020 Prepositions before and after

V budově i okolo ni In and around the building Czech does not usually allow for more than one preposition before a noun except in the case of a few set expressions (e.g. Modlitba za v Panu zesnulé ).

019 Nominalization and verbalization

Bureaucratic texts can go rather heavy on the abstract nouns, which often need to be loosened up and recast in other forms to sound less bombastic in English: Uzavření dodatků je podminkou další platnosti najemní smlouvy. This lease contract only continues to be valid on condition these annexes are signed. Bezdrátové LAN, které vyžadují rychlou obnovu […]

018 Aspectual verb forms

In Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication , Jan Firbas says, „it is worth noticing that an English adverb of indefinite time that has been framed in could be more readily rendered into Czech by an aspectual verb form than one that occurs outside the frame, serving as a setting or a specification“. V […]

017 Word order problems – theme and rheme

Members of the Prague Linguistic Circle made a special study of theme/rheme problems, i.e. issues involving the ordering of `that which is talked about‘ and `the statement that is made about it‘. Such ‚topics‘ and ‚comments‘ can be of great importance to the translator from Czech because a) the order in which information is given […]

016 End-weight versus subject-before-predicate

Proofreaders take note! !!!The development of a young squirrel reared by its mother and that of an artificially reared one are compared. At first sight this translation looks grammatically correct — so what is so awkward-sounding about it? The translator has slavishly followed the English rule of subject before predicate, but has ignored the fact […]

015 Conjunctiveness

The reader can be helped along with inserted discourse markers such as „but“, „however“, „nevertheless“…   Úspěsné obchodní společnosti se vyplatí poskytnout zaměstnancům nadstandardní platovou úroveň. Tento standard ovšem náleží jen těm, kdo peníze svému zaměstnavateli vydělavávají; to nejsou ani uklizečky, ani topiči, jenže i oni se obvykle dožadují vyššího standardu. Správní společnost obslužným profesím […]

014 Present historic

Occasionally crops up in journalistic style, where it usually needs to be transformed into the appropriate past tense.  Pro úplnost doplňme bronz Fučíka mezi muži a dva bronzy juniora Skop – ten si ještě o místo polepšil na ME 1995, kde ovšem zustal zcela ve stínu zlata a stribra Petra Jelínka. Mezi muži se po […]

013 Or not to be

!!!An important source of information are questionnaires Questionnaires are an important source of information Where subject and complement are of different numbers, the English verb normally follows the number of the subject, whereas Czech allows for either. The Czech verb být is „stronger“ than English „to be“ , in that it can stand more easily […]

012 Componential analysis

It frequently happens in descriptive and expressive language that a low-frequency word has to be put through the following process: Break it down into all its primary and secondary, conceptual and connotative meanings Decide which of these have any valency within the given context. Pare these down to two words (or at very most three […]

011 Repetition

Some notes on repetition: With its well-developed system of endings denoting gender, Czech usually has less need to repeat a noun for the sake of clarity than English has. Knittlova notes: Opakování lexikalní jednotky v nezměněné podobě považuje česká stylistická norma za poněkud těžkopadné, pokud nejde o součást autorova záměru, a dává přednost dalším možnostem. […]