Thursday, 15 February 2007

Czenglish: An Introduction.

Czenglish, is any poor or 'broken' English spoken by native Czech speakers. Famous examples include confusing translations (such as "basic school" for "základní škola", which should be "primary school" or "elementary school"), incorrect word order in a sentence (because of the very flexible word order in Czech) and use of inappropriate prepositions and conjunctions because of the influence of their Czech equivalents.

Language humour

Some elements of Czenglish only cause a little confusion and are eventually understood by a native speaker. Others, however, may lead to much more embarrassing situations, since for a native English speaker they seem to be correct English sentences, although the Czech speaker meant to say something different. Such misunderstanding may be recognized only by considering the appropriateness of each of the possible meanings in the given context.


*A Czech girl was working in a pub in the UK when the landlord asked her if she could possibly continue the shift to later. She replied, "Only if you get down on your knees and please me".
(the mistake here is the inappropriate use of the adverb "please" in a role of a verb, while the correct word should be "ask" or "beg", cf. German bitten)

Please see here for more examples of common mistakes