Quiz about Foreign Borrowings in Czech
Quiz about Foreign Borrowings in Czech

Foreign Borrowings in Czech Trivia Quiz


Czech, like other languages, has borrowed a lot of foreign terms over the years. Here are some of them, old and new. How many can you identify? I can't use diacritics, so I've identified pronunciation with /slashes like this/.

A multiple-choice quiz by dobrov. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
dobrov
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
86,224
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
858
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. 'Ahoj' /Ahoy/ is a common informal greeting or parting in Czech that corresponds roughly to 'hi! or 'bye!' in English. What language does 'ahoj' come from? Hint

Norwegian
French
English
German

2. The Czech words for coat and tulip - 'kabat' and 'tulipan' - have something in common. Both things were introduced to Europe in the 16th century from another source. What language was spoken by the people who introduced coats and tulips to Europeans? Hint

Turkish
Japanese
Chinese
Arabic

3. Unsurprisingly, a lot of English-derived slang has to do with computers. The official word for computer in Czech is 'pocitac'/pocheetach/, but the kids say 'compac'/kompach/. The word 'hadr' means rag or duster, but in cyberCzech it refers to your hard drive. Traditionally, a 'chatar' is someone who spends a lot of time at the 'chata', or cottage. So what's a 'chatar' in cyberspeak? Hint

Someone who doesn't use computers
Someone who spends a lot of time on the Net
A programmer
Someone who chats on the Internet

4. 'Bavlna', or cotton, is derived from the German 'Baumwoelle'. 'Mancestr'/Manchester/ is corduroy and the term comes from the city that exported the material. So, as the word in Czech for T-shirt is 'triko', what language does that come from? Hint

French (tricot)
Japanese (tiriko)
Italian (trichotto)
English (tree co.)

5. When one language borrows a term from another, often the meaning is slightly mutated. For instance, 'stopovat' is something teenagers want to do on their summer holidays that their parents hate the sound of. They don't want to stop, they want to... Hint

quit school
get close and personal with their true loves
paint their rooms black and orange
hitchhike

6. Here's a well-travelled word. The Czech variant is 'piskot'/pishkot/. What is a piskot? Hint

A bicycle
A painting
A feather
A kind of cookie

7. Although the more common word today is the German derivant 'kino', an older and more elegant word for a cinema is 'biograf'. Where did this word come from? Hint

France
England
The United States
Germany

8. The verb 'tunelovat' has made the news a lot in the past few years. It's been big news in the States too in 2002, what with certain business scandals and all. What does it mean? Hint

To make backroom political deals
To build a highway
To launder money
To go spelunking

9. A pub is a 'hospoda' and an inn is a 'hostinec'. 'Spital'/Shpital/ is an older word for hospital. A 'hospodar' is a landlord or manager, while the verb 'hospodarit' can mean either 'to manage', or 'to keep house'. 'Hospodarstvi' can refer to the economy in general, or things agricultural in particular. All these words find their origin, more or less, in the word 'hospitum' - a particular part of a medieval building. Where could you find a hospitum? Hint

A castle
A farm
A catheral
A monastery

10. Ok, two last ones. A 'sutr'/shootr/ and a 'pomeranc'/pomeranch/ are what, respectively? No hints. The first you need English for, the second, French. Hint

A kind of trousers and a sword
A small drink and a kind of hat
A small stone and an orange
A small gun and a vegetable


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 'Ahoj' /Ahoy/ is a common informal greeting or parting in Czech that corresponds roughly to 'hi! or 'bye!' in English. What language does 'ahoj' come from?

Answer: English

A lot of young Czechs fled Bohemia during World War I to serve in the British navy. They brought back the maritime greeting with them and during the 20s and at least part of the 30s it was used exclusively for people travelling by water. Eventually it hit land and stayed there.
2. The Czech words for coat and tulip - 'kabat' and 'tulipan' - have something in common. Both things were introduced to Europe in the 16th century from another source. What language was spoken by the people who introduced coats and tulips to Europeans?

