional "Pavlák."

One of my big issues is whether to go with the Czech verbal shorthand for Ji?iho z Pod?brad ("Ji?ák") or with it's Americanized acronym, "Jay-zee-pee." I prefer the latter only because it drives the Czechs crazy.

I apologize in advance if my recalcitrant web site refuses to show you the Czech diacritics properly.


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