Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

To learn Czech = učit česky

One of the best ways to learn is to talk to other people about the subject... so feel free to ignore the following...

Two ways in Czech, of speaking about future actions. Future-tense can be indicative of an on-going task, or, of a completive task that can be "done" and finished. In English, you can say "I'm going to learn Czech", but it doesn't indicate how much Czech you're going to learn. You can say, in Czech, "Next week I'm going to learn some Czech" or "I'm going to start becoming fluent in Czech, starting next week", but all in a few concise words:

1) "Budu se učit česky"
Doesn't specify how advanced I'll become, just that I'll be doing it.

2) "Naučím se česky"
I'll learn Czech to the point when I don't have to continue learning it, I'll become fluent.

Budu="I will be", future tense form of the very irregular verb BÝT, 'to be'
Učit se=Teach yourself/learn/study, "Naučím" is future tense of učit

Literally word by word:
1) I will be, self, to learn, Czech
2) I will teach, self, Czech

Some verbs require method 1 ("suggestive"?) or method 2 (completive), or, the implication differs between methods. So you can differentiate between "I will talk to Simon about that" (assertive) and "I'll talk to Simon" (passive) depending on which future-tense method you use.

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Agh, perfective and imperfectives... You bring back memories of evil Russian grammar lessons!! *grin*

Ah... yeah, Czech and Russian share alot!

Perfective & Imperfective... and a million other -ive's. Grr those things!

Nominative, Locative, Accusitive, Genitive, Frequentive, Instrumental... what are all of them for! *slowly learning*

(Deleted comment)
Try Icelandic!

Anyway, I thought you might want to read the second poem in this post.

Ooh, that's really interesting! I love languages. Different tenses never fail to fascinate me, frustrating as it sometimes is to determine which is appropriate...

I like that Spanish has the preterite tense for something that happened in the past and ended (I danced), and the imperfect tense for the general past (I used to dance). But, I'm a big Spanish geek, so...

- ♥ -


As a pedantic Czech native, may I remark that "to learn Czech" actually translates as "učit SE česky"... :) Lukas

Thank you!

Czech is a beautiful language, unfortunately when I found out I'm doing Arabic for two years, I switched to studying that instead! I miss doing Czech.

from Lukas the Czech

Not all of the complexity of Czech grammar, and Slavic grammars in general, is in fact productive - a lot of it is just annoyingly purposeless. But one perhaps unparalleled asset of Slavic languages (as far as I can say - I speak eight languages, three Slavic) is their IMMENSE power to create emotionally charged neologisms. It is, by the way, one reason why I personally could never have married a foreigner...
A simple example: "Chlap" is just one of several standard Czech words for "a guy", from whence derives a whole line of words with emotional charges ranging from affectionate to ironic: "chlapík", "chlapíček", "chlápek", "chlapák", "chlapisko", "chlapoun". The rules for generating such words are pretty hazy, a matter of "feel" and even personal taste. Even if I said "chlapouš" or "chlapidlo" (which I've never ever heard anyone use), most people would still understand me and have an idea of the shade of emotion that I mean.

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