Answer: Turkish

A good thing about the Turkish invasions of the late 16th century was the introduction of a longer, looser and more comfortable garment than the short jackets worn by Europeans of the day. The tulip is thought to have been brought first to the Netherlands in 1593, but according to some sources, the Turks themselves borrowed the terms from Persian, the original source.

The words 'kaftan' and 'turban' are cognates.
3. Unsurprisingly, a lot of English-derived slang has to do with computers. The official word for computer in Czech is 'pocitac'/pocheetach/, but the kids say 'compac'/kompach/. The word 'hadr' means rag or duster, but in cyberCzech it refers to your hard drive. Traditionally, a 'chatar' is someone who spends a lot of time at the 'chata', or cottage. So what's a 'chatar' in cyberspeak?

Answer: Someone who chats on the Internet

Teen slang is full of anglicisms, including the ubiquitous 'cool' and a whole lot of other stuff I can't mention here that comes in through movies and rock music lyrics.
4. 'Bavlna', or cotton, is derived from the German 'Baumwoelle'. 'Mancestr'/Manchester/ is corduroy and the term comes from the city that exported the material. So, as the word in Czech for T-shirt is 'triko', what language does that come from?

Answer: French (tricot)

It's from 'tricot', or knitted fabric, in French. Other terms for fabrics that are borrowed include 'cinc' or chintz, and 'len' for linen. 'Vlna' is wool.
5. When one language borrows a term from another, often the meaning is slightly mutated. For instance, 'stopovat' is something teenagers want to do on their summer holidays that their parents hate the sound of. They don't want to stop, they want to...

Answer: hitchhike

'Stepovat', on the other hand, means to tap dance. There are a lot of homegrown Czech words for getting personal with your Oneandonly, and both quitting school and going on strike are unpopular enough not to have attracted any borrowings that I know of so far.
6. Here's a well-travelled word. The Czech variant is 'piskot'/pishkot/. What is a piskot?

Answer: A kind of cookie

As far as I can tell, the word originated in the Italian 'biscotta', or twice-cooked. It moved into French as 'biscuit', and from thence over most of Europe. A Czech piskot is a plain, vanilla wafer not unlike a ladyfinger.
7. Although the more common word today is the German derivant 'kino', an older and more elegant word for a cinema is 'biograf'. Where did this word come from?

Answer: The United States

The American Mutascope and Biograph company was the first cinema production company in the world. The patented 'Biograph' camera and the cinemas built for it spread all over North America and Europe.
8. The verb 'tunelovat' has made the news a lot in the past few years. It's been big news in the States too in 2002, what with certain business scandals and all. What does it mean?

Answer: To launder money

Highly elaborate schemes featuring a trail of banks highlight the activities of the 'tunnelers'. Whether this word is from German or English is the cause of some debate around the pub I go to. Can anyone help me out here, please?
9. A pub is a 'hospoda' and an inn is a 'hostinec'. 'Spital'/Shpital/ is an older word for hospital. A 'hospodar' is a landlord or manager, while the verb 'hospodarit' can mean either 'to manage', or 'to keep house'. 'Hospodarstvi' can refer to the economy in general, or things agricultural in particular. All these words find their origin, more or less, in the word 'hospitum' - a particular part of a medieval building. Where could you find a hospitum?

Answer: A monastery

The functions of the 'hospitum' varied, but in general it housed travellers - hospes, or guests - and dealt with the outside world in general. The monasteries were more than contemplative institutions. They were inns, clinics and medical dispensaries, breweries and distilleries, and of course, landowners and agriculturalists. English cognates include hostel, hospitality, etc.
10. Ok, two last ones. A 'sutr'/shootr/ and a 'pomeranc'/pomeranch/ are what, respectively? No hints. The first you need English for, the second, French.

Answer: A small stone and an orange

'Sutr' is from English, but I can't determine when it came into Czech. I've found reference to it as far back as the 20s, but not before. I suppose it originally refered only to small stones that were good for skipping, but now any small stone at all is a 'suter'. 'Pomeranc' is from French 'orange apple' and is a lot older. There are thousands more borrowings, but I'll stop here.
Source: Author dobrov

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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