Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by slavicist89, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. slavicist89 Member

    English - England

    I'm a little stuck on the word 'jakžkolivěk', which I found in the following context (taken from Havlíček's Obrazy z Rus), but can't find a definition for anywhere:

    "Pod Novinskem tedy panovala již nějaký čas velká činnost: boudy rozmanité velikosti a formy se stavějí v jedné řadě prostředkem přes celé náměstí, v kterých umělci rozličných národů a ještě rozličnějších schopností budou obveselovat pravoslavný národ; cesty v okolí se jakžkolivěk zalepují a zasýpají, při které příležitosti nemohu opomenout, že si ještě posavad na moskovskou dlažbu často s bolestí vzpomínávám, které se, jmenovitě v jarní dobu, sotva která jiná středověká tortura vyrovnati může."

    Could anyone enlighten me on this?

    Thank you,
  2. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    jakkoli (commonest), jakkoliv, jakkolivěk (bookish), jakžkolivěk (obsolete) = anyhow, no matter how, in any way;

    Similarly kdožkolivěk, cožkolivěk, kterýžkolivěk, kdežkolivěk, ...
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  3. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi slavicist89. The work, of course, was written about 170 years ago so it contains a number of language features which are now considered literary and/or archaic, in much the same way as some of the English peculiarities we find in Dickens, a contemporary of Havlíček's.

    However, we can see that the word is very close to the present-day jakkoli or jakkoliv, of which jakžkolivěk is, I believe, the linguistic precursor. So an equivalent literary translation would be something like "in all manner of ways", or more colloquially these days for "jakkoli(v)" - "any old how", depending, of course, on the precise context.

    So in his text here, Havlíček is saying the roads round about are plastered and festooned with the artists' handiwork in a disorderly or disorganised way, at random, no rhyme or reason about it.

    But wait for the opinion of the natives, who will be better versed than me in 19th-century literary Czech.

    [Edit: cross-posted with bibax, who got there before me.]
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  4. AllTaken New Member

    Hello, I agree with both answerers. The translation would be - "somewhat","sort of" ,"somehow".

    If you are not a native Czech and you are reading this book (or just this article you quoted) in Czech and you only question this one word, then I take my hat off to you, sir. Even czech kids have problems with these older books and reading the books is extremely uncomfortable and unnatural to them.
  5. slavicist89 Member

    English - England
    Thanks to all of you for your help! And thank you for the encouragement, AllTaken; I am not working through gulaňje without difficulty, I can assure you! I'm still not sure I understand this sentence; is it implying that the streets are strewn with artwork, then? Or rubbish as well? Somehow I had understood 'cesty se zalepajíí' and 'zasýpají' to mean that they were sticky and boggy (just previously in the text Havlíček had complained that this street was paved only along the sides), but I see that I misunderstood that. If it means "with all kinds of things", what does "zalepat" mean? That there are things pasted all over the place?
  6. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    :idea: I think you may be on the right lines, slavicist! I haven't got the rest of the text so I was going only on the short extract supplied. I originally took it to mean the artists, who were going to "obveselovat" the scene, might be hanging up their work all over the place, but on second thoughts, the "cesty se ... zalepují a zasýpají" goes more naturally with the comments about the "moskovská dlažba" in the next clause.

    So the road surfaces are indeed, being patched up (zalepují) and strewn/sprinkled (zasýpají) with something or other - maybe just earth, I'm now inclined to think. Presumably the place is being brightened up for some special event? And then of course, "umělci" could also be any sort of street performers, troubadours, itinerant showmen, musicians and so forth.

    Again, let's wait for the natives, but I think I was wrong in my first interpretation, in which case my sincere apologies :eek:.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  7. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    "cesty v okolí se jakžkolivěk zalepují a zasýpají, ..."

    Some workers (cestáři = roadmen, road menders?), maybe occasional unskilled volunteers, are patching and gritting or gravelling (filling the holes with grit/gravel) the roads in neighbourhood, probably in a hurry and shoddily.
  8. slavicist89 Member

    English - England
    Dear both, thanks for your help! And sorry for not having given much context in the first place.

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