Happy New Year! It's getting slightly late, but people are still returning to work and seeing each other for the first time this year, so why not? There's a cultural difference between Slovaks and English speakers as far as wishes are concerned, whether they are for Christmas or New Year, or for birthdays in general. Slovak wishes are explicit, including every possible positive thing that might be mentioned: good luck (fortune) and strong health, lots of love and family comfort, even plenty of fruit to eat. This means that for English speakers Slovak wishes seem to go on and on, while vice versa Slovaks might think that English wishes are rather terse and abrupt (strohé), because they just get “Happy birthday”, “Best wishes” or “All the best”. But that doesn't mean that English wishes are any less sincere.
Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
Cast. This word is tricky on various levels. It can be used as a noun, for example a plaster cast (ruka/noha v sadre), the cast of a film (obsadenie filmu), a cast in her eye (mierne škúlenie), or a metal cast/casting (odliatok). It can be a verb to cast, irregular of course (cast, cast, cast - although the past form casted is also used), which basically means to throw, as in to cast a hook with a fishing-rod. So when Julius Caesar crossed the River Rubicon with his army on January 10 in 49 BC, he is alleged to have said alea jacta est, typically translated into English as the die is cast (dice is officially the plural form, i.e. kocky). If Caesar had been Spanish, he might have said que será será. So actors are “thrown” into their roles, and metal is “thrown” into a mould.