Czenglish and Englech: I Speaking goodly yours language’s

Confused chimpBoss: “Can you work overtime tonight?”

Her: “Only if you get down on your knees and please me.”

Him: “Yes Ma’am!”

The beginning of 83% of the porn you’ve ever seen? Nope, it’s the mixture of English and Czech that makes one glorious, confusing language: Czenglish!

The main culprit of Czenglish is when a Czech speaker uses a direct translation of a Czech word or phrase in English. The above is a perfect example. In Czech, the word prosím idiomatically means please, but it comes from the verb prosit which means to beg. Our girl is using the word literally in English and thus instead of telling her boss to beg, she offered him the single greatest recompense on Earth.

Her: “I think Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.”

Him “You have true!”

OK, she has true and may now pass into the valley of the Elves, right? And dialogue for this blog has been brought to you by J.R.R Tolkien? No! It’s Czenglish again! In this case, he is directly translating the Czech phrase Máš pravdu, which means you are right but is literally translated into English as you have true.

There are other fun tidbits, like the use of the directly translated word ‘fantasy’ instead of ‘imagination,’ which might be why people think the Czechs are so open sexually.

So, this kind of strange embarrassment is unique to Czechs? No, no…

Waitress: “Co si dáte?” What will you have?

Me: “Hm, minulý čas, jsem měl kuře.” Last time I had Chicken.

If only.

Minulý čas directly translated in English means last time, but in Czech it is used to refer to the past tense. So, I actually said:

“Hm, in the past tense I had chicken.”

Awesome. Yes, it is the combination of English and Czech common to English native speakers living in the Czech Republic: Englech! Englech is a language spoke moderately well before alcohol and fluently after four glasses of alcohol.

And you people in the U.S. wonder why we drink so much over here?


Her: “Dneska horko.” It is hot today.

Me: “Tý jsi doprava.” You are right.

OK, so in this case, dorkman (me) is directly translating the phrase he knew for you are right, but Tý jsi doprava means literally, you are on the right. Czech is a phrasal language, and if you remember our embarrassing lesson from above, máš pravdu means you’re right, so in this case I actually responded to the woman’s comment on the weather by telling her that she was on my right side.

This, I am sure, relaxed her weather woes.

A wonderful attribute of Englech is the ‘Czechification’ of English words.

Waitress: “Dobry den, Co si dáte?” Good day, what will you have?

Dorkman: “Promiňte, I don’t speakovat čeština.” Excuse me, I don’t speakovat Czech.

Where does it go from here? Who the hell knows? Linguists believe that English will continue to evolve, as it has since the first Angle shared a joint with the first Saxon. For example, there are theories that in a few generations we will not be using S in the third person verbs:

He wins will become He win.

They also believe that prepositions and phrasal verbs will start to shift again as they did in the past. Like this:

1413 CE: “Egad, my feet hurt, I need to put off my caribou-skin ankle boots.”

2013 CE: “Boy my feet hurt, I need to take off my Nikes.”

3013: CE: “Boy, my feet hurt, I need to bring off my titanium moon boots.”

Don’t believe me? Just watch the hilarious and informative video below about the history and future of the English language.

Who knows, maybe we will all be speakovating Englech.

  1. #1 by Viťa on April 26, 2013 - 11:37 pm

    Real good one Damien, I always wondered if you have the same love/hate relationship with Czech as we have with English.

  2. #2 by Gerald Power on April 27, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    Agree with all this, Damien. Except for fantasy, which surely means anything imagined. It’s only in relatively recent times (I’d venture the 1960s) that us crass westerners have connoted ‘fantasy; with sexual matters. It’s a perfectly respectable word, and I think it should be ejaculated more in everyday intercourse.

    • #3 by Damien Galeone on April 28, 2013 - 9:17 am

      Tis true, Gerald. We are sick bastards and I am filled with the ejaculate of regret for my lowly words! I think punishment in the form of a Becherovka is in order.

  3. #4 by Gerald Power on April 28, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Check out this very funny sketch about ‘rude’ English words from the incomparable Fry and Laurie.

  4. #5 by Kelly on April 29, 2013 - 2:41 am

    Well I tried to comment on your cat phases post but your comments are closed so ANYWAY this is Kelly of the cattitude post that you commented on earlier. I wanted to see if you really had as much cat cred as you stated and when I got here I saw a cat post almost right away, so I’m impressed. My cat has me up a number of times during the night, usually starting around four a.m. and ending about 8. Regardless of the fact that I make sure he has plenty of food in his dish before I go to bed, he won’t EAT without me standing over him. So yes, sick, depraved, pathetic. I am a slave to this thing. But I just loves him so much! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  5. #6 by greg galeone on May 2, 2013 - 7:05 pm

    liked the post damo-dad.

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