Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lurking Valuables

OK - so this isn't really a sign as such... but I got a kick out of the convoluted English on the following notice, left in our mailbox today:
Dear shareholders and inhabitants of Mala Sarka area,

We would like to inform you about cases of breaking in cars, which are parked on the public roads or on drive to your property. Because of this reason, I would like to ask you for parking your cars in your garage. Nevertheless, if you decide to park your car outside, please, don't leave there any valuables, which could lurk on an attention and increase the danger of breaking into.

Thank you.
At least the notice was understandable! Both Erin and I have been a little surprised at how little English is spoken in the Czech Republic. Though we've lived overseas most of our lives, we've always been able to communicate in either English, or in the "native tongue" we grew up learning - Arabic for Erin or Sinhalese for me. Living in a country where our language skills are worse than your average 2 year old's has been painful. Shopping involves a dictionary and a lot of extra time... you know the box with a picture of a white liquid is probably milk, but what exactly is Trvanlivé Mléko Polotučné? (It's long life, half-fat 1.5% milk, in case you're wondering.)

Learning Czech is more than just memorizing vocabulary too... just when you think you've learned a word, you realize that the word changes, based how it's used in the sentence! Yep, to learn Czech properly, we're going to have to dig up that dusty high-school grammer to remind ourselves what nominative, genitive, dative, and the four other cases of Czech mean.

My goal? To someday be able to babble like a Czech two year old. Mleko? Mleka? Mlekou? They'll get the idea... I want milk - no matter whether I'm drinking it, jumping into it, using it for a recipe, hiding behind it or adding it to my coffee. Just like those "lurking valuables" - they'll understand what I'm after!

Word for the day? Say this three times really fast:


It means Ice Cream - a very important word to memorize! Oh - did I mention Czech uses some really neat consonant combinations? More on that later!

1 comment:

Madelyn said...

Well I sure hope you are NOT leaving your valuables lurking around - an important part of your new-culture learning I guess. Though I've only visited Prague twice, I too was surprised at how little English is spoken or even understood. Good luck with the language! Love you!