Palcát.

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by martinemussies, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. martinemussies

    martinemussies Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
    Hi everybody !! :)

    I'm still busy writing about the Czech composer Dušan Vrchoslav. During
    his military services, he founded a choir (with an orchestra to accompagny
    it). This choir was called "Palcát". And now, I was wondering... does
    Palcát mean anything? I'm very curious to find out! :D

    Best wishes, Martine. -x-
     
  2. martinemussies

    martinemussies Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
    He also conducted a men choir, called "Vorel"... is that the name for a fish?
     
  3. Ralf Senior Member

    Dresden
    German
    Hi Martine.

    I don't want to anticipate Jana's answer. But as far as I know a "Palcát" is mace in English. A mace is a kind of mediaeval weapon. Here is an image of it.

    As to "Vorel" I'd doubt that it is the czech name of trout or "forel". I'm not that sure, but it could be simply a family name.

    Ralf
     
  4. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Hi Martine,

    Ralf's exposition of palcát could not be more precise. It is a weapon that most Czech associate with the Hussite movement and religious wars of the early 15th century. The movement has been a source of our pride ever since, hence the persistence of the obscure word.

    About Vorel: No, it is not trout, but it is not simply a family name either. In some Bohemian dialects they add "v" in front of all words starting with "o". It is considered substandard nowadays, but it was correct back in the 18th and 19th centuries, when what now is modern Czech was resuscitated by a group of passionates intellectuals. "Orel" means "eagle". Both Orel and Vorel are fairly common last names.

    Jana
     
  5. martinemussies

    martinemussies Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    the Netherlands ~ Dutch.
    Thanks a lot, Ralf & Jana! I will certainly mention this in my article! :)
     
  6. Ralf Senior Member

    Dresden
    German
    That's interesting. Although I knew "orel", for some odd reason I would never have guessed it was the same as "vorel" in this case. Furthermore, I knew "Vorel" as a common family name from personal contacts, but none of these contacts told me that it actually meant "eagle"--nice friends they are. ;)

    Ralf
     
  7. DaleC Senior Member

    This description calls for clarification from a linguistic perspective. As in the German speaking world, spoken Czech (Czech umgangssprache) and written Czech are rather divergent in pronunciation. So there are in fact two "modern Czechs", spoken and written. While it is correct in some sense to call written Czech "standard", it must be understood that Czechs never speak that way except in formal situations.

    So it would be incorrect to suppose that only a minority of Czechs, or only uneducated Czechs, "add the 'v' ". While I don't know that it happens in *all* Czech dialects, in fact it is the "standard" pronunciation when not delivering a speech. But when people are expected to use "written pronunciation", as in broadcast speeches or interviews, you will hear colloquial pronunciations slipping out of their mouths every now and then.

    If you learn to pronounce Czech by listening to lesson CDs/tapes and to Internet broadcasts, you will not be quite prepared to make conversation with Czechs (because you will not understand them unless they take care to switch to the written language pronunciation).

    In fact, the written standard introduced in the 18th and 19th centuries is the resurrection of the language of the Czech bible from 1400s or 1500s. Hence its use is artificial -- which is not to say uncommon. Among the Czechs, literacy consists of learning the written standard, and every Czech acquires (or is supposed to acquire) this second accent for speaking his/her language. I have never read that public documents or literature are ever composed using colloquial spelling.

    There is a complication to v-prothesis, maddening for foreign learners. V-prothesis is applied inconsistently: speakers use it haphazardly with many words and there are a few words where they never use it. On top of that, the use of v-prothesis and other spoken features can be partly suppressed when speaking to somebody you are not close to or when the topic is "serious". Even so, you would not expect to find a Czech who *never* says, for example, von "he", in place of on.

    I offer these remarks mostly from the academic literature on the Czech language ("references available on request";) -- that's a pun on a phrase standardly used in CV's), and also from experience with my Czech girlfriend.

    Not only that, but in the 1700's some Czech families spelled it Worel -- a handful still do to this day. This looks like an attempt at elegance. Centuries ago, some Germans and Hungarians spelled their names with 'th' instead of 't' because it looked more elegant, and those spellings persist to the present day.
     
  8. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Dale,

    I am truly impressed at the depth of your knowledge, but I have to dispute your point.

