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RE: [Slovak-World] Similarities between Slovaks and Czechs

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  • Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata)
    Hi Margarete - I just have to ask, so what language do YOU speak, and how much do you understand of what Filip and Marek say? Are you a native speaker, or did
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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      Hi Margarete - I just have to ask, so what language do YOU speak, and
      how much do you understand of what Filip and Marek say? Are you a
      native speaker, or did you learn as an adult?

      Joe


      ********
      2) Mutual intelligibility of the languages - Often they speak
      "Czecho-Slovak" to one another rather than English, particularly when
      they get lazy :). Marek, the Slovak, understands Filip, the Czech,
      100% of the time. Filip understands Marek about 80% and often has to
      get a clarification on an unknown vocabulary word. Filip says he never
      realized that he didn't understand Slovak well.
    • Plichta
      During my recent trip March 6-23 I asked this same question of my Slovak cousin concerning the mutual understanding of the Czech and Slovak languages. Jozef
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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        During my recent trip March 6-23 I asked this same question of my Slovak
        cousin concerning the mutual understanding of the Czech and Slovak
        languages.

        Jozef accompanied me on my week long trip to the Czech Republic because of
        my lack of the Czech language.

        Jozef told me that the older folks in Slovakia, meaning 30+ age group, have
        a fairly good understanding of the Czech language because of the influence
        of Czech TV. BUT, that is changing now. Now the emphasis is on English and
        so the Slovaks now watch CNN and other English language programming.
        Jozef's two sons, ages 13 and 11 are studying English in school and devote
        their time to English TV programs and computer games. The youngsters now
        are not exposed to the Czech language and it is much more difficult for them
        to understand.

        Frank R. Plichta
        Galax, Virginia

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of modra101
        Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 2:13 PM
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SPAM][Slovak-World] Similarities between Slovaks and Czechs

        I'm an American who for the last 8 months has been living in a small
        apartment with two 24-year old guys, a Czech from Prague and a Slovak
        from Bratislava. Here are my observations about Czechs and Slovaks
        based on watching their interactions and listening to their own words
        about Czechs and Slovaks:

        1) The same sense of humor - The same things make them laugh! I found
        that strikingly odd, but maybe that has to do with the fact that they
        are the same age and share the same interests: computers.

        2) Mutual intelligibility of the languages - Often they speak
        "Czecho-Slovak" to one another rather than English, particularly when
        they get lazy :). Marek, the Slovak, understands Filip, the Czech,
        100% of the time. Filip understands Marek about 80% and often has to
        get a clarification on an unknown vocabulary word. Filip says he never
        realized that he didn't understand Slovak well.

        In Slovakia, Slovaks watch Czech TV shows and movies all the time.
        They are exposed to the Czech language and thus, over time, understand
        Czech like native. On the other hand, in the Czech Republic, there
        are hardly any Slovak TV shows on and when there are, they are shown
        with Czech subtitles.

        3) Same types of food - When describing national dishes and preparing
        foods, the guys describe more or less the same things. The difference
        is in how the food is named in each language. The one thing that is
        uniquely different is Slovak bryndzove halusky. Filip said he's only
        ever had that while on a skiing trip in Slovakia.

        4) Surprisingly different histories - Being that their languages are
        so closely related, one would assume that the histories would be
        parallel. They aren't. Slovaks have a thousand years of struggle with
        Hungarians while the Czechs had their hands full with the Austrians.
        Both cultures developed down their own separate paths. With my two
        roommates it shows in how they describe traditions like how Slovaks
        hang "salonky", wrapped candies, on the Christmas tree and Czechs
        don't. Or that on Easter Monday Slovak boys pour water on the girls
        and Czechs don't.

        5) A united front - Marek describes the relationship between Czechs
        and Slovaks like this: "Czechs and Slovaks are like two brothers.
        There is a natural competitive nature between the two but out in the
        world they will stand by eachother and work as a team."

        I wrote this after reading what Katarina said:
        "Just an observations on "sticking together" - in my humble
        experience, Slovaks & Czechs are one of the few groups that I notice
        that do not stick together or help each other - at least in NY. We
        have Polish communities, Jewish, Chinese, etc where an expat can come
        & settle and find help. Not the Czechs or Slovaks. If someone has
        had a different experience - perhaps in a different state, I would
        love to hear about it. I find it very sad that this is the case."

