Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Native language
    English (UK) -- Canada
    Posts
    17

    Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    Greetings from France and Canada!

    I am a Canadian studying at the University of Paris IV - Sorbonne and I was hoping someone might be able to help. My surname is of Czechoslovakian origin: I say Czechoslovakian because my family immigrated to North America prior to 1992-3, and have thus always been told it is 'Czechoslovakian,' as opposed to Czech or Slovak. That being the case, my grandfather has done genealogical research and determined that our family originated from a village called Betlanovce, near Poprad, in what is now Slovakia.

    I was just hoping that there might be someone who could help clarify the meaning and pronunciation of our family name. My grandfather's family immigrated to Ohio in the North-Eastern United States, and from there my grandfather immigrated to Canada after marrying my Canadian grandmother. Understandably, with all of this moving around, over the years I am sure the pronunciation has changed from the original, or what it should be.

    It is spelled Marecak, and it is my understanding that in the original language it is spelled with the following accents: Marečák

    The Americanized pronunciation sounds like: "Mare-uh-sack" with the emphasis on the first syllable. The spelling was never changed, only (I presume) the pronunciation.
    My mother's father is British, and he along with every other Briton I have met pronounces it: "Mare-uh-chack" with a slight emphasis on the third syllable.
    My grandfather himself pronounces it "Mar-sack" with the emphasis on the first syllable.

    Does anyone know what the name means? How it would be pronounced in Czech or Slovak? How it should be pronounced properly in English, or how to anglicise it? I'm sick and tired of not knowing how to pronounce my own name!

    Any and all help would be enormously appreciated. As you can imagine, it is particularly difficult to pronounce in French and I was hoping to get a definitive answer. Thank you very much in advance for your time and consideration.

    : )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Native language
    Czech
    Posts
    95

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    The czech pronounciation of your surname is 'marecha:k - the accent is in the first syllable but the last "a" is prolonged.
    For the moment I didn't find what it means but maybe someone knows it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Macedonia
    Native language
    Macedonian
    Posts
    164

    Re: Marecak (Slovak surname)

    I'm not Slovak nor Czech, but if the spelling "Marečák" is the correct one, I'm confident that the pronunciation would be Mah-reh-chu:ck (á = aa), with stress on the first syllable. You can hear it here: http://translate.google.com/#cs/en/Mare%C4%8D%C3%A1k I think "Marechack" (Mare-uh-chack) would be the closest spelling match you can get for a correct pronunciation in English.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    The Slovak standard pronounciation of Marečák is the same as the Czech. In the dialects spoken around Poprad it could sound like ma'rechak (with the accent on the penultimate syllable).

    As to the meaning, it may derive from the christian name (given name) Marek as there are also other surnames of this kind, e.g. Peterčák, Matuščák ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Native language
    Czech
    Posts
    2,043

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Marečák is definitely Slovak, the Czech equivalent is Mareček (= little Marek; Marek = Marcus, Mark (the Evangelist)).

    Pronuntiation (in French transcription and IPA):

    Marečák: Marais-tchaque, ['marɛʧaːk]
    Mareček: Marais-tchèque (the Czech marsh ), ['marɛʧɛk]

    Stress is on the first syllable both in Standard Slovak and Standard Czech.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Quote Originally Posted by bibax View Post
    Marečák is definitely Slovak, the Czech equivalent is Mareček (= little Marek; Marek = Marcus, Mark (the Evangelist)).
    I am not sure about the original meaning or function of the ending -čák. The Slovak diminutive should be Mareček (as chlapček, domček etc ...). There is also a dialectal version -čok (e.g. chlapčok) but I've never heard diminutives like *chlapčák, *domčák ... In Slovak surnames we can find all the mentioned endings, e.g. Martinček, Martinčok, Martinčák.

    Spontaneousely, I could interprete this -čák as "originating, beeing associated to, coming from" the family of Marek, Martin etc ... Finally, there are also surnames like Vargovčák, Sabolčák ... where Vargov (probably from Hung. Varga) and Sabol are not given names (but rather surnames).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Native language
    English
    Posts
    543

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Shouldn't the r be rolled? My last name is Bartos, and we always roll the r.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Native language
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Posts
    1,911

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    MOD EDIT: I've merged two threads (thanks to Azori for the heads-up), so some of the posts appear in a somewhat different context than originally written.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Macedonia
    Native language
    Macedonian
    Posts
    164

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Quote Originally Posted by NotNow View Post
    Shouldn't the r be rolled?
    In Slavic languages? Always.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Native language
    Slovak
    Posts
    947

