velebit se

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by slavicist89, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. slavicist89 Junior Member

    English - England
    Hello!

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the verb 'velebit se' means in the following context:

    'Ale nepochybně že se již mnozí, jimž význam slova gulaňje povědom jest, usmívají učenosti a vážnosti, s kterou se k výkladu právě tohoto dosti veselého slova velebím.'

    We're back at the beginning of Gulaňje in Havlíček's Obrazy z Rus (I'm fine-tuning my translation), and Havlíček is about to explain the Russian word 'Гулянье'.

    I wondered if it was something along the lines of 'set out (to define the word...)'?

    Thanks!

    Slavicist
     
  2. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    The verb "velebiti se" is an imperfective counterpart to the verb "uvelebiti se" = to sit/settle/lie down comfortably. The imperfective form is rarely used.

    Pantáta se uvelebil v křesle a začal vyprávět.
    Protože je to na delší vyprávění, v klidu se uveleb.

    - Pohodlně se uveleb třeba na gauč.
    - Už jsem se uvelebil. Právě se velebím.
    (I am curious how to translate it in English)

    Non-reflexive "velebiti" = to praise, to extol, e.g. to praise the Lord = velebiti Pána;
     
  3. MikeLynn

    MikeLynn Senior Member

    Well, it's just a shot in the dark, but how about: make oneself comfortable on a sofa, in an armchair etc.?
    M&L
     
  4. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    "I agree with MikeLynn's excellent suggestion "make yourself comfortable on the sofa" for "pohodlně se uveleb třeba na gauč". The very good Velký česko-anglický slovník (Josef Fronek, Leda, Praha 2000) also gives "to snuggle down", "to nestle down", to "settle oneself comfortably", and you could also say "to settle down". There is, too, the rather formal and literary "to ensconce oneself (e.g. in an armchair)".

    For "už jsem se uvelebil", I'd suggest: "I've got myself settled in", "I've made myself (nice and) comfortable", and for "právě se velebím" - "I'm just settling down", "I'm just getting myself settled in", "I'm just makiing myself comfortable".

    I bow to bibax's great learning and superior wisdom when he says '"velebiti se" is an imperfective counterpart to the verb "uvelebiti se"', and I note that the above-mentioned dictionary also gives "uvelebovat(i) se" as another imperfective counterpart.

    I would add that in all the years I've been invited into Czech people's homes, I don't ever remember being asked to "uveleb(te) se", and am much more likely to hear "udělej(te) si pohodlí", so I conclude that it's probably true to say that "uvelebit se" in this sense is literary or rather genteel, and not used much in today's conversational Czech. Maybe you'd hear it in the dubbed version of Downton Abbey, in which the original English, too, is genteel and of its era.

    In slavicist89's phrase "s kterou se k výkladu právě tohoto dosti veselého slova velebím", it seems to me that this is also genteel speech of its own time (the mid 1840s), so I think you might say:
    'Ale nepochybně že se již mnozí, jimž význam slova gulaňje povědom jest, usmívají učenosti a vážnosti, s kterou se k výkladu právě tohoto dosti veselého slova velebím.'
    ' .... the learning and seriousness I bring to bear in explaining this rather jolly word" or
    '... the learning and seriousness I apply in explaining ....." or
    '... the learning and seriousness with which I explain..."

    As the notion of "comfort", "enjoyment" or maybe even "relish" seems to be present in "velebit se", I think you might even say "the learning and seriousness with which I take pleasure in explaining ...."
     
  5. werrr Senior Member

    Velebit(i) se is an imperfective basic form with various perfective derivatives depending on the meaning. Uvelebovat(i) se is unequivocal imperfective derivative of uvelebit(i) se.

    The primary meaning of the verb velebiti is to make something big or bigger with various secondary meanings like to praise, to raise, to improve, to develop, to set up, to uplift, to boost, to boast, to hype up.

    The usage for making oneself comfortable goes along the lines of sitting down like a boss or like a king on the throne.

    This is not genteel, it is neutral for God and bold for anything beneath God unless it is used with touch of irony which is mostly the case in modern Czech.
    My attempt:

    No doubt many (of you) who are familar with meaning of the word gulaňje are already amused by my exalted readiness to apply the scholarship and seriousness in explaining this rather jolly word.
     
  6. slavicist89 Junior Member

    English - England
    Wow, thank you all of you! That clears things up for me; I have a much better idea of what he is trying to say in this context, which is exactly what I needed. Thank you too, for your suggestions.

    Slavicist
     

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