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Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by Encolpius, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Hello, I have known and would use the word švestka, but have found there is another Czech word for plum which is slíva. All Slavic language use the Old Slavic sliva for plum. I did not understand what the difference between švestka and slíva is in Czech, are they simply synonyms? Do native speakers know and use the word slíva? Thanks.
     
  2. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12
    Czech
    Yes, slíva is a quite common word. The difference between švestka and slíva is a bit ambiguous as slíva can refer to two different things:
    - biologically speaking, it is a subspecies of the plum (slivoň slíva) - called damson plum in English according to Wikipedia, see here; its fruits are usually blue/violet and smaller than those of some other plum species; in the Czech Republic it is used for the making of slivovice. To complicate the things further, another term is sometimes used for this fruit: trnka, although the latter is usually wild (not cultivated: prunus spinosa).
    - biologically speaking still, it also designates a genus (prunus in English) consisting of several fruit species including the plum but also cherries, peaches, apricots, etc. It is rarely used this way in everyday Czech.
    On top of that, I think it can also be used more or less interchangeably with the word švestka in everyday language, although the latter is more usual.
     
  3. Hrdlodus

    Hrdlodus Senior Member

    Great Tchesko's description.
    If you want tell about the violet fruit, the best option is "švestka".
    (The word "švestka" is used for plum-tree too.)
     
  4. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    So, slivovice is made of slíva and not of švestka? I haven't known that.
     
  5. NokFrt New Member

    Czech
    "slivovice" can be made of "švestka" or "slíva" or "bluma". I'm not an expert, but for me is "švestka" the same as "slíva", but the word "švestka" is much more common.
     
  6. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12
    Czech
    Well, it is made of slíva which is a subspecies of švestka. But anyone will tell you that it is made of švestka...
    By the way, there is a music festival taking place every year end August in Vizovice (South Moravia) where slivovice is made. The festival is called Trnkobraní and on its webpage you can read:

    Trnkobraní, které slaví letos již 45 let od svého vzniku, založili vizovičtí nadšenci, aby oslavili nejvýznamnější plod tohoto regionu - švestku (valašsky trnku) a její tradiční a oblíbený produkt – pravou valašskou slivovici.
    Trnkobraní, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, was founded by aficionados from Vizovice
    in order to celebrate the most important fruit of the region - švestka (trnka in Wallachian dialect) and its traditional and popular product - the genuine Wallachian slivovice.

    The fact that the word trnka is used regionally to designate švestka orslíva sometimes leads to misunderstandings, examples of which can be found online (e.g. here).
     

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