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    The Slovak standard pronounciation of Marečák is the same as the Czech.
    I'm not sure if one can really say that the Slovak pronunciation here is the same as (or fully identical with) the Czech one.
    Quote Originally Posted by DMMD View Post
    I say Czechoslovakian because my family immigrated to North America prior to 1992-3, and have thus always been told it is 'Czechoslovakian,' as opposed to Czech or Slovak.
    Quote Originally Posted by DMMD View Post
    ... it is my understanding that in the original language it is spelled with the following accents: Marečák
    Quote Originally Posted by DMMD View Post
    How it would be pronounced in Czech or Slovak?
    Is the original language Slovak? (if yes, how relevant is it to know the Czech pronunciation?)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Native language
    Slovak
    Posts
    606

    Re: Marecak (Slovak surname)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoj View Post
    I've just found out that machine pronounciation of this word in Slovak does sound a bit more realistic: http://translate.google.com/#sk/en/Marečák . Anyway, thank you for the effort.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    Quote Originally Posted by Azori View Post
    I'm not sure if one can really say that the Slovak pronunciation here is the same as (or fully identical with) the Czech one.
    Isn't the Slovak pronunciation also ['marɛʧaːk]?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Native language
    Slovak
    Posts
    947

    Re: Marecak (surname)

    I don't know. Perhaps it is. I was reading this article on the IPA and Slovak (pdf, p. 87 - 109) and there are also some notes about Czech.
    Last edited by Azori; 17th October 2012 at 9:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Limburg
    Native language
    Slovak, English
    Posts
    8

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    I know some people in Slovakia with the last name Mareček, never met any Marečák though.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Γιβραλτάρ και Ισπανία
    Native language
    Σλοβακικά
    Posts
    79

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    Just a small note: surnames with the suffix -ák are far more usual in the Eastern Slovakia (Andrejčák, Varholák, etc.) > that might be where DMMD's surname comes from. Pronunciation in the eastern dialect would be [mar'ɛʧak], with the accent on the paenultima and short last a.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Native language
    Slovak
    Posts
    606

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollodoros View Post
    Just a small note: surnames with the suffix -ák are far more usual in the Eastern Slovakia (Andrejčák, Varholák, etc.)

    That is true.

    Pronunciation in the eastern dialect would be [mar'ɛʧak], with the accent on the paenultima and short last a.

    Likely you meant [ma'rɛʧak].

    Yet, I don't suppose the contenporary Easterners are that rigorous in their accentuation.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Glasgow
    Native language
    Slovak, Czech
    Posts
    7

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    As far as I see it the accent should be put on the penultimate syllable.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Native language
    Hungarian
    Posts
    4,952

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    Quote Originally Posted by ThessMousie View Post
    As far as I see it the accent should be put on the penultimate syllable.
    Yes, when you are speaking in dialect or Polish. But when you speak in standard Slovak or Czech, it would be quite unnatural to put the stress/accent on penultimate syllable, because the stress is always on the first syllable.
    Last edited by francisgranada; 17th December 2012 at 5:02 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Native language
    Czech
    Posts
    2,043

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    Spontaneousely, I could interprete this -čák as "originating, beeing associated to, coming from" ...
    You were right.

    However the suffix is in fact -ák. If a (place) name ends in the suffix like -ek, -ec, -ice, -ka, -ky, etc. then the compound with -ák always ends in -čák.

    Vargovčák is from Vargovec, Sabolčák is from Sabolec. etc.

    In Czech we have e.g. Frýdečák (Frýdek), Liberečák (Liberec), Lhotečák (Lhotka or Lhotky), Vizovičák (Vizovice), and Lobečák (not Lobečečák, from Lobeček).

    Thus Marečák is hypothetically derived from Marek, Marka, Marky, Marec, Mareček, Marečky by the suffix -ák.

    Whilst Mareček is a diminutive, derived from Marek by the common diminutive suffix -ek.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Native language
    English (UK) -- Canada
    Posts
    17

    Re: Slovak (and Czech): Marečák (and Mareček)

    WOW. I am overwhelmed and very grateful to everyone for their detailed and informative answers! I was very interested in learning about the name's roots in the name 'Marek,' as well as the definitive pronunciation. The Google translate site was a brilliant idea, and the French pronunciation of "Marais-tchaque" was perfectly understandable. I will start using that at once

    A profound THANK YOU to you all, marvellous forum experts!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •