03 May 2014

Lower Brain and confusing Czech bastardised words

I have come to the conclusion that many of my achievements and other noteworthy examples of intelligence have all been the work of what I call my Upper Brain.

My Lower Brain, on the other hand, is - bless it - responsible for the following.

Like English, Czech borrows words from other languages, most notably English. And like with English, Czech often bastardises the foreign words it decides to take under its multi-conjugational wing.

One example of this effect is: (English) sweater becomes (Czech) svetr.

This is very confusing for my poor Lower Brain. These words look so foreign, and yet are so very familiar.

And so I found myself at a tram stop, and while waiting for the next tram, Lower Brain idly was reading a poster advertising 'Jazz a Rokenrol Koncert'.

Lower Brain - bless it - is slowly cottoning on to some of the oddness of the foreign-words-that-are-strangely-familiar, and so Koncert elicited only a brief blip in understanding.

However, Rokenrol provided at least a few minutes entertainment while Lower Brain considered what kind of strange musical genre this might be...until Upper Brain suggested Lower Brain should try to sound it out.

(It sounds remarkably similar to 'Rock-n-Roll' for any other Lower Brains out there)

Similarly, a few days ago, I was once again on the tram and Lower Brain was industriously trying to read a poster about some events happening around Prague.

English, as you probably know, colloquially often adds -y to words to turn them into 'baby English'. Dog becomes doggy. Pig becomes piggy. Biscuit becomes the unbearable British bicky. And so on.

And so, when Lower Brain spied the poster advertising workshopy, it helpfully added another 'p' and then then cooed over what must be a little baby-waby workshop.

...until Upper Brain broke from its undoubtedly-deep contemplations, took Lower Brain kindly by the shoulders and pointed out that Czech often adds -y  to some masculine words to make them plural.

Not cute a little baby workshop, dear Lower Brain, just a plural occurrence of probably standard, fully-mature workshops. Foiled again by these borrowed and then broken words.

For the record, while Upper Brain is the slightly more advanced of the two, both Upper Brain and Lower Brain giggle whenever they see a dour line of passengers preparing to board a 'SAD TOURIST' bus. (Not, I presume, a word borrowed from English).

Not, perhaps, well-suited for the English-speaking market
I just Googled 'SAD TOURIST', by the way, which revealed to me that their official website is sadbus.cz. And so my day has gotten even brighter. 

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