    What you said captures the situation in most parts of Bohemia but even there you will find lots of people who would never say "vo-" instead of "o-". The colloquial language in Bohemia is hopelessly incorrect from the viewpoint of grammar. But in Moravia and Silesia, what you hear is grammatically correct most of the time. The pronunciation is softer, closer to the Slovak one. Some people admittedly use dialects that are a blend of standard grammar and non-standard vocabulary and pronunciation.

    Even so, you would not expect to find a Czech who *never* says, for example, von "he", in place of on.
    I would never, never in life say, "von", "vokno" (window) etc. I even cringe when I hear it. I also cringe when I hear Czechs from Bohemia mutilate the endings (they say "dobrej" instead of "dobrý" (good) etc.).
    It is not standard, it is just common. And as I explained everywhere, not in Moravia and Silesia.

    I admit that the word "substandard" was not particularly appropriate. Many people use the incorrect pronunciation, and not all of them are uneducated.
    You will often find the incorrect Bohemian grammar in translated books - in particular when the protagonists are supposed to sound "cool".
    I speak pretty much like those people on tapes. And I am not the only one. The gap between spoken and written Czech is not as large as one would believe upon reading your post.

    Thanks for an interesting contribution! :) Hope to see you around often.

    Jana
     
  9. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12
    Czech
    Hello!

    I completely agree with Jana's last post...
    even though it is arguable that what you hear in Moravia and Silesia is usually grammatically correct...

    As for Dale's remark on the "W-" spelling, this was the common way of writing "v" well into the 19th century (click here for a sample).

    Roman
     
  10. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    OK, let me qualify it: reasonably correct. :D
    I would say that the violations of grammar rules in Moravia and Silesia are a subset of those in Bohemia. In other words, all rules that are broken in Moravia and Silesia are broken in Bohemia as well. On the other hand, people in Bohemia violate some rules that are respected in Moravia and Silesia.

    That's an approximation - I am sure one would find a couple of counterexamples.

    Jana
     
  11. Petusek New Member

    Czech language, Czech Republic
    I perfectly agree with Jana. I think the problem of dialects is a bit more complicated than that. Being a Moravian too, I'm forever hearing Bohemian linguists claim something I simply cannot agree with.

    This is because they tend to forget how many dialects we happen to have here. They're always saying that the short vowels /i, e, o/ in "Moravian" are closer than in Standard Czech. This may well be true in southern regions, but if they visited the region Jana and I come from, they'd be surprised how standard our vowels are :). Moreover, Bohemian vowels are often much opener and more neutralized than what Standard Czech is considered to be, hence their view is often biased.

    It is also due to the great variability that Moravians tend to use Standard Czech as a, say, lingua franca:

    Chcu být dobrý ogar. (Valach)
    Chcu byt dobry synek. (Silesian)
    Chci být dobrý kluk. (Standard)
    Chci bejt dobrej kluk. (Bohemian)
    Chci bét dobré klok. (Hanak)

    So, foreigners really don't have to worry about Moravian dialects of Czech and the "bad grammar" we use. Moreover, keep in mind that what we call Standard Czech was codified a pretty long time ago. In other words, the "bad" grammar is actually a grammar that hasn't been codified yet (not that I suspect any polititians of doing so in the near future).
     
  12. Hello, Petusek!
    I am just the next person to say "I perfectly agree, but..."
    So here is content of my "but": As far as I know , You could hardly find a Hanak not trying to speak Standard Czech, who´d say "chci". Living in Hana over 22 years (i. e. since I was born), I´ve in such case heard just "chcu" or even "chco".
    But this comment does not mean I do not admire the vast amount of knowledge of You all. I am freshly registered member (know I don´t know if I haven´t just commited syntactical Bohemism) and hope I´ll enjoy with number of these superb discusions. Bye!
     
  13. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12
    Czech
    Yeah, that "chci" in Hanak dialect rang a bell in my mind, too!

    By the way, welcome Tinu to our forum!

    Roman
     
  14. Petusek New Member

    Czech language, Czech Republic
    Well, generalizations are generally weak in some respects :). Of course, "chcu" (and its Hanakian variant "chco") is marked socio-linguistically: both for us Moravians and Bohemians, but in a different - maybe even opposite - way for each of the two groups.

    Best, Petusek
     

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