I just installed Lingea Lexicon on my new computer. It’s an excellent Czech English dictionary that I’ve used for several years as it is fast and includes what I imagine to be useful examples. For instance, thanks to Lingea I know the correct preposition to use - "o", should I need to ask someone to shout for help. “Křik pro pomoc”, the literal translation, probably wouldn’t get me as far.
Of course, even knowing that I should use “o” and “pomoc” together is no guarantee that anyone would understand me if I yelled “křik”. It has the ř in it, that devilish letter that twists my tongue about and renders my speech unrecognizable unless I’ve had lots of practice on a word, or simply learned the way that Czech lispers get around it. So when I saw in the Lingea installation package that I could add a pronunciation option using only 6 more MB of hard drive space, I said “báječný nápad!” - “super idea!”, and hit go.
Five minutes later and installation complete, I typed in “křik” and looked for the pronunciation button. No sign of it, so I clicked over to the English translation, found the button and confirmed that “shout” spoken by a British man can sound very dull indeed. English to český, Czech to anglický, after a few more dictionary flip floppings I had to conclude that yes, there was pronunciation for all English words, but no, there wasn’t any for Czech. It is, after all, a phonetic language. And if just anyone learned how to say “křik,“ how would one know the Czechs from the foreigners (or lispers) among us.
The Dead House
1 day ago