        I think today we are dealing with a new generation of Czechs and
        Slovaks. The young people coming into the workforce and society today
        don't carry the "Czechoslovak" baggage such as living under communism
        and the inner squabbles of a single nation with two separate peoples.
        Therefore, these new Czechs and Slovaks are more competative and self
        sufficient. On one hand this new generation didn't fully experience
        the hardships under communism and may be "doomed to forget", but on
        the other hand, they are starting with a clean slate, the future looks
        bright and the world is their oyster.

        In clonclusion I'd say that both guys have respect for the other and I
        have never heard either say any desparaging remarks about the other's
        culture. But that could also be because both are polite decent people,
        lucky for me :).

        Margarete







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      • Vlad Nad
        Margarete, So, you are living with two young guys????? Times sure have changed! Thanks for the info though. Vlad modra101 wrote: I m
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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          Margarete,

          So, you are living with two young guys????? Times sure have changed! Thanks for the info though.

          Vlad

          modra101 <modra101@...> wrote: I'm an American who for the last 8 months has been living in a small
          apartment with two 24-year old guys, a Czech from Prague and a Slovak
          from Bratislava. Here are my observations about Czechs and Slovaks
          based on watching their interactions and listening to their own words
          about Czechs and Slovaks:

          1) The same sense of humor - The same things make them laugh! I found
          that strikingly odd, but maybe that has to do with the fact that they
          are the same age and share the same interests: computers.

          2) Mutual intelligibility of the languages - Often they speak
          "Czecho-Slovak" to one another rather than English, particularly when
          they get lazy :). Marek, the Slovak, understands Filip, the Czech,
          100% of the time. Filip understands Marek about 80% and often has to
          get a clarification on an unknown vocabulary word. Filip says he never
          realized that he didn't understand Slovak well.

          In Slovakia, Slovaks watch Czech TV shows and movies all the time.
          They are exposed to the Czech language and thus, over time, understand
          Czech like native. On the other hand, in the Czech Republic, there
          are hardly any Slovak TV shows on and when there are, they are shown
          with Czech subtitles.

          3) Same types of food - When describing national dishes and preparing
          foods, the guys describe more or less the same things. The difference
          is in how the food is named in each language. The one thing that is
          uniquely different is Slovak bryndzove halusky. Filip said he's only
          ever had that while on a skiing trip in Slovakia.

          4) Surprisingly different histories - Being that their languages are
          so closely related, one would assume that the histories would be
          parallel. They aren't. Slovaks have a thousand years of struggle with
          Hungarians while the Czechs had their hands full with the Austrians.
          Both cultures developed down their own separate paths. With my two
          roommates it shows in how they describe traditions like how Slovaks
          hang "salonky", wrapped candies, on the Christmas tree and Czechs
          don't. Or that on Easter Monday Slovak boys pour water on the girls
          and Czechs don't.

          5) A united front - Marek describes the relationship between Czechs
          and Slovaks like this: "Czechs and Slovaks are like two brothers.
          There is a natural competitive nature between the two but out in the
          world they will stand by eachother and work as a team."

          I wrote this after reading what Katarina said:
          "Just an observations on "sticking together" - in my humble
          experience, Slovaks & Czechs are one of the few groups that I notice
          that do not stick together or help each other - at least in NY. We
          have Polish communities, Jewish, Chinese, etc where an expat can come
          & settle and find help. Not the Czechs or Slovaks. If someone has
          had a different experience - perhaps in a different state, I would
          love to hear about it. I find it very sad that this is the case."

          I think today we are dealing with a new generation of Czechs and
          Slovaks. The young people coming into the workforce and society today
          don't carry the "Czechoslovak" baggage such as living under communism
          and the inner squabbles of a single nation with two separate peoples.
          Therefore, these new Czechs and Slovaks are more competative and self
          sufficient. On one hand this new generation didn't fully experience
          the hardships under communism and may be "doomed to forget", but on
          the other hand, they are starting with a clean slate, the future looks
          bright and the world is their oyster.

          In clonclusion I'd say that both guys have respect for the other and I
          have never heard either say any desparaging remarks about the other's
          culture. But that could also be because both are polite decent people,
          lucky for me :).

          Margarete






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