Friday, March 6, 2009

Slovak 101

The other night, we went to Exit, a downtown career/college group of about 200 people. It was a lot of fun--definitely more the style of meeting and worship that I grew up with. (Excluding an electronic violin, which I did not know existed until now.) A visiting band was playing, and the kids kept hopping around. I felt old. First, I simply didn't want to hop around--all that energy!--and, secondly, because I worried I might break something.

During worship, all the words were in Slovak. If they sing a worship song we know, we sing along in English. Mike and I, both major word nerds, are distracted by thoughts of amazement: we're singing the same thing, but with different words, at the same time, and it still works with the music, and God hears the same thing. Now that we're learning pronunciation, it is really helpful to see words up on the big screen while people sing. Some words are, like, seven letter longs with no vowels. It makes my brain hurt. I try to sing along but, unless the words have been translated by a friend, I simply cannot sing praises to God. Like, my brain doesn't function. To me, Slovak sounds exactly like someone who is making up a goofy language on the spot. So, I can't take myself seriously. I barely sing out English worship songs, so I think God understands.

Anyway, all that to say, here are a few common phrases to give you a feel for the language...

YES = ANO Ahno

NO = NIE nyeh

PLEASE = PROSIM proseem

I'M SORRY / EXCUSE ME = PREPACTE prepachte

GOOD MORNING = DOBRY RANO dobrye rano

GOOD DAY = DOBRY DEN dobrye den

HELLO = CAU or AHOJ chow or ahoy

THANK YOU = DAKUJEM dyahkooyahm

GOOD NIGHT = DOBRU NOC dobruh nots

GOOD-BYE = DOVIDENIA doveedenya

I DON'T KNOW = NEVIEM. nyehveeyem

Oh, how we say it with such pleading in our souls!:

DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? = HOVORITE PO ANGLICKY? havoreete poh angleetsky

Our personal favorite:

SORRY, I DON'T SPEAK SLOVAK = NEHOVORIM PO SLOVENSKY nyehavoreem poh slovehnskee

1 comments:

Pastor Sam said...

Bratislava slang; "Hej" (pronounced like English "hey") means "yeah".