Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
Naftár – a man who works in the oil business, either extracting or refining crude oil; an oilman. This idea goes back to the original sense of the English word “naphtha” (say /naf-Өa/, which was an old Persian word meaning “wet” or “liquid”, referring to a naturally-occurring liquid which would burn in the hot sun. This may have been natural tar, bitumen or asphalt containing pockets of natural gas (methane) which would easily burn. The old meaning of naphtha as crude oil persists in Russia and Russian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe, but in Central Europe it has given way to the new sense of diesel fuel (nafta as in Slovak – but be careful in Poland, where nafta apparently means kerosene/paraffin oil, i.e. petrolej). Slovak benzín is petrol in British English and gasoline (“gas”) in American English, hence na plný plyn in Slovak.
Summer may well be over, but the topic of (Slovak) turistika continues into the autumn. You have to think twice (as usual) translating this into English, and even more if you want the correct English for turista. If you mean peší turista, then DON'T say tourist. English speakers understand tourists as people on holiday traveling around in air-conditioned coaches on sight-seeing tours (poznávacie zájazdy), videoing everything and buying souvenirs everywhere. Peší turista is a walker, possibly a hill-walker. Long-distance walkers with rucksacks and tents are hikers. Weekend walkers going up to Lajoška for a picnic are ramblers, and people moving at a leisurely pace along Main Street in Košice on Sunday afternoon are strollers. Hiking is hard work, walking is normal, rambling is for fun and strolling is taking it easy.