But how good was this approach in helping me learn new words? Just take -vah-, and for example you get rozvaha, odvaha, prevaha, úvaha and povaha. Somehow they all incorporate the idea of weighing, so if one army má prevahu, it outweighs the other in strength, and úvaha involves weighing up the arguments on both sides and forming a conclusion. The prefix roz- “means” in many pieces or directions, so rozvaha is more complex than úvaha, with more things to think about, so this weighing up involves considering several risks and then deciding what to do. But how are odvaha and povaha connected with weighing? In the end I just had to learn several translations for each word, so rozvaha may be for example deliberation, circumspection, caution, prudence, calculation, thoughtfulness or mindfulness.
Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
In the process of learning Slovak language I noticed pretty quickly how strong the system of forming words using a common root with various prefixes is. I mean roots like -kaz-, -sad-, -nos- or -val-, and of course -vah-, as in the word rozvaha, which comes up in the Safety Champion piece. I also had to learn how the roots are modified when adjectives or adverbs are formed from the nouns, in this case rozvážny (aký) and rozvážne (ako). So what I tried to do was to get the basic idea of the root, just to see if it helped me understand the words which are formed by the addition of prefixes. So, in my way of thinking at least, -kaz- “means” saying, -sad- is setting, -nos- is carrying, -val- is rolling, and -vah- is